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Epic Singletrack #6 - King of the Rockies - Cycle

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Winter Park, Colorado
United States
Winter Park Competition Center
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 02m 26s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 3/4
Pre-race routine:

Woke up, had breakfast, loaded the car, drove up to Winter Park. Pretty uneventful.
Event warmup:

Parked at the resort and got my number plate. Race started in Fraser, and I planned to ride to the race start (about 8 miles away) so I'd have my car and dry clothes at the finish. Started to ride and realized about a mile out that I forgot my wrist guards. This is a somewhat technical ride, so I decided to go back for them. At that point, I was worried I wouldn't make it in time, so I drove down to Fraser, parked at Alco, and rode the final 2.5 miles to the start from there. That was probably a perfect amount of warm-up, but it kind of sucked not having all my stuff at the finish...
  • 3h 02m 26s
  • 24.8 miles
  • 8.16 mile/hr

I was racing Sport this year instead of beginner, and there were a lot of ladies lined up for Sport class, mostly in the 40-49 and 50-59 category. At the start, they all flew off the line crazy fast. I decided not to chase the fast pack up the road, this is too long of a race to burn out on the road!

Turned onto Tipperary a few miles up the road, and started the 1,100 ft climb on singletrack. I really suffered up this climb. It's steep, and it seemed like the entire beginner men's field caught up to me and wanted to pass on the singletrack, which was just kind of demoralizing. I just didn't feel like I had my climbing legs, and it went on FOREVER.

Got to the top, dropped my seat (LOVE my dropper post on the new bike) and pointed downhill. Had a blast on the Spruce Creek/Flume downhill. My new bike just ate up the bumps, and I really used my new cornering skills on Flume. Passed a bunch of guys in here, which felt good. Headed over Chainsaw and hit Elk Creek a fair bit ahead of when I hit it last year, so at this point I felt really good about my chances of finishing in under three hours (my big goal).

Heading down Elk Creek they made us all slow down at one point - a guy had crashed and was being evacuated, kind of a bummer. Headed through there then onto the climb up D2. As I was climbing up D2, it started to dump rain. It was cool, which was nice, but I wasn't looking forward to riding the most techy parts of the race in mud...

Climbed slow but steady on D2 - I remember walking at one point last year, and this year I cleaned it. Hit WTB and the most technical part of the race, and to my surprise was able to clear almost the entire climb!! My tech skills have come a long way. I was really slow here, and started to get frustrated that the clock was ticking and I was losing avg speed, but I was also happy to be clearing stuff I know I walked last year. By the time I got to the top of D4 I was officially sick of rock crawling, and ready for some descent. Cruised down to the road, across the ford, and down Blue Sky. I was little bit down during this whole section - seemed like there was no way I'd hit my goal of 3 hours, and I was bummed.

I'd been leap-frogging with the novice women's leader for a while - she would pass me on the climbs, and I'd pass her on the downhills and techy sections - and I got stuck behind her for a bit on Blue Sky which was kind of a bummer. At that point I knew I was making up time on the downhills, so I wanted to go fast wherever I could so I could get as close to my goal as possible.

Started up Ice Hill and knew at this point that I was getting pretty tired, but knew I was one pace to finish between 3 and 3:10, and wanted to finish strong. Cleared almost all of Ice Hill (another techy trail), and head up the final hill up Serenity to the finish. The novice chick was in front of me here again, rightfully so since she was faster uphill, but I kept catching her on the technical sections of Serenity. I remember Serenity having a bunch of sections I have to walk, but I was able to ride all of it, and felt strong into the finish. Dropped down to the road and sprinted in for a 3:02. I was happy to have improved over last year, but SO BUMMED to miss my 3 hour goal by two minutes. I know it's dumb, but I really wanted my time to have a 2 in the first spot.
What would you do differently?:

Push harder on the first few non-technical climbs (Tipperary, Chainsaw, D2). I think on Chainsaw and D2 especially, I got a little bit lax and was climbing with my HR in the 150's. Should have been in the 160's for a race!!
Post race
Warm down:

Figured out I was third, so hung around for a while so I could stand on the podium. Chatted with the other people I knew who raced, had water, some snacks, and a beer. It was raining off and on and my dry clothes were in my car down in Fraser, so that kind of sucked, but it wasn't nearly as bad as last year when it rained the whole last 1.5 of the race and I was practically hypothermic. Got my medal and hopped back on my bike to ride 6 miles back to the car down in Fraser.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think hills were my weakness this year, which is funny because I used to consider climbing my strength! I've gotten way better at technical riding and downhill this year, and passed a lot of people in this race on the more technical sections and on the descents. But I suffered on the climbs. I need to do more hill intervals and get stronger there. Overall, Strava shows that I rode faster on EVERY single segment of this racecourse, so I did improve my climbing over last year as well, but I feel like that's where I can make up the most time.

Event comments:

Love the Winter Park races, and I especially love this course since it's mostly singletrack and a lot of fun. This was my second year, and I'll probably be back again!

Last updated: 2015-08-23 12:00 AM
03:02:26 | 24.8 miles | 8.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/4
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Tipperary Race Course - starting in Fraser, ending in Winter Park at the resort. A little bit more than 3,000 ft of climbing.
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2015-08-23 10:30 AM

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: Epic Singletrack #6 - King of the Rockies
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