Here's just a quick update from today's first stage of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 3-day stage race. Today was the time trial: one lap of a cross country loop. The weather was absolutely awful with constant rain during the race and it was cold enough too (relatively). I was riding well, and had no problems on the descents, but I made one big mistake and that was not having my bike in perfect condition. In summary: Chain suck sucks! I came 10th in the end, 2min45sec down on the leader in a less than half an hour race.
I am pretty annoyed at myself because I was already getting really bad chain suck on my training yesterday in the same awful conditions - both rings are a little worn and the fine sand just clogged up the rest. I should have changed out both the granny and middle rings last night, but we couldn't find any in that short time and the hope that it'll all be just fine if I just clean everything really well and oil the chain really well prevailed. But it did happen again. Even before I started the race it was bad, so we tried a quickfix of taking out a chain link to make the chain a little shorter and tighter, but to no avail. I had to run up every hill and had to pedal carefully on the flats, finishing almost fresh as a daisy. Argh!
So a few emergency calls to some Cypriot bike shops later and we will be buying two brand new chain rings and a brand new cassette that will be delivered to the race venue tomorrow morning before the race and we already have a brand new chain here as well to put on. At least I'll go into the race tomorrow knowing that this is the best that I could do to prepare my bike. Rant over.
Full results here.
Some rider's reactions after the TT on mtb-live.com.