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When the dust settled... we were on the podium again

Whisperer's picture

By Whisperer - Posted on 30 March 2010

Re: This ride meeting: 
Mont24 2010
Mixed Nuts
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Foursomes 40s Mixed
Position (Category): 

It was an early start on Friday, leaving Sydney at 6.30am, but the reward was getting to the Mont before 10am, and getting a perfect spot at the entrance to the campground, no more than 100m from where we’d planned to do our transitions. I taped off a decent area for the teams that would be joining us, and set up the ‘mega-tarp’ pits area for our team, the Mixed Nuts.

The team rolled in through the afternoon, and Rob’s group joined us, entertaining us for a while setting up his huge dome gazebo with the assistance of Pratewi. The inter-team banter began, and continued relentlessly throughout the weekend providing plenty of sharp edged humour back and forth.
With the camp setup, we all set out for a late afternoon lap of the track. We headed out at a swift pace, punctuated by me slashing my rear tyre about 5 minutes in while overtaking a slower rider, then a chain jamb about 10 minutes in as I hadn’t got the high adjustment quite right for my new rear derailleur. All mechanicals out of the way for the weekend, we cruised back to camp in a couple of groups, ‘steady’, ‘swift’ and ‘on the rivet’. At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that Steve01 nearly didn’t make it to the Mont. Last week racing at Ourimbah, he stepped off his bike while ‘saving it’ through a tricky section and twisted his knee in an awkward landing. That night his knee was very swollen, and he couldn’t bend his leg..... So after 5 days of daily physio, he felt he could ride again, even though it was a bit tender still. At least he could bend it enough to do a full turn of the crank. If there is a funny side to the story, it is that Steve could not afford to put his left foot down for a ‘save’ for the whole race ahead of him. Those that know Steve’s riding style (very fast, and a bit loose), would know what a challenge this was going to be for him... Needles to say, throughout the weekend he did consistently fast laps and no further damage to the knee!

Race day dawned upon us, and after a good sleep in and a hearty breakfast all round, we were underway before we knew it. Gazza did a blinder of a first lap (52:04min) after a hard running LeMans start. Steve consolidated with another fast one (52:45, I backed onto that with my fastest lap of the weekend (56:45), Martine did amazingly (61:57), and we had an early 30 odd minute lead over second place. We kept up a slick and well-oiled series of transitions and continued to build into the night. Keen to build as much buffer as we could, we kept up single laps through the night and into the next day. We had a pretty good system going, with a whiteboard listing each rider’s time out, time in, and order, getting on the warm-up bike before each lap to be up to temperature, eating and drinking well and good lighting in the 'pits' overnight from the car battery and inverter system. Having mild temperatures throughout the night was really good too – so many of these Canberra events can be really cold.

The course was amazing. So much single track, it was more of a technical track than raw power, and that’s where Steve and Gazza really shined. I was pretty happy, but in such fast company it was hard not to wish I could rail the corners just that little bit harder! In reality, doing sub 1 hr laps meant keeping a really quick pace up consistently, and the concentration required was nearly as tough as the pedaling. Passing was a challenge, with so many teams out on the course (around 550 I think), it was a case of timing your passing moves carefully when ever possible to keep it safe for everyone and keep your momentum up. Pretty much everyone out on course was friendly and courteous, with just a few both slower and faster riders that just didn’t ‘get it’. The dust was horrendous on the Friday practice lap, but for some reason it did settle down during the race to some degree. The cool dew in the night really helped and the early morning laps were the clearest and the track had just a little more grip too.

We kept up our pace through to the end, just in case one of us had a mechanical or puncture, and were rewarded with first place and a gap of one lap and 40 minutes to second place. All up 23 laps, placing us 43rd overall out of the 545 teams. It was nice to do one better than last year’s inaugural effort for the Mixed Nuts second place in the same category.

I’d really like to thank the whole team, as everyone contributed in their own way to the result. Martine, humble as ever while turning out laps at an amazing pace on her 12.8kg KHS, Gazza looking as professional as ever in his matching outfits and just tearing through the laps, Steve01 is just incredible – one leg hardly working, couldn’t put his foot down, yet did mid 50 min laps consistently and without complaint.
And as always it was great to have the whole ‘mob’ there with everyone giving it their best shot.

GAZZA's picture

you've said it all! i needn't write a blog now!
Well done team and all other riders!
Great weekend. Smiling

brakeburner's picture

absolutley awesome write up, can so see why this is a popular event and the team racing must be a hoot! inspiring stuff. next year for me!

LadyToast's picture

Brilliant result.. sounds like a great event and a great team.

Bubble's picture

Thanks for taking the time to write such a great summary, Steve. I definitely had a ball this year participating to the Mont. Felt stronger, faster, more confident, etc. Having shorter handle bars and riding on lower pressure tyres defo helped! Never too late to learn. I am particularly happy to have done my 5 laps in 35mns 34s faster than Wendy who was in the team that came 2nd. Wendy normally beats me at marathons. I really can't wait to do some more events with the team and in particular the Mont. Hopefully by then, I will have a lighter bike.

Steve 01's picture

You've been voted publicity agent for our fab team,great racing ,great team,great times.Would be good to do 24 laps next year something to aim for

Brian's picture

Steve 01, you would have done 24 because wasn't it cut short with the tribute lap?

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