This was our first weekend of true double races, with Saturday’s race at the famous Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, and Sunday’s taking place at the Lookout course in Golden.
Valmont always brings out the crowds, since it is in Boulder, with outstanding course options. It will also be the venue for the National Championships in January, 2014. Once again, our women led the day with Kristal taking 6th in the SW Open, and Errin in 9th in the SW4’s. Carl and Bard continued their upward trajectory, with each finishing solid rides in the mid 30’s in their respective races.
Whoo hoo, Valmont! Such a fun course, and in surprisingly good shape given the events of the last couple weeks, huge thanks to all the people that got it that way. Started out with a good warm up, squeezed into a skinsuit for the first time, and had some FRS chews and FLUID before heading to the start. Got a front row call up and a good start and was second wheel going into the first corner and up the hill. Got passed by 2 or 3 up the first hill (need to work on that!) and then hung up just a little by some sketchy entries into the first sand pit of the season, but was able to hang on to the front group of 7 or 8 for about the first lap. Couldn't quite hang on to the group the second time up the hill but managed to dangle off the back for a while until the legs just wouldn't let me push anymore. Had a rough lap 3 with some brain and bike handling mishaps, but managed to get it together for lap 4 and held onto a 9th place finish. Not quite where I wanted to be, but definitely some good learning and great motivation for training this week.
I wasn't sure what to expect at Valmont after the flooding, but the park and course were in great condition when I warmed up Saturday morning. I got a third row call-up (35+/4) and had a decent start. The opening corner was a bit loose, but the pack and I managed to get through it safely and onto the first climb in a good position.
I faded back a few places during some of the more technical spots, especially on the front side descents, but made them back (and more) along the sprint on the south end of the course, and the finishing straight. I paid for those spots on the back half of the second lap, however, and started fading. I'd pick off a place or two at some easy passing spots, but would lose them on the turns out of the descents.
I left everything on the course, and managed a much better result than my opening race in Fort Collins. Things are definitely trending the right direction early on! Up next for me is Primalpalooza in Golden in a couple weeks.
Body Sync CX
This race was lightly attended, since it wasn’t part of the points series, and is a ways from Boulder. Kristal and Carl both raced, eager to get our first double weekend in the books. We find that racing both days is really important for our training, as there is no substitute for the true race effort. The course here is dry, bumpy, and loose (despite the recent rains). Kristal had a good race, finishing 4th in SW Open. As for Carl’s race, well, we’ll let him tell the tale:
Somehow, last year I lost the ability to handle my bike in loose conditions. For whatever reason, I just can’t seem to rail the turns anymore! I was 3rd at the start, and held that for about half a lap before we started getting into twisty sections and riders began streaming past me. I think we did 5 laps, and even with 5 chances, I still rarely found the right lines through turns. By the end of the race, I felt like I ought to apologize to any riders that had to pass me. They must have been terrified riding behind me and witnessing my overbraking and turn blowing antics! It’s funny, in general I’m a fairly skilled technical rider (I have to be, because I’m not that fast!), but loose courses have become my kryptonite! Guess I know exactly what I need to work on…
Overall, the weekend was good. I had a decent race at Valmont and was eager to get in a double race weekend. I was definitely feeling Saturdays race but was ready to go. I had a good start and did ok on the twisty stuff, probably still a bit tentative. Overall the race went as expected, a good couple of laps, faded the 3rd and was able to pick it back up towards the end. This next weekend is Castle CX under the lights! This should be a fun change!
Kristal and I first encountered FRS years ago when we were given a bottle of the concentrate in the rider bags at the Iron Horse Road Race. That was a brilliant promotion on their part, because we had never heard of FRS before and have used it almost continuously since. Every morning, Kristal and I both have a glass of the concentrate, and also enjoy the chews and various drinks they make.
From their website:
FRS was originally developed by health scientists to provide sustained energy for chemotherapy patients. Today it is used by elite athletes, wellness experts and anyone who wants to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
All FRS products feature quercetin, a powerful all-natural antioxidant found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It has been shown in multiple clinical trials to provide sustained energy, increased endurance, immune system support along with many other health benefits.
We are working to have them out at the Boulder Res for the UCI C2 Colorado Cross Classic (a race we are helping to promote) with their tent handing out product. Check them out there, or online at www.frs.com.
Thanks for reading!