This past week saw us jump into mountain bike races for our first time in two seasons! We had sold Kristal's mtb last spring, with the intention of getting a new one, however she wasn't able to, so had been without one until recently when her Unovelo RDG1966 carbon hardtail 29er arrived. We both have Unovelo mtb's now (look for a feature in an upcoming blog), and they are amazing--light, stiff, fast--everything we were looking for. When combined with the American Classic MTB Race wheels, both our bike tip the scales at ~20lbs! I've been riding long enough to remember when road bikes didn't weigh much less than that! Winter Park Hillclimb
This is always the first race of the Winter Park series and is a great gauge of early season fitness, since it is 5 miles, with 2000' of climbing up a fire road so there is little variability due to trail conditions. We've done it 6 or 7 times in the past, and it's always tough.
I wasn't feeling great warming up, with my legs feeling kind of dead. I had been traveling the previous week, so did a lot of miles this week, and I just figured I had overdone it a bit and would end up suffering. I had a bottle of Fluid Performance while warming up and started feeling a little better. When the race started, I was in 8th wheel heading up the long start straight and thinking that I felt really comfortable. Within the next mile, I was able to move up into 3rd as guys who had gone out too hard faded. Soon, I looked back and there was no one in sight! I ended up holding 3rd, with over a minute gap to 4th, and pr'd by over 4 minutes! It was great to be on the podium, but the pr felt really good.
Kristal lined up in a strong mixed field with all the Expert and Pro Women. It broke up pretty quickly with everyone at their own varying max pace. She eventually rolled across in 4th, at pretty much her expected time. She is well positioned now for a good result overall in the series!
CU Boulder Short Track
We haven't done the short track series in a while because the previous venue was really BMX-ey, with a lot of jumps, etc. that actually caused some injuries and wasn't attractive to us. However, they have now moved to Valmont Bike Park, so knowing it is great max hr training for cx, we jumped in. These are 25 minute races, so it is all out from the word 'go', and really tough!
Lines for registration were really long, so although I thought I had allowed plenty of time, I didn't end up with a very good warmup and knew I was in for pain! I lined up in the second row and settled into about 10th place after the start. The course climbed the major hill twice, descending 'The Corkscrew', a high banked, twisty drop the first time, then climbing back up and coming down a straight singletrack with a few rollers and table tops. It was mostly singletrack, with limited opportunities to pass, so you had to be ready to really gun it when you had the chance. I passed and was passed a few times during the 6 lap race, fading a bit in the last 2 laps as lack of high end fitness caught up with me. I think I finished just inside the top 20 and am satisfied with that, since it's still early!
Hot, hard, painful but oh, so fun! I had a great start and felt pretty good the whole race. I was battling with 2 other girls for most of the race so that really made me push the whole time (no rest!). I contested passes and push to pass where i could. I believe I finished 6th and was pretty happy about that. I continue to love my Unovelo MTB and I'm excited to be on a MTB again!