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  1. #1
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    first race completed! BIG RACE Saturday May 3rd

    well, i completed my first race of the year! and although my performance wasn't optimal b/c my muscles were sore from training the days before (i had REALLY hard rides Wednesday and Thursday and then did a long tour with 1300meters vertical Saturday). Thursday night i decided to do the race as training for my upcominb big race, so i hadn't tapered my training or anything so i was NOT in peak "day form". the course didn't have any big big climbs soas not to go up high into the still snow-covered peaks, but LOTS of short climbs (12 climbs each 70 to 300 meters vertical). for the vertical profile, see http://nyx.at/top-six/_uploads/_imag...ollnprofil.gif or image below - i hope

    but i finished 206 out of about 400 for the middle distance which was 52km (32.5 miles) with 1320 meters vertical (4300 ft). see http://nyx.at/top-six/ergebnisse/2003_1.pdf -- and i was again the ONLY non-European (i was also the only non-European for this race last year when i finished 123 out of 400). at the start of the race my legs were already burning in the first climb so it was a hard race that required some mental effort and ignoring pain. it had rained the night before but then was relatively dry until about 2:15 into the race when it started to rain and then HAILED for about 3 minutes. it made the course very interesting and challenging. and then i crashed twice! once in the very last corner as we rode across a grassy field and then made a 90 degreee left and i was going a lot too fast and slid out in the corner and then slid sideways with the bike quite a ways, then turning over on my chest/stomach and my face/helmet. anyway, got a nice cut on my upper eyebrow (see phots). i think it looks more like i was in a boxing match, but whatever.

    so all in all i've had FIVE crashes in 1 week --- Monday dropping a rock ledge in Gardersee i hurt my right hand. Thursday i crashed on a bike path when a kid ran in front of me (i hurt my right wrist but the kid was uninjured). Saturday i went head-over-bars on a rocky descent and scraped my right thigh, my left forearm and left bicep and hurt my left pinky/hand. then Sunday i cut my face in the 2nd crash (no injuries in the 1st crash - i just slid out in the wet)

    so looks like i may actually be fit enough for my big race next saturday -- 104km (66 miles) and 3530 meters vertical (12,000 ft!). i'm still a little worried b/c the pros finish in a little over 5 hours and i'm speculating i'm going to be on the bike for about 7 hours! i've never done a bike race so long or with SO much climbing. we basically have 2 big mountains where for each we ride from 50m elevation up to mountain peaks first of 1200m, then 1500m! (plus some up and downs in between). both big climbs have a LONG sustained climb of over 1000 meters (3300ft) of vertical in less than 10km (6.2 miles) - an AVERAGE grade of more than 10%! see http://riva.upsolutmv.com/marathon/hoehenprofil03.pdf - it's pretty impressive! - so each big climb should take about 1.5 hours of sustained 7-20% grade climbing... then STEEP descents, then a bunch of up and downs and small climbs and trails and then the 2nd mountain! for those in the Northeast, the Mt Washington Climb is also less than 1000 meters vertical (i think). --- or the big mountain stages of the Tour de France usually have 2500-3200 meters of vertical in about 150 to 200km (so Lake Garda is a little more vertical, a lot less distance so STEEPER grades and also off-road gravel climbs instead of road -- of course the Tour lasts 3 weeks, but they're pros)

    it's going to be an interesting competition between my friend/teammate Ingo and I. he did the double distance yesterday, finishing in 6:38, with a first lap time of 3:05 and a half-distance average of 3:17 (mine was 2:59) but he did it twice! and he's more of an endurance-muscle-type than me. so IF i can make it through the whole race without collapsing or running out of energy (the race has twice the distance and TRIPPLE the vertical) i think i will probably beat him, but that is a BIG IF!!!

    so i have 3 days to rest my legs a little here before i head off to Italy again -- we're driving down Thursday and will ride singletrails Thursday, then hang out at the Bike Festival on Friday and rest up for the big day Saturday. currently the weather looks ok --- temps in the high 20s (high 70s F) and about 30% chance of showers through the weekend.

    so i'll report back my results after the race!

    -Nathan
    Last edited by nathank; 04-28-03 at 07:16 AM.
    why drive when you can ride?
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  2. #2
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    and here's the post-race photo of the cut on my face:
    why drive when you can ride?
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  3. #3
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    THAT'S A BIG PHOTO ... and why is the blood running down the left side of your face green? Are you a martian?

  4. #4
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    the green is a piece of grass stuck on my face - it's from when i was sliding on the field of wet grass (that also caused the cut and the bleeding). and you can also see some yellow/brown grass down below the green grass. and there is also grass stuck in my helmet and then also on the end of my handlebar (but that's not in the photo but was a pain to clean out)

    sorry for the photo size. that's what my digital camera takes and i just strunk the file size by saving as a low quality jpeg.

    the area above me eye is a little swollen today, but it's no big deal. the cut itself is about 1/2 long and not very deep.
    why drive when you can ride?
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  5. #5
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    Don't complain about the size of the shot - it's a great pic. Glad to see you were still smiling.

  6. #6
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed the race. It was an xc race right? because your face looks like some of the guys that I was racing DH against yesterday.

  7. #7
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    actually it's what's called a "marathon" here in Europe. they are usually longer races with 3 different distances: a short distance for beginners (20-40km and 500 to 1000 meters vertical), a middle distance around 50km and 1000-2000 meters vertical and a long distance 100km+ and 2000 meters+

    the courses are unfortunately less technical than most XC races. although the positive side is that it is usually NOT a short-loop course. sometimes like yesterday the long race does the middle distance twice, but for my race next weekend where i am doing the long distance we will not ride anything twice for 104km and 3520meters vertical!

    the weird thing about racing in Europe is that the riders are SUPER FIT, but really lacking in technical/downhill skills. i pass hundreds of riders on the downhills and then get passed by the same guys on the uphills. it's like in the US when all the roadies show up for XC. actually it makes the downhills here more interesting b/c all the "good" lines are taken with the slow guys (or guys walking their bikes) and i have to take the hard lines and swerve all around the obstacles... adds to the challenge! i had one close call yesterday where i had been drafting/tailing 3 guys for a while who were actually more fit than i and then when the downhill came i shot past them like they were standing still, but the third guy at the last second moved from the far right to the far left as i was passing by at about twice his speed (i didn't say anthing which i should have) and i went high on the wall as far left as possible, but my camelback clipped his bar - i saw him at the finish (i beat him even though he was more fit b/c of my faster descents!) and he in his hard to understand Austrian-dialect German said it was no big deal... and that he was impressed with my riding!

    there are occaisonal XC races here, but in comparision very few - i know of a marathon almost every weekend and only 2 XC races in the area.
    why drive when you can ride?
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  8. #8
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    cool. i want to come over and race.
    MtbPhreek

  9. #9
    Scooby Snax
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    Originally posted by The Toninator
    cool. i want to come over and race.
    Me too!! Maybe I'll finally learn to climb!! (did anyone notice the elevations???)

  10. #10
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    the Lake Garda race was awesome and i finished the 3534 meters of vertical in 7 hours and 14 minutes!!

    see my post at completed Extreme race distance in 7:14! for more details
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

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