The race start took us down a usual fire road where we were set out on the line in our categories before the final count down. The pace started off at a much more reasonable pace than I had expected & I took the lead into the first single track where the famous Jacks Ridge roller coasters sent you at break neck speeds down & up large gullies on the side of a mountain several times before the only major climb in the 10km track up serpentine where my legs immediately started to feel the hurt before tackling the fun & fast slowing single trail over log drops & smooth berms. I had been racing all day the day before in wet sandy soil & cool weather & found myself sliding all over the place on the humid weather & dry pebbly ground while negotiating all the turns in & out of trees.
Near an hour had gone by being followed closely by a local Nambucca rider on a lightweight hardtail so I tried to slow the pace down a little hopping he would stay behind me for a bit longer, but after the end of the second lap I had to stop & change over drink bottles & he took the advantage leaving me in the dust putting the power down on the open fire trail where I was never to see him again. toward the end of the race my back started to ache from trying to push big gears from the lack of energy I had & I realised I was never going to catch first again & slowed the pace up even more just to hang on to second place till the end after being overtaken by a few riders in the age group categories.
You never stop learning, & the lesson I got from this weekend is I need to work on sprints during races & strengthen my back muscles. I think I will have to go pay a visit to the awesome staff at www.enrichedhealth.com.au & work on my weak points before my next race.