2021 Romanian XCO Championships

19 Jul

This was meant to come earlier but I was dealing with the “Annual Charity Auction” of the pink Cannondale Scalpel. So hopefully you will understand. Make sure to hit the play button for a musical background

Since 2003 until 2018 I have never missed any edition of the Romanian National Championships. The past two years were pretty difficult and unfortunately I couldn’t make it. And I am so sorry about it because I want to have a constancy . Sometimes family is more important than anything.

This year Nationals were supposed to be at Paltinis but it couldn’t happen so the guys from Velocitas took responsibility and made the event possible at Herneacova. I previously been there so I knew that they had the recipe to do a great event.

Went there on Friday, on a special but sad day for me. On the July 9th 2011 my mother passed away so I couldn’t simply not to think more then usual about her. I still miss her every day and I know that somehow from above the clouds she’s smiling.

In Timisoara, Mihai and his wife Cristina took care of me and their support helped a lot, taking some of the pressure I had on my shoulders.

The XCO race was on Saturday and even if the whole week was super duper hot with temperatures over 35C the forecast was showing some light showers at the start of the race. I still put my money on the usual Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires and I was right (for 3 out of 5 laps).

But let’s get back to the race. At the start we were less riders than usual, which for a good result that was ok but for the competition it wasn’t. I still can’t figure out why the Olympic discipline is not “interesting” for a lot of the Elite riders of the country. Just having the chance to ride with a World Champion, World Cup Winner and European Champion, Vlad Dascalu isn’t enough, I don’t know what is. He is the idol of the younger generation and should be a role model for every one of us.

Fast start and I tried to keep the pace up as much as possible. Found out that on the 3rd lap my legs were dead, but still had to push as hard as I can because you don’t know what might happen. On the 4th lap the rain started and on the longest and heaviest climb of the course it got pretty slippery. Also because of the dense forest there were spots where it got wet earlier and you simply couldn’t know where you have traction and where you don’t. Had a few crashes here and there, without any major problems. I tried to stop at the tech area to change the wheels for something knobbier but in the end I’ve decided to stick to the original tires. The rain didn’t stop and I started to be even more precautious. Felix, my son, told me to come home in one piece.

Unfortunately there were riders that had some nasty crashes that needed medical attention. And I hope that now there all ok.

4th @ Elite isn’t a bad result in the end. Here are some photos from the XCO race, from the guys of Velocitas. Cheers for that.

On Sunday we had the Eliminator National Championship (XCE) where the long story short is that I’ve finished 10th. I think I could have done more with a bit more preparation but I didn’t even knew that I wanna do it. So in the end wasn’t such a bad workout.

Some photos from there too:

 ➕Good things:

  • Super organization of the race, volunteers, parking spots.
  • The location, amenities, things to do for the rest of family.
  • The course was really nice but there is still place for improvements

 ➖Things to improve:

  • The course could need a bit more work (after every technical feature there was a tight corner which was too close and was affecting the flow)
  • It would have been nice that the course was a bit more wider. Most of it was a single trail and there were only a handful of spots where you could overtake rider. Not that this was a big problem for me.

✔ My final grade for this year’s this year National XCO Championship is 8.5/10. And in my opinion is one of the best I saw so far.

See ya at the next races. Take care of your wild selves. Many thanks to everyone involved. You’re all part of #TheGoodFigth

Vlad

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