So, I’ve really only raced a couple times in the past and man, I was probably 180 FTP at that time, no training, 30 years old, but nooooooo chance of winning, not even the beginner group.
So I registered for the sport 19-39 (I’m 38) and got SMOOOOOKED (lol). It was clear I was smoked after 30 seconds. 4 laps at a trail I have never ridden.
I had fun and felt good about my effort. By the 3rd lap, I felt like I was starting to carry speed where I should be and that made things a little easier.
Total race time was about 1:24, first place in my class was like 1:05.
I feel like I just registered above my ability - though, I really had no way of knowing. I talked to a guy who said if I really haven’t raced much, just do beginner…there’s plenty of fast people in the beginner class…he’s right.
I did compare my 3 laps to the beginner class and I would have been 4th (1 minute, 5 seconds from 1st place). Actually, I kept telling myself the 3rd lap to pace and leave something in the tank, so I could have certainly pushed harder. I typically ride 5-8 miles and this was 15, so I just didn’t know what to expect.
I think I will be registering for the beginner class for the rest of this season so I can have fun competing and maybe next year I can step back up to the Sport class. It just threw me for a loop calling it the ‘beginner’ class.
I know road has more of a clear “you’ve earned the next class” but I’m not sure how it works for MTB. This is just a local series not a USAC event…
What would you do?
PS - I’ve been doing TR for about 2.5 months, low volume and only hitting about 2 workouts per week + 1-2 outside rides and went from 198-253 FTP! Felt good after the event! Thank you TR!!