Less than a two hour drive to the race venue, my wife Cindy & I decided to drive up the morning of the race after getting everything ready to pack in the car the night before. Arriving at the race Cindy realised she forgot her riding clothes including her shoes but managed to lend a pair of shoes that happen to be the right size & have the same Shimano cleats but still had to race in denim shorts & cotton shirt.
The race start was broken up into three starting waves with the Open riders first off the line. My plan was to get a fast start after the bad starts I had been having in races lately. I managed to get a great start & was challenged by a young rider straight away so I settled into a steady fast pace following during the first half of the lap with another couple of riders on my tail until the rider in front decided to take a longer B line up a short hill where I took the lead & picked up the pace slightly with all the riders now following close behind me. During the second lap I slowed the pace slightly & before to long I was overtaken on a steep climb up a fence line in true challenging fashion regularly looking over the shoulder to see if I would follow. I kept a steady pace & let the rider get 15m lead by the time I got to the top of the hill with a plan to slowly gain back onto his tail in the single track, but now back on the riders tail when changing the rear gears my gear leaver fell off into my front wheel forcing me to pull off to the side of the track to take a look at what had happened. After a close inspection I seen that the bolt holding the leaver on to the break leaver had rattled out from all the tree roots now exposed around the track. I wound the shift around the brake cable & carried on with the race now a couple of minutes behind the three leaders less than an hour into the race. I knew I would have no chance in catching them with only two gears on the front & it took me a while to get use-to pushing a big gear but after a while I got into a rhythm standing when it was hard to push up hills & sitting when I was coasting in the single track. Nearly 2 hrs into the race I was caught by the Masters leader from the second wave who had passed all the other Open riders still behind me & I used his pace following him to keep my position as fourth in the field for the next lap & a half crossing the line at around 1hr 20 min disappointed at what had happened but keen to re-challenge the younger riders that finished in front of me at the next round in Taree.
Cindy went in a team of two & managed to finish second with faster lap times than most of the female riders in her new denim Nix.
Full results here.