Discpline Selection Help

This might seem like a weird question and maybe it is and I’m jut over-thinking, but here it goes…

Last year, I did my first ever bike “race”. I put race in quotes because it was a 9.5km XC race on a very simple course named, “Mid-Life Crisis”. I was in the “Adult Learn to Race” class and I was happy to be able to finish after getting way too eager on the first lap (think @Jonathan but without his fitness and skill).

I’m going to do it again this year, probably a total of four times between early June and mid-August and as I stare into plan builder and look at the course, I’m wondering if XCO is the right discipline choice.

The course is not technical aside from two short climbs where one encounters a combination of loose-ish soil with rocks and/or roots. With regard to elevation change, there is some climbing, but its generally gradual, aside from those two short bits where the angle steepens a bit. The rest is flat or a non-technical descent. For the most part, the course is wide, making passing relatively simple, but I won’t be passing too many people.

If your’e so inclinded, you can review the data from the race on Strava and on TR. Hopefully, those links work.

You’ll see that even om my slowest laps, my power peaks over 260% of FTP (165W at the time) and I spend the bulk of the time in Anaerobic and Active Recovery. While my FTP is a bit higher now (199W) and I hope it wil be a bit better come June, it’s not going to get so high that this general profile changes that much.

Lastly, a bit about equipment: Bike is overbuilt for this event (160F/142R with no lockouts) and last year, I had a 32T from with Shimano 10-50 year. Hoping to have a 30T ring this year, but my spider-based power meter won’t let me go smaller than that.

Anyway, given the course profile, does XCO remain a good choice for this course and event type given my goals are:

– better fueling
– pace better/more evenly/
– actually warm-up

– go quicker overall than last time
– more even lap timing than last time
– continue to beat my friend who is 17 years younger :wink:


PS - here is some footage from the race meant as a laugh at myself and my buddy documentary.