Sunday, 19 January 2020

Isstjerneløbet - First Race of the Year

Bike: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 (2019) Continental Race King 2.2" BlackChili ProTection @ 1.5 bar

Result: 4th place overall (officially, but in actual fact 5th)

Continental Race King

I've been racing on Schwalbe tires for many years now. On different combinations of Rocket Ron (no longer manufactured), Racing Ralph, Racing Ray and Thunder Burt. Last year my main racing tire was Schwalbe Racing Ray. I think I've never had as many punctures during races in any year as last year. So this year I'm giving Continental a chance. Specifically Continental Race King 2.2" BlackChili ProTection. I've purchased 4 of these tires, put them on the scales, and they all weigh in at between 590 and 610 grams. My main purpose it getting better puncture protection. However looking at the tire it looks quite easy-rolling which suits my purposes

Today's race was the first time I used the tires during competition.

Fun Race usually done in the Snow

In the "old days" (beginning of the '10s) I partook Isstjerneløbet every winter. Then the Danish Vega Winter Cup decided to put one of their races on the same day and I chose to race that instead. The last time I entered into Isstjerneløbet was back in 2016. Back then, when we still had real winters, the race was often in the snow. This time there was no snow and 6 degrees C.

I have done well in this race before. The trails suit me as they are fast and have plenty of road sections. The race has a surprising amount of climbs as well.

Good Average Watts but Poor Peak Power

I've been doing a lot of loooong intervals over the winter. Same thing with my training camp in Chiang Mai; Looong climbs. My FTP is doing very nicely, which I can't say for my sprinting. But this is all according to plan so no worries.

This showed itself very clearly in today's race. I got behind in the start as people sprinted away but made my way up gradually. There was a group of us, 6 riders in all, that pretty much together throughout the race. On a few of the shorter climbs, when one or two of the guys in the group sprinted hard, I got left behind. But I managed to get back in the group again by grinding away on the easy road sections. It's quite a funny and weird feeling actually knowing that even though you have poor peak power you're confident in catching any group as long as there's a long enough straight.

As we came up to the sprint there were still four of us and with my poor sprinting skills I finished last in that group. Still, very happy with the results.

What about the Race King tires? Well, no punctures... so that's good. Grip was..., well, normal I guess.

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