Fun at the Fort – 03/25/2023 –Felix Bloemraad

I was initially a bit worried about this race, because it was raining a lot beforehand and I was afraid that the course would be muddy. Thankfully, however, both Friday and Saturday were beautiful, and the course conditions were actually really good. There were some spots that were a bit sandy, but in general it was in great condition.

The course itself was a lot of fun, but after the pre-ride I was a bit nervous about my race. I hadn’t gone to the Exchequer race, so I didn’t have a call-up, meaning I would be starting in the very back. With over seventy people in JV Boys D1, I wasn’t super happy about my chances of passing all those people; even more so after I saw that the start of the course was a lot of singletrack.

Indeed, the start of my actual race was rough. I didn’t get a terrible position in the general staging, but it wasn’t great either. Then, there was a big pileup on the start; I don’t think anybody actually fell, but we all had to get off our bikes and I had to run up the entire starting hill. Since I had to run, I entered the singletrack late, but I still managed to pass a lot of people early on. In general, I was pretty happy with my first lap – I was passing people fairly often, and I was feeling good.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go so great on the second lap. Very early on, I got a massive cramp in my thigh, and nearly fell on one of the turns. The cramp didn’t go away, and it was hard to keep up my speed during the second lap, especially on the uphills. Soon enough, I got passed by a few people who I had passed earlier, which is never a great feeling.

In the end, I finished 46th out of 74, which isn’t bad but not as good as I would have liked. I still liked the race (at least the first lap), and I’m excited for the next one at Six Sigma.