Race zao CX

andywood

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I'll race the Zao cyclocross on January 19th.

I heard it was really technical. But looking at this video from last year, there are lots of places to put the power down.



This guy does a great ride, I like how you can study his braking too.

However it looks like a vintage machine. And when you look at the video from 2017, which was run on snow and in crazy winds, he has a much harder time of it.


After a couple of days off I'm raring to get back into training for this one.

Anyone else fancy it?!

Cheers, Andy
 

Elzico2012

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I have just finished to watch the Namur World Cup race held last Sunday. One of the best CX circuit. It was a brutal day of racing , harsh conditions and an exciting race not seen for a while. Have to watch the women’s race now.
Anyway, .it might inspire you
 
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andywood

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Thanks a lot. I will check it.

I'm thinking of doing this one too which is actually before Zao, in Chiba on January 5th.


It's similar to my debut at Toyama with a windy forest section and some running on the beach.

Close to Tokyo if anyone wants to try it? Entry open until December 29th...

Andy
 

GrantT

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Chiba is pretty good if you get the chance. The grass section flows well compared to most other courses so good for roadies, though there may not be much sand left to run on the beach right now based on a recent tweet from the organizers:

It's always the place I've done best at so I'll be there for sure.
Another recent tweet below about a new race for this season:

Somehow they got permission to set up on a golf course and the guy designing the course is Yu Takenouchi, who spent the last few seasons riding the World Cup in Europe. It promises to be a more grand-scale Belgian race than the typical Japanese race with lots of small momentum-destroying corners.
 

andywood

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Chiba is pretty good if you get the chance. The grass section flows well compared to most other courses so good for roadies, though there may not be much sand left to run on the beach right now based on a recent tweet from the organizers:

It's always the place I've done best at so I'll be there for sure.
Another recent tweet below about a new race for this season:

Somehow they got permission to set up on a golf course and the guy designing the course is Yu Takenouchi, who spent the last few seasons riding the World Cup in Europe. It promises to be a more grand-scale Belgian race than the typical Japanese race with lots of small momentum-destroying corners.
Signed up for Chiba in a drunken haze last night!

Hopefully we can do the course reccy together and you can show me the ropes.

I saw the golf course one. A bit far. 5 or 6 hours compared to the industry standard of 4😅

I'm thinking

Jan 5 Chiba
 

andywood

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Jan 19 Zao
Feb 23 Ibaraki, maybe
Mar 1 Fukushima

Of these, Fukushima is definitely my best suited course.


This is the Zao guy again. He's strong but loses to the pink guy no.21 just because he is weaker on the 3 short off the bike sections. I reckon I could probably do a good ride here.

All the guys here are going to Inagi on February 11th. Did you see that course? Like a video game. Fantastically bonkers!


Luckily, I mean unfortunately, I have the kids' piano recital on that day😅

Andy
 

GrantT

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@andywood
The last video looks like it is from Ibaraki CX at Fureai no Sato. Definitely has the signature difficulty level of the Ibaraki CX series.
Inagi is totally flat and difficult to pass on but close to lots of cyclists so has a good atmosphere.
Something to look forward to for next season might be CX Tokyo that is on hiatus while the Olympics come. It's held in Odaiba, includes a 400 metre beach ride/run (mostly run) section, and last time got the biggest non-CX crowds of any CX event.
 

andywood

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@andywood
The last video looks like it is from Ibaraki CX at Fureai no Sato. Definitely has the signature difficulty level of the Ibaraki CX series.
Inagi is totally flat and difficult to pass on but close to lots of cyclists so has a good atmosphere.
Something to look forward to for next season might be CX Tokyo that is on hiatus while the Olympics come. It's held in Odaiba, includes a 400 metre beach ride/run (mostly run) section, and last time got the biggest non-CX crowds of any CX event.
Yes, your right. I got them mixed up. The guys here were oohing and ahhing about Inagi because the competitive level is so high.

Just spent a valuable hour watching this from last week. The level these guys are at is just amazing. If you're short for time, the last lap is amazing Rockyesque.


I've heard lots of good things about the Odaiba one. It links up with Cyclemode? Would be good to try it for sure!

Cheers, Andy
 
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GrantT

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The Cycle Mode linked race is Makuhari Cross (called Starlight Cross last season). The Odaiba one is called CX Tokyo (link) and a separate event. Both are usually part of the JCX series with riders often invited from overseas. J-Pow of GCN fame won CX Tokyo in 2017.
Saw that CX race as well. Hugely epic stuff.
 
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andywood

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The Cycle Mode linked race is Makuhari Cross (called Starlight Cross last season). The Odaiba one is called CX Tokyo (link) and a separate event. Both are usually part of the JCX series with riders often invited from overseas. J-Pow of GCN fame won CX Tokyo in 2017.
Saw that CX race as well. Hugely epic stuff.
Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like CX Tokyo isn't on this year after a quick look at the AJOCC site?

I may do the second round at Chiba on February 16 but it seems it is still to be confirmed.

Hope to see you on sunny Sunday!

Andy
 
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GrantT

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Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like CX Tokyo isn't on this year after a quick look at the AJOCC site?

I may do the second round at Chiba on February 16 but it seems it is still to be confirmed.
CX Tokyo had to cacel this year because of construction for the Olympics. Will be back next season though.
As for Chiba, the second round of Chiba was going to be at a new location but the organisers just recently announced negotiations fell through. Looks like only one round for Chiba this season. Bit of a shame but these things happen.
Entry list is up btw! http://www.496chiba.com/
 
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andywood

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Zao cyclocross today.

A baptism of fire!

The usual blog race report link and cut and paste below.

Cheers, Andy


zao CX race report

zao cyclocross today
5 niigata warriors went to battle!

・before

a few beers in the hotel
talk of the course makes me nervous
but fortune favors the brave...

・course

I was told it was technical

but it was much much harder than I had imagined

the baseball field
the meadow
are straightforward enough

but the technical section is unbelievable!

steep climbs
diagonal cambers
steep descents

・course check

we have 45 minutes

Noguchi san guides me through the course

for the technical sections
he gives me lots of advice

but I just can't clear too many sections

"why am I here?"

I think about giving in
but he urges me to race

apparently there are riders with less skill than me!

・course condition

sunshine and blue skies
frozen ground
a good course for a figure skater
not a TT speed skater!

・aims

I can't win here
so it's a case of riding the course
gaining experience
and trying to enjoy it!

・start line

bib no. 40
last line on the grid
in cyclocross the start burst is so important
but my heart isn't in it

・3,2,1 GO!

the asphalt straight
I get blocked in
but I don't really care
sit on the back

the baseball field
frozen sand
no chance to move up

"fume fume!"
pedal pedal
Noguchi san urges

the first easy bank
someone crashes
walking pace

my position couldn't be worse!

follow the wheels for the first lap
so many crashes it's crazy!

get tangled in one at the bottom of the steep drop off

・lap 2

I can make up places on the power sections
but get caught on the technical sections

I decide to get off and run the camber
fast along the bottom
but on the frozen climb
it's like bambi on ice!
big bambi!

・lap 3

catch up to Tanaka san which gives me motivation

he's been held up by a crash
I pass him on the meadow
he passes me on the technical sections

the highlight is me over the handlebars on a descent!

like a rolling stone!

・goal

I chase back on

like two soldiers returning from the war

6th and 7th place for our efforts

・after

I've never felt so out of my depth in a bike race

which is a good thing!

・next race

fukushima on march 1st
the last CX
race of the season
a power course
I'm gonna win it!

maybe!

Noguchi san!
thank you for all the support!
I'll repay you soon!
 
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