Race Hitachinaka Enduro 2016 (Sun May 24th)

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,620
1,199
143
Setagaya
#1
Putting this thread up because @Tuomas and myself are entering, and there are a couple of days before the entry deadline (May 10th) in case someone else wants to join.
Tuomas has entered the 5 hr King of Enduro category and I've entered the 3 hr plebian Enduro category.
I'll be getting a train up the day before and staying over in a minshuku nearby.
Race link: http://www.bikenavi.net/04Hitachinaka2015/index.html
 
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GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,620
1,199
143
Setagaya
#2
On the train back after finishing this race.
Foggy in the morning but it cleared up for some fairly perfect conditions. Like Heath said in his report past year, the course is a test track for cars so it's nice and wide and in good condition, though has very few runoff areas with motorway barriers along many of the bends. Fairly technical too, with some tight bends that took me a while to really get used to, and a few 180 degree turns thrown in for fun.

Not really any hazards other than those motorway barriers, and the sign put out to show team competitors where the pits were. The sign was placed on the side of the road in almost the fastest part of the course and, it was bound to happen, but someone swerving to miss it caused a huge and by the sounds of it expensive crash. The other crash i saw was someone sliding out on a tight turn, causing someone behind them to smack into the barrier. Scary stuff.

I had one dodgy moment, almost hit a stationary cone :innocent:, but otherwise people were generally much more experienced bike handlers than at the Kawasaki Enduro i did last year - with only one guy doing it on a mamachari.



So, no win then. I was in a 4-man break for about an hour, but the most we got on the peloton of 100 and by the end about 50 guys was a few hundred metres. Could have done better though, even in the sprint. First, like a wally i changed my chain and didn't check it before leaving for the race. Putting my bike together i found my cassette was pretty angry with me for taking away his best mate, and wouldn't play at all nice with his new companion. He at least let me use the top 5 gears, but anything below that and the chain skipped like a 5-year-old at playtime. So, repeatedly sprinting out of 180 degree turns with 50/16 and above was not great on the legs.

Not a total disaster though. The disaster was on the last lap, when i went to get to the front before a crucial turn, but a guy who had done a cheeky surge and cooked his legs went backwards into my route to the front, just as everyone was gearing up. Instead of taking 15 places i lost about 20 before the turn, which turned into 15th 5 seconds back, rather than a top 10 zero seconds back.

Anyway, @Tuomas is doing his 5-hour enduro too, and got round the first 3 hours safely at least, though the technical course seems to have been a big step up from the Saico race he won.

Good fun all in all, especially riding in that break. I didn't quite have the legs of @Heath to build it into a 2/3 lap lead though.

Btw Heath, the winner's cup had ribbons with your name on them. I think they really miss you :)
 
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