Sunday, August 26, 2012

Daegworeung Hil Climb and Daegu Mountain Bike Race

It's been a while since I've posted on here! I've been busy starting an MBA program in Seoul which you can read about at where I will be writing a weekly blog about my experiences.  I will keep still try to keep this blog up to date on all of my racing activities though! 

3 weeks ago I went down to Daegu (south central Korea) to do a mountain bike race.  It was definitely the most technical mtb race I've done here in Korea.  The start went well and I was battling with the leaders and my main rival for my age group but on one of the single track climbs the rider in front of me crashed and we both lost some good time to Do Hyun Kyu who went on to win my age group.  I tried chasing him but he was riding the climbs, which were super rocky and hard just to get up, really well and I couldn't make up enough time on the descents or flat portions to catch him again.  It was fun race though and I hope I can do some more like it soon.  It was organized by the Korean Cycling Federation and I've heard that their courses are typically more technical than the other mountain bike races because they always have a professional category as part of the race. 

Yesterday I participated in the largest race in Korea, the Daegwonryung Hill Climb.  While I'm not really a big fan of long hill climb races I still wanted to do it because my whole team was going and its just fun to be part of such a big race (there were 2500 participants).  The race started off well but I couldn't hold the pace of the eventual winner of my age group.  I went on to finish 5th and the winner of my group was again Do Hyun Kyu who beat me in Daegu.  I rode up the climb at my own pace and it was really fun to get my whole team together for a race!  My teammates Ji Haeng, and Michelle won there age groups and they get free trips to Japan for a race! 

I'm still busy getting settled into my MBA life but hopefully I will find the time to get some solid training in this week!  I will be doing a mountain bike race in 2 weeks in Geumsan and it looks like I will have a race nearly every weekend from the end of September until the end of October! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Geumsan Criterium

Last Saturday I raced at the Geumsan Criterium.  I was looking forward to doing this race since there aren't many crits here in Korea.  The course was pretty good but not really very crit like.  It was 4.5 km long with one long gradual up hill and 2 steep uphills about 1km from the finish.  There were only about 5 corners on the whole course too.  It was a nice course for a race though still.  The temperature was super hot(upper 90s) and the racing started off pretty aggressively.  On the second lap Hyung Mo Lee(a super strong rider who wins a lot of the races here) attacked and got away solo.  We weren't doing a very good job of chasing in the field and he eventually got about a 2 minute gap on the field!

I was thinking I should just sit in the field and wait for the field sprint but I saw a break go that I thought might be able to stay away until the end.  It had gotten about a 20 second lead on the pack when I decided to try and bridge up.  I attacked out of the pack hard on the long up hill and managed to bridge after about 1km of chasing but I really blew myself up with the effort.  We had built a good lead on the field though and I  thought we might stay away until the finish.  However with 2 laps to go the field caught us!

At this point I was pretty tired but I thought I would give the field sprint for second place a shot.  I went into the last corner(400m to go) in 3rd place and started sprinting but I quickly blew up and got passed by a bunch of people.  I ended up around 15th or so but my teammate Yeon Deok took 3rd so overall not a bad day for us.

The race calendar switches focus to mountain biking for a while now with a bunch of big mountain bike races coming up in late September and October.  This weekend I'm doing a mountain bike race in Daegu.  I just saw the start list and the field looks pretty good.  It should be a fun race.

Me and my new teammate Oh Hyeon Seok. 

Me going on the attack to bridge up to the breakaway.  You can see the field in the background.