Crater XCO 2019

9 Jul

I got back in Oradea after a few years for another XCO race in a “classic” area. I’ve missed an event in that area because I knew it was both fun and hard.

This time wasn’t different. UCI Race, about 30C, hot, humid air, not that much shade. As I went by myself I’ve decided to sleep in the car, putting with me the Cannondale tent and having on-site “team” area for everything: sleeping, eating, washing, warming up, cooling down. I was not alone as I had Marius Ionascu, aka Maus staying there. After a few laps on the course I’ve kinda learned it and prepared myself for the race.

The night went pretty well. I had a good dinner, good sleep, vibes were good too. The start was at 12:00 PM so before that I’ve helped Georgian and others at the feedzone at their race. Then it was my time to warm up and make the most of the race. I didn’t had big expectations after a week with runny nose, sneezing and so on. Cold got from Felix, who got it from kindergarten. Long story… There were riders from Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, France and USA.

The start was pretty fast and I didn’t expected it. I tried to pace myself and have a constant and consistent race. Drinking and eating regularly was a must because of the temperatures and the effort especially because the course had two long climbs. One of them was about 7 minutes which is pretty long for an XCO. It was that kind of classic course, not very technical, excepting the last descend on loose rocks. I’ve kept my Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires and PTN inserts to have the best traction. It didn’t worth to put something more aggressive only for that spot. To be honest I would have expected for a more clean course as it had a lot of broken branches and maybe some more wide paths because most of it was single trail. Otherwise the organizers did a great job and I look forward to come back in Oradea.

After 6 laps out of 7 the leader Palumby Szombor, from Hungary lapped me so the marshals stopped me, finishing 15th overall on Elite and 3rd in the XCO Romanian Cup. I had to dig deep to push on such conditions but in the end even if I not happy with the result, I am glad with the way I rode. As I didn’t knew the ranking and want it to go home to enjoy the Sunday with my family I’ve missed the podium, so my apologies for that.

Many thanks to my family for the support, to my sponsors, to Georgian who helped me back at the feedzone with everything and I look forward to the National XCO Championships that will be held in Herneacova, where I got on poster (yeeey). The pressure is huge but I will give the best out there. Trust me.

See ya soon. Cheers, Vlad

Photo credit: Dumitru Lungu, Szilard Palca, Levente Birta, Lucian Marcusiu, Ivan Nagy and myself

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