Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Raid Velo Mag

Since it's been over a week since I did this race here's a quick easy to read write up (for those like myself with short attention spans):
-largest mass start I’ve ever been in…there were about 500 lined up for the start. It was pretty cool lining up in the heart of old Quebec City in front of the Chateau Frontenac

The start in Old Quebec.

-SKETCHY neutralized start out of Quebec City. Constant accordian effect of the pack…slowing and speeding, narrowing and getting wider…with oncoming traffic at times!! The neutralized start did make for a good warm up, though. The other bonus was having a police escort out of Quebec City.

-once off road, we rode, and rode, and rode on an ATV trail under power lines. At times it was fun…lots of climbing, gnarly rocky downhills and some cool slick rock sections. It was fast riding, but it felt like A LOT of ATV trails, and I was certainly glad when they were done.

-a brutally long climb that started at around the 40km mark. Many riders (myself included) were death marching up this thing.

-this was followed by a long stretch of gravel roads which provided some much needed relief and recovery

 -with about 14km to go, we started climbing MSA. This was another TOUGH climb that had me walking for a bit. The course merged with the same road used for the hill climb the day before, and right away I was thinking "great! I'm gonna ride to the top of Mt. Ste. Anne twice within 24 hours!" The climbing didn’t last “too” long though. And we didn't go to the top of MSA, but then...

-the course turned to the right...downhill!!! The last 10km was downhill singletrack….basically a 10km Super D after 67km of racing. This section would have been tons of fun…if it wasn’t at the end of the race! It definitely was tough just to shift gears at times 'cause I had no strength left in my hands after some of the rocky downhill sections.

Crossing the finish, completely spent.
There was a strong contingent of Ottawa riders, all of whom placed really well. Imad, Neil, and Rob all placed in the top 20 overall, while Dave was 34th and I finished 45th. I was surprised and happy with my result, since I found this to be an incredibly hard event, and my fitness this year has not been close to what it was last year.

Would I do this event again? I think so. I would know what to expect terrain wise, and would train specifically for this (lots of climbing!). One thing though, I wouldn't want to do this race in wet conditions. I mean, no one wants to race when it's wet, but this course would be almost demoralizing in wet conditions.

 My "prizes" (aka freebies with the race kit). I guess someone thinks that mountain bikers are smelly and hairy. However, that Hydro 5 is GREAT for shaving legs!!

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