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Wingello Rocks - Willo Memorial Enduro

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By Whisperer - Posted on 14 March 2011

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First up, what a fitting event for the memory of 'Willo'. Back when I was getting into mtb, his editorials and race stories in Enduro mag, and others before that were really inspiring, particularly considering his humble approach and writing style. A great guy who deserves to be remembered for all the right reasons. Now, onto the race....

Gazza, Martine and I headed down Saturday afternoon, and camped in the delightful camping area near race central. It was a small gathering of riders, and a very quiet spot. Tate was there too. Night fell and unusually for an MTB event it was silent by about 10pm. The morning came round and given the 9am start, it was nice and relaxed having a leasurely breakfast and doing the usual drink mixing, last minute tyre checks and getting it 'all together'.

Race time came, and I had a simple plan: Go full-gas for 50km, and see how it goes. At the start though, I was feeling a bit sluggish. I figured it would soon pass as the adrenaline of the start always gets thing going! I set myself back about 30 riders from the front on the startline so I wouldn't get dragged along too fast too early, but that turned out to be a mistake, as we hit the single track so soon, and there were people in all sorts of trouble in front slowing the pace right down for the first few kays. It all opened up after KOM hill, and I got into my groove. The Yeti Big Top 29er was awesome, carving corners like I've never experienced on the Mojo, and decending was wicked, getting so much momentum up and carrying it into the climbs.

Soon the passing game began, as we hit the back of the 75k fields, and continued for the rest of the race. No big deal, but certainly added to the work. First lap came around in 1hr 14m, which considering the slow start was ok. Second lap was a bit slower, as i stopped to refill the camelback (was drinking more than I'd planned), and the efforts of the first lap were starting to show in my legs. I backed off for a couple of the climbs, but put the 'hurt' on for the single track and a few of the long fireroad sections, and came in around 1hr 20m for the second lap. I'd been quietly hoping for a top 10 finish, but was satisfied with 12th from 118 riders.

It was brilliant to see Martine come in 2nd in the women's 50, and Steve-'the machine'-01 take third in the 75. Great work guys! Tate had an awesome race too, I think 9th in the open mens 50 against some serious competition. Andy-'I've only been managing 200km a week'-Logan had a pretty special result in open mens 75, but not sure his actual position. Gazza was up near the pointy end in 75 mens too, with a well placed 9th.

As an event it was as good as it gets, and i'll be back next year for sure.

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craked's picture

good riding whisperer ,was a top event I was about 4 min30 sec behind you at the finish so so didn't see you out there ,we also were at the camping ground on sat night didnt know you guys were there or I would have come over and said G'day ,anyway well done on your result .
cheers Craig

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