Race Day - 50km Mountain Bike. Approximately 25km fire trail, 20km single track, 5km bike path/road.
Mediocrity achieved! Placed 159th out of 817 starters, in my category 78th out of 314 (Male Open). Had I entered Masters I would have been in the top 50 out of 252.
Weather was ideal. Cool morning, overcast and warming to ~23degrees, slight breeze. Race was about 10km of fire trails and road then a mix of singletrack and fire trail from there. Given the weather etc I opted to just run with two bottles. Seeing what some were carrying I would have thought they were prepping for a 160km marathon.
The race was run in waves. I had opted to start in the 40-50% finisher group. At the gun it was clear that I probably should have backed myself a bit more and gone in an earlier group. A few overtook me on the first few initial hills but I was pacing carefully (yay power meters!) and caught and dropped them within 5kms or so. I also had decided to ride in the skin suit (which had two pockets). It would seem that skin suits aren't "the done thing" in mtb but 1) I find them uber comfortable 2) being only one piece they are pretty cool when you start to sweat 3) tight fit means less potential to snag 4) the aeroness whilst usually not a consideration in mtb was quite apparent as I was sailing past people on downhill sections, and they were heavier and pedalling. I think the skin suit will become a staple in future races! I did get a few sniggers at the start about it but didn't hear much after those first 5kms.... I also had a few surprised comments when on any flat section I adopted a "TT" position. Again, bit of ribbing, until I went past them.
Because I was in the slower group as soon as we hit single track there was traffic from the earlier groups. Any break need a sprint to get past that traffic and then usually hit more in short order. The "sprints" took their toll and at the halfway point I had some cramps. Eased off a fraction and was able to continue without issue.
In a few technical sections there were a few pile ups and at which point I went all cyclocross and hoiked up the bike and ran past them. Did this twice and made up about 9 places in doing so. Started to fade in the last 5kms and cramps were looming but held it to the end.
This was the first mtb race I had actually raced
. Before, it was always just to finish the damn thing. This time, I fought for position and pushed myself to my limits. And it felt very awesome. Now I want more, which I get next week in the team 24hr "race".
BW at time of race: 81.3 kgs
Time riding 2hrs 36min 01 sec
Avg power: 152 watts
Max 5sec: 928 watts
Max 30sec: 460 watts
Max 5 min: 275 watts
Max 60min: 200 watts
Bike - Cube Reaction carbon 29er hard tail. Shimano 3x10 (SLX, Deore mix) Magura Brakes. Shimano pedals. Running Maxxis Crossmark with tubeless conversion and approx 100 mls of sealant in each rim. And the PowerTap wheel of course
Me - Santani Skinsuit with two pockets. Sidi Dominator
Nutrition/hydraiton: 2 x 750ml bottles, water only. 4 x SiS Gels.
Other - 2x spare tube. 1x mini tool. 1 tyre lever.
- skinsuits are awesome.
- back myself a bit more and start in earlier waves.
- keep mouth shut when bombing through puddles at the bottom of a cow paddock... blurk.
- Science in Sport gels are the *best*.
- bit of "cyclocross" action can bump me up a few spots!
- a tad more technical skills on the downhill and I could have made up at least 5 more spots.
All in all I am stoked with the "return to racing". Realistically an earlier group and I *might* have made up 10mins or so, max. A bit more training and descending skills and I expect the time to come down quite a bit. As bodyweight drops and the power rises will only help this. Oh and a few more grams off the bike, of course.