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How do you begin to talk about a stage race without things just getting boring? In normal single day race, a typical marathon, there are hundreds of little moments that all contribute towards the final outcome.
The Otway300 has had me scratching my head since finishing, and wondering “How can I possibly share what went down out there, so that people understand how good it was, and what tight racing we had”.
The numbers are a good way of starting.
I was lucky enough to get an entry to the Cape Epic for the 2nd year in a row. Having family over there it is a good excuse to go over to SA for a visit and I can fit in a small bike race
My preparation was good this year, perhaps more road miles than I would have liked due to all the summer rain in Sydney. I was riding in the mixed category this year with a friend.
An interesting and thought provoking piece on singletracks.com.
Lots of long-term access is being lost in the US, arguably because of dominant trail user groups such as horse-riders and hikers simply not liking mountain bikes because they're "not like us" rather than because of any evidence-based reasoning. And our experience here has been much the same.
After a last minute call (Tuesday afternoon, with the race on Saturday am) to race Elite Nationals XC Champs, I was feeling a little nervous. My old age, allied with the fact that I have been training solely for marathon racing, meant that any ‘raw’ speed might be lacking.
The one thing you know about XCO Nationals – its all about raw speed.
The other thought that you have is about the course. World Cup courses are becoming increasingly technical, and the National Champs aspire to be as close to a World Cup XC course as possible.
I tried to walk this track years ago, but it was closed due to flooding. So this week, I took the trusty Niner and an adventurous mate out to see what it was like.
Pretty good race track overall, with the first half featuring some very nice single track, followed by a fire trail downhill plunge, a bit of traverse fire trail, then the unrelenting Snakes and Ladders sniggle climb. After a bit more sniggle, including a couple of multiple line option sections through some old quarries, there then seemed to be a lot of uphill fire trail slogging, broken up with a few water crossings.
I've never done an 'easy' Rockytrail event and, despite entering as a team for the first round of the 2016 series, this race was no different.
A beautiful autumn day greeted nearly 300 riders at Glenrock, Newcastle for the inaugural Shimano MTB GP at this venue. I'd done two reco laps a few weeks prior and was impressed by what I had seen, however a late course change by the organisers meant that half the course was sight-unseen for me and, according to a few in the know, 'had a few hill climbs'.
A bit of unfinished business, as I'd DNF'd my previous two attempts at this race.
However, it's a climbers race, with 680m of vertical for a 26km lap, so not really where I expected to do well. Even though I was in pretty good nick, the repeated assaults of Mt Stromlo took their toll. Finished 10th out of 14 starters in the over 50's. Didn't have enough over 60's for a category apparently Overall, 73rd out of 95 starters.
There were times that I actually thought I would be better off sat at my desk at work……luckily hindsight is a wonderful thing and I can now say that the time I spent in New Zealand’s South Island, racing the inaugural Pioneer stage race, with friends and newly made friends, in an amazing environment, and enjoying the hospitality and culture was full of unforgettable moments and enjoyment.
I was fortunate enough to win this category at last year's event. It came on the back of some decent raining for the BC Bike race. I was pretty fit back then.
But this year was a different story...
It started with the fact that this race was moved forward a month because of clashes with other events. When I found out I was in Canada on a month long skiing holiday. I knew that wasn't going to leave me with much time for any training when I got back to Sydney.