GP Mistral CX Race - Saitama 02-17-2013

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#2
Starting list is up for all races and they will be using the "Long" course with 3 sets of chicanes just to mix it up a bit.

Im starting in 23rd position - which will feel strange as I've started at the back for every AJOCC race this season so my results over the past 2 months have finally paid off.

My plan is for a top 10 finish to get more points and move further up the grid for the final Tohoku CX Project race of the season and go for a win if possible and be on the front line for the 2013-14 season.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#3
Is this the location? 36.05398, 139.46783 Maybe I'll swing by.

Starting list is up for all races and they will be using the "Long" course with 3 sets of chicanes just to mix it up a bit.

Im starting in 23rd position - which will feel strange as I've started at the back for every AJOCC race this season so my results over the past 2 months have finally paid off.

My plan is for a top 10 finish to get more points and move further up the grid for the final Tohoku CX Project race of the season and go for a win if possible and be on the front line for the 2013-14 season.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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538
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#11
Last week it was sand - this week it was DEEP stick mud!

Started on the grid smack bang in the middle at 30th, front row was the usual suspects from the Pro's and the top ranking CX riders in Japan.

The course as par with GP Mistral was fast and technical with lots of windy single track that reduced the amount of areas you could pass. Again it's running where I have the advantage and I was clearing the mud sections on foot so quick it enabled me to jump several groups each lap.

I got caught in one group that lost contact with the faster riders ahead and was getting boxed in or had the door slammed in the corners, as I came through the first mud section I passed opn the inside and received a heft shove from the rider...... THATS MORE LIKE IT!

Using the bike on my right to my advantage I leaned in to it and he had to relent as my cranks passed his head so I got through - the other rider had the outside line and cut me off as we remounted - nice riding mate.

We went toe to toe down one of the grass sections and again he had the perfect line in to the corner, however this was the long mud section and my long legs made easy work of it.

The tape marking the course had come loose and narrowed the course to a single line, however you could see the foot prints from the previous races so I passed him following these footsteps - he knew the tape was loose yet he complained I had passed him out of bounds .....jog on mate.

Out of the mud there was another Chicane (Barrier) set at the max limit of 40cm and with all the mud clinging to my feet it was almost impossible to lift your legs over. Clearing these I went on the attack down the wide gravel fire road that lead us back to the start. My recovery times have improved dramatically since taking up CX training so I was redlining my heart rate wwithin 5 seconds of the running section and putting some distance between us.

On the backside of the course I got caught behind one rider coming out of the pits and rather than keeping in lane he pulled straight in to the middle of the course where I collided with him, he didn't even try to untaggle himself from me so a hefty shove and I was free again however the 3 riders I had passed earlier now passed me again - Insert very loud and very vulgar profanity here.

Again we were battling it out and as we passed through the finish line the bell was tolling - Time to redline it. On the attack I was slowly putting space between me and the rest, only one was on my wheel and he wasn't letting go.

Again he passed me with some exceptional riding on the technical single track and in to the first mud section and we left the mud with him slightly in the lead after the remount. Now this is where racing crits helps, the section played to this and I launched a long power sprint in 46-11, sliding the back wheel on the corner as I fast approached the long mud section that we all had to run. I had about 5 meters on him and I knew if I could keep that then redline it through the running section he would give up on the chase.

Dismounting just as the front wheel touched the squishy stuff I had the bike over my shoulder and I was hurtling down the narrow gully - Nothing graceful about my style, with shoes carrying what felt like 20kg of mud and the slick stuff giving way oon the embankments I was surprised I managed to stay upright let alone catch the group ahead of us.

Digging deep I launched yet another sprint down the gravel fire road with my lungs busting and only just making it through the 90 degree bend wwithout hitting ther barrier and a photographer - In to the grass I passed another and had a couple of seconds to reccover through the hairpin before sprinting again through the wide section of short grass and the final chicane. Making sure I didn't mess it up I cleared the section and with my head down sprinted for the line.

I knew I was around 25th on the final lap as a kind fellow was calling out our postitions as we passed the pits. However I was delighted to find that I had actually rolled through in 19th position. What was more pleasing is that I had passed some of the top placed riders which means there will be a serious shake up in the grid start for the final race of the AJOCC series!

My shoes after I had scraped off must of the crud so I could get them off!

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fimg26.imageshack.us%2Fimg26%2F3410%2F15643110151357737019247.jpg&hash=2e6cc2768caa4a3fd18c9bd8b60338ab
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#12
Big Up to Owen who actually came up to watch the racing although I don't think it could have been much fun for him sitting around in the cold, especailly after working up a sweat in that nasty headwind!

Many thanks for cheering me on Owen and also calling out the split - I got caught up in a crash and a slow group in the single track on lap 1 and 2 and by that time they were gone!
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#13
Last week it was sand - this week it was DEEP stick mud!

Started on the grid smack bang in the middle at 30th, front row was the usual suspects from the Pro's and the top ranking CX riders in Japan.

The course as par with GP Mistral was fast and technical with lots of windy single track that reduced the amount of areas you could pass. Again it's running where I have the advantage and I was clearing the mud sections on foot so quick it enabled me to jump several groups each lap.

I got caught in one group that lost contact with the faster riders ahead and was getting boxed in or had the door slammed in the corners, as I came through the first mud section I passed opn the inside and received a heft shove from the rider...... THATS MORE LIKE IT!

Using the bike on my right to my advantage I leaned in to it and he had to relent as my cranks passed his head so I got through - the other rider had the outside line and cut me off as we remounted - nice riding mate.

We went toe to toe down one of the grass sections and again he had the perfect line in to the corner, however this was the long mud section and my long legs made easy work of it.

The tape marking the course had come loose and narrowed the course to a single line, however you could see the foot prints from the previous races so I passed him following these footsteps - he knew the tape was loose yet he complained I had passed him out of bounds .....jog on mate.

Out of the mud there was another Chicane (Barrier) set at the max limit of 40cm and with all the mud clinging to my feet it was almost impossible to lift your legs over. Clearing these I went on the attack down the wide gravel fire road that lead us back to the start. My recovery times have improved dramatically since taking up CX training so I was redlining my heart rate wwithin 5 seconds of the running section and putting some distance between us.

On the backside of the course I got caught behind one rider coming out of the pits and rather than keeping in lane he pulled straight in to the middle of the course where I collided with him, he didn't even try to untaggle himself from me so a hefty shove and I was free again however the 3 riders I had passed earlier now passed me again - Insert very loud and very vulgar profanity here.

Again we were battling it out and as we passed through the finish line the bell was tolling - Time to redline it. On the attack I was slowly putting space between me and the rest, only one was on my wheel and he wasn't letting go.

Again he passed me with some exceptional riding on the technical single track and in to the first mud section and we left the mud with him slightly in the lead after the remount. Now this is where racing crits helps, the section played to this and I launched a long power sprint in 46-11, sliding the back wheel on the corner as I fast approached the long mud section that we all had to run. I had about 5 meters on him and I knew if I could keep that then redline it through the running section he would give up on the chase.

Dismounting just as the front wheel touched the squishy stuff I had the bike over my shoulder and I was hurtling down the narrow gully - Nothing graceful about my style, with shoes carrying what felt like 20kg of mud and the slick stuff giving way oon the embankments I was surprised I managed to stay upright let alone catch the group ahead of us.

Digging deep I launched yet another sprint down the gravel fire road with my lungs busting and only just making it through the 90 degree bend wwithout hitting ther barrier and a photographer - In to the grass I passed another and had a couple of seconds to reccover through the hairpin before sprinting again through the wide section of short grass and the final chicane. Making sure I didn't mess it up I cleared the section and with my head down sprinted for the line.

I knew I was around 25th on the final lap as a kind fellow was calling out our postitions as we passed the pits. However I was delighted to find that I had actually rolled through in 19th position. What was more pleasing is that I had passed some of the top placed riders which means there will be a serious shake up in the grid start for the final race of the AJOCC series!

My shoes after I had scraped off must of the crud so I could get them off!

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fimg26.imageshack.us%2Fimg26%2F3410%2F15643110151357737019247.jpg&hash=2e6cc2768caa4a3fd18c9bd8b60338ab

Great read, thanks for taking the time!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#14
Great write up! I had a late start up the river and unfortunately missed the start. One of our dealers had a few (7) riders there and I was 'keeping shop' at their store until they returned. Pretty sticky mud for sure! (helped them clean some rigs) I was surprised, though, to see them clod with narrow rims! We'll have to change that! I heard that you placed, what 19th or so? Obviously a few of the 'spotters' are watching! Good on you!
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#15
Being able to jump 11 place in a Pro Elite race is pretty good especailly when you pass rider #1 and #6 in the AJOCC, although as you know 70% skill and power 30% luck with any off road racing.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
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#16
Great write up James. Looking forward to the Sndai race when you start even higher up the pack. BTW what frame set are the CS bikes? I see some CS teams have Cannondale.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#17
Mine is actually custom made for me, along with our CS team road bikes and are made by a famous Asian based frame builder.

The other guys on Cannondale would be the Pro Cannondale Factory team here in Japan. Yammamoto-san who won yesterday is actually a top CX Mtb rider and watching him clear the barriers and chicanes is poetry.

For me however things may change up a bit with bikes as I will basically need 3 complete bikes for the UCI and AJOCC series and I'm currently in talks and open to riding other brands as I need to start saving up for UCI races in APAC.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#18
Big Up to Owen who actually came up to watch the racing although I don't think it could have been much fun for him sitting around in the cold, especailly after working up a sweat in that nasty headwind!

Many thanks for cheering me on Owen and also calling out the split - I got caught up in a crash and a slow group in the single track on lap 1 and 2 and by that time they were gone!
Ah nice one. Yeah, was good to see you! The racing was looking sweet.

I watched for a few laps, then decided to call it a day; was fearful of frostbite!

Riding back was very swift indeed, with the wind behind me. The ride up to see the race was pretty brutal as I did it solo with no drafting to protect me from the wind. But yeah, not a bad work out.

Nice work on the race and all that. You being a bit behind the leading pack makes sense now you explain the crash; the front group were fast for sure, but the people who came a bit later were no less speedy looking, so I did wonder what the deal was.