Last Sunday I got to race on my favorite mountain bike course in Korea. Its my favorite because I won the first edition of the race overall in 2011. Last year the course was made a bit longer though and its not quite as well suited to me as before. Anyway there were 6 guys in the Top Category group racing with me and my goal was to get top 3 in my group.
The start went well and I was at the front of the group going into the first climb. Then my old teammate Ji Haeng attacked and I decided to try to jump on his wheel. This proved to be a bad idea though as I was only able to hang with him for about a minute before I blew up. It took me a bit to recover and at that point I had been passed by a bunch of guys but I was still sitting 3rd in my group. I got on a guy from JiHaeng’s team’s wheel and drafted him over the next few miles of smooth rolling double track. At this point the race was about half over when I noticed that Yong Su who was also in my group was right in front of me. I bridged up to him dropping Hyuk Jin in the process and hit the next climb with YongSu.
This same situation happened last year as well and on the last climb YongSu managed to drop me. I was determined to put up more of a fight this time. I couldn’t quite hold onto his wheel up the next climb though but I caught and passed him on the rocky descent into the final climb. We hit the final climb together but unfortunately for me he had more in the tank than I thought and he attacked hard up the climb. I fought to limit my losses but he was gone and I couldn’t catch him on the ensuing descent. I still ended up 3rd in my group though so I was pretty happy with the result. This was the best I’ve ridden my mtb all year but unfortunately its going to be my last mountain bike race until September probably. This weekend is my last race in Korea it’s the 5th stop of the Korea Masters cycling tour and should be a good opportunity to score points toward the series ranking.