Friday, June 05, 2015

2015 Beskidy Stage Race - Stage 2 - wohoo

Leading on from yesterday's post I am putting a few words together for UK XC News so I figure I'll also post it here:


Another day, another stage - man I love stage racing. Today’s stage was the queen stage of the race and now as I sit on my bed, my legs and lower back feel it. It was a 9am start (we had a 10am start the first day) and seven kilometres of tarmac until we hit the unending steep climbs and descents. We took a pretty sedate pace those first few k and I didn’t see anyone complaining. From there on, for the next hour and a half it was constantly up and down on fireroads, dual track but mostly single track. Groups split and rejoined but as we hit the base of the days main obstacle, a fifteen kilometre long climb there was about twelve of us together. 

If you look at the total length of the climb and the altitude gain (we climb to 1,300m) there was nothing too crazy (10% average) - it was just all those 500m sections of 20%+ gradient that killed me. Obviously, the race split to bits here and Ben and Torsten (1st and 3rd from yesterday) said good bye to me (for a while) and went off ahead. 

They left me (I'm the speck)

As I crested the climb in third, I remembered a section in the road book about the course -  

“ Then a descent that gives all you can wish for: technical singletrack, wide dirt road, and a very (very!) steep downhill with loose rocks, which later turns into gravel road cut by half a meter deep ruts.”

When someone puts an additional ‘very’ in brackets I know something is up (or in this case down) - I believe a DH bike with massive/tough tires would be the usual tool for this type of descent - not a skinny bike with light tires but boy was it fun - skipping, sliding and praying for traction down a 25% single track scree descent - I was happy to make it down in one piece without a scratch on me or my bike.

This was one of the easier sections of the descent
More roley terrain and I eventually caught Ben and Torsten. As we hit the final climb, on the steep section (10%, not the crazy 20% stuff from earlier) I upped the pace and dropped Torsten with only Ben for company. After this - more fun singletrack all the way back down. Ben had a mechanical on the way down and I rolled in for the win - wohoo!

Another beautiful days riding on incredible trails - when I returned for the prize giving four hours after I finished some riders were still trickling in - wow, hats off. It was a super tough day out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brill, the decision to move from road to mTb has certainly paid off -just another type of suffering
I guess keep it up and congrats.!!