Movilele Blajelului – sun is out

24 Jun

It was sunny, but at least we had mud. Or how not to quit even if the odds are against me.

This was my first race in Romania since February 2020 at Cluj Winter Race #2. So I think it was normal to be nervous. I had a good training block during the past weeks and this race should have been the cherry on top. Even though in the past days it rained a lot I’ve decided to run my Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires. It was somehow a risk vs. reward strategy.

I had a good start and avoided any stupid crashes even with the drift from the first corner. But we hit the mud pretty quick. Right after the start in the first wild garlic forest I had some uncontrol moves that took me out of the main line, but then I hit a root, jump over the bars and the saddle hit my … nuts. I had to lay down for a couple of minutes to recover. Then I got back on the bike but after just a few more kilometers I had to stop again and tight the saddle clamp bolts and tie the Garmin with some duct tape as one of the rubber bands broke when I’ve felt down. Lost another two minutes there. Overall loosing about 30 positions.

Never had the thought to quit, but neither to push harder than I was comfortable with. And little by little I’ve started to catch riders. Riding alone was pretty boring as I didn’t knew exactly how far is the next group, or the next feedzone. Not even the organizers didn’t knew exactly where the feedzone points are on the course, in order to plan the race better. So I tried to trust my guts and do the things the best way possible.

I don’t know where but I’ve stopped twice and had my bottles filled. I tried all the time to stay calm and ride in my very own pace. The legs felt good, my lungs… still need a few more races but I am still confident that all the hard work I’ve put in the last months will pay off. I still have to stick to the plan.

After 3:06 I’ve finished 7th at Elite, not happy with the result or the time but glad with the way I rode. Gives me a boots for the upcoming races.

Many thanks to my family and sponsors for the support. To Georgian and Florin for the trip, to Catalin for the help at the feedzone and the cheering and to everyone else who came to race.

The race was organized well mainly, they could have mark the junctions better, let us know where the feedzones are and have a bikewash. After almost swimming in some deep, muddy, sticky pot holes would have been nice to clean a bit our bikes afterwards. And some water to drink after the race would have been cool too, not only pricey bottled soda’s.

See ya all next time.

Cheers,

Vlad

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