I drove to Sydney picking up Jason along the way near Newcastle and we traveled down to do a lap of the track before staying at his grandmothers for the night where like usual with Jason's family I was met with the nicest hospitality.
The track was fast, real fast. It had easy climbs & the ground was hard packed clay with nothing very technical to ride over at all. Maybe just a few rock gardens, small drops & gap jumps if you got enough speed.
On a high to a low
I placed myself about ten meters from the front waiting on the start line. The hooter signaled the start at 10 am & all riders were bumping elbows fighting for position into the first single track only five hundred meters from the start line. Once again I found myself not aggressive enough & riding into the singletrack behind a few gumby mountain bikers that already had the train of riders slow down to walking pace. I managed to ride around a few riders & pick up the pace about five k into the thirteen km track loop & was feeling good. The day was expecting rain after midday & with the hard red clay I knew it would turn into an ice skating track, so I turned up the pace slightly calling track left & right as I progressed my way through the field. The first four hours wen't by fast as I found faster lines through the rock gardens & over the double jumps, but I was finding it hard to eat & drink with all the winding singletrack. Ian was right onto it each time I came through the feed zone & reminding me to eat & drink.
As predicted, the rain started to fall from the sky and dampen the track in parts making it hard to keep the momentum through the corners, but at the same time made the track a little more interesting to ride.
On my second last lap the cramps really started to take hold & I was nearly forced off the bike a few times as riders passed me. At forty minutes to go I let a rider past me realizing it was Jason Morgan. I tried to give chase but my cramping legs were not going to let me as I watched him ride off into the distance. Coming back around through feed zone I started to feel OK again & downed a few gels while giving chase. Riding up through the open trails I could see that I was starting to gain on Jason M & I could see that he had also picked up the pace. This being my last lap & only chance to catch up I gave it all I had left & I was feeling a bit tired but otherwise OK, but unfortunately it was not enough to catch 1st place & I rolled over the line a few minutes behind in 2nd place with David Speering on a single speed twelve minutes behind in 3rd. I do wonder whether my legs cramped from the 130 km ride two days beforehand or if I was just dehydrated slightly.
The overall solo's seen Jason English 1st, Ed McDonald 2nd & Callum McNamara 3rd.
Jason & Ian came in 3rd in the Masters Pairs also.
Jason Moxham & Ian Butler for helping out in the feed zone #TeamMacDesign.
Thanks to Enriched Health Care & Graham Seers Cyclery helping me compete in these races.