Sunday, 26 March 2017

FitnessMTB - Not quite as planned

Bike: BMC Fourstroke 01 XX1 Rocket Ron 2.1 Snakeskin / Rocket Ron 2.1 Snakeskin 1.60 / 1.60 bar. Stans Notubes Valor wheels.

FitnessMTB is a marathon race that's really early in the racing season and therefor really good training in preparation for the longer races later on. I've participated in the race for the last 3-4 years and placed well a couple of times.

This year I had a nagging slight cold that wouldn't quite break out during the week leading up to the race. However on the Saturday before race start I felt okay.

As the race started I at once felt that I couldn't hang with the quick guys. I still ended up with a good group which I managed to stick with 3/4 of the race, then I started feeling rather poorly. I thought about quitting as I was going out for the fourth and last lap but decided to finish the race anyway at a touristy pace. Afterwards it seems I dropped from a quite respectable 7th place on that last lap to 23rd

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Slushcup #4 - Hilly course

Result: Fourth place

Bike: BMC Teamelite XX1, Rocket Ron 2.25 Snakeskin / Racing Ralph 2.25 Snakeskin 1.4 bar (training wheels)

The last race of Slushcup was a hilly and fun course. My young training parter, Jakob HÃ¥kansson (just 16 years old!), joined us for this race, and that turned out to be fun!

I was well away from the start and somewhere around tenth place. After some jostling for positions I found myself alone in no-mans-land. I looked behind and saw that Jakob and another ride were not too far behind.

I decided to keep pushing and they didn't get much closer until two other riders caught up with them and the four of them pushed to catch up with me. So all of a sudden there were five of us and the pace got quicker.

The two riders who had caught up with Jakob's group picked up the pace and I struggled hard to get on their wheel. I managed (and Jakob and the other rider dropped off at the back) but then at a short steep hill the guy in front of me had to get off the bike forcing me off mine too. The gap that this created I was never able to close again.

So there I was again in no mans land. With one lap to go Jakob and the other rider again caught up with me. Jakob almost immediatelly went ahead and pushed the pace. I tried my best to get on his wheel and almost managed. I caught him at the start of the penultimate lap and the other rider dropped off behind.

I ended up riding with Jakob for the last two laps trading places and just let him go in the last couple of laps so Jakob ended finishing some 30 seconds ahead of me.

I felt sort of slow up some of the hills and after getting on the scales for the first time in 4 weeks the evidence was there: 77.2kg! Oops. How did this happen?

I was happy with the race anyway. Great course and the somewhat frantic downhills went well.

Thanks to SonnMedia // Gorm J. Siiger for the photos

Thanks to SonnMedia // Gorm J. Siiger for the photos

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Vintercuppen #6 - Performing well when I shouldn't be

Result: 2nd place

Bike: BMC Teamelite XX1, Rocket Ron 2.25 Snakeskin / Racing Ralph 2.25 Snakeskin 1.4 bar (training wheels)

This was the sixth and last race of the Danish Vintercuppen. Before the race I was in fourth place overall in M40.

I came back from Andalucia the previous day. I ended up aborting that race but with almost 5 completed stages I should have been totally knackered.

Waking up in the morning my motivation wasn't really there. However as we got to the race and I recognized the track I remembered it as my favorite from last year. It was a very hilly track with short steep climbs and descents. The track was either going uphill or downhill and nothing in between. Relatively short lap of 4km and a race time of  70 minutes + the lap, as always.

As the race started and the quick boys got away I found myself at the head of a group of some 10-12 riders. For the first couple of laps I pressed rather hard to get away from them and found my body responding. To my surprise my heart rate climbed above 180 in the steep climbs.

However I didn't get much of a gap to the group chasing behind, some 30 meters at most. I realized that I was pressing rather hard and wouldn't be able to keep it up for the whole 70 minutes. I slowed the pace and let them catch up. 

For another lap or two they just followed me and then one guy in blue went around me in a climb and upped the pace. I got on his wheel and pressed hard to stay with him. As the pace increased the rest of the group started dropping off one by one. I was still on the wheel of blue guy, even though he was quick and I was maxing out.

After 2 laps on his wheel I had to let him go but as there was just one lap left to go and I didn't see any pursuers I felt I was safe. I crossed the finish line in second place, my best result of the cup. This also meant that I climbed to third place overall and got within a single point of second.