It's going to be a fun course. Plenty fast, and I'm hoping the weather will give us proper fall temps.
I could work out a whole strategy in my head, like I did for Santiago. But watching the Strava flyby of that race, it's clear that the winner never "made his move." He was simply faster, right from the jump. That moment on Egret where I thought I was in the lead? Yeah... not so much. I was probably 20 seconds back already. So... yeah. It's a bike race. Don't overthink it.
That said, there are a few spots where course knowledge will come in handy.
Park Bench Dip #1
The first comes after a bench at the left of the trail, near the top of the climb up East Ridge. The goal here is to roll up to the bench in decent standing gear, and roll through the dip with minimal effort on the other side.
First Lap Fork to Back Stretch
On the first lap, the fork (left) leads through a sustained downhill glide through the starting area and back to the bottom of East Ridge.
Park Bench Dip #2
Second lap. Do this one again, but better.
Second Lap Fork Dip
Once I top the rise before the fork, I can let the bike run downhill and through the dip.
Hard Left Downhill
On the second lap, right after the hard left turn, there's a half-mile of sustained downhill.
Second Lap Back Stretch
Just after the last punchy dirt climb, crank hard and don't look back. Stand and hustle for all the short rises.
And that, as they say, is that.
I took a spin in Santiago Oaks Tuesday afternoon, and felt good. Tired, but strong in short bursts. So it seems that the training I've beein doing is starting to pay off. I have three weeks until the race, so I'll continue with the gym sessions this week, and the beginning of next week, then do a couple tough training rides, then rest up for the race.
After that, it'll be time to really dig into the off-season weight training.