Monday, April 26, 2010
So I raced the Dalby forest world cup yesterday. It was the first world cup of the year, so everybody is keen to test their form.
I had great preperation, with lots of time on the course during the week. We have been staying with the Myers in Guisborough, and having a great time learning lots about the UK from them.
Race day dawned with a light rain shower, enough to make Catherine worried but the track didn't actually get wet. Catherine had a great race - she started on the 2nd last row and finished 42 out of 90 or so. Kika had a slow start but moved back up through the field for 6th, so I guess she has good legs too.
My race was a bit crazy. I was on the 8th row or so, and there were another 8 rows of guys packed in behind me. When the gun went there was a crash in the first 50m, I avoided that, and then we hammered at 50km/hr on the flat to a 90deg corner, there was another crash there and I just avoided running over the guy's head with my chainrings, then back up to speed, 90deg left, avoid another crash, and then stand in line to get into the singletrack. All in all it was actually a pretty good start as I avoided the crashes and was just a bit ahead of where you really had to stop and wait.
From there I had a decent first 2 laps with a bit of waiting here and there. By the 3rd lap I was ready to crank it up and actually race, but it was super frustrating because the only places to really pass were on the flats and 2 uphills, and on the flats I just got out gunned by some of the euros - then we would ride the descents slower than I wanted to - and they would sprint up the next climb and I just didn't have the legs to sprint on every open section (like driving a car behind a Saskatchewaner, everytime you get to a passing section it is 140km/hr, and when you are twisting through the mtns it is 60km/hr - ARRRGGGHHH!!) Anyway, I found it hard to race my best, or the fastest way to get around the course. By the end of the 6th lap I was quite tired and faded a bit. I ended up finishing 101st out of 160, so not what I was hoping for but decent none the less.
We are heading to Belgium tomorrow for Houffalize WC next weekend.
Posted by Matt Hadley at 11:59 AM
Thursday, April 22, 2010
So, Catherine and I got lucky on this one. We decided to skip Sea Otter and fly to the UK a bit early to do a local race there and get used to the time change. We left Tuesday and got in Wed, and merrily went on our way - oblivious to the fact that volcanic ash was spewing into the sky and flights were getting cancelled.
We hired a car from the manchester airport and they handed us the keys. With a measly 4hrs sleep in me I hopped in and took off on the left side of the road, shifting with my left hand. We quickly got the roundabouts figured out, and headed towards Caistor. We got part way there and had to pull over and sleep for a while, but finally arrived to visit and stay with friends of Catherine's Peter and Mary. She knew them from a year long exchange she did at age 7, so we got to check out where she lived and all the neat little places around her town.
From Caistor we drove to Stoke-On-Trent, and did the Midlands XC race. It was a brilliant course and very well put on. I had some good competition with 2 other world cup racers there, but I managed to drop them on the Canadian style rooty section and get enough of a gap to win. Catherine had a little less competition and won by 12 mins, so she worked on how many guys she could pass, and I think she was at about 120 by the end of it.
From Stoke we drove to Guisborough to stay with Rob, Ruth, and Tom. From here it is about 1h to the race site at Dalby, but we have a brilliant set up with Tom being a registered mechanic at a local shop.
We have seen some beautiful countryside - with daffodils lining the road sides in the country, and lots of ancient, as in 1300 castles and a prior. Oh, and I got a Phesant for dinner when I was out on a bike ride.
Yesterday we pre-rode the course at Dalby. There were 7 people riding on the track. It was very quiet and we are super glad that we avoided the 5+day travel fiasco many of our racing friends have and are going through. The course is 100% man made, with every obstical placed just so, and the rest of it quite buff. It will be hard to drop other racers based on technical skills, but it is a lot better than most european courses I have ridden. I think the start will be absoutley chaotic, as it is flat and we will go into singletrack fairly quickly.
Hope all is well across the pond. Theoretically I should be updating quite frequently now as I've got a lot of races lined up in the next month and a bit.
Ox tongue for dinner anyone?
Posted by Matt Hadley at 2:32 AM