Belis MTB Race

2 Jul

So last weekend I went to another race, about 65km away from my hometown close to Belis Lake. It was the first time there for me even if 3 years ago I’ve done a training on the course there. I found about it 2 days before the race on fb as it wasn’t promoted at all.

So the idea was pretty simple: go there Saturday morning, race, come home.

After a hard block week I didn’t had many expectations. I still have to stick to the plan. The race started with a pretty serious climb and I had my legs pretty heavy. After a few km when I started to feel good something else happened. Potholes that were supposed to be water only were in fact swamps, pretty much just bellow the knees. After about 10 of these I’ve started to loose the rhythm and got a bit frustrated, especially because there weren’t signalized at all. We got into the woods where branches were all over the course and I had to take care not to damage the bike. When I thought that everything is gonna be alright in the end I’ve landed in a tall grass field. Phuu, I was riding totally blind, not seeing the holes or obstacles. I don’t wanna mention that tight corners weren’t market, fallen trees on the course weren’t cleaned, not those in high speed. A lot of energy wasted to keep the balance. Hydration/feed points were nonexistent on the course, it was only one at the start finish area. For me as I had a backpack was pretty much ok, but for an average rider who had only a water bottle, probably lost somewhere in the tall grass?

As we had 2 laps of about 24km, after the first one I had some black thoughts to quit, but in the end I kept pushing. Almost the same frustration in the same areas. After being in 3rd spot for a while, I got on 4th and I had to dig deep for resources to keep it until the end as the 5th rider was coming from behind. I’ve consolidated it on the last technical part where it was pretty narrow and steep if you were getting of the trail.

As I said, 4th overall, 3 minutes behind the podium after almost 3h of racing. Let’s see if this will pay of to the upcoming races. As for this race… right now I am not quite sure I will return or recommend it to anyone if the organizers won’t put just the minimum effort in order to make it enjoyable for the riders.

Many thanks to all my sponsors for making this possible, to my family for the support, to Georgian for taking me with him.

See you around. Cheers, Vlad

Photo Credit: Iulia Barbanta

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