One to go

Already, only one race left this year. Yesterday's race went okay considering the annoying pain I had behind the knee, it wasn't so bad at first but got worst as the race progressed. The pain appeared sometimes around 2 weeks ago, it gradually got better from resting it, massaging it, doing very short trainings but the race brought it back to it's peak.

The course was very nice, a bit damp, many short steep climbs, plenty of off-cambers, sharp turns. It started on a gravel running oval track, we did a full start lap then turned left on a grass small off-camber climb, then left into the sand pits... Initially there was a barrier in the middle, in practice I was riding the first half, going over the barrier and then running the last part but it was gone by the time we raced after a rider-barrier collision during the previous race I think.

After the sand, we did a 180 onto pavement, then on grassy/rooty/dirt section that started with an uphill barrier. Here again, it was supposed to be a double set but we were instructed not to step on the barrier, I'm guessing the other broke that way... Then a left 180, then a tricky off camber sharp turn with roots, then a bumpy straight, a steep gravel descent with a sharp left at the bottom, then cornering over a grass bump and up a steep mud uphill that provided a surprising amount of grip so no running required. Then a steady pavement climb that lead to running up this stairset.

A few corners, grass with some off-camber muddy left, up on a pavement strip, over a 1' high wooden stage where some dismounted and others rode, I chose to ride it, it was quicker when you are not the fastest runner/remounter. Then zig-zaging between rooty trees, a fast straight grass descent ending with a sharp and muddy right turn, then a little cornering ditch thing, left into a rooty/bumpy descent, sharp 180 left, grass uphill that brought us on the fastest part of the course, a bumpy descending trail then onto a paved path ending with a sharp right, left across grass and back on the running track for half a turn.

Not doing full laps on that, we did a left 180 and went along the track but on it's grass off-camber side, then down right, a long grass straight, a right, a short uphill then around a baseball terrain, eventually a right hairpin then the trickiest feature, another off-camber climb followed by a straight down and a 180 at the bottom to climb the grass again, this uphill was a run-up for everyone except the few on mountain bikes but they were not really going faster on their bikes, and then down again and back to the start line... Whew! Like I said, it was nice, but it was much harder than the Magog course. More climbs, slower grass, some mud, it was much more physical.

I had my typical not so good start (it was a cold morning, I brought my trainer to warm up but it stayed in the car, next week I think I'll try that), I gradually got faster, more comfortable then I was going nicely after the first 30 minutes but the pain was there , the harder I pedaled, the more painful it was. I still managed to find a rhythm and pass some guys in the second half. I finished a distant 47th out of 60 starters in the 60 minute race, one lap down, again among the Elites, U23, Masters 30-39 and Masters 40-49 (Elites and U23 were actually starting 15 seconds before us, that's not fair!).

The picture above is yet another from the Magog race, this time from Marie-Florence Gagnon. Yesterday was much colder so it was legs and arms well covered for almost everyone and the straight sand section didn't require running for most (altough in the Magog picture, traffic forced me to)... Photos should eventually show up, there was a few photographers with the race organization (who did a very nice job by the way).

Now I hope I can rest and recover that damn leg in time for the last race of the year next sunday. If it gets okay and if I could warm up well and have a better start, I think I could do much better.

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