Saturday, 23 October 2010


The organisers did a pretty decent job of the start. I'm sure working out how to get nine hundred odd people out and racing on a mostly single track course without complete carnage was a challenge. Sadly when the gate was opened on our circular pen (we were riding around like tuna in a tuna farm) I was almost right up the back.

The ensuing traffic in front of me meant that I was forced to walk the first couple of climbs but thankfully we started to get a bit of flow the further into the lap we got. By the time the first beer tent shortcut option presented itself I was starting to feel good, maybe not great because the two guys near me who I'd pegged as targets had got a gap, but good enough. The tiny 330mL can was no match for my mighty thirst, the month of overseas "training" was paying off, though I should have done more burp intervals as the ensuing gas sat atop my stomach for the next 4km of trail.

The second beer tent was a trap, a trap that I didn't work out until it was too late. Sculling a beer on the start line seemed like a great idea, it seemed like a great idea right up until the first climb 1km later when the massive gas bubble in my guts made it's displeasure at my exertion very clear to me. If I hadn't started to chase down all my mates my motivation might have flagged, but seeing Gav ahead of me was enough to ensure the pedals kept going around.

Into one of the more fun trails of the day 'A-Line' I rode with Brude Dickey in what can only be described as an extravaganza of Aussie (Bruce now claims to be Aussie, despite the Kiwi passport) good natured abuse. Any rider unfortunate enough to find themselves in front of us was heckled relentlessly. "Get off the brakes" "You call that a line?", a few couldn't take it any more and let our giggling selves past.

I probably backed off too much about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way through, but I was in general happy with the way I pushed the climbs, worked the descents and flogged myself on the flat stuff. Despite being clear to me from from the start of the race that I had no chance of playing with the leaders, I cared. How do I know I cared? Well within 4km of the end I accidentally (seriously) took a b-line that lost me 6ish places. I was ropeable.

I've done under 3km vertical in 3 days but my legs are completely trashed. I swear it has nothing to do with the beer!

I didn't take any photos today, but if you've got a facebook account check out all the ones on the world's page (click here).

D: 41.0km
A: 940m

B: 11

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