Monday, March 26, 2007

K-Capital Cup Round 2 – Rostrevor

Sunday seen me take part in the second round of the K-Capital Cup in Rostrevor. I headed up to the course on Saturday in beautiful sunshine for a pre ride of the course. Afterwards, I decided to spend some of the weekend at home in Monaghan with my folks. Paul, Ellen (plus one more soon!) and Eva where there so it was nice to catch up with them. In fact, most of my family (Mum, Dad, Paul, Ellen, Eva, Gary, Pauline, Cara and Chloe!) decided to come along to the race the next day to support me! I really appreciated them all coming along, it was really cool to have them cheering as I went around each lap. It definitely helped ease my burning legs and lungs each time around! They stayed around the start finish which was probably a little unfortunate as I think they would have enjoyed watching us fly down the technical terrain! Maybe next time :)

The course for the race was amazing, if a little short. The first kilometre of the course climbed one hundred meters with parts that hit an eighteen percent gradient! An amazing fast downhill section followed that with a bit of flat single track in the middle. Then it was another climb, around fifty meters vertical this time, then a very fast descent with a huge berm and more rolling single track back to the start. As it was such a short lap we were going to be doing it 8 times to total a little over two hours of riding.

Saturday evening was nice and relaxing. I ended up watching United 93 before I went to bed. It freaked me out a little – I was in Manhattan on 9/11 and was actually supposed to be up the towers when the planes hit except that, lucky me, I went out partying the night before until 5am and then slept in a bit. I woke up the next morning to the sound of fire trucks...

Shorly after arriving at the course on Sunday, Sean and I headed around the course for a practice/warm-up lap. The course was still really nice, slightly looser in the corners (the sports race had just gone over the course) but still rode really well. It didn't look like the course would get cut up much with all our racing. (Although, by my last lap there was a lot more roots about to pull a wheel in the wrong direction)

Our race started shortly after 2pm and I was glad to see that the pace was not too hectic up the first climb – it would have been evil if someone really tried to push the pace up that thing. All of us entered the first stretch of singletrack roughly at the same time (I was about 8th wheel, which made a great difference from two weeks ago - this in itself I was happy with). A few spills in front of me seen our group get separated a bit but it mostly bunched together again for the second climb. From there on there was a bit of position changing. A funny moment when I flew off the trail when a root caught my wheel with Peter Buggle telling me that happened to him on the last lap... I hopped back on and continued to descend and seen Peter do exactly the same thing in front of me! It was funny at the time...

Descending on the first lap

The whole race was pretty hard with those big (steep) climbs every lap but the amazing single track really kept me positive about them each time. I really started to ride the single track well from the fourth lap on and was happy with how I raced overall. I felt a lot better then I did two weeks ago, I don't feel fast yet but I feel stronger and better equipped to race now.

Fourth lap following along some amazing singletrack

The other thing about the race was that my bike really blew me away with how well it handles that type of course. The brain (rear suspension lockout) and weight of the bike was great for climbing but the bike really paid off when I turned onto single track. There were sections of the course that were riddled with roots but I really didn't notice them much (apart form one time when I had a bit of a spill...) - it simply floated over them. I really can't give the Epic a good enough review.

Some photos can be found here and here as well as a report here. Photos from the race on the blog came from here. Full results can be found here.

Next week it will be the third round of the K-Capital Cup so I'll be taking it easy enough training wise to get ready for it...

3 comments:

Ricky said...

Hey man, just wondering if you can put a link to our site www.cycleseen.com on your links section since you've used some of our photos?

Cheers,

Ricky

Ryan Sherlock said...

Yeah, of course...

Had a link in the article but will add it to the sidebar too.

Ryan Sherlock said...

Oh, and great pictures!