Campulung XCO – 3rd stage

5 Oct

This was the first race after a short holiday with my family where I had the time to recover and prepare the rest of the season and the next one, which for me will be very special and important.

But everything started on the wrong way. First thing was that the race was announced to be a stage for the Romanian XCO Cup 12 days prior to the event even though the rules are telling that it should have at least 20 days, so it’s kinda shitty to break your own rules. But hit the play button and then keep reading.

I’ve came to the conclusion that I can not pee against the wind so I had to play this game and keep my 2nd place @ Elite in the overall standings. So I’ve prepared myself with Sebi for a +6h car trip, even though in the same weekend we were registered to race near Cluj (1h of driving). Anyway, as I told, if it started bad, it continued the same.

Google maps got us out of the main road and we ended up on a mountain gravel road but we’ve managed to get in Campulung 5 minutes before the registrations ended. Why we didn’t left earlier? The race was on Saturday and we both have jobs and tasks to fulfil.

Until now went bad? Continue reading: we got on the course and hit the first “obstacle”. What should have been a rockgarden was just a pile of rocks thrown on the course. We kept riding, but what was supposed to be an XCO course was more like a narrow trail. And we still rode, but the course wasn’t marked properly so we didn’t found everything missing two key sections of it.

I can not argue with anyone, it was a technical course but it has to be safe. Here both on descends and climbing with small exceptions everything was narrow and dangerous. If you were missing the 20-30cm path you could fall from the ridge to… nobody knows where. As I previously told you, even on the last big climb you were going on the edge of a precipice with no marking tape or protection. The descents didn’t had any kind of flow, the 12.8km/h avg speed beeing the proof.

But let’s get back to the race. After I saw all the course (with the unknown part checked early in the morning), I’ve lost all the feng shui and didn’t had any pleasure to ride, or to race. But I did. Started on the left foot as I’ve missed the pedal right at the start loosing a lot of positions. I kept doing the things I know and I have repeated the words of my son: Daddy, come home safe and sound. So I did.

Finished 3rd at Elite and I have consilidated my 2nd overall place in the Romanian XCO Cup with one stage left, in Bucharest on October 17th @ Bucuresti MTB Race. I hope that the Covid shit will get better and the authorities will let us race.

But I still think, I repeat, this is my opinion only: this race didn’t deserved to be in the XCO Cup. The right description is that the organizers were overwhelmed and even if the race director, Razvan J. is good friend of mine I think he had to many things to do and not a lot of people that know what an XCO course looks like. I hope that this negative feedback will be taken as it is and they will try to improve things for the future editions.

โž• Good things

  • A lot of parking space for everyone
  • Bike wash
  • A race for the kids
  • Marshals placed mainly in the right spots

โž– Things to improve

  • First thing first: THE COURSE. Was too narrow to be a XCO course and mainly didn’t had any kind of flow
  • The Start/Finish area was bumpier that is supposed to
  • The course was technical, but too dangerous if you were missing just a tiny bit the path
  • Then marking the course properly before the official training and event
  • Some of the volunteers were way to arrogant and didn’t had any kind of knowledge about mountainbiking or race safety

I know that more or less alone, you can not control everything, so as I have previously said, they were overwhelmed. Hope that things will improve in the future.

This is by far the worst race I’ve been in a very, very long and my final grade for MTB Academy Cup XCO is 5 out of 10 and that’s only because Razvan’s effort to pull something out.

Many thanks to my sponsors, family and Sebi for the safe drive.

See you in Bucharest in a couple of weeks. Cheers, Vlad

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