NapoCup XCO

27 Apr

Or the UCI race in Cluj Napoca, my hometown.

As I said before XCO races are the one I like most. Short but intense, technical and difficult.

The location of this year was different, some of the course being made in the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography, which is a beautiful place to visit if you come to Cluj.  I know that an XCO course is not something easy to built but compared to other races this wasn’t even close to a modern one. You had the feeling that you are only climbing as the descents were very, very short ended mostly with offcamber turns. There was also a bunch of junk on the track – broken glass, nails and other garbage that could damage the bike. We’ve found out about the 30 minutes start delay in the very last minute.  Let’s say that this wasn’t a big issue but at the start we’ve found out the lap number, that was bigger than everyone expected. No problem again, these were the conditions for everyone.

Anyway, tough competitors at the start from Romania, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain, France.

Fast start and on the first climb I thought that I had a flat. Was not the case so I pushed hard. In the second lap disaster struck. A problem with the rear wheel rotor made me loose some time and also to change it at the tech zone. I was lucky this time. Got back on the bike and started pushing again.

Too bad that in the last lap the batteries got empty and I was running with the safe mode on, loosing 3 positions or 4. I can’t remember exactly, but I’ve finished 18th. A bit further than my goal.

But if something starts bad, should end bad too and because of another technical problem that I couldn’t solve on Saturday I couldn’t start Sundat at Faget Marathon, the 2nd race of the weekend.

So in general this race is still an experience. For me and I hope that also for the organizers. Maybe for the next year I could offer something from my experience in order to built a better course, more dynamic, fun to ride and to watch for the spectators.

Another thing that I should mention is that TVR (Romanian National Television) broadcasted live the races. Hopefully next year they will talk more about the action during the race than interviews. Anyway it’s a big step ahead and I am glad to see this.

I will keep training because hard work will pay off.

In the end I would like to thank my family and to my sponsors for the support in the good and worst, but also to Marius for the help in the tech zone. Also to all the spectators who cheered me up. You made me feel like in a mini-World-Cup !



Later Edit: I also hope that maybe next year licensed rider will be able to ride the short distance marathon course as the training for a XCO race isn’t the same as for a Marathon. You can imagine that is not the same to ride 1.5h or 3.5/4h.

Photo credits: Tudor Socaciu, Sorin Duma, Cristian Socaciu, Rares Puscas


Another cool video from the race:




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