2nd Solo Men, 12 laps @ 07:54:31
140km, 2400 vert/m
This weekend was the final round of the Rockytrail GP series. An 8 hr race around a 12km loop at Mt Stromlo.
Although not an important race on the 2010 calendar, it is hard to pass up an opportunity to race at Stromlo.
That said, an 8 hr this weekend was always going to be a challenge, backing up after the 100 miler Highland Fling the weekend before.
The Fling definitely took more out of me then I thought it would, and I was energy-less all week. In fact, we only raced B grade at Dirt Crits - Jase, Blanko, Tommo and I were all feeling it.
But regardless, and ignoring Fenz's words of wisdom to just race 4 hrs, I packed up the car ready for 8 hrs of Stromlo fun. Not having ridden Stromlo since 24hr Worlds I was keen to get some hours in.
Getting set up, it was good to have a heap of mates around - Jase, Kevin, Ed, Gaz and Tommo were all there. Although, ironically we were all racing different categories!
The start was a good sprint around the crit track. Rockytrail races get a lot of beginners, so you really don't want to get stuck behind anyone heading into the single track. My Dirt Crits legs kicked in, and I was about 5th into the single track - and put in 15th fastest lap of the day.
That was the last I saw of any of the guys for the day :( Jase had mechanical issues, Ed busted a spoke and flatted, and Gaz was stuck back in traffic.
The track followed fence line and fire road up to the black berry climb (above the bridge). It was all about the big-dog getting up that firetrail :)
Blackberry to Slant 6 to the round about area, then up blue tongue. Despite all the talk of ruds and washed out trails, all of this was fine. There were few more exposed rocks and ruts, but nothing bad.
The down little Seymour ... which was great fun. Some nice little rock drops and fast corners. The mud bog at the bottom was a bit nasty, but nothing compared to the Choc. Foot 7 hr race!
From there, we hit fireroad up to the new Willo-link. This bit of fireroad was good for taking in some gels and drink ... and good for peeing on the bike :)
From the top of Willo-link it was down Party Line (pipes) ... which is just an awesome run down. Nice berms, super quick and flows so well.
Then back onto the main windy trail back around, and down the big berm, over the 4x bridge and back onto the crit track.
After about 3hrs I was definitely feeling it - New Years resolutions #1 - when Fenner says do a 4 hr, listen to him :) But I plodded on - silently wishing I was finishing at the 4 hr mark ...
The heat was tough - my Garmin reported temps up to 31 C!
Food wise, this race I intended to try to run on a little less food;
- Torq gels
- Torq bars
- Torq energy
- Couple of bananas
- Hammer heed
- Hammer perpetuem
Getting towards the end of the race, Robyn let me know I was about 10 - 15 minutes behind 1st. I honestly was not too fussed ... I had no intention of busting myself to make up this time. Similarly, when I came in at 7hrs 54, and I knew I was a lap up on 3rd there was no way I was going to head out for another lap!
A big thanks to my excellent support crew of Robyn and Bailey. Bailey made sure no food scraps went to waste ... and thought he was a guard dog all day.
Robyn is getting very good at keeping me fed and hydrated - and knowing what I need.
Thanks to Kevin too for his helping hand.
A big thanks to Brett from ACT Bike Superstore - after last weekend's race he put in a heap of work into my Scott Spark. New bearings in my front race wheel, re-packed the headset, cleaned and socked the derailleur and chain. He also put in a heap of time getting the 10 speed X0 shifting just right. Thanks!
The Spark performed well - again the Twin Lockout was fantastic. All the climbing in the mid-lockout and all the fireroads in full lockout. Great for getting out the saddle and having no bob!
I ran the Scwalbe Rocket Ron this week. It is an impressive tire - and has lots of cornering bite. There were a few moments I thought I was going down, but the tire grips and pulls you out. I highly recommend this tire!!
Time to rest up now ... next weekend is a ride to the coast (and back) with the guys, then a light Brindies weekend, then off to Victoria for the Alpine Assault 100km!
|Ed and Andrew|