I talked to Adam Craig after the final stage of the TR3 ended in Etherington, Alberta. The TR3 is a three-day stage race that shares the same course as the full-blown TransRockies up in Canada. Craig rides for Giant Rabobank and used the TR3 as training for his upcoming World Cup race. He placed third overall, enjoying the Canadian singletrack that put his stellar descending skills to work.
What's an XC guy doing at an stage race? Are you here for the UCI points?
Yes that and it’s training for World Cup.
Was this first time you did the TR3?
Any other stage races.
La Ruta in 05.
Are you hooked?
I’d like to learn how to thrive in this racing format.
Has your knee injury prevented you from doing a lot of volume this year?
You are just coming back from racing the World Cup Series in Europe. Those are fast-burner turbo rides. What was your longest training ride leading up to this?
My longest training ride was in the Italy which was 3:45.
Which day was your favorite?
Day one. Kick ass mountain biking rad trails. It was hard approaching that stage as time trial.
What tires did you run?
Prototype Michelin Dry 3 all-conditions tire. Forty-five minutes before the race, I didn’t want to mount up mud tires. It turns out the dry 3 hooked up well. They were 2.25s so I ran them soft.
What bike did you ride?
Spec out your bike:
Carbon Gian AnthemX. Breaks: 2011 Shimano XTR. Those breaks are game changers, especially here, not knowing what's coming.
Did you stop at the aid stations:
Yes and it screwed me over.
How was your fueling different for these longer stages?
Heavy fatty stuff which I did all year and I’ve lost weight. I just tried to eat early and often keeping in mind protein and fat. Honey stinger protein bars worked. I tried not to abuse caffeine as I normally do on the line at an XC race. The last bottle I had at an aid station was a Coke.
Did you clean hyperventilation?
All but two corners.
Was the hike-a-bike mentally challenging?
No, I was shattered by that time. I flatted in the traverse scree field, and I didn’t recover from day two. I wasn’t keeping tempo with Max and Cory, so it was a good prompt to go on a nice adventure because you’d never do that unless someone told you had to go that way to get dinner.
Why couldn't you recover?
In lieu of a solid winter of training, I had a summer of mediocre training, so my body just wasn’t recovering. I'm happy to be done.
I flatted and I lost about 5 minutes.
How did you finish overall?
Third, which was the perfect set up for my World Cup series.