A Sad Start To A Good Race
Walking over to the registration tent you could hear everyone's shock while talking of Brian & I thought about how much he was going to be missed at these events.
After grabbing my number & placing it on my bike, I got changed & went out on a quiet warm up & thought about how short our lives can be & wanted to dedicate my riding to Brian on this day.
The start of the race took us up a slight gradient fire trail where the pace was just as I had hoped letting me go into the single track first & set an easy pace. It was said at the race briefing that there was no A & B lines to choose from but after a short time on the bike we had already noticed a few shorter but harder lines & I was definitely going to give them a go on lap two. The first of the hills to climb you could here the sound of electric guitar playing in the distance & knew that you were near that top (this has become a trade mark of Bom Bom GNaTPACK races). As I rode past rocking to the riffs it took my mind off everything as I wondered what size battery this guy had to play so long at such a deafening volume.
A few times in the first few laps of the course I did some short bursts to see how Ryley & Kerrod tailing me would react, & without hesitation they stuck to my wheel not letting me get an inch, so I slowed the pace up slightly to conserve my energy ready to react if the tables turned. There was a couple of corners in the track that caught me out on every lap running wide & the boys would laugh at me counting the laps.
On the good side we did loose Ryley that was leading the second half of the race & that did mean that he was getting tired & not saving him self for the end. So after regaining my breath I rode the last lap hard pushing myself through the single track knowing that that was the only way to loose Kerrod given that I felt that I had more experience on the MTB. To my surprise I gained ten or twenty meters through every tight section but was quickly reeled back on the open sections. As we came around for the last time with one km to go I rode as hard as I could to drop Kerrod on the last section of single track & this time it worked with Kerrod making a mistake & sliding into a tree. With a quick glance over my shoulder to make sure he was OK I pushed even harder to the finish as I came out for the last time up the fire road incline to the finish, looking over my shoulder with my legs now like jelly & my heart rate at a new level I had two hundred meters on Kerrod with around three hundred to go. If he had anything left I would have been a goner now but I managed to hold on to the lead over the finish for real to take my first win in 2014 GNaTAPCK Elite Men.
It was hard to get Brian of my mind as I rode & thinking of him pushed me that little bit harder toward the end, So I would like to dedicate this race in memory of Brian Cockbain.
Thank you to the Bom Bom crew for holding such a great round in the GNaTPACK MTB Series. You guys really put on a great event.