Just a quick update on my last two races! More interesting stuff is coming in few days time, so keep looking!
After a long wait finally I finished on the podium in my last two races. The season starter UK 24 hour Champ didn't go well and I wasn't really in the party on the Gorrick 100 either. I decided to race MBUK 4 hour Enduro and Erlestoke 12 in May.
MBUK 4 hour was organised by Hargrove Cycles in Queen Elizabeth country park. The start was at 6 o'clock. My friend and my official photographer, Tibi gave me a lift and also he took care of my feeding during the race! He is real multifunctional men, all in one! :D I think he was a bit slightly nervous about my feeding, but he has done a great job!
The event's organising was great, signed out parking place, quick registration and very very nice course! The field counted around 97 people in the solo male category.
I felt quite strong and good before the race and I was hoping to finish in the top 5. I did a quick lap on the course before the race and I knew, the first part half of the course is very much suits me. Nice long uphill!
After the start I tried to pull the front a bit and got a picture about the potentials. Only 5 other guys held up with me to the top of the first climb. After the first 5 minutes rush I tried to cut back on the speed and let other people to work on the front. Sickmuller (Stevens factory team) disappeared in couple of minutes time with Wiggle athlete James Braid. I put my "enduro face" on and stayed calmed. I think I finished the first couple of laps around the 5-6th place, but lap to lap I got closer and closer to the front. Unfortunately I had some difficulty with the downhill sections and I lost a bit of time, because my right wrist still wasn't 100% after my Gorrick 100 incident (I developed some tendonitis in my right fore arm, around my wrist...). But I worked back this lost on the uphill sections.
Around halfway, when I put the lights on (started to be quite dark in the forest after 8 o'clock), I was on the 2nd place overall and the 1st in my category. I could hold this position easily, but I couldn't close the gap between me and Sickmuller. He finished 11 minutes in front of me.
I was well happy with this result! After the race we had some social life and was good to catch up with Dave Page (our Cannondale rep). I owe him with big time, he has speed up a little one of my ongoing "business" with Cannondale! (it was very important, because my new Scalpel was the key for the next weekend race winning!). Unfortunately someone had a nasty accident and the organisers were busy with this in the next few hours. Due to this injury the prize giving got "cancelled" and I received my awesome prizes couple of days later.
I hope the organisers are keeping up the good job in the future and hopefully see you next year!
(because Tibi was very busy and excited with my feeding and checking my position and giving me the most amount of information... he didn't take too much picture.... I have seen couple of people who took photos during the race, but I can't find them... so, no real action photos, sorry!)
Race in numbers:
Time: 4 hour 15 minutes
After a little recovery and packing out and in again, we headed out to Erlestoke direction 7 days later. This time my crew was a bit unusual, but absolutely stunning! (hmm... I just wondering, did I ever have a bad crew?! No! I am surrounded with awesome people... I am lucky, I have great friends!)
So, we decided to leave early, around 7:30..... and finally we left 8:30. I shit myself around 3 times on the way down, that we were going to be late... but not! Zoli made it! Z drove like a formula one driver and we had plenty of time to get lost a bit,see the Stonehenge quickly, open some automatic gate , take a wrong turn and try to drive in Erlestoke jail and also I could manage a practise lap before the race! We had a productive morning!
Erlestoke 12 was organised by SPAM bike and I have to say, this guys has done a very very good job! Registration taken circa 46 second!
While I had a course check my crew set up our base camp. Martin (Mr. SuppleWorX muscle guru, mechanic ?!, all the camp gadgets' God and my "second father"), Zsofi (alias Szunyog - (sorry love...)- expert PT, crazy cyclist and newly debuted "chemist") and Z (Zoli is Zsofi's better half... running and hiking crazy= hyperactive like all of us) put tent up and tried to get all of my chaotic stuff organised.
After my practise lap, we didn't really have a time for a full English, but I quickly talked true everyone on the daily routine. I was standing on the start line at 11:45 in the boiling heat. Luckily Chris Noble was standing next to me, so we could have some gossip about the cycling world and his newly developed skin on his face... Chris had a very nasty accident during Gorrick 100 (in the first 300m...) and I am happy to see, he is nicely recovered!
Gun.... sorry, whistle went of midday and we started the 12 hours sauna trip.
Honestly... I can't get this British weather... I have been in this country for nearly 6 years now, but I have NO idea how British weather works.....
Ok, back to the subject! After the first couple of laps we had a nice little (3 or 4 people) brake away at the front follow by me in couple of minutes. I shot my "come on Szabi push it" alter-ego right in the head after the UK 24 hour champ and I was back in my old "start slow-finish fast" routine. I kept my pace and other numbers on the screen on some reasonable level and tried to concentrate to keep my fluid intake ultra high in the 26+ degrees.
Course was very nice, 90% single track with some steep climbs. I really enjoyed it. After a few hours I started to close the gap with the front and I felt very good. After the 3rd hour I had a few technical issue . First of all, my front mech didn't want to shift down to small chainring.... I fixed the problem in 20 sec, only a small piece of wood got jammed between the frame and the mech. 20 minutes later my saddle bag decided to have his own life and he landed on my rear wheel.... What's next?!- that was my question...and answer came 2 laps later. I managed to do something with my front chainring and chain kept fell off and jumping all over the place. And where?! Oh yes, after 1,5km I left the event area, middle of the forest. Ok, I managed to finish the lap (with some awful lap time) and quickly changed bike. Hmm... Russian roulette! (I forget to mention about it, my new Scalpel frame turned up 2 days before the race.... I had several compatibility problem with the old parts and ok, I put the bike in one piece, but not my proudest job in my life. I was really hoping, I shouldn't use this bike during the race and now I was sitting on this bike, on 26" wheels, with 62 cm wide handlebar and rear shock fitting kit made from old piece of alloy seat post- coke can and washers. I wasn't sure about the next 8 hours at this point! First lap on the Scalpel was a disaster, but I started to enjoy the whole lot. I realised, Cannondale's engineers made a great job on the new frame, 80mm rear travel is much much better, bike handle awesome. Actually Scalpel was better choice to this course than the Flash.... just only my 650B wheels were missing... 26" for kids!)
Ok, I was back in the race again and tried to work down the lost time. Couple of laps later I was catching up with the front again. Martin gave me the dry reality after 8 hours....I was on the first place! I still felt good, but I started to have some problem with my stomach and I couldn't drink and eat enough. Thanks God, we got this problem fixed quickly and when I was taking my lights on , I had nearly 20 minutes lead front of the second one. Now I just had to make sure, I keep the gap and do not brake my bike.
In the meantime Martin fixed my Flash... (honestly, I don't wanna know how) and he tried to get me back on, but I told NO in every lap.... he couldn't understand why I was shouting in each lap, okok, but I can seat on the Scalpel.... he thought I had some serious sunburn and dehydrating...mind loose...
But I only wanted to say , I am ok with a Scalpel and much comfier than Flash!
Anyway! I managed to ride 18 laps and won the race. It was an awesome experience! My first 12 hours winning! I held up until the prize giving, but after I was in the car, my body totally went to ground zero.
Other very well organised event! What can I say?! See you next year! ;)
Time: 11 hours 40 minutes
I don't really wanna talk about the next day.... but I think we drank a half brewery dry with Adel and Jay. But I take the recovery seriously and I also had couple of GoodHemp shake, CompresSport stuff on my legs and a good session from Martin @ SuppleWorX!
I had nice time during the last few weeks. Good to see, the hard work pays off! Now I am looking forward to next Saturday Bristol bike fest 12 hour! It is going to be an awesome one! Couple of good guy in the field and looking forward to catch up with other riders!