Posted by Editor on 02/20/05
Max Plaxton Report
Canadian mountain biker Max Plaxton has sent us a report from Spain, where he is preparing for the upcoming season.
Spain once again...carnival and road racing
Well I am in Spain now and things are going well.... I flew over middle of January immediately heading to the south part of Spain, Malaga to be exact. There was a week long training camp for the team. The camp was a blast, getting to know everyone, combined with long road rides and technical mtb rides in 25-degree weather. I suffered a little bit of jetlag the first few days but seemed to get over it as the week finished up.
After the training camp and getting all my bikes and stuff I went to the small town of Aguilas in the region of Murcia where I lived with my family for 4 years. It was great to be back, although the 2nd day there was a crazy cold windstorm that came down from the North Pole carrying along with it snow to pretty much of all Spain. It hadn't snowed in Aguilas for almost 20 years. Pretty crazy that the weather changed from 25 degrees t-shirt and shorts weather to put-on-all-the-clothes-ya-got-in-the-closet weather. The storm soon passed on after three days but it made training pretty hard.
The weather improved and along came the early season road races.
Racing started on January 29 with a 4 km prologue that kicked off the regional road series. I managed to finish with the 9th best time out of something like 125 racers. The following day January 30th was the first road race of the series. The course was super flat and the wind was a big factor. The fitness of the peloton was surprisingly strong. A crash near the end of the last lap of 3-30km loops cut me off from the lead and so I cruised in around a 1-2 minutes down. With a 40 kmph + average speed, I felt pretty good and I was really happy with the new full carbon TIME team road bike.
The next week was great training with a bunch of 4-5 hour road rides. I discovered many new roads in the area and I thought to my self, "Why the heck didn't I ride this stuff when I lived here?". I mean; perfect country roads with no cars and amazing climbs through pine forests and small villages.
That following weekend was the 2nd road race of the series in the small town of Cartagena. The race was pretty short with two good climb. I decided to sit in for the first climb to get a feeling of everyone's strength. On the 2nd climb I bridged up to the lead group and by the top of the climb we were a small group of 4. It was all downhill to the finish, about 10 km of pedaling to be exact. We took turns at the front, staying clear of the chase groups. It came down to a 2-up sprint between some dood that is a former junior road race champ and ex-kelme pro and me. Being the inexperienced road racer that I am, I jumped too soon and finished 2nd. I felt really good in the race, especially on the climbs so I was pretty stoked.
The end of the weekend was the start of a weeklong carnival festival in the town. Carnival is pretty big in Spain. It seems like each year there are more and more new events like drag queen stuff and crazy costume contests. The carnival lasts around 1 full week. It's pretty funny seeing all the tourists getting smashed the first day when the locals know how to party it out hard the last days, which are the best.
More to come so keep posted.
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