Four Team Belgianwerkx members pinned on numbers this past weekend at the third WORS mountain bike race of the year – the Battle of CamRock in Cambridge, WI. Here’s what they had to say!
Citizen Category – 3rd in Age Group, 24 out of 187 Overall
CamRock is a course that’s really starting to grow on me. Last year I went too hard initially and blew up mid-race– I was determined to not make this mistake this year.
Starting from the front row, I intentionally took it easy on the initial climb, hoping to save some legs for the first flat section. That turned out to be the wrong decision, and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the second portion of the start hill and lost some time there to the lead group. I played catch-up for the rest of the race. I was able to get a few spots back, but was never able to catch back up to the leaders.
Overall, this was a great course, and I definitely had a lot of fun in some of the tight, technical singletrack sections, and really enjoy the variety that CamRock offers. Wish we could do that start climb one less time, though!
Citizen Category – 7th in Age Group, 22 out of 40 Overall
I fell in love with CamRock on our first flowing MTB session a few years ago, and I kicked myself as I came to spectate at the WORS race last year – the atmosphere is super-welcoming and there is a race for everyone from kids, to first-timers to the elites.
While I’ve been mountain biking for years, I had only competed in a pair of time trials, and while it was fun to race the clock, they had nothing on the excitement of the Battle of CamRock!
From the punishing climbing start, I was hooked! I signed up for the Citizen women’s race, and it was able to finish mid-pack despite two spills… I’ll definitely be back at the starting line of another WORS race this season!
Sport Category – 8th in Age Group, 23 out of 28 Overall
I started taking mountain biking seriously last fall and rode at Camrock for the first time a couple times this spring in anticipation of the race. After a rough first ride, the course grew on me and I was looking forward to the race. I had planned to treat the start like a cyclocross race; get in front of as many girls as possible on the start hill then try to settle into a more sustainable pace in the singletrack. I ended up having a great start and got up the never-ending hill in third or fourth wheel. Unfortunately, about halfway through my first lap (of 2) I was starting to develop a headache from not being well enough hydrated in the days prior and from the very hard effort of the race up until that point. I was considering quitting after the first lap, but I decided to finish even if at a snail’s pace. It was a rough day but I’m glad I finished and I’m looking forward to doing this race again next year and another WORS race or two this year.
Comp/Open Category – 6 out of 9 Overall
I raced in the Sport category at last year’s Battle of CamRock, but my fitness was “just okay” and the race kicked my butt. A lot has changed for me in a year’s time, so I felt pretty confident that I could take on the longer and more challenging Elite/Comp course. I came in with no expectations – just interested to see how my fitness would stack up with the other ladies. I anxiously toed the line with 10 other women at the base of the most daunting start hill I’ve seen in a race. I had a surprisingly good start (I’m not the best climber) and topped out at the first rise in second place. That effort definitely took it’s toll, and I was sitting in 4th at the end of the second portion of the start hill (yeah, the start has not one but two ridiculous leg-burning hills). Luckily we only had to do two laps of the hilly 7.5 mile course. The trails here are a mix of flowy and fast, as well as technical, rocky and rooty sections. There’s enough technical difficulty to keep you on your toes and enough climbing to test your fitness. My first lap felt fast (looking at the data on Strava, I was only 1 min off the winner’s pace), but I was giving an effort like I would in a cyclocross race – which meant it was too high to sustain for nearly 1.5 hrs in the saddle. Sure enough, the second half of the second lap saw two racers pass me. I tried my best to hang onto their wheels, but the legs didn’t have any oomph left. I limped home secure in my sixth place with a lap that was nearly 5 mins slower than my first. Overall, I was happy with the effort for my first time in this more difficult category, and my appetite was whetted for more WORS racing!