2021 TR User Race Results

This is where you break down, discuss, and humbly brag about your race results for 2021. I’ll go first.

The last time I actually signed up for a race longer than an hour was in 2018. It’s been a long time. This year it was the Le Grand Du Nord, a gravel race in Grand Marais, MN. Excellent conditions and a tough field of 260 made for a challenging race. I’ve finished 4th and 4th in previous editions so a podium was my goal. Really, I wanted to win it.

I made the selection of 6 at mile 6 and we widdled that down to just 4 after 10 miles. Our lead group ended up picking up two riders that started in an earlier wave. It was a very tough race and I felt really good all day long. I made a tactical error with about 2.5-3 miles to go and put in an effort, but was hit by a one-two punch by the eventual 1, 2 finishers (who were teammates) which solidified the lead. I ended up finishing 3rd, just 28 seconds back.

Oh well. I set a ton of power PRs. Such a fun day out.

5-min power (NP): 407w
10-min power (NP): 379w
20-min power (NP): 373w
60-min power (NP): 344w

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I’m all about some process goals, and I get the bulk of the forum is about that sort of thing, but why didn’t this thread take off? I’d like to see more race results here. I just did a gravel race this weekend and I’m proud of myself for taking 5 minutes off the last time I did it in 2019. I had better fitness in 2019 but rode smarter and had a better time this year.

Without getting into the power number weeds (nothing sparkly to show there any way) I found the following things very helpful for me:

  • Riding the start better, not chasing groups I don’t need to be in, the mantra being, “I want to feel good at hour 3”
  • Fueling was almost perfect. I consumed 6 100 calorie gels in the 3:17 race time
  • Hydration was a little challenge as I chose my mountain bike and it only has one cage, that made me stop more often for water than my competitors
  • sag climbing works - I employed that technique on almost every climb of the race and I couldn’t believe how well it worked. I maintained contact with the group I was in and only lost them at the very end where I just didn’t have the volume in my legs at that point.
  • For averaging as little time on my bike this summer as I did, I rode really really well and I’m proud of myself for a top 20 in the masters field with a race as stacked as this one.

19th Men’s Masters - 2021 Dirt Diggler.

I’m glad I raced it. I went into it pretty tired from a tough work week and poor sleep so I wasn’t on my best day for sure. This lit a fire for a mountain bike race I’m signed up for in November which gives me an “adequate” 7+ weeks to prepare for. There’s going to be some friendly competition in my workplace as several of us are signed up for it and it will be very difficult for me to best them all!