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SingleTrack Mind #2 - Jet Racing

Antsonline's picture

By Antsonline - Posted on 25 June 2012

Re: This ride meeting: 
SRAM Singletrack Mind Series Round 2

Normally, these race reports start on the day of the race. The startline, the nerves. This one is different.
I want to go back a year. There was an idea. It came about with friends talking about racing their bikes, conversations which coincided with other friends looking to build a mountain bike team - but a community based team. Something valuable, that did more than just win races. We all agreed that we don’t race our bikes to win. We race our bikes because its fun. Winning makes it 'funner'.

Jet Racing MTB was born. Original members - Garry Millburn, Kyle Ward, and Anthony Shippard. For any number of reasons - including near death crashes and rehab, retirement from racing, paid work getting in the way, we have never been to a race together to race as a team, as a group of friends. We knew that when we did, it would signal the real 'start'.

This weekend, the stars alligned, and we were on. Saturday morning started with a lazy 90km ride with the Coluzzi road bunch. Big Johny Sunde - CEO, Chairman of the Coluzzi board - was there instructing the group. All three of us did some solid riding, but left a bit in the legs. It was a fabulous ride. We got home, packed the car and raced off to Canberra, so that we could ride again that afternoon, and get a lap of the course done in advance of the race.

Arriving in Canberra, we were hit by one thing. Quite how cold it is down there. Incredible. Kyles beard instantly froze. We quickly got kitted up and hit the track. As we rode, I heard two things from Garry and Klye - both of which told me it would be a good day to come.
Garry (who has been a 'died in the wool' 26" wheel'd, Hardtail fan): "These 29" Epics are ridiculously fast around this stuff, why would you ever ride small wheels and a hardtail?!" - Garry is converted.
Kyle (who is usually pretty quiet about his chances and capabilities): "Its going to take a lot to beat me tomorrow, I have good sensations" - be scared.
Me "oh god, I'm gonna have to work to ensure I'm not the slowest on the team!"

Hotel, showered, out to dinner. The usual place in Queanbeyan for dinner, and the usual pre-race dinner - huge Mixed Grill….I wont go into the details now, but my gosh, some meat was consumed….

Race morning dawned and it was FREEZING. Literally. I de-iced the windscreen of the car in the half-light of the morning, as Kyle rolled out on his bike. He was riding to the race start - 16km - to warm up, as he was the designated team 'starter'.
The plan was for Kyle and I to race double laps, with Garry riding singles: K,K,G,A,A,G,K,K,G,A,A,G
It would give us all 4 laps, and worked to our individual strengths.

Arriving at the race, we saw all of the competition - Ashfield Cycles, Bike Culture, Bernard Beer, Velosophy, Radical Lights, and the very fast local team of Onyabike / Giant. We knew we would have to work hard to be in contention.
The gun went, and a funny thing happened. Kyle shot off (standard) but by the end of the lap, he hadn’t blown up - we were in unchartered water.. In fact, he was far from blowing up. As the other teams swapped out to fresh legs, Kyle pushed on for his second, and went even faster. After just two laps, he had brought us just over a 3min lead. It turns out that he had ridden the 2nd fastest and the 3rd fastest lap of the day - back to back. Ridiculous! This was against some of the best riders in the country.
Garry flew out on his first, and tore the track up. I warmed up, and have to admit to feeling a little tired in my legs. I stood at the 'transition' with the fresh morning sun on my legs, and looked around.
What a great event. So many happy people, all rugged up against the wind, drinking hot tea, riding good, bad, ugly bikes - it didn’t matter. As I was gazing around happily, the commentator barks into life "here he comes - Garry Millburn from Jet Racing…"
Cue my nerves…

Garry had extended our lead out to 4mins.

Tagged, and out. I pushed really hard. I didn’t know what the lead was at that stage. I did know that the bet within the team meant that I didn’t want to get the slowest lap. I ripped out 2 fast laps. The records will show that these were the 4th and 5th fastest laps of the day. Despite this, I spent some time checking my shoulder (the voices in my head were saying "you are going so slowly, they are bound to catch you").
I came in and the lead was about 8mins.

Without going on too much - the lead was 8.5mins at halfway through the event, and just kept growing. Kyle went out for his final set, and set the fastest lap of the day - just when everyone else was getting tired. Garry was super consistent, and my second set of two laps were within 30seconds of my first two.

Jet Racing MTB - the team, the group of friends, had finally come together to race. Within the little camp area we had set up, you wouldn’t have guessed we were racing - there was dancing, sledging, singing, food fights - the lot. We atmosphere was fantastic. We had had fun - we supported each other, but take it too seriously, we did not.
Oh, and we won. Category. Overall. The top 5 fastest laps were all set by us. Next closest team or competitor of any flavour was 22mins behind us.

Jet Racing MTB team came of age at Kowan.
Thank you to Jet Cycles - especially Mark Newton for his support, and Rob Booker for his spanner skills. Further - a huge thanks to Specialized Australia. Your support and help means a huge amount to us.

Keep your eye on SBS Cycling Central for a feature on the race, and probably the odd interview with one of us...

Discodan's picture

don't you love it when a plan comes through. That's a serious result there guys, you miht have to get that team together more often. Well done

Antsonline's picture

Thanks Dan.
It certainly went according to plan. We had a suspicion that we'd be hard to beat, but until you get there, you never know.

It wont be the last time we come together. The rest of the series will feature a Jet Racing team, and there is also the small matter of The Mont 24hr. We wont be one of the big name favourites (Rockstar / Swell / YetiGu / Merida) but I'd like to think we could cause a bit of a fuss....

Flynny's picture

Nice work. Good to see the guys at the pointy end having fun and enjoying it for what it is.

Lach's picture

..and a great back story, well told, to go with it. Good luck with future events.

Brian's picture

Nice work guys, well done.

Dicko's picture

Who will be faster this weekend - looks like kyle has some runs on the board, and now some endurance !

Great stuff guys - that combination will be very hard to beat !

GAZZA's picture

And great reporting once again.

craked's picture

great write up Ants ,and so good to see Garry back riding and getting results.well done Jet Racing

Sinkes's picture

Keep them coming.....good luck for the future races!

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