Sunday, June 18, 2017

Wow, what a proper week it was!!

Brilliant week it was! Why do I say that? Because I managed to get out and ride my bike 3 times this week. And that is something that doesn't happen too often my friends! 

I was out for a nice evening spin during the week and pulled off two savage XC loops during the weekend. This means I've done 112 km with almost 6 hours riding time and with a tad bit over 1800 m elevation gain

The weather was awesome this week. Wasn't too hot but everything is still dry as hell. Just the perfect riding conditions on the local trails. Although we got chased home by a fast coming storm on Friday, but things got back to nice for the rest of the weekend. 

The perfect road-side snack: mulberries in a massive portion #yumm-yumm

So, this week was good I gotta tell 'ya! I could get used to this riding-my-bike-many-times-a-week type thing! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Crosskovácsi National Marathon Championship 2017 // Race report

Wow! Without getting into deep thoughts I can simply say that I'm after racing one of the best XC Marathon events since I started racing! Today I raced at the 2017 Crosskovácsi Marathon that was also this year's National Marathon Championship also. I was really looking forward to the event as I never raced here before and I've heard a lot ot romurs about how well organized the race is. The romurs were true but lets get into that later! 

Leaving the HQ at 5:45 am

After an early start we were on the way to Nagykovácsi where the race was held. I was travelling with my friend and training buddy Józsi and after a quick enough drive we got there nice & early. Got signed up and started to get ready for our first race of the season. Everything went well until...

... boom! I got a puncture... 
... even before I left the carpark. Nice, what a perfect start of the day. Luckily I still got time and with the help of Józsi I got some spare tubes and got the problem out of the way. Thanks man! Once I was back on track we wasted no time and turned to the start line.

At the start, all set for the race

Start! (photo credit: MilanPhoto)

3..2..1..GO!!! It was fast, I mean faaaast! It was like shooting out like a freakin' bullet! As the weather was hot and mega dry the field created a huge dust cloud as it rolled out. Pushing on the maximum and breathing in dust until it burns your lungs. Just what you want on a savage XCM race, isn't it? Once things started to settle a bit I got into my own thing on the single speed bike. As I'm quite limited on the way down (as my gear spins out and when that happens I can't gain more speed) the plan was to put the hammer down on the climbs and gain places on the uphills. 

Had to keep a close eye on the chaser group (photo credit: Ferenc Bak)

The course was super fast, it was one of the fastest courses that I've seen for a long time. The climbs were hard and the descents were über fast! The over 60 km/h speed on the gravel fire roads is no joke! And to top that the dust was unbeliveable! Many times it was so dusty I could hardly see the trails. 

From about half way I managed to get into a nice group of 5-6 riders, and we stayed together pretty much until the finish. 

Climb after climb and descent after descent until I heard the speaker at the finish area. Had a little sprint at the end as my last effort to stay ahead of the rider I was riding with for the last km. And that was it, I crossed the finish line!

Yep, it's done & dusted

I finished the 28 km race with 850 m of elevation gain under 1 hour and 28 minutes. This got me the 16th place out of the 72 riders in the Masters 1 field. As my expectation was to finish in the top 25 I was quite happy with the result! :) 

The numbers

Dust, dust, dust

So, what can I say about today? Well, after reflecting on everything lets say: Crosskovácsi is the best marathon race in Hungary! Hats off to the organizers: helpful and lots of staff, superb track marking, lots of information pre and during race, brilliant race center! There was only a little thing that suprised me the bad way. We didn't receive a starter pack. Fair enough, I signed up on the day...but still...a little something would have been nice like a gel, the usual sticker with the elevation graph. But expect this everything was flawless, just like a well run MTB race should be! 

After we packed up we turned back home where the well earned reward was waiting!

Chicken skewers

Ice cold wheat beer

 Savage mountain bike race and stuff like this? Was it a brilliant day, or what?! :) 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Crosskovácsi Marathon 2017 // 1 week to go

There is only a week to go until the race, so there is no time to waste! I've been putting in some extra training. It was quite difficult to manage to get out during the week also but I was lucky enough to get away with it! I'm feeling great on the bike and my motivation is there too. I've been doing some nice spins lately on the local trails to get the shape as good as it can be. 

My biggest problem at this point is the weather. It's not critical just yet but it's getting very hot...I used to love hot weather but not anymore. So, I can only hope the weather will be ok on the race day and we won't get 30+ degrees.

Perfect recovery meal: ice cold watermelon, yumm-yumm

The plan is to get one more spin in during next week and then bring on the race! Can't wait already!!