Quebec Cup #2

Yesterday was my second mountain bike race and my aim this time was to do better than the first. I didn't expect to be doing so before the event though. Right before the race, I didn't feel too good, in fact, I was actually sick, driving very fast to get to the venue as quickly as possible and I had to go at least three times to the bathroom in the hour before the race, not fun and I even thought about not starting. But I woke up at 5AM and drove over 130kms for this, I was there, I was registered and it was a beautiful day so I drank to stay hydrated and headed to the starting line, on time this week, to hopefully, not suffer too much.

The Mont Tremblant cross country course was great. Hard, muddy, punishing, muddy, technical, muddy, rocky, physical, rooty, muddy and hard... and muddy. There was many climbs with some long, power sapping ones in sticky mud, the other ones were more fun with slickier mud but with lots of roots and rocks so this made the Bromont course feel like a beginner's course. I saw many crashes, crashed myself but this week, no mechanical apart from the mud induced chainsucks, my belly was always aching though.

I started slowly but tried to be steady, losing time at first but after a while, I started to feel better, tried to make it back with the rest which I eventually did, well, not the fastest riders but I made it back to the back of the pack in the twisty singletracks. I was riding very passively last week, this time I was more aggressive, chasing some people, passing some, going harder, even going out of the saddle to close gaps... Last week I was feeling like I was just riding on a very crowded trail, I felt more like I was racing this time and I had the bonus of knowing a few more things about racing. My fitness is still not too good, I didn't feel powerful in the long, less technical climbs from start to finish and unfortunately, I got tired at the end of the last lap, probably why I crashed twice, pretty hard in some nasty rocky descents and got re-passed by some.

But, I didn't finish last this time, I got to the finish line wheelying 33rd, doing the correct amount of laps. I was more tired than last week but I improved and completed the race despite my digesting troubles. So, 44th, 33rd, logically, next time I should end up 22nd! Well... I wouldn't bet on it but hopefully, I'm going to keep improving.

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