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MASS Escape from Granogue Race Report
By Trevor Booz

Well contrary to what Frank had said I personally found the Granogue race to be not the greatest mountain bike race experience. The race started out with HUGE fields in the sport category, and because of this they did a separate mass start 30 seconds apart for each age group within the division. The race coordinators in their wisdom decided it would be smart to start the endurance riders who would be doing a 4 hour ride and pacing themselves before the sport racers who would be going substantially faster because they were only doing 2x 7 mile laps. This meant that the sport riders caught up the endurance riders who had a 1 min lead relatively quickly. In addition, the massive fields led to huge amounts of bottlenecking and the riders were in very close proximity the entire 2 laps. Having the separate age groups of the sport class only starting 30 seconds apart led to other issues, as the slower riders would fall away from the leaders in their age groups the faster riders from the other age groups would come up and expect the slower riders to move out of the way. This led to lots of slower/faster rider conflicts throughout the whole race. I wasn't the fastest in my age group so I had the other leaders of the other age groups catching up throughout and it felt as though there was someone riding my ass the entire race. Everyone in this race seemed overly competitive, there was more rider tension and aggression than I had seen in my other races I have attended. I think this was due in part to everyone being in such close proximities the entire race. There were courteous racers who would move over to pass but there were just as many non courteous riders who would pass and not even finish passing before deciding to take the exact line you were in. The northern Delaware terrain is completely different than the SE PA terrain, silty clay soils which retain tons of water and do not dry out fast. This led to spongy wet conditions throughout the course with slippery rocks and tree roots throughout. Barreling through these sections it was inevitable to slip out. If someone is looking for a technical race this isn't the place to go. The course seemed more like a cross between a cyclocross course and a mountain bike course. In the end I ended up with 19th out of 34 for the Senior 1 Men Sport group due to my lack of speed abilities and the fact that there were no real nice long technical climbs for my climbing skills to come to surface plus this was my first time on this type of terrain.

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Page last modified on March 02, 2009, at 12:46 PM