Sunday, 4 July 2010

4/07/2010

Rocky Riders XCO - Interwinter round 3:
It's been around half a decade since I raced at Castlemaine's Pineys course and all I remember was it destroyed both my hands and my lower back. I can safely report that neither of those things have changed.

I signed in for A-grade, it's a club race after all and at the very least ensured I'd do an extra lap. My vow to ride and race my SS throughout winter decided which bike to ride, while a reccy of 3/4 of the course decided my gear (1.9:1).

I wasn't able to hold the front bunch up the starting fire road climb, my gear was just a fraction too small for it and my legs were still telling me about Thursday. The irony that I was still feeling Thursday after declaring on the day that I felt awesome, is not lost on me. The lap was going ok, I was around Chop chop who I'd mentally marked as my goal to beat. Roughly halfway through the lap my rear brake started to make some evil noises and I stopped using it as a precaution.

At the end of the lap I could still see Chop chop, after a quick technical stop to sort out the brake he had put some time into me and as I was soon to find, so had many others.

The next 3 laps hurt, each lap the hills got harder, but I got smarter about my lines and timing my efforts. Slowly I chased down rabbit after rabbit. Catching and passing Steve Clausen and Dave Rusden for a second time in a single race, was almost worth being so far behind where I wanted to be.

The results show I finished in 16th, a minute back on the other dude racing SS and 7 minutes behind Chop Chop and Ash Hayat. Not awesome, but not horrible given my choices. I'm happy my laps were consistent all race (~2 minutes of the 2nd lap were for the Tech stop), but there is room for improvement. I'd suggest I could have cut around a minute a lap with some fresh legs and by racing a geared bike. The geary would have been good to have, simply to let me sit more, which would leave my legs in better shape and my heart rate lower for the technical and downhill sections.

By the end the pine tree roots around the course were getting well polished by the passing tyres, leading to plenty of arse out moments. All bar one of these resulted in a grin, the one that didn't was because I kneed my left thumb, like the classy fellow I am, I let fly with an f-bomb, only to look up and see a dude and his 6 year old kid, yeah really classy!

I didn't take any photos, but Stephen Rowe's shots are here, with my ugly mug featuring on page 16.

Race:
D: 29.0km
A: 795m

Reccy:
D: 6.6km
A: 160m

PMPW: 92kg

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