Mamut Bike Marathon

9 Sep

Seems like this end of season I’ve race more marathons than I did in the last couple of years. As I previously said, It’s not my favorite discipline, but I enjoy racing bikes.

Mamut Bike Marathon was at the 4th edition and I thought that it’s gonna be fun: around 60km with 2000m of positive climb. Even though it’s not a big race the competition was hot with Roberto Burta and Vlad Pacurar some of the best U23 riders in Romania, Stefan Cristescu and Ilyes Ferenc, two great marathon riders.

I’ve arrived there with Ionut, the winner if this year pink bike auction in the morning as Alba Iulia is just 100km away from Cluj. After going quick with the registration I’ve started to warm up and prepare for what was about to come. Right after the start I got a branch in my rear derailleur, I’ve stopped to pull it off but I’ve lost the leading group (Roberto, Vlad and Stefan). Ilyes got me so we went together for a while. There were a few junctions where it was supposed to be better marked the direction of the course so we’ve all lost a couple of times loosing precious time.

Even if I had the course downloaded on my Garmin Edge 1030 the situation on the field wasn’t the same with the one on the gps. I’ve decided to stop at every single feedzone point to refill the water bottles because I didn’t want it to ride again without. On the longest climb of the race, about 8km with an average gradient of 10-11 degrees had a good pace with Stefan and Ilyes, as Roberto and Vlad got ahead. On descends I was gaining a gap from them so I kept a pace that was sustainable until the end. On one of the last climbs I saw Vlad ahead so I tried to push, including risking more than I was supposed to on the last descend, because there was a chance to catch him. Unfortunately at an unmarked right curve got me off the trail loosing precious seconds and loosing the chance to the second spot. I had to be happy with 3rd spot overall.

I think that with some minor improvements regarding marshals and/or marking the course this could be a great event. Also the finish should a bit wider and on flat ground or climb not descend because if there are two riders sprinting it can be dangerous.

Many thanks to my family and sponsors for the support, to Ionut for driving me to the race and back safely. I look forward to the next races.

Cheers,

Vlad

Photo Credits: Mamut Bike / Bicheru

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