Sunday, 3 May 2009


GMBC Winter Series: - Mini marathon

With soreness in my quads, arms and core the aim for today's was just to have fun and put some decent efforts in. Consider both boxes ticked.

I started at the back of the bunch and spent the first minute or two avoiding the riders pinging off the bunch as it headed along the first bit of fire road. Into the first bit of single track the pace was being set up front by Russell Collett, I used the steady speed as a chance to pick off the occasional rider, eventually getting myself up to the top 10.

A little rise shortly before before the link track (#14) saw the ~15 man train splinter as riders were unable to hold wheels. I punched past a few riders but could see that there were gaps opening up in front of riders ahead of me. I worked hard and by the start of the link track I had gained another couple of spots. The link track as always was tough. I have always found it best to back off before a technical section, this lets your HR drop, then going full bore. This seemed to be working for me but sadly I was forced to run a couple of sections due to a combination of my own poor line choice and riders in front unclipping. It's always hard to make snap decisions or pick a new route when the HR is jacked on a technical climb.

By the top of the link track I was in open space, I could just see Scott Chancellor(sp?) a few hundred metres up the track but knew I had at least the same gap the rider behind. Going down Rockwell Run (track #4) I managed to get target fixation on a tiny rut, which then led to a very uncoordinated low-ish speed crash. Feeling like a spaz I picked myself up and got back on the bike only to find the course detoured around one of my favourite sections, boulder descent (track #9).

I worked hard round the rest of the stockyards loop, avoiding DH'ers on the Cressy Climb but never sighting Scott. I knew the fire road from the top car park could be a good chance to gain some ground on Scott. I was bigger and had better road legs to smash out the big ring. Though I hit 74.4km/h, I never did see Scott until I crossed the line ~ 1:18 after I started, 7th.

Post race I got a chance to ride Sean Hurley's Lynskey through some of the trails. It's always odd riding someone else's bike, by eye it looked to share a similar geometry, but I found it tough to bunny hop. Through the twisting trails it certainly held a line, but getting back on my own bike just felt like returning home.

A map of the stockyards area, including track #s can be found here.

D: 31.5km
A: 495m

PMPW: 91kg

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