First ever XC race in a couple of weeks – advice?

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  • First ever XC race in a couple of weeks – advice?
  • Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    just try your best mate. The bike makes little difference, it’s the legs and lungs that will collapse before the bike does

    b r
    Member

    Turn up and enjoy.

    Also, been at the front for the start and putting some effort in for the first few minutes usually means a ‘better’ ride – as you’ll get past whatever the initial ‘chicane’ in front of the majority of riders and probably enjoy it more.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Turn up and enjoy.

    +1
    See what it’s about, push yourself more than you expect to and aim to have nothing left at the end.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    PS…
    My first proper XC was the IoM E2E (twice) and just died out there, then 50km’s in 30c after a lot of injuries then found my sweet spot in stage racing at 1-1.5hr races.

    I prefer gravity

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Ride the course if you can. Be very well warmed up. XC races go very hard off the line for the first few minutes and there is a lot of jostling for position, and then settle down a bit (but not much!)

    Tips for lightening. Ditch everything you don’t need. If you haven’t already, go tubeless.

    Training tips. Two weeks to go, too late to do anything that’ll really help. Just keep the legs spinning and don’t do anything too hard.

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Subscriber

    Get really good at shouting “Elite rider on your left/right!” but in the local tongue…

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    think fast.. be fast

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeQUWurIlBo[/video]

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    You’re not as fit as you think you are 😉

    Good luck, it’s great fun, in retrospect! If it’s a lapped event (as opposed to a long loop) definitely pre-ride, otherwise check out the first kilometre or so, it’ll help no end in the melee.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    otherwise check out the first kilometre or so, it’ll help no end in the melee.

    My best stage this January was where people told me it was 1km to the singletrack, turned out to be 3km which was an all out sprint on rough gravel (5″ blocks) then a proper elbows out 4x corner into the singletrack where I then picked guys off for the next 10km of climbing. If you can stay on the bike it all gets easier.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Deffo warm up, go he’ll for leather from the gun & then settle into a comfy pace. Lots of places are gained this way. Expect elbows at the start as everyone will be doing the same. In the race, target the rider infronts and move up to them, pass & move on to the next. Save some energy for the last lap when others will be flagging & remember, full gas and empty the tank over the finish, have nothing left.

    Other than that, easy

    devash
    Member

    Some great advice so far. Its going to be one 32km loop, a flat road / gravel start for 2.5km, then 500 meters of climbing over 12.5km to the top of the mountain, short descent to a 500m steep climb up to the top of a second peak, then 12km of pure descent to the finish.

    The location looks stunning…

    jonnouk
    Member

    It’s been an absolute age since I raced XC (does anyone remember the name of the Devon xc series when the CMBC races were around?) but forget technical stuff for now. Walk the course, or at least the first sections; at the start you will be in survival mode and will be less likely to see obstacles causing you to stop/fall and fight your way back on to the line (even in fun races I found). Then your breathing is out of control.

    Once you’ve got past the first minute or so you’ll be reet as long as you just aim to finish to get experience.

    devash
    Member

    As above really. I’ve been invited to partake in a 32km XC race in Val d’Intelvi near Lake Como in Italy in a couple of weeks, racing in the non-ranked amateur category. My fitness is definitely up to scratch (I’ve been averaging 13.2mph on our local 20 mile trails although granted this course will definitely have some longer extended climbs which I’m sure will bring that average down) so am quite looking forward to the opportunity to push myself a bit.

    I’m currently riding a 2012 alloy Speccy Camber 26er which I’ve lightened up a bit with Reba forks (new ones with the SID lowers), Fulcrum wheelset (a reasonable 1600 grams) and a few other odd bits and bobs. Current weight is bang on 13kg which admittedly isn’t the lightest for racing but should be ok for a non-competitive event.

    Any tips / advice for a training regime leading up to the event? Last-minute component tweaks / changes to the bike that could lighten it up a bit without spending megabucks?

    If everything on the bike is in good nick and works OK,don’t change a thing!

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