Thursday, April 18, 2013

Who does #2 work for?

This Sunday marks race number 2 for the season for me.  I'm headed down to Spartanburg SC (about 1:30 from me) for what looks like it's shaping up to be a fast race.  I've scouted through the internets minefield to gather some key information.

Here is the map provided by the Stump Jump site.  Cat3 rides the blue loop shown below.  Cat2 and above ride a longer loop that extends into the trails to the east (past G).

The course should be similar to that of last year, although I know the start will be slightly different but I'm not sure that will be that huge of a change.  Looking at the strava data you can see from the elevation and speed that it looks like it's going to be a fast one.  

From some videos I've found it looks like the (significant) climbs are wide open so it should be easy to get around slower climbers (or move over for faster riders) if necessary.  Here's a little recap from the 2011 Cat3 race - again no sure how close the course will be to this years, but it gives a sense of the terrain.

Looking at the results from last year it looks like I'll be aiming for sub 28 minute laps (26.5 if I'm looking for the win).  From the strava data it would appear 30 minute laps would do the trick...  Cross referencing my data I see that the number 2 spot on the strava list finished in 8th in the Cat3 race.  So 28 sounds like a good aim and we'll see if I have a little extra to lay out there and finish quicker.  In reality I need to try to get off with the front group and just hang on.  If I get stuck too far back I fear I'll settle in with a slower pace, leaving too large of a gap to the front group.  

I go off at 9:30... meaning an early morning for me to get up and out there.  Although the weather looks fine for race day, looks like they'll be getting rain out there Friday.  Someone posted up that the trails don't drain all that well out there, so we'll see how that might effect conditions.

I'm excited for the race.  Not sure who else from the team is going to be there.  I do know that my buddy Sean won't be there - doctor ordered him off the bike for a month due to some back issues - brutal...  With the second race in the books I'll be "in" race season and I just might have to start paying attention/planning my rides a little more appropriately for race preparation.  Although, the pace of the "social" ride is a nice kick in the pants at times - when we aren't standing around and talking on the trail that is.

Well, I'll be back next week with a race recap and other assorted stories.


  1. The course is really fast, but fun. If it is a even a little bit wet though, it will be tricky. You got skills though, so don't worry.

  2. Skills to pay the bills! Thanks guys