Monday, 24 April 2017

Hotcup #1 - There was slow leakage...

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

This was the he first race out of six of the Danish summer Hotcup. The weather was dry and the tracks were grippy. This particular location always offers quick flowy singletrack.

The start went well and I soon found myself with a group of my training partners: Stefan Larsson, Stefan Methander and Martin Wenhov were all with my group. So was my old Danish racing pal Henrik Ahlbäck.

Towards the end of the first lap we caught up with the lead riders where the last rider of our gang, Björn Österberg, was. However not long after catching up with them they increased the pace and gaps started developing.

Henrik Ahlbäck was going forward through the field, jumping from group to group, and I tried to follow. Stefan Methander was on my wheel and following. At some point Henrik increased the pace and I tried to follow but a gap developed between me and Henrik. I also noticed that Stefan Methander and the other guys dropped back as I tried to catch Henrik.

After about half a lap of going in the red trying to catch Henrik I realized that it wasn't going to happen so I decreased my pace and let the other guys catch up. So soon Larsson, Methander and Wenhov (and also some Danish guys) were back with me. They all took my wheel for a few minutes and then suddenly Larsson sprinted past me and Methander took his wheel. I increased my speed and got on Methander's wheel.

While we lapped going out on the third lap (I estimated that we would do a total of five laps in the alloted time) Larsson picked up a new bottle and Methander sprinted to the front of the group. I sprinted after Methander and the pace quickened. 

It was at this point that I noiced something wasn't quite right with my bike. The front end washed out in every turn and I had to take the turns wider and wider. Also the bike felt sluggish and I had problems staying with Methander. I started suspecting that my front tire was losing air.

Halfway through the third lap the bike was almost impossible to handle and I decided that I had to give it a shot of CO2 and hope for that to help. Obviously while I was doing this I lost my group. I got back on my back, lacking some motivation, and went on riding a bit slower, waiting for the next group to catch me, and, obviusly hoping that my front tire would hold air.

A group did catch up with me and I got on their wheels. However after a few minutes I noticed that the front tire was losing air again. When lapping for the fourth lap I decided to call it quits. 

I checked the front tire afterwards and it was empty and dry of Stans. However, even after refilling and taking the bike out for a test ride it the tire was still losing air. I checked the valve core and there was the problem: It was leaking air. I changed the core and after that the wheel held air. This was exactly the same problem (with the same wheel) that I had during Andalucia. At Andalucia I had just cleaned the valve core (instead of replacing it) and then continued to ride (and it had worked... then!)

Here are some photos from the excellent photographer Jens Thomasberg

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