Sunday, July 20, 2008

National Champs - the aftermath

18th place - out of 23 finishers. Its a bit disappointing as I was hoping for a slightly better result than that. The race its self was fast, with not a lot of time to recover. The start was pretty intense with 25 riders lined up. There was the usual race to the first section of single track, and the usual hold up when we hit the first obstacle. After half a lap everything was going as well as could be - until I ended up in the heather half way up the dharma project climb. Had to let about 6 guys through before I could get back on the bike. I felt ok with the big drops, but it was the small techie stuff that threw me (literally at times).

My first crash happened on the entrance to a steep climb. I was lashing down the fire road and as I came into the single track I noticed two single track lines forming. I decided to go for the inside one, but as I got closer I saw the tree stump right in my path. I grabbed some brake, but the damage was done and I was over the handle bars and quite a bit up the hill! No damage done so I got back on the bike and continued on.

On the second lap, another fall, this time in front of a photographer - no damage again. On the 3rd lap I dropped into a hole, that took a bit of time to climb out of. I'm sure you get the picture - it was not that much fun!

On the fourth lap, things went from bad to worse, I had entered some single track but had heard a bike coming up fast behind me. I got off the trail and let the rider past. Then I walloped from behind by another rider. To make matters worse He managed to lodge his shoe into my spokes to such an extent that it took two minutes to get it out!

I took the last lap easy enough, I was a bit fed up with the crashing at that stage.

The first two laps were hard going for me, but I felt strong on the next 3. However, on reviewing the lap times, I was a minute slower on each elapsed lap. I think there's a few things I need to work on:
Anaerobic fitness - when it mattered I did not have enough there to get myself over the techie stuff.
Pushing myself - I only pushed when there were other racers about. Once I was on my own, I definitely dropped a gear.
Techie stuff - More work required I think.

Its hard to find positives after a race you think you should have done better at (anywhere from 15th upwards would have been nice, given the quality of the field). I did like the climbs, and the big drops and bomb holes were fine. That's about it though. I suppose that I was not lapped was also good.

What next - well I'm back on the road bike tomorrow to work and Tuesday. Wednesday I might do the club league, and back on the road bike Thursday and a long one on Friday.
The detail below:
18 Richard Close 308
Lap 1 - 0:23:46
Lap 2 - 0:24:31
Lap 3 - 0:25:22
Lap 4 - 0:27:10
Lap 5 - 0:26:41
Total - 2:07:30

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