Sunday, May 5, 2013

Race Report: Koppenberg by @LSVLKirk

Today I raced the Koppenberg with the 35+ 4s. Here is a segment map of the course: http://app.strava.com/segments/641397

As you see, it's a bit lumpy with one steep ass climb, aka the Koppenberg. What you might not recognize is that 40% of the course is dirt roads. The dirt portions of the course today were loose and borderline treacherous, with the except of the Koppenberg, it was hard packed. Riding in a cat 4 pack is always entertaining, riding in a cat 4 pack on loose gravel is comical. I felt as though my bike handling was an advantage as a result of CX, mountain biking and having pre-ridden the course many times.

My group was doing 4 laps of the 5.1 mile course. I hung with the lead pack for a lap and half. Just after the second climb of the Koppenberg I popped like a balloon. Even though it was flat to downhill I watched at the group, now reduced to 20-ish, rode away from me. Try as I might, there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. I did the rest of that lap and most of the third lap solo. The only consolation was during that period I only lost one spot.

A group of 4 guys caught me for the fourth a final lap. For reasons unknown they didn't want to work together much. I knew I was racing for pride and fitness today instead of results so pulled more than my fair share. Our mini group of 5 whittled down to 4 at some point. I rode with the other 3 into the finishing stretch. I was spent and all 3 of them rode away from me. I ended up the day in 22nd place, not what I had in mind for the day. My bike handling was fine all day, my bike was mechanically sound -- my motor wasn't up to the task.

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