Sunday, 21 November 2010


National XCC Round 1, You Yangs:
Unlike yesterday when I was nervous as all get out, this morning I was hungover and really just in a CBF mood.

The course was short, all fire road but had one tricky corner at the top and another even trickier one at the bottom.

The race is a bit of a blur, 15 minutes plus 3 laps doesn't give a heap of time to think things through.

I figured I had a good chance at this race, so from the start I sat myself near the front, I think I attacked once or twice and spent a few laps on the front before I swung wide and let someone else break the wind for a while. My attack and those of a few others had the field strung out and we soon had a selection made with 5-6 guys clear. It might have been less or more, a few might have got back on when we slowed mid race to force someone new to do the pacemaking, but I knew there was only a few strong enough to contend the race at the end.


As the time hit 15 minutes the commentator commented that we were "coming through for the bell lap", I thought it was odd because it should have been 3 to go, but maybe something had changed, maybe I had missed the "3 to go" call. Then I heard the bell.

In my opinion a bell is a bell, so I attacked with everything hit the front and hammered it up the front straight. By the top corner of the course I had a good gap, round and hard down the back straight I knew that the race was mine. Then a marshal yelled from the side that it was actually 3 laps, not 1 laps to go.

I was now 3/4 of the way round a lap, I had a small gap on the field but I had 2 and 1/4 laps to go and wasn't sure how best to ride that. I could try to go solo, but I'd just put everything into an attack. I could sit up and try to attack again a lap or so later, but I'd just put everything into an attack, plus that would mean giving up the hard earned gap.

So I kept going, I could hear by the commentators comments that the front group was strung out, I kept the pace and pain high through the next lap and into the last lap. Going up the slight rise of the front straight I was hurting and finding it tough to dig any deeper. One rider caught me and slipped inside to take the lead through the top corner. I took a shit line, fucked it and unclipped losing massive amounts of ground.

I gave chase to ensure I kept at least second. Through the tough bottom corner there was a commotion over the loud speakers, as my eyes scanned through the exit of the corner I realised why and that I was the luckiest guy in the race. The dude had mechanicaled with only 30m to go in the race and was stopped dead.

So now I'm the National XCC Open series leader. It's not elite, so it's kind of a hollow title, but I sort of feel obliged to defend it at future rounds.

PMPW: 94kg


Diesel said...

Do I hear that right? This is the XC race (not the short course) and it's only 15 minutes + with no single track?? In any case mate - I love your work. Well done. You just can't let up can you with possibilities like that. Maybe now we have to call you Stephen!

neil said...

nonono XCC is short course. XCO is the olympic XC that we all know and love/hate.