A New Race Location
This year Rocky Trails Jetblack 12 hour was to be held at a new location for me at Mowbrey Park Farm near Picton, west of Sydney. The track was very open riding through paddocks from what I seen on the internet with some rocky creek crossings that kept it all interesting.
Training for me leading up to the event was intense as I was just over four weeks out from the National Solo 24 hour champs & I was feeling awesome with any easier week leading into the 12 hour now entering my peak stage of the training program as the National 24 hour approaches.
Travelling down the afternoon before from home in Port Macquarie I was looking forward to catching up with all the familiar faces I see at these high end races including the Fizo/MDD Team that is always their to support each other.
Recent rainfall all over the state had the race organizers at Rocky Trail change the layout of some parts of the track to avoid the worst wet area's. I had recently fitted a new set of Mitas tires only used in the dry recently so this race was going to be a wet test cornering around the greasy area of track. I ran a wet weather Kratos on the front & a dry Scylla on the rear hoping that no more rain was going to fall & the track would become dryer as the race went on.
A bit to relaxed for the start I found myself weaving through riders to try & get a bit closer to the start line where I felt I needed to be seeded. When the race started I was happy to sit back for a bit not knowing anything about what was around the track to be careful on. I figured I had a few laps to familiarize myself in a 12 hour race. Although I think I seeded myself back a bit to far passing riders that seemed to be taking it a bit to easy in the first lap making it hard to ride over the challenging parts of track at a slow speed.
The track was very wet in the low lying gullies. slippery in some corners & grippy in others. Something that was very hard to judge until half way through the 12 hours.
First lap went by as planned keeping an eye on the riders in front that I wanted to ride with but as I crossed the timing mat I felt like a real gumby as everyone was telling me I had no number on my bike. You idiot I thought to myself as I ran over to the the timing tent & they searched for my number. I waved the number over the timing mat, had a quick interview asking what happened with my reply being I'm a knob head, fitted the number to my bike & was off again only loosing around three minutes. Yep a bit too relaxed.
I had done races in the past on pancakes but thought I would try something unheard of to me by mixing a few Hammer Gels into the mix giving an extra boost of carbs with each pancake. This was working out a treat as the day wen't on, the only thing starting to tire was my legs on the long climb back into the event centre.
Half way through the race at the six hour mark I asked for an update of my position & found myself a few laps up sitting first place in the masters category. With the good news & feeling great still I was curious to whether I could catch second place overall solo rider that was only a few km in front of me, but that idea soon got shot down as I thought how much fun I could have if I slowed the pace for the rest of the race & maybe finished early if I was to ride at the pace of the riders behind in my category.
The gullies lined with water & mud that had planned lines I rode all day long now had riders riding all over them making it impossible to find my way through smoothly & the rocky drops in the creek became slippery with the moist mud that sat on top of the rock carted on by tyres throughout the race.
Stoked with how my race plan went I would like to congratulate all other riders including those in my category that have put in some hard training for the Jetblack 12 hr, Craig Kramer finishing 2nd ahead of sponsored team mate Ian Buttler in 3rd.
Of course the overall solo winners are amazing. Jason English 1st, Sam Moffitt 2nd & Aaron Thomson 3rd in the Male GC & Charlie McCabe 1st, Leah Childs 2nd & Claudia Fiess 3rd in the Female GC.
Hammer Nutrition for their support & awesome nutrition.
Graham Seers Cyclery for keeping my bike in top shape, it did not miss a beat all day long even though the mud never stopped attacking it.
Enriched Health Care for physio & strength during long training weeks.
DIYmtb for helping my bike keep running smooth. Enduro Bearings in my rear suspension pivots are the bomb for muddy races.
And last of all a huge thank you to Moxie at Fizo Cycling for all the support before, during & after the race including entry & accommodation.