May 02, 2019 - Saluda Roubaix mixed surface race 2019
Started the season later this year and the first race out is Saluda (click here) Roubaix, a mixed surface race (gravel and road) near Saluda, SC. The race is put on by 28AVG and benefits US Military Endurance Sports. It is was a good turnout and started out in a remote baseball field/park which was great for the start finish and parking. We were sent off to the sounds of thunderstruck by AC/DC and someone had dressed up as Angus Young and gave us his full strut routine while the music played.
This year the first part of the course was a little more road rich, so gravel and dirt could feature more prominently toward the end. It was fast right from the get go. As this was my first race of the year, I was hoping to race as deep into it as I could and see where that got me. I was not anticipating too much in terms of results as our scale had broken in the fall (5 kids) and I had not gotten around to replacing it til just before the race (a relaxed off season got a little too relaxed). Unfortunately only got to race for an hour or so and then, on a relatively pacy decline, a sharp big chunk of gravel cut the rear tire right at the interface between the tread and the sidewall. Despite running race sealant, and trying to reinflate, the cut was too big for it to hold. Put a tube in but probably inflated too little (too accustomed to tubeless) and the tube flatted after only another 10km. Put another tube in and pumped it higher and made it another 30-40 km before that went down for my final flat of the day - not sure if there was a little stone that got in on the last change or whether it had pushed into the previous cut site. Put the final tube in with a boot after really running the tire to make sure it was clean and thankfully made it back to the finish on that one.
Disappointing because it would have been interesting to see how deep into the race I could've hung with the group. A little surprising as I had pre-ridden the course a few weeks earlier and not had a flat. When I got back home, noticed that my moving time on strava was not that far off from the moving time of the guys on the age group podium and I rode 48 of 68 miles by myself. Taking that as at least a potential early positive to build on. Running bigger tires for the next mixed surface gig as that one is 80% or more dirt/gravel. Pic above is still off season form me rocking the ENVE RACING kit all by my lonesome at the end of Saluda Roubaix. Saluda Roubaix Video Recap (Not mine, but also clickable) if you want a better feel for the race.