A huge thank you to my friend and Cadence Cyclery teammate Justyn Wilder. I’ve been in Arkansas on my anniversary this week with scarce access to the internet. Justin volunteered to help out and put together a spot on preview!
2012 DORBA Fall Series Race at Rowlett Creek Preserve (RCP)
The final round of the DORBA Fall series lands at Rowlett Creek Preserve (RCP). With many of the overall points races coming down to the final round. The racing should be close, intense, and racers will be going all out for the win.
The entrance to RCP is located off of Centerville Road just north of HWY 66. It has a great concrete parking lot but there isn’t a lot of room. Click this link for a map on the DORBA websitethat helps to lay out more parking.
Upon riding the trail at RCP for the first time I realized that this course is going to be fast and riders who can stay off of the brakes will do well. RCP has several twisty turns. Some fast some slower. Keeping your weight on the outside foot and your fingers off the brakes will bode well for those who want to go fast.
The start is fairly long but not nearly as hard as the previous start at the Erwin Park race. It’s a straight shot to the entrance of the trail which is a hard left turn. The trail then parallels the start strait and then runs along the creek. A fair warning the creek is in play. You don’t want to fall in. There are few log cross overs. Use caution here because I encountered that they did not have logs on the back side meaning you can easily bash your chainring if you don’t properly hop them.
There aren’t too many climbs. I believe loop 7 is the only section where there are any challenging elevation changes. There are numerous places to pass but don’t let that effect your decision on how to approach the start. There are several open straights to make a pass, gap yourself, or on the down side get passed. The home stretch is a deal breaker. If you are in the lead you can pretty much control your fate. There is a little left hander that slows you down then its power to the pedals. If you are battling for a position strategy can work to your benefit.
Race Start Times & Distances
Cat 3 – 8:30am – 8 miles Cat 2 – 10:00am – 16 miles Cat 1 – 11:45am- 24 miles (Mileage and start times per DORBA. My Garmin said the course is close to ten. The race course is everything minus loops 6,13, and 14.)
Analysis & What To Expect
The race loop is going to be fast. You may even be able to draft off a competitor. There’s nothing really hard about this course other then the fact that you will need to pedal fast a lot. With the moisture that is on the course it will be tacky and your tires should hold pretty well. If you have the time to take a slow lap around the course before the race, do it. The course isn’t hard but familiarizing yourself with where you will be racing goes a long way. DORBA has been doing a great job marking the courses but it would definitely be easy to make a wrong turn here.
As for winning times; I have no idea. The fastest time on STRAVA is 36:52 and that was recorded July 2011. On 9/25/2012 a time of 37:49 was recorded. It will be fast.
Race Course Map & Altitude Profile
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Notes from Shawn
Justyn did a terrific job of laying the scene for this race, huge round of applause!
The race at Rowlett Creek Preserve will be a sprint from beginning to end. It may end up being closer to a time trial than a mountain bike race depending on where you start off. If you are an overall points contender or want to place top 5 at this race, then you had better start out in the lead.
With this course, there are large portions that you may even want to lock out your front fork on so that you get the best power transfer through your bike. Those open field sections will allow you to conserve some extra energy with a locked out fork, energy that will be badly needed come the sprint at the finish line.
If you ride a full suspension bike, stop by your shop and have them put a little extra air in your rear shock. Personally, I will be running about 240 psi in my rear suspension for this race. This nearly makes my bike a hardtail, again helping to conserve energy in open straits and improve the power transfer to the wheels.
Good luck at Rowlett Creek Preserve (RCP) and have a great, fast, and safe race!
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