Well, all the hard work is done. No additional fitness can be gained. No new technical skills can be learned. It is simply time to go out and race. Have fun. Race hard and enjoy the experience. After all, this is why we train so hard and stay focused – to get out there on race day and shine.
Had chillaxed day. We went over to the course at around 3:00 this afternoon. This worked out well as the course was set and it was not super busy. Pretty wide open course. With lots of sections to really open it up. These are sections are broken up a bit by some twist and turns. There is a bit of a tight descent with a sharp turn onto some bumpy grass and then down into the woods before turning on the gravel to cross a bridge. Then the soft climb has been turned into a run. After some more wide open sections with a few twists and turns we are onto the really cool and challenging section of the course. Basically traversing a “bowl-like” section of terrain with some tight turns, fast descents, a challenging short climb, a run/ride up and another tricky corner. This leads into another wide open section and back to the start/finish.
The course is pretty cool. I like it. Right now the ground is dry, fast, and hard. The grass is super short. Some of the corners are sure to get quite soft due to the short grass being scrubbed away. The course is not super demanding technically but there are enough corners and linked sections that you do need to be a decent technical rider. Speed – getting it, maintaining it, and getting back up to speed will be key (in my opinion). The other key is to not get rattled if something goes wrong – such as blowing a corner or struggling on a climb – this course gives you time to recover from your mistakes – if you stay calm.
I did probably four laps in total today. I spent a lot of time drilling the bowl-like section. Many thanks to Marc, Steve, Rob, Dave, Keirnan, and Shaun for giving me lots of tips and advice on how to best ride this section. Spent a little more time hitting the other tricky descent and run into the woods. I was able to open up quite nicely and got a feel for gearing (though this always seems to change on race day).
Tomorrow I’ll get over for the pre-ride from 12:00 to 12:45. I’ll get in two to three laps and check out how the course has changed after a few racers have ripped it up in the morning.
Marc, Steve, and Rob are racing at 10:00 a.m. So I’ll go over to work the pits for them and to do some cheering. My dad will be on photographer duty and is transporting the spare bikes and gear bags over to the race. Once the guys have finished racing, I’ll be coming back to the hotel to put my legs up and get ready for my race. Some food. Then off to the course to do the pre-ride and pre-race stuff.
I’ve got my race plan written. Have a good sense of the course. Where I’ll need to dig that little extra, where I can recover, and where I might have some issues. It is all good. Nothing like race day.
Had a good meal this evening with my dad while Marc and Steve were at the riders meeting. Nothing special – just some pasta and salad at Boston Pizza. Pretty chilled out evening. My head is feeling good. So far, I’m pretty calm. No crazy pre-race nerves yet.
I’m looking forward to watching the guys race. It helps me race when I’ve seen the guys go at it super hard. Okay, I’m out. Have a good Saturday. Best of luck to everyone racing in Gloucester and in Almonte.
Check back tomorrow for a race report. So stoked.