I raced yesterday at an XC race in the beautiful piney-woods of East Texas.
The course was extremely flowy and fast. I consider myself a solid Cat II racer here in Texas. I haven't raced in this series in nearly a whole year, so I was happy to get back into it.
For anyone needing a great shop near Houston, by the way, take a look into Lake Conroe Cycling. I've worked with the owner for years and he runs a fantastic shop.
The race was in Coldsprings, TX at the Double Lake Recreation area. I raced on this guy.
Santa Cruz Blur XCc with 650b Stans Crest on American Classic hubs and DT Swiss Champion spokes, 32 spoke. Racing Ralph up front and a Crossmark in the rear.
The race, like I said, was extremely fast. It was 25 miles of flowing singletrack (two 12.5 mile loops), somewhat loose in some areas with sand or tiny gravel, but the tire combination was excellent. I had no trouble with traction until the sand pits.
It was a very fast start, 150 yards on pavement to the start of the singletrack. A 90 degree left handed turn threw you into the singletrack. Tires buzzed one another as we all battled for position.
I was stuck behind slower racers during the first part of the first lap, but I was able to pull away. My second lap was faster by about five minutes.
My time was 1:47:30, with an average speed of around 14 mph. The bike was flawless, but my legs weren't as strong as I would have liked them to be on the short fireroad sections. I came in 6th in my age division. To put my time in perspective, I would have been 9th in the Cat 1 category. And I would have been last in the Pro category! Their times were all consistently 1:35:20ish.
The race saw mostly 29ers with a few 26ers mixed in. I was the only 650b.
My buddies in the picture were on pretty different bikes. The Ironman athlete on the hardtail 26", and the shop owner on the full suspension 29er. They both raced the Cat 3, 12.5 mile race. Oddly enough, the ironman came in before the 29er...
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Thread: 650b Race Report: Blur XCc