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Antsonline's picture

By Antsonline - Posted on 01 May 2011

Re: This ride meeting: 
Dirtworks Classic 2011
Jet Cycles / Specialized
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
100km Male Elite
Position (Category): 

At last a race that I finish, instead of crashing out!
Gun goes, and we're off. All of us together. As usual, a couple of guys try and shoot off the front to try and get a lead into the hill. They are chased down very quickly. So, going into the bottom of the hill, everyone is together, through the slop and muck! Ben (Mather) and Matt (Flemming) hit the hill hard. I'm in about 6th wheel and planning on taking it fairly easy. Justin Morris (Marathon MTB) jumps clear and sits in 3rd about 5m behind Ben and Matt.
Strangely, I find myself pedalling and basically riding away from the rest of the race! I pass Justin halfway up the hill, and am closing on Ben and Matt. I check my shoulder and see Shaun (Lewis) and Jason (English) about 20m back. I make a split second decision to not push on any harder, and just cruise over the top in 3rd place. It was the right thing to do as its a long race and we are barely 15km in. It bought me time to drink, take a gel, and then sit up easy pedalling for Shaun and Jase.
Having planned so much for bad weather and rocks, I was delighted when at 20km my saddlebag containing spare pads, gas bombs, latex innertube, chainlinks, and multi-tool decided to detach itself!
Still, I was rolling with Jase and Shaun, and I wasnt about to stop. Feeling good, I told the guys that I needed to stop at the 1st water point. Neither of them did, so I attacked to get myself 10secs. It wasnt enough and whilst I was still sorting out new bottles, they flew past.
I put the foot down, and caught them on the next climb. We then proceeded to ride together all the way through to the 50km water point. Mostly with me on the front, as I knew the track best.
No dramas at this stop, and we all roll past the Buddhist temple together. Nothing aggressive, but some very solid climbing.
Hit the North Road rocks, and I was on the front. I hit it hard, and (would you beleive) dropped Jason on a tech climb that I had been practising. For those that know the GNR, I opted to run the huge rock climb (almost completely unridable) in advance. I knew it was faster than riding it. It proved to be the correct decision, and this is where I got the gap. I felt so strong, I pushed on.
Jason isnt a world champ for nothing, and he fought back hard and caught shaun and I on the shepherds gully descent.
I did a double take when I checked my shoulder and saw him. I was convinced he was gone. Credit to him for fighting back so strongly.
Shepherds, bottles, then the canoe bridge.
There is a great photo on Cyclenation of the three of us on the bridge together - Shaun first, then me, then Jase.
We hit the road, and are swapping turns fairly evenly. I can feel some cramps coming on, so dont push it. Hit the bottom on the heart-breaking Womerah range and its still together.
I know I am on borrowed time, and my legs are cramping bad. Still together as a group though. We know Matt Flemmo is 3mins ahead, but Ben is gone. We talk about trying to catch Matt.
Its about this time that the legs just protest too hard. Cramps hit me. I have to get off the bike, and stretch. Jase and Shaun ride off. DAMNATION!

I sort myself out, remount (more cramps just doing that) and find some heart. I knew Jenny was devo at not being able to race, and I wanted to push on for her. I focused on that and pushed on. Incredibly, and too my surprise, I see Jason again. Shaun had dropped him.
Painfully, Jason sees me, and finds new legs! I'm spent. I can do nothing.
Unbeleivably, he rides back to Shaun!
I am nursing myself home and hit the descent (Jacks) in massive panic that I will get swamped by chasing riders. I had no idea how close they might have been, and was really worried!
Road, alone, and it went on forever till the river crossing. I rode through, and the cold water sent my recently recovered legs into fearsome cramps again!!!
Get to the road, and some of the 50km riders coming through.

I will admit - keep it a secret - that I drafted off a 50km rider for 200m whilst I tried to stretch my legs. Whomever he was - thank you soooo much. I ate, and drank, everything left in my pockets. I then promptly dropped him. Bad manners!
Rolled over the line - elated with 5th. Sure, 3rd would have been great, but Shaun and Jason were so strong. Full respect to them. I was really delighted. Jenny was there, arm in a sling, with a coke and a kiss for me - the best qualified 'bottle-bitch' in NSW!
I try to get off the bike - and cramped. Again. It didnt matter anymore, and I quite enjoyed giving the interview with my legs locked in pain!

Not sure of my time. Someone said 4hrs 15mins. I've put that down, but sorry if its wrong. I dont ride with a watch / computer etc so have no idea.
Other interest - I used 11gels, and drank 5x500ml bottles. 4 of which had some stuff in, and the final one had just plain water.

I hope all the other nobmobbers had a good ride. The conditions were wet, but not unbearable. I actually thought it was ideal racing conditions in the end. Gotta love Dirtworks. Bring on 2012!

Rob's picture

Don't know about anyone else, but I find it fascinating to read first hand how the elites go in these events. Thank you so much for sharing.

Is this the Cyclenation picture you're talking about? You all look so clean! Eye-wink

Well done on your brilliant result, and commiserations to Jenny on her incident. Hope she recovers quickly.

Antsonline's picture

.....thats the photo.
Shaun is smirking because he leading and causing the bridge to move like mad!

Glad you enjoyed the write-up. Elite or not, everyone (other than Ben) got dropped at some point in the race, we all felt the 'I cant go with that pace / I've got nothing left' feeling. Thats what makes MTB so friendly. We all hurt.

Jen and I are taking a break now, she will have an Op. She has been told a titanium plate and pins is the way to go. She said "nah - too flexible, I want carbon"!

Rob's picture

So many quotes about pain and cycling, is this a coincidence? Eye-wink

Sam Abt: "Suffering is what professional cycling is all about, and champions suffer the longest."
Fabian Cancellara: "Pain is temporary but the memories last forever."
etc, etc.

Either way, yeah, it's nice to know the elites suffer like everyone else, even if they don't look like they are most of the time Sticking out tongue

GAZZA's picture

And well done.
I had a shocker right from the beginning but finished anyway.
I'll put something on here later.

Logan's picture

Great write up and a great race by you Ants well done. Unlucky for Jenny as she has been in some great form recently.

Its great to hear how the elites go as well.

craked's picture

Great read and great riding ,you certainly captured the excitement of the race in your blog ,my heartrate went up reading it...!love to know your official time

ae93gti's picture

Great write up and congrats on what sounded like a hard day at the office, at least the latter part.

Thanks for sharing.

ps's picture

I can remember when we were out at Wingello you telling me about your perfect dirtworks race. I am pretty sure that your effort yesterday exceeded your best case scenario so congrats.
While its always disappointing to miss out in a close tussle I am sure that you enjoyed the racing with Jason and Shaun. Certainly makes the time pass quicker and the races I always remember were the ones where there was close competition.

philberesford's picture

and great ride. Felt like being there. Oh yeah i was. But nowhere near the pointy end.
With all that mud, water and clay I feel like I rode the DW200 yesterday.

Well done #5

Discodan's picture

Great result for you Anthony. 5th in that company is something to be very proud of. Bugger of a day for Jenny, I hope she's back in the saddle before too long.

I'm interested that you used 11 gels for the race which is close to one every 20 minutes. Mere mortals like me use half that, is that because you were burning that much more energy or were you really packing them in as a preventative measure?

Antsonline's picture

Hey 'Disco'.
Gels - 11. Yep, it seems a bit much, but the science is pretty well proven.
On the fuel front, its broadly agreed that you need 1grm of carb / kg of bodyweight / hour.
So....I weigh just under 80kg, I need 80grms of carb / hour of race.
In a gel is 26 grms of carb. I also have a few grms of carb in my drink bottle.

There you go - full explanation. 'Mere mortals' or not, our bodies work the same, so perhaps you should up your food a bit?

BTW - Jenny cant do so many gels in one go, so she will make some sandwiches (jam) and have a quarter every 15 or 20mins.

Hope that helps?

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