Harder course, bigger field. I had alot of fun. 2 more races in the series.
Pre-race This race was farther than the others so we left much earlier so I would have a chance to pre-ride the course. We got there at around 9:15, giving my plenty of time to pre-ride. We even had time to stop at a Caribou to get Elora a muffin. I kitted up and headed out on the course.
The course. A long starting stretch, into a 180 degree turn, then long stretch into 2 tight turns. 1 set of 2 barriers and then a tricky drainage ditch, straight and then a single barrier. A longish uphill paved section. 2 tricky turns on a seriously off-camber section. A couple of long straights with tight/off camber turns. The last section of the course was a wet/muddy through-the woods with 3 or 4 railroad ties. Then a final single barrier right before the finish line.
I was able to do 2 complete laps before the 30+ race started. The new crank on the Redline felt fine, no problems. The 2 single barriers had the effect of taking away any recovery areas. Most of the turns came after longer straights, which meant you really had to find the right line through the turn to carry as much speed as possible.
I lowered my tire pressure this week, but am still hesitant to go as low as is being suggested (40 pds. or less!). I guess this is something I have to figure out for myself as I am terrified about flatting. So I ran 48 in the back and 45 in the front. The back proved to be fine, but my front tire tried to wash out a few times, usually on the same turns.
The start. 35+ starters. I started in the 2nd row and was alot more aggressive this time. The race organizers called anyone over 50 to the front, saying that they would start them with the 40+, but highlight their numbers so they could see how they finished against each other with the idea of having a separate category next year. I'm not sure why they didn't just start us separately, but race us together like the 1,2 and the 3 race. The whistle goes and one guy goes down right at the start. We sprint for the first turn and I am in about 15th. We hit the hairpin and then come into a couple of twisty turns and someone else goes down. Hard on the brakes, a guy to my right comes over on my line as he hits the race tape and his rear skewer goes into my front Ksyrium! This is where the mountain biking skills came in handy, I leaned hard to my left and lifted the bars, still pedaling and didn't lose any spokes (wheel turned out to be fine), but I did lose several spots. Hit the barriers, the drainage ditch and we're off.
The Race. This course was harder than last weeks. No place to recover. After the start, I started passing riders on the paved up hill and settled into a group of about 5 guys. The off camber turn before the woods section proved to be tricky- several riders in all of the races went down or off course here. After 30 minutes I started to struggle and then started to get passed. I got lapped on lap 5 or 6 by the 1st 2 finishers (again, goddamnit!)
The results said I was 20th. So if I had been able to stay strong, I could have cracked the top 15. 20th is 6 better than last week, I'll take it.
Watching this race was difficult because the course was pretty spread out with no easy ways to get to the routes. Elora and Tammi camped out by one of the single barriers, so once a lap i got to hear Elora yell "venga, venga papa!"
I had toyed with the idea of doing the 4s race also, but I was spent. So we ate lunch and then watched the rest of the races.
I LOVE this!