13 laps @ 7:02:36
This weekend at Stromlo Forest Park was the Round 3 of the Chocolate Foot Singletrack Mind Series.
This round had a 7 hour solo option on the same course that the Easter Solo National 24 hr was run.
I felt good heading into this race, having been putting in some quality 6 hour training rides in the previous weekends, and having smashed out a PB FTP result on the Friday afternoon.
The track was in good condition, with some light rain during the week creating some great tacky areas and settling the Stromlo dust.
The morning of the race was cold. -4C at 7am. Just driving down left a thick coat of ice on my grips, brake levers, forks and saddle. I had to break out the tool box to chip the ice off my grips!
The rider briefing felt like it went on for ages as we stood around in the cold, and I did not get a chance to do any warm up. I missed a mad rush to the start line, and so was 3 or 4 rows back from the "self seeded" start line.
As the gun went off it was pretty chaotic. We had to do a loop of the crit track before heading into the sniggle. I got a few places back on the crit track, but without a good warm up I was well in the mix. At least I got past Ed and Brett who were spinning like hamsters on their SS.
To be fair to the SS guys, I'd much rather see a fireroad climb to sort riders out then a crit track loop.
The first lap was painfully slow. The course does not have that much room for passing, so it was frustrating sitting in and waiting for small opportunities to jump a few places.
Coming out onto the fireroad at the bottom of Party Line I decided to drop a few gears and pull away from the SS guys. It worked well and I got 20 - 30 seconds pretty quickly ... however it was just as quickly lost coming down Break Out and hitting the ice covered wooden bridge at full tilt. A roll in the dirt and a messed up chain meant I was now back on Ed's tail.
The traffic settled on the 2nd lap, and Ed and Brett were attacking. Luckily they did not get too far up and I was able to get back in front pretty quickly.
Soon Ed and I caught Shaun Lewis (Rockstar Racing), who was having a shot at a longer format race. He jumped on and he and I tick-tacked for a number of laps. Each lap I could put a big gap into him on the climb, but he would always catch me back up on the descent back around.
Luckily for me, Shaun started to really fade on the climb (4 hrs in) and then had some tire issues. He did a few more laps and then called it quits for the day.
By now I had a solid gap on Ed and Brett, and little chance of catching Dylan Cooper (Trek) up front. Dylan had smoked the first few laps. With his big XC legs and having clear track from the start, he already had 4 minutes on me in the first lap alone!!
Knowing that I had at least 6 minutes on Ed, which turned out to be 10 mins, I did not need to push the last few laps and was not upset to miss doing another lap - rolling over the line at 7hrs : 2mins.
So, I was quite happy with this days riding. I rode solid all day, kept my lap times really consistent (30 - 33 mins / lap) and felt strong all day.
It was great riding on track with so many friends and fellow Canberra riders - Jase, Garry, Kev, Ed, Tommo, Bellchambers, Hendo, Anne, Meryl, Andy Blair, Nathan Spencer ... just to name a few!
Thanks to ...
A big thanks to Robyn for coming and supporting me at this race. She ensured I had super fast transition times - as in 100% rolling transitions - and kept a close eye on my food and drink intake.
Thanks to Bailey the wonder dog for eating all left over food .... and attempting to eat the odd small child too. Sorry Kylie!
Thanks to ACT Bike Superstore for having my bike in excellent working order as always.
Finally, thanks to the Chocolate Foot guys and girls and all the volunteers for putting on a great race. I huge thank you to all the volunteers cheering everyone on at the top of Party Line!!
Food wise ...
Food for this race was really simply ... my trusty race formula;
- 1 bottle Torq Energy / hour (2 scoops - mixing 1 scoop natural + 1 scoop flavored)
- 1/2 Torq bar / hour
- 1 Torq gel / hour
This formula worked well - no stomach issues and I felt good for the entire race.
Gear wise ...
The Scott Spark 10 was reliable as always. Comfy, fast and no mechanical issues at all.
The Twin-Lock was great - riding the whole circuit in the middle lock out mode, and using the fully rigid mode for the few fireroad climbs. It is amazing just how much more power you can put out when the suspension is fully locked out vs bobbing away.
I ran a 2.1 Rocket Ron UST on the front and a (very) worn 2.1 Racing Ralph (UST) on the rear. I think this rear tire has seen it's last race!
Can't wait to get my hands on the new 2012 Scott Spark - check out the awesome 2012 Sparks!!
|Ed, Dylan and me|