Monday, August 5, 2013

Race # 1, the Mountain Bike Race.

Oh where to start.  The MTN bike race was Sunday afternoon at 3 pm.  Issues started about 4:30 am Sunday morning as I found my-self hugging the great porcelain bowl.  Suspect bad sea food.  Was not able to go back to sleep after.  I did manage to get things quite stable by race start time though, thank god.

The temperature this particular after-noon was 36 - 38 celsius, this sets a new record for me.  It was hot! The start of the race was delayed by a half hour which sent me to the nearest water fountain I could find.   I filled a water bottle dumped it on my head until I was soaked head to toe.  I tell ya even the water in the out door urinals were starting to look like a good cooling source!  :s  The race was almost halved due to the heat as no feed zone was included.

The course was 3 km of paved road to a small park where we raced around a 2 km circuit 8 times, then proceeded 3 km back to the start line.  The circuit consisted of 40% pavement, 30% gravel and 30% of actual dirt.  This was a Cyclocross race course.  I soon realized I was going against the odds as everyone had carbon fibre hard tails that were at least 5 - 7 lbs lighter than my aluminum full suspension.  The Italian MTB National Champion from a few years back's bike was particularly nice, got a good look at it as we lined up beside each other on the start line.  (ask me about him upon my return as I have another story about he and I).  The 2 km circuit in the park was on the side of a steep mountain, we were going either up or down.  Luckily there was quite a bit of shade.

Recap...little sleep, unsettled stomach, very hot (no feed zone), technical bike on a smooth race course.  Oh yeah baby, shaky knee syndrome found me once again.  I had a good start on the pavement and got on the course in a good position.  I had my only mechanical on the first lap, chain fell off and got jammed between the little ring and the frame.  I passed a hand full of people in the first 2 laps but shortly after that the climbing in the heat really got to me.  I started getting passed as I slowed down to nearly a crawl.  I managed to finish all 8 laps (later found out quite a few dropped out or crashed) and hit the roads back to the finish.  Four Italian's we're working together and managed to catch me with about 600 meters to go.  I sat in and sucked wheels till the 100 meter mark and sprinted passed all but one.  Here is the really crazy part, after all that I still managed to place 6th.  Not sure how it happened but I was pleasantly surprised.

Moral of my story is NEVER quit.  The greater the odds of you losing a challenge, is all the more reason to accept the challenge.  That's how you learn and progress.


mikehealy said...

great race and report, keep 'em coming!

Thomas said...

You toed the line with Marco Fontana! And got sixth?! Wicked!

Emily said...

Awesome job Harley!

Clarence Poon said...

you da man !

Harley Borlee said...

Marco who? Oh yeah, that guy. (Had to google the name.) Are you kidding, Marco and I were chatting on one of the climbs when I dropped him. I forgot all about him.
Ok, some clarification. There are no pro's, or not that i know of, here for the games. When I was told about the National champ I assumed "Masters National Champ". I have added this in the main blog, good call Thomas. I cannot remember his name but I will google it when results come up, for curiosity sake.

Thomas said...

Masters, pros or not you still got 6th at an international race! Wicked!

Harley Borlee said...

ok asked around. This guy was the Italian National Champion before Marco Fontana! Holly crap! Everyone know's who he is. Results still are not and I cannot remember his name. Cool story though.

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