In some way this is my favorite XC Marathon race. It got great atmosphere, many friends, awesome climbs and some beautiful flowy trails. Went down to Skövde yesterday with my teammate John and Mattias to stay at my sister 🙂 1st class.
Not even 5min riding to the start this morning which was perfect but maybe not the warm-up you needed 😉
It all started with a asphaltclimb that went into the forest halfway and I tried to take it a bit easy. Here was also the first time I noticed my easiest gear 34-36 wasn’t working at all. 34-32 as easiest for the rest. Felt good in the beginning except I didn’t have to power on the flat gravelsections or the gearing. Tried to hang on some groups but dropped a bit, got back up when it was going uphill 😉
The trails in Öglunda was amazing and my bike felt really good. The Fox fork works like a dream and I really like the geometry of my bike (and weight). The gravelclimb up after Öglunda went really good with a good flow 🙂
Up on Billingen I got a new bottle from my sister and then it came a really long singletrack part, was a bit hard on my hardtail. Down on the other side on some gravelroads and some great green singletrack felt nice.
Then the longest part, the singletrack section including some crocodiletracks :p which takes a lot of energy without any rest. Started to feel my back and after 57km it started to hurt. Was riding slow (according to a friend I rode with for a while) and a lot of stretching so dropped from some groups.
Finally the end came, 2 climbs which went much better than I hoped for with my back. 8kg bike makes difference and on the first climb I rode with 34-28 gearing and it felt great passing a couple of riders too. A bit singletrack down and some asphalt before the last climb, Strupen. Knew how it was but didn’t remember it got steeper and steeper. 34-32 in the end and standing up trying to have grip and passed some more riders.
It all ended in a small spring with me and a guy riding in a different class so I let him win 😉
Finished 34th in my category and 127th overall. 3h31min so 19min better than my earlier record 😀 Really tired but satisfied.
Here you can see who’s the fastest :p
And Mattias who never been riding so far rode 5min faster than me:
Like Benny Andersson said, a hardtail wasn’t perfect for the course. But I couldn’t have asked for more fun on my Specialized Epic HT, really nice with a SWATbox too so I didn’t have to carry a spare tube and pump in my jersey:
Always improvements to make but as this bike is what I want to have I have to make the improvements on my body instead 😉
Map and stats: Strava
Emil Lindgren and Jennie Stenerhag won!