Saturday was the 5th race of the Winter Park series with the Crankworx XC race. This race is a point to point race which starts in Fraser and ends at the Winter Park Base. The first year they introduced this course I got 2nd place, in Sport class 35-39 age group. Every year since I look forward to this course, but it also kicks my butt.
This years course was pretty slick from few days of rain leading up to the race. The roots were slippery on the turns and is seems that every turn was into a small pond. The good new is that I kept both wheels facing down. But I was cautious on the turns where it looked wet.
This years race got the best of me. From the start of the race to the end I never felt that I had the power, speed or the aerobic capacity to race. I ended up with 20th place, 15 mins slower then last years time, on the same exact course.
Did I have fun? You bet! Am I a bit disappointed, but I didn’t expect to do well. Of course I hopped to do better then I did. I don’t want to make any excuses to the lack of performance on Saturday, but I do want to make a couple of points that I think contributed to my poor result. Since this is a coaching site, these tips might come in handy for you readers.
- Not acclimated to the elevation. Even thought I live at 9100ft, I spent 10 days at sea-level on vacation. I thought having 3 days to acclimate would be enough to perform. This contributes to my inability to feel I was getting enough air while racing. I don’t think I could do much about acclimating better, other then coming home earlier, our trip was planned around a family wedding.
- Not fully recovered from the 32000ft of climbing I did while on my vacation. I rode about twice as much as I do this time of year. I was having such a good time riding my old trails, but I’m sure I paid for it at the race.
- My front brake was rubbing terribly. Once I got to the start spinning my front wheel would would not do a complete rotation. The brake pad was rubbing on the rotor. Not sure why at the time, but I was able to fix it with some cleaner and resetting the pads once I got home. I’m sure the rubbing contributed to limiting my speed. CAUSE: After getting back from CA, I unboxed my bike on Thursday, put it on the wall and didn’t touch it until Saturday AM. I’m sure something happened with the brakes and I didn’t catch when I put it back together.
- My seat was almost an inch too low. This explains my lack of power, especially on the climbs and the ability to keep a sustained pace. CAUSE: I don’t think the set slipped, cuz the binder bolt was tight. I didn’t set to the right spot. My Bontrager Race XXX Lite seat post have markings on it. I think wasn’t paying attention to where I put the height.
There are a few good lessons here.
- Be fully recovered going into a race. You need to be physically and mentally ready for the effort.
- Make sure your bike is ready, especially if you were travling and reassembled it.