Tuesday, April 15, 2008

British Cycling Whyte Enduro Series 100km - Round 1

Another day, another race report. These double header weekends require lots of writing :)

So, after the disappointment of Saturdays race I was hoping for a better one on Sunday. The Thai meal that we had in The Swan on Friday night was good enough to entice us back again. Another 4 portions of rice between us and we were good to go. (We actually even ate a ton more when we got home before going to bed... Cyclists eat a lot!)

My calf muscle was pretty sore all Saturday evening and sure enough when I woke on Sunday morning it was still sore – I decided to take a quick bath, hoping that would loosen out my legs a bit, when I headed out to the car to pack up the bikes my legs (and body, minus my shoulder) felt amazing. I thought today could be a good day. Magdalen House put on a huge breakfast for us of exactly the right kind of foods and with that digesting we headed to the course.

The course was a little different from the XC course, a little longer, a little less technical with most of the nice features of the XC course remaining.

I warmed up a little (15 minutes) and stood at the start early. Front row for me today – I was not having a repeat of yesterday. The gun went off and we sprinted off, the initial pace was not that high and my legs felt good so I was enjoying it. Duncan Jamieson and William Bjergfelt of Felt Racing started to up the pace about a quarter way around the first lap with Matt Carter and myself following. The Felt guys really picked it up about half way around the first lap and Matt drifted off the pace. Decision time for me, do I follow the Felt guys or ease back hoping they blow. I eased back a little and stayed with Matt but the early pace seemed to have effected him a bit and for the next lap and a half I found myself by myself. Exactly what I didn't want, so I eased back a little more to be joined by Matt (again) and Paul Ashby. We worked together for the next two laps when Paul upped the pace a little on a short single track climb – Matt dropped off so we continued regardless. Enjoying the company, Paul and I decided that we will just work together and ride the race, with 50km to go, it was still a long way and lots of windy fireroad still to cover. Paul got some great pulls in but seemed to tire a little during the 6th lap. (Being a local, he was still hammering the singletrack though – was fun trying to follow his line). For the 7th and 8th laps I pulled through as I still felt really good and fresh. I upped the pace a lot from a third way into the last lap and midway around the Paul let me know that he was going to drop back a little so I rode the final section alone. It was funny, 95km into the race and I still felt great – guess I should have gone after the Felt guys on the first lap.

Yeah, for dry conditions

In the end, the 100km (or so) was covered in 3 hours 55 minutes – I finished strong, didn't bin myself and finished in 3rd place so I was pretty happy. I even gone a slight tan from the race :)

The Mens 100km Podium

A have to say a big thanks to the Torq lads for all there help over the weekend – this year I will be riding under their team colours. It was also the first time that I got to extensively use all their nutritional products and I've been blown away by them. Especially the Torq Gels and Torq Recovery. The gels are the easiest to take I have tried yet, gave great consistent energy throughout and I didn't have stomach cramps afterwards (lots of gels do that to me). The Recovery drink, well, I felt great after the race and the following Monday despite all the racing and traveling - enough said.

There is a report and photos available here. Also, Mel had another great race and you read about it on her blog.

Now my focus has switched back to the K-Capital Series, the final round taking place in Castlewellan this weekend. Probably my favorite race course :) Lets hope it doesn't rain...

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