Archive for September 2007
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Race Report: Finlandia 2007

Finlandia MTB has been by far my favourite race/event. This year it was my 6th participation. My first was in 1999 when it was organized by the same people who organize Finlandia-hiihto (cross country skiing), and the race course was different and easier from the course of previous years. I returned in 2003 believing that the course was still the same but it wasn't, and it was a huge suprise. I wasn't prepared at all, I only had hydration pack with water and probably one gel. The result was the biggest bonk of my life. I was so out of it that I had to lay on the ground at one point of the race, but I forced myself to finish. That experience was so special to me that it is probably one reason why I like to suffer and I like long races. The course is also really hard with steep hills, and I like it a LOT. No wonder why I have participated in every race after that killer race in 2003.

2004 the course was really wet and muddy. 2005 it was a lot drier but I wasn't in form. Last year the course was super dry and fast, and I was in form, but technical problems ruined my race.

This year it was time for another mud fest, very much like in 2004. Also, this year it was first time with my wife as my support person.

The course was also changed but not too much. In fact, the course had some old parts from 1999. This years course is probably the best so far. I had a pretty good start to this race and found my own rhythm quickly. It took about 2:02 for the first lap. That was a little too fast for the second lap, my time in the finish was 4:30:45 in 74th place. I didn't take any risks on the technical and slippery sections. But it was so great to ride this event again, I'm really happy man.

Some photos:

The start.

Another photo from the start.

In the group... (courtesy of Jari V.)

Another shot... (courtesy of Jari V.)

A happy man in the finish with the medal.

My bike after the mud fest.

Thanks for my wife for supporting me, and thanks also to TWD and volunteers for organizing a great event! Next year again!

By Toni at 22:38 | Permalink |
Edited on: Sunday, October 07, 2007 21:12
Category: 2007 Race Reports

Monday, September 24, 2007

Finlandia 2007

The race report coming on Wednesday evening.

By Toni at 21:37 | Permalink |
Category: General

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stuff update

It's been a while again since I wrote last, as I've been busy again. Something cycling related is also happening. Finlandia MTB is next Sunday and I got the long waited tires today:

I haven't been much of a weight weenie but sometimes I have weighed some stuff with a kitchen scale. As I have many bikes and a lot of cycling stuff, I ordered the scales of Ultimate Support and received them on Monday.

Schwalbe Racing Ralph UST Tubeless 2.25 weighs in at 744 / 750 g. For comparison, Michelin Comp S Light UST 2.0 is only 630 / 634 g. But the weight isn't the only thing that counts. Interesting to see how the RRs rolls and feels.

And it was really interesting to see how much my primary bike weighs. I know that it isn't really light, but for me it doesn't feel too heavy.

13.210 kgs! Well, that is with Michelin All Mountain UST 2.2 tires. A little heavy, but I have to say that I've been really happy with the bike, so there is no reason to make it lighter.

By Toni at 21:52 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, September 10, 2007

The tire problems of Kangasala 24h 2007...

Well well... during the weekend I did a very interesting find. Remember, my Kangasala 24h race was plagued by tire punctures. After the race I was thinking that the rear tire, Michelin Comp S Light UST, was probably punctured by a hard rock or something, and I didn't bother to check the tire afterwards. In fact, I left the tire outside at home and considered to not to use it anymore. On Sunday I looked the pattern of the tire and was thinking that how it would compare to Schwalbe Racing Ralph. Then I found this:

 

 

A staple! You never know what could come up in a race course. But this should be the cause of the second puncture, because after the first one I rode several laps with an inner tube. I patched this one and will probably find the other one when I mount the tire with soapy water and inflate it. You see, I could still use this tire because it is not too worn. The recent punctures could indicate that it isn't a good idea, but this whole mess has teached me again a valuable lesson. There has been one thing missing when I use tubeless tires, and it is Stan's Tire Sealent. But it won't be missing anymore, because I bought 32 oz bottle of it today from Foxcomp (Turku). Also found Bio Racer Dri-Tex rain pants, so my commuting should be much more comfy when it rains.

The bottom line is that I won't never run tubeless tires without Stan's sealent...

Oh, by the way, I did a short one hour mountain bike training ride on Sunday and rode a local steep technical hill pretty hard. Should do the same thing this week for several times and have one longer training ride at the same time. There's still something left in my legs...

By Toni at 21:27 | Permalink |
Category: General

Monday, September 03, 2007

What's going on?

Not much. Last week I was really tired, and recovery from Myllyn Pyöräily felt somewhat slow. Commuted by bike everyday but didn't ride on the weekend. The weather has been rainy almost every day (mornings were freaking cold, temperature barely above zero!), and that is pretty frustrating. But maybe it was good for me because today I wasn't as tired as before on Mondays.

In the world of endurance racing, there was the unofficial Worlds of 24-Hour racing, World 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships, on Saturday and Sunday. Last year it was the epic battle between Craig Gordon and Chris Eatough. This year the 46-year old Tinker Juarez has finally won the event. Amazing man.

I'm still looking for Finlandia MTB on 23rd of September. Today I ordered a new set of tubeless tires, Schwalbe Racing Ralph in 2.25" size. Yes, I like tires with large air volume. The old pair of Michelin Comp S Light UST died in Kangasala 24h so it is time to have new ones and something new. Hopefully I have better luck with them.

I will be busy the whole September but I'm optimistic that I will have time for some quality training rides for Finlandia.

By Toni at 20:07 | Permalink |
Category: General