The second round of the “Challenge Ciclocross” series was on Saturday in Inca. It was our first cyclocross race in Mallorca. Nicki watched and cheered (“venga!”), while I (Finn) raced in the Masters 40+ (there were 40 starters, 28 finishers and Finn was 23rd). As this photo of me shows, it was wet: there’s been a storm sitting out between the Balearics and Corsica/Sardinia for almost two weeks now, and it’s been bringing wind and rain to the island (quite unlike the usual, cool and sunny November weather). Saturday itself was sunny for the race, though rain-clouds stayed over the hills, making a rainbow for the occasion.
I had thought about my tyres a fair bit in advance — and opted for Tufo file-tread tubulars. The file-tread turned out to be a bit lacking in grip on the wet bottom end of the circuit, but I was glad of the Tufo casing for preventing pinch flats. Many of the non-finishers had punctures, from the rocks all over the course. It was hard to tell whether a kiwi-sized rock on the path was a more-or-less harmless loose stone, or the pointy tip of a large underground rock waiting to pinch flat you. Tufo tubulars don’t have an inner-tube inside, but are made like a modern tubeless tyre, with the tyre-casing itself air-tight. I bottomed out onto the rim at least twice a lap (running 30 psi in a 33mm wide tyre), but didn’t flat. I’ll post more about the bike and the preparation of the wheels and tyres in a future blog-post.