The French open umbrellas to wish good luck upon the riders - It's not actually raining.
Saturday: 20 degrees and sunny.
Sunday: Not Sun Day. Moist.
Getting the car stuck in the grass/mud while trying to get parked may have been a good example of foreshadowing. Note to self - Rear wheel drive with low rolling resistance tires is not the ideal setup for soggy grass.
Not sure if this was the muddiest race that I've ever done, but it's definitely the longest muddy one. Didn't take long to make sure my jersey wasn't transparent - a group of guys, 135 strong, riding though 5km of muddy puddles will do that.
The next 80km would include:
- Lots of rideable sections
- Numerous opportunities to drag/carry a bike.
- Awesome (and foggy) panoramic views
- Awesome (and foggy) panoramic views followed by 3km sloppy slip-and-slides
- Hoping that my brake pads would last to the end of at least the next descent (They survived the race. A miracle! Someone make sure the Shimano brake pad engineer is on the holiday card list).
- Chances for other racers to accidentally step on my rear derailleur
- Making time to entertain feed zone volunteers by allowing one of them to shove multiple cubes of cake into my mouth while I fiddled with bike
I was anticipating a chilly day on the bike, but it was actually quite comfortable on course. This made it easier to focus on the arduous running sections, and the surfing action on the descents.
I tried to minimize the damage of mechanical issues, but their cumulative direct (time spent course-side, reduced riding efficiency, etc) and indirect (temporary demoralization) effects were likely significant. I rarely have mechanical problems that drastically affect the outcome of races, so it's especially disappointing that it happened at a world championship. Looks like it was a tough day for a few people though: 135 starters. 91 finishers. ~33% DNF.
Smiles were plentiful in the parking area post-race. The impromtu tractor pull / car-extraction-by-ATV was a hit.
I'm currently making my way south and will be posting less about mud (hopefully), and more about beaches. Next race is the Roc d'Azur marathon on Friday.
|Finishing the first 84km lap|
|Exfoliation is an important part of skin care for both your face and body|
|Always wipe excess chainlube after application, or this is the result|