Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

First O'Cup #1 - The Review

With the Paris to Ancaster now a distant memory....except for these fine pics to prove it...



Awesome pics.....ApexRacePhotography...

This last weekend was OCup #1, the first OCup of the season (hence #1) at Woodnewton, and my first real stab at an OCup.  Got to try out my new shiny UCI/OCA race license....never had a real license before...hope its faster than my old Citizens Permit...


Yah, kind of blurry....I'm not much of a photographer...

So, after struggling to find Woodnewton on a map...apparently it's not a real place (you have to meditate, and imagine it intensely to make it appear...some spiritual/quantum physics shite).  Sorry...getting off topic...mind wandering...happens sometimes ever since the 40Creek + Serbian moonshine experience.

Anyways, once figured out how to get to Woodnewton, Giant and I headed up to preride the course on Saturday.  This was also Giant's first OCup, and he was especially nervous because he jumped himself directly up into the Expert category...quite possibly not a great decision...(There's some foreshadowing...not quite as good of foreshadowing as the words "Dear Forum, a funny thing happened to me on the way to..."; but still foreshadowing...)






Something like that....not.

Once at Woodnewton, I finally got to meet Mr. Robert Holmgren face to face.  Rob's resume in this sport is extensive...and I have been working with Rob since November regarding nutrition and training at this game...but we haven't actually met until now.  I have dropped 25lbs with Rob's guidance and whether I am progressing otherwise will be left to be seen as the season goes on.  (I believe I am!!)

So...Giant and I preride the Sport cat. course first...a flippin' narrow, tight start loop....could be carnage here.  Then left into a short bit of singletrack...then the first good climb...then alot of twisty singletrack.  Damn!  If I have a weakness (OK...several...), it is twisty singletrack!  There's not alot of it in our local trails...give me rocks, roots, climbing, and head down bombing doubletrack...but I need work at twisty narrow stuff.  There is some climby, switchback singletrack in the middle of the course.  There is a swoopy up'n'down kamikaze style loop later on, then a good sandy doubletrack climb towards the end, and a fun jolting rock garden descent towards the end...all connected by more twisty single track.  All together the loop is about 7.5 kms long.

We then did the Expert cat loop.  The same as the Sport course, but with a couple more technical loops added in;  a rocky dip followed immediately by a log drop, to a switchback logover climb, and a bit of singletrack with a couple of rock drops in it....fun stuff that I wish would have been in the Sport cat course.  Ah well...

The trail conditions were excellent...dry and sandy...actually almost too dry!!  Apparently this is a real anomaly for Woodnewton at this time of year.

So, on race day, Fig jumps in with Giant and I (cuz that's what Fig does....Fig says he has a car, but no one has ever seen it...I think you have to meditate and imagine it intensely...) for the drive to Woodnewton.  We arrive, I warm up (my cat races at 10am, Fig's at 11:45, and Giant at 1:30), and settle into the start paddock with serious.  serious is riding a geared bike this year, he usually rides a singlespeed.  Next to serious is Mike, Mike is very tall, maybe it will help me keep him in sight...

So, Captain Superfly calls GO, and we are off.  As expected the narrow start is a cluster, so I hang back so as not to crash...playing it safe...too safe.  I start to lose serious, and Mike, in the distance.  I pass a few racers back before we duck into the single track,, but I wonder if I should.  This is my first OCup, and most of my competitors take this sport very seriously.  They have coaches (or are coaches), and most train intensely all year long.  I question whether I am going too hard passing these guys, only to suffer and drop off later.  I felt kind of like this guy...




That's for everyone who was upset I didn't have a cat pic in the last post...





Okay.....that's it....







OK, OK.....that's enough!!  Besides, that's just a bad joke.

So anyways...I settle into what I feel is my pace.  However, I do get somewhat dropped by everyone in front of me in the singletrack, of course.  We hit the first climb, and I catch and pass a couple more racers.

I catch a small group at the climby singletrack, then lose them again as it levels off.  I hit the swoopy bit in the middle and say Hi to ApexTed as he takes my pic.  I make a pass at a double track false flat....and another pass on the climb towards the end.  Hit the rockgarden near the end as it tries to jolt the teeth outta my head....(there was a group of spectators here every lap, waiting to see someone crash I think) then cross the feedzone/finish as some of the Rock&Road team (Blaze, Fig, Krash, Mark and Jenn) and Giant cheer me on.  Thanks guys!!

Here is Blaze on the swoopy bit in his cat.



And Krash on the swoopy bit.  Krash didn't crash....



At the beginning of lap 2 I pass a couple of racers, but I think they are stragglers from the cat that started 2 minutes ahead of my cat.  I hit the first climb and I can see a small of group of riders ahead.  Throughout lap 2 I get close to them on the climbs but lose them in the singletrack...never really catching them.

Lap 3, I could hear riders in front of me somewhere, and somewhere behind me, but other than another 'Hi' to ApexTed, it was rather uneventful....oh....except for clipping the tree before the rock garden that put me off my bike briefly, and a nice bruise on my right shoulder.  Then crossed the finish line amid a blaze of glory and pom poms...(OK, rather quite discreetly...).

Finished 9th out of 20 in my cat.  Not great, not terrible...solidly mid-pack.  But I feel I could have done better.  I wasn't as wiped as I should be after a race.  The single track kept me from really going all out.  And I played it too safe off the start.  In the immortal words of Oggie..."Quit leaving it for next time!".  Actually, very good advice....I will take it to heart.





As it turned out serious won the cat!!  Way to go sir!!  Here he is on the podium!




He was very humble, and actually very surprised at his victory.  The guy doesn't winter ride, but puts in rediculous amount of trainer time in the off season, so he is very deserving!!  Congratulations, man!!  Yeah, that's tall Mike in second...

Other podiums of note...



Krash destroyed his cat and finished first by over two minutes!!  I don't have a pic though...as I mentioned I am a bad photographer.  Where is ApexTed??

Here is Seth in the paddock to start.  Had a mechanical, (broken rear shift cable), and had to DNF.  Next time....ooooops.



Here is Giant...


Looking good in the paddock...(in the blue/white/black jersey), and gave it his all...but he is in tough having jumped up into the Expert cat...


But he did dang good there in 12th, considering the field....and he had a couple of crashes!!  He is one tough hombre.  Not as tough as this guy....but then who is?



Congrats to Rob for winning!! (Look back up on the results chart.)  I guess we should expect you there each time!??

Anyways....there ya go.  My first OCup in the books. A learning experience and I expect better results next time.

In the meantime whats next??  The spring Intense 8 Hr MTB relay race is this coming weekend.  I will be competing solo singlespeed.  Unfortunately for me, I will once again be competing directly against serious.  Will the results be any different this time around??  Wellllll.......

Stay posted!







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