For one time I was feeling good and kind of ready for the race which isn’t always the case. I’ve been riding a lot this year, I know the track well and had a nice full suspension 29er carbon rig to try on it, could I ask for more?

The track is 40km long with 1200m of climbing for a bit more than 1000m of descent. hopefully it didn’t rain the two days before  so it wouldn’t be to muddy, With those conditions I was looking to ride it under 2 hours. We’ll just see on Saturday.

It’s race day, I’ve been warming up a little bit and try find a good spot in the middle of the peleton for the start, people were staring at me because I was probably the only one not wearing spandex.

It’s 4pm and the race is on, the peloton slowly starts to move and the first big climb is already there. Everthing goes well and I started to pass a few rider. After the second climb, there was no more peleton, just small groups of riders pushing each other and trying to catch the group in front of them. It was going fast and it’s quiet fun to ride. I try to push a bit more in the uphill and the downhill that could go very fast  with 65km/h shown on the gps and manage to catch a few groups that were in front of me.  

After one hour, the rythm was good and I should finish well under 2 hours. The second half of the race was mainly in the forest and the track was nice and flowy even if there was a lot of mud and ruts. There were also a few steeps downhils that the bike handle really well but I have to admit that I was happy to have a dropper post. I enjoyed the track as it went faster and arrived in front of a climb and suddenly it was the drama, my legs had no more power at all but there was still 6 or 7km to go. From there, the race became more about survival and not going too slow rather than trying to catch others people. While I moved forward slowly, I could see others racers passed me without any way to follow them. I tried to get my legs back when the track was going down but there was nothing to do.

As we arrived near the finished area, having people cheering us really help me for the last climb and after a short descent, I could see the finish line at the end of the grass field, what a relief it was ! And Good surprise, I finished in 1h55 !  What could I ask more than something to eat and a fresh beer ? (I know it’s bad for the hydration… 😉

After having been able to calm my body a little bit, I think that I really enjoy the race even if the end was probably one of the worst feeling I ever had while riding my bikea and I have even more than of respect for people riding XC because of the speed they go on every obstacle. Racing again ? I’ll for sure try XC again and take something to eat in the pocket, so it could only go better.

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