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Thread: Nationals

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    Nationals


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    East coast rocky singletrack - the pro course will likely be approx 3.5 mile laps. You can come race the same course as nationals on 6/2. If you are fairly local that should give you a big advantage over those who've never ridden the place. It is probably on the more challenging side of many XC races.

    -matt

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    I'm planning on it. Just noticed that the Women's SS and Women's pro race are within hours of each other... OOF
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    Here's a link to the course maps Bear Creek USAC Nationals 2013 Course Maps

    Most of the second half of the course, from about mile 3.5 to mile 7 or so, is the most technical part of the course.

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    Thanks! I am racing SS and it will be 6hr drive. Was just wondering what kind of terrain I should be working on. Do really well at technical races, looks to be right in my zone.

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    I'm coming out from Wyoming to race in the Cat 3 race (hey, we wanted to take a little road trip, what can I say?). I'm use to rocky technical, but not too familiarized with roots since it's really not what you find out here. It'll definitely be an experience! I'm just happy I train at 7000-9000 feet so my lungs should be well conditioned for the "sea level" type of elevation Nationals will be at! ("Sea level" to me like is anything under 3000 feet, haha!)

    Anybody have any idea what kind of miles the amateur racers are looking at? Looks like a lap is 7.5 miles, but surely we'll have to do more than one, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Anybody have any idea what kind of miles the amateur racers are looking at? Looks like a lap is 7.5 miles, but surely we'll have to do more than one, right?
    Cat 3 is doing 1 lap, Cat 2 is doing 2 laps, and Cat 1 is doing 3 laps.

    At the last Bear Creek race from August 2012, the laps were 6.1 miles according to my gps.
    Last edited by Mucker; 05-14-2013 at 06:19 PM. Reason: wrong info see new post

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    Here's a video that shows what the trails are like. Bear Creek - Sep 2010 - YouTube

    The singletrack in the first 30s is the first section of singletrack in the race loop. The singletrack in the rest of the video includes sections that were done in past races and are typical of most of the trails that are in the second half of the race.

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    Oh boy, maybe I should upgrade my license... one lap just doesn't seem long enough to me (I've been doing 20+ mile unsanctioned races this spring for training for a 70 mile race in July, so I've become mileage greedy). I dunno if I wanna be Cat 2 already, though... ughhhh. But I want more miles! But the time does seem rather slow going (I'm Cat 3 30-39 women, so if that was men I expect even slower times in my class). Excuse my rambling, haha. I'm pretty darn excited for nationals!

    Thanks for the info and video, should definitely help since I've never MTB'd on the east coast before, and will be doing this very much blind. I will be there early enough for the practice time on the Wednesday before, luckily. Like I said, this is mostly for the epic road trip (and perhaps a podium spot if I'm darn lucky!)... can't wait to hit up NJ for some trails, and random places along I-80 on the trip out there and back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Oh boy, maybe I should upgrade my license... one lap just doesn't seem long enough to me (I've been doing 20+ mile unsanctioned races this spring for training for a 70 mile race in July, so I've become mileage greedy). I dunno if I wanna be Cat 2 already, though... ughhhh. But I want more miles! But the time does seem rather slow going (I'm Cat 3 30-39 women, so if that was men I expect even slower times in my class). Excuse my rambling, haha. I'm pretty darn excited for nationals!

    Thanks for the info and video, should definitely help since I've never MTB'd on the east coast before, and will be doing this very much blind. I will be there early enough for the practice time on the Wednesday before, luckily. Like I said, this is mostly for the epic road trip (and perhaps a podium spot if I'm darn lucky!)... can't wait to hit up NJ for some trails, and random places along I-80 on the trip out there and back!
    I gave the wrong times in my last post. I was looking at the cat 2 20-29 age group.

    Cat 3 16-29 males best time was just about 50 mins. Cat 3 under 40 female was 1:04. Here's a link to the results Mid Atlantic Timing

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    Is there strava times or segments out there for the pro courses? Need to take a look at some of the sections if anyone has any idea on the length of the climbs, etc.
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    Re: Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    ... can't wait to hit up NJ for some trails, and random places along I-80 on the trip out there and back!
    Might be worth your while to check out the trails in the quad cities on your trip. Three fun trail systems within 10 minutes of I-80 at the Iowa/Illinois border!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mucker View Post
    I gave the wrong times in my last post. I was looking at the cat 2 20-29 age group.

    Cat 3 16-29 males best time was just about 50 mins. Cat 3 under 40 female was 1:04. Here's a link to the results Mid Atlantic Timing
    Haha ok, that sounds a bit better. I was thinking it must be some horrible trails if one lap took 1.5 hours!

    Kind of weird the inconsistencies in course lengths... I heard last year at Nationals in Sun Valley the amateur course was over 15 miles (and the finish times seem to mimic those distances in Cat 3).

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    I haven't seen any segments of the official pro course yet. There are some of the amatuer course though.

    -matt

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    I raced there a few years ago and from what I remember and like another poster mentioned, the second half of the course is the more technical part, I remember a lot of rocks!

    One of the earlier climbs can get super muddy and slippery even of it hasn't rained in a day or two.

    I can't wait to come back home and race this course!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Oh boy, maybe I should upgrade my license... one lap just doesn't seem long enough to me (I've been doing 20+ mile unsanctioned races this spring for training for a 70 mile race in July, so I've become mileage greedy). I dunno if I wanna be Cat 2 already, though... ughhhh.
    Just my opinion. If you are doing a 70 mile race and already doing 20+ mile races there is no way you should be racing with Cat 3 beginners. Last year was my first year racing, I raced Cat 3 and won my race series. So I'm upgrading to Cat 2 even though I'm going to get crushed. I've never ridden more than 40 miles on my road bike and have never done more than 20 miles on the mtb. Just my opinion but your obviously riding and training quite a bit. However, maybe in your area the Cat 3 riders are all experienced riders who train all the time. If so, my apologies.
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    Yall think big tires are the way to go here?

    Like Maxxis Ardent big?

    Still waiting for a high volume, fast rolling, low profile, race tire....
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    Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Yall think big tires are the way to go here?

    Like Maxxis Ardent big?

    Still waiting for a high volume, fast rolling, low profile, race tire....
    That would be a Conti Race King 2.2
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    Most people who race there are probably on 2.1 or 2.2's generally. Something with some sidewall durability as there are semi-sharp rocks. Know of a few guys running non-snakeskinned schwalbes that cut sidewalls. I've gotten lucky running lighter weight tires in the past, but usually opt for something all around (decent sidewall protection, decently grippy, decently fast-rolling). I think I was on (29") 2.2 X-King front, and a 2.1 Crossmark or 2.2 Race King rear last year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    That would be a Conti Race King 2.2
    Love that tire. Would love to ride a 2.35 or 2.4 (actual) version.
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    Thanks Ski Bum. Race kings 2.2 protection may be the ticket. Ill pack all my tires though and swap if need be.
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    Anything with side wall protection would be best. Racing Ralph Snakeskin seem to be a popular choice at most races.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    Just my opinion. If you are doing a 70 mile race and already doing 20+ mile races there is no way you should be racing with Cat 3 beginners. Last year was my first year racing, I raced Cat 3 and won my race series. So I'm upgrading to Cat 2 even though I'm going to get crushed. I've never ridden more than 40 miles on my road bike and have never done more than 20 miles on the mtb. Just my opinion but your obviously riding and training quite a bit. However, maybe in your area the Cat 3 riders are all experienced riders who train all the time. If so, my apologies.
    I've only been riding a bike for exactly one year and one day, so still quite the noob! Cat 3 in the Colorado area is a bunch of sandbaggers... think pro marathon sponsored riders who strangely show up to do 10 mile Cat 3 races. So I get my butt handed to me a lot, haha. I started doing longer distances in one of our bigger XC/endurance race series because nobody shows up to race the beginner/shorter distance races, and I got sick of super easy wins. I've learned the sandbagging is worse in USAC races, so I do the worse in those.... I do have one more USAC race in June before Nationals, and might play it by ear and see how that goes and then considering upgrading before Nationals. The biggest thing I struggle with is that Cat 3 doesn't mean beginner to a bike, it means beginner to racing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I've only been riding a bike for exactly one year and one day, so still quite the noob! Cat 3 in the Colorado area is a bunch of sandbaggers... think pro marathon sponsored riders who strangely show up to do 10 mile Cat 3 races. So I get my butt handed to me a lot, haha. I started doing longer distances in one of our bigger XC/endurance race series because nobody shows up to race the beginner/shorter distance races, and I got sick of super easy wins. I've learned the sandbagging is worse in USAC races, so I do the worse in those.... I do have one more USAC race in June before Nationals, and might play it by ear and see how that goes and then considering upgrading before Nationals. The biggest thing I struggle with is that Cat 3 doesn't mean beginner to a bike, it means beginner to racing...
    I'm kind of in the same boat as you too. Except in my area there isn't a huge amount of racers in Cat 3 and it's filled literally with weekend warriors, people just getting into racing and wanting to get their feet wet first. Which it should be. I'm moving up to Cat 2 this year and will run into the same problem you are at Cat 3. Big sandbagging.

    Sorry if my post came off the wrong way. I can imagine that Cat 3 in colorado is more like Cat 2 in my area. There is a guy signed up for the first series race in June in my Cat 2 group who at the Tour of Battenkill (road race) beat my buddy by over 12 mins and my buddy races Cat 1 mtb. I raced with this same guy at an "open" (no categories) race last month and he won the whole race and beat me by 40 mins. So I know I'm going to get crushed. I'm just hoping to finish mid-pack.

    Good luck this year. A friend of mine did race Bear Creek last year and said the rocks, if your not used to them in your normal riding, really will beat you up.
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    I raced there last year with either a small block or an Ikon. I can't remember exactly. They hooked up great on the rocks. I did not notice much loose, mostly big awesome rocks. Very cool descent! .... Either way, I skewered a large nail 1/2 mile from the bottom and ended up walking out. So I would vote for large volume, low rolling resistance and puncture protection.

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