Saturday, July 4, 2015

RACE REPORT: Lidingöloppet MTB

We returned to Lidingöloppet MTB one year on from our first attempt. In 2014 the race was spiced up a little with David experiencing a lot of cramp in the late stages and Jon's bike experiencing 'one or two' technical challenges which left him cycling almost half the race with a converted 1-speed MTB! Nonetheless it was a fantastic experience and we vowed to return and have a 'better go at it'.
That we did!
The weather was "chilly & changeable" or a "typically Swedish spring day" and we set off 1 start group apart separated by 5 mins.

The course uses a lot of the Lidingöloppet running tracks and takes in several of the famous 'hills', Aborrbacken & Grönstabacken being two notable leg sappers. The distinct characteristics of the Lidingö nature are short and steep slopes providing you with a fantastic experience of the nature and a lot of speed. The race offers various physical challenges with some great views and several chances to enjoy the views of the Baltic Sea. The majority of the trails consist of a hard packed jogging track, but with elements of single-track paths, grass and asphalt. The section after the Lidingö bridge is one of my favourites with a narrow and fast single track rising and falling along the edge of the sea. You can ride it almost like a 'pump track'.

For me, (David), the race went really well, made good speed, enjoyed the ride, had a smile on my face 'most' of the way around. It was the first time I had ridden my new 29er over 20km and the first time on some of the terrrain experienced. It did seem faster on the transport sections where rolling speed really helped but I wasn't as confident in some of the downhill sections where I'm more used to throw the other bike around a lot more. 
Nevertheless, I seemed to ride around a group of 4 or 5 others for the entire race whom were either passing or being passed throughout the 63km.

I was very happy with the time of 3:08, which knocked 19mins off previous year. Hope to take that confidence forward towards cykelvassan later in the year.

For Jon, the race also went really well with no mechanical issues to report and enabled him to ride too with a smile on his face and enjoy the experience.

The race medal is something different like that of 2014. I guess if the organisers keep this up and you ride many of these races sooner or later you'll have enough for a new chain :) 

In summary it was a really fun event and one which I'll return to in 2016 and try and beat the time yet again (already signed up!)

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