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Good day at the Convict

Blades_Utd's picture

By Blades_Utd - Posted on 04 May 2014

Re: This ride meeting: 
Convict 100 2014
Sxc Racing
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
100km Male Sub Veteran
Position (Category): 

Where does the time go? It doesn't feel like a year since we were last lining up in St Albans for this great race. A few different faces this time around however, sadly no Brian or Dicko, but Phil B, Minter and Chitts were all back having missed out last year for various reasons.

Prior to this race I knew that I was going ok, a good race at CP followed by a bit of a lull and then a ramp up in training with intervals and harder long rides. A couple of years ago I was mainly doing my own thing when riding and training but more recently am getting a lot more enjoyment out of riding with friends.. and that seems to be coming through in my results. My goals for the race were under 4:20 and no higher than a top 10, having finished last year in 4:33 I thought this was tough but achievable.

My routine for this race is 3:30am alarm, espresso, drive to St Albans, register and get ready, chat with friends, couple of rides up the finish road and then to the start area. This all went to plan, except I woke at 2:30am and didn't sleep thereafter, so an already long day was going to be one hour longer..

I lined up in the first wave and we were soon riding, the start was much less nervous than prior years and I managed to stay towards the front of the group without much stress, even managing a chat with a couple of people. On the run up to the first climb I put in a bit of effort wanting to be in the front few riders knowing that there was a high likelihood of stopping. I ended up in about 8-10th wheel but inevitably someone lost traction and we were all off our bikes. A brief hike then back on and grinding our way to the top. I saw Paris, Minter and another guy get away and I ended up in the 2nd group with Tristan, Garry James and about 6-7 others and that was us set until the GNR. On the run in to 10 mile hollow there were 5 of us and I nipped around a Tristan and Stu Adams (?) wanting to get into transition and a head start on refilling bottles. Unfortunately this was where I lost the group. I wanted to get back onto the group and pushed, without going to deep, up half way hill climb but couldn't close the gap so rode alone from there knowing that I had to keep something in reserve for Womerah. I nearly lost it going down Shepherds Gully but kept it upright and rode nervously to the bottom.

Turning onto the road after the bridge I could see Ondrej and Garry James behind and pushed on trying to stay ahead. The road section seemed into a headwind and felt tough. Turning onto the hill I was passed by Ordrej and then one of the eilte riders pulled up in front of me with their 3rd puncture of the day, I offered my tube and tools and said he'd have to find me at the end as I was pushing on. Whilst assisting, Garry went passed me and then I was back on the bike catching up, we ended up riding most of Womerah together, chatting at times when we could for motivation, talking about how Womerah sucks at that point in the race but how good the Epic 29'ers were. I managed to put some time between us on the final descent but he caught and passed me heading to the river crossing. I gapped him again having run through the sand but he showed his strength on the flats passing me on the run in.

I crossed the line with 4:18 on my garmin, even getting a mention from Anthony on the mic, thanks Ant Smiling . Taking stops into account took me 36 seconds over my 4:20 target, given the stop to help out i was pretty much on my goal. I wasn't sure of my placing at the end and thought there was an outside chance of a podium but seeing I was 4th in cat was in no way a disappointment and I am very happy with my result.

A few notable mentions, Minter and Paris for winning their age groups and especially Minter for breaking 4 hours, truly amazing.
Doc for 9th in Vets and beating last years time. Well done to all that finished, another enjoyable day at St Albans (and no rain, how good was that).

Looking forward to seeing everyone back next year.

Brian's picture

Awesome race Mike. I've been seeing your rides on strava in the last few weeks and knew if you had no mechanicals you'd be on for a good result. Well done.

Dicko's picture

Great Ride Mike. Thanks for running the SXC flag with the absence of a few of us.

You have really stepped up to another level with your riding. I am glad to see all you hard work pay off.

Time for a break now, a few beers and reflection, and some talk about what the rest of the season holds for us.

Well done mate - kudos all round.

+1 also for Minter and Paris. Fantastic riding in the Masters, setting the benchmark for us guys. Again well done.


Warthog's picture

Great ride Mike. After last weekend's ride of the gorges I knew you were going to do well. Don't know if I would have stopped to help someone out with a puncture especially if I was on track for a podium finish - great gesture mate. Looking forward to a few more tough interval sessions and offcourse a few more coffees. Well deserved result.

doc's picture

That is better than a good day racing, that was a great ride and well deserved result.

I wish I could have joined you for the final drag to the finish and was looking for you over Womerah, but you were way to strong for me and long gone. Well done Michael !

Tristania's picture

I wondered what had happened to you after TMH. Glad you kep lt going though I know Womerah really is a killer! That's a fantastic time, must be a record for the SXC racing crew?

philberesford's picture

Thanks for the tow to the hill Eye-wink

Let's do beers soon

Brian's picture

Yep, Mike has the SXC Record for the Convict course. I think there will be a few chasing that down next year Eye-wink

Chitts's picture

You have trained hard and the dividends are clearly paying off.It has been great having you as an addition to the regular riding and training group.

For 2015 I am expecting to see you in Rotorua and possibly at the Cape Pioneer Smiling

garyinoz's picture

Well done Mike, you've certainly put in a lot of effort training so it's great to see you get the rewards. Big Kudos mate.

I wonder what you'll do with a bit more sleep Eye-wink

craked's picture

Bloody fine ride Mike well done.

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