Tuesday, April 03, 2007

K-Capital Cup Round 3 - Carlingford

So that was an interesting weekend of racing.

Sunday saw the third round of the K-Capital Cup visit Carlingford, Co. Lough. Luckily MET Eireann predicated beautiful sunny weather for the weekend so the pre-ride on Saturday and the race on Sunday were both held in beautiful sunshine. The course was amazing, if a little new (less the a week old in it's current incarnation). Basically, it was about 150 meters up a fireroad then left on to a steep single track climb and then a single track descent back onto the fireroad (about 1.5 minutes...) then another 900 meters up a fireroad, nowhere near as steep as last week. Then we hit single track for the remaining 3 kilometres of the loop. We were going to be doing 8 laps of the course.

Sunday morning was arrived and I felt more prepared then I did last week, my warm-up went well and I was looking forward to a bit of racing. Shortly after 1:30pm our race started and the Elites accelerated up the hill. Again, I was glad that the speed was not too fast and I set in behind James McClusky (out of the wind) for most of the climb. You could tell everyone was being careful in the single track the first time around and over the first 1km or so I passed a few racers out. About three quarters of the way around the first lap I was riding very comfortably (read – I wasn't going so hard I wanted to quit) and was enjoying a tussle between Lewis Ferguson, Lee Williams and myself. Then on a dual track the specific hiss of a snake bite came from my rear wheel – to say I was a little annoyed is an understatement, I was really really enjoying the racing and I still felt strong. About 2 minutes 20 seconds (wasted 20 seconds trying to find my CO2 cannister – rookie mistake) I was on the way. It was hard to get myself back up to full race speed, but I tried anyway... By the single track on the fourth lap (I think) I was back in 8th position and enjoying the race again when another flat occured. This time, as I had no CO2 or spare tube it was going to be a 2.5 km run across the single track back to the technical area... A new wheel greeted me at the technical area and I sped off – by the top of the fireroad climb I was in 9th when, this time my front tire flatted (I had given up to laughing about it all at this point). About 3km of single track running was ahead of my and I got lapped by the race leaders. When I crossed the line (5th lap complete of 8 total) I assumed my race was over due to being lapped so I put on warm clothes and drank chocolate milk and talked to the other races... About 15 minutes later I found out that I should keep racing as it's not over until the leaders finish. So, I ripped off my extra layers and cycled off without my gloves (the Bontrager foam grips are actually really really nice without gloves). I enjoyed the last lap and used the second half as recovery as I knew that the was no one to catch....

Picture of me descending from here

So, after the weekends racing I learnt a lot of things
1.Tubeless is the way forward – I'm getting a new set of wheels
2.You need a spare wheelset in the pits ready to go
3.Have spare tubes and CO2 ready to go
4.Keep racing until the commissionaire tells you your done!

The race left one other bad taste with me – at some stage I bashed my knee off a rock and it's been pretty sore since. I had to get off the bike yesterday after only a couple of minutes of easy riding and I wont be on a bike today. I'm icing it as a type and hopefully it will be perfect again soon.

There is a report available here and some more photos here.

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