Monday, 29 February 2016

Slushcup #5 - First race on the BMC Teamelite XX1

Result: 5th place

Bike: BMC Teamelite XX1, Bontrager XR2 1.4 bar. Soft rear "soft tail" cushion

It was time to try out the Teamelite in a race setting. The event was the fifth race of Slushcup. The premises were a couple of degrees below freezing. The ground was supposed to be hard and frozen. As I didn't prioritize this race very highly I decided on using my training wheels and training tyres. The Bontrager XR2 2.2 are wide but have very little in the way of grip.

Result: Slushcup #5

A test ride of the track proved that it was 90% twisty and turny single track. Great fun in other words! It was supposed to have some 250 altitude meters per lap (7km) but that turned out to be an exaggeration on the part of the organizers. In reality it was about half that.

I made a better start than I had in many races and I was actually leading my class for a while during the start loop and first lap. Soon, however Palle passed me taking some other M40 guy with him.

The bike felt superb on the track: Supple and managable through the tight turns and in between trees. The soft tail helped a bit; I was running the softest of the bushings in the back. A note about that: I had been using the softest of the bushings during most of my training rides as I wanted the full effect of the "soft tail". Now, however, during the race, perhaps I got a bit too much flex when I really got the power on. I'm not sure if this is just a feeling or actually physics at work. It felt a bit flexy when I got out on gravel road and accellerated under full power. At the same time the course was rather rooty and the soft tail really helped there. I may try the medium bushing for the next race just to get another reference.

The first couple of laps went well as the ground was frozed hard and grip was good. However after a while with a couple of hundreds of riders lapping it got more and more muddy and my Bontrager XR2 tyres started showing their lack of grip.

A couple of the guys passed by, Henrik Söeberg among them. I was very tired during the last lap but I managed to hold my position and finished in fifth place. This is the best position I've had during this season's Slushcup so I'm happy. Heart rate data looked great as well with an average pulse of 175 and a max of 188.

Very  nice heart rate with good average and max. I only did 2 hours of riding the day before this race so I was relatively rested. Compare this to the previous Vintercuppen race where I had done 5 hours of cycling the day before the race and my heart rate was much lower

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