13 laps in 7 hrs : 11 mins : 50 secs
This weekend it was off to Wingello for the 4th round of the Chocolate Foot Singletrack Mind series.
This weekend was also the 4th consecutive weekend of out of town racing, and after the 12 hr last weekend I was feeling pretty fried all week.
Driving up on Saturday afternoon, it was clear that there had been a lot of rain up there during the week. Getting to event central was a little 4-wheel drive adventure, and the relocated event area was very muddy indeed.
Garry, McAvoy and I headed out for a look of the track, sure enough it was off into light rain!
Saturday night our spirits were all down, no one was keen to slog it out in the cold rain for another weekend. That said, some light humour was made from the Thai dinner menu which included an entrée of "Poo Jar". Almost as good as the Thai dinner menu from Nowra which included "Pad Pet".
Sunday morning was brisk and very wet. But it would be the same for everyone so time to suck it up.
The race start headed out into around 2-3km of fireroad. It had a gentle up hill gradient to it, and later a nasty head wind. The pace was fast but not too crazy. I was happy to let the fast team riders (such as Benny Henderson) go, knowing that Ed McDonald was sitting behind on my wheel.
The 8km of single track that followed was sloppy. Very wet and slippery. Extra caution had to be taken on the slippery tree roots and log roll overs.
Coming out of the single track there was another 2km or so of fireroad. Most of this was in a fast flat descent back to the transition area. Ed was still on my wheel as we hit this single track, but when he saw the long descent I could see the disappointment in his eyes. Ed was of course riding a single speed, and had no chance of keeping up as I dropped into the smallest ring of the cassette and powered away.
Not having support for this race I had no idea of my time gaps. My strategy was to just keep riding at a solid tempo and keep pushing it on the fireroads.
Around the 5 hour mark I got news from McAvoy that I was 5 minutes or so up on Rod McGee and that Ed had fallen back some more. This was good news and I set about keeping up a similar pace.
By this time the track had dried out pretty well. It was really tacky and fast. A great reward for slogging it out earlier in the cold muck.
In the end, I got Rod by 8.5 minutes and Ed by 14. It was then 40 minutes back to 4th place Enduro Pulse rider Michael Crummy.
After 4 solid weeks of training and racing, this was a great way to finish this block!
McAvoy and Bree won the mixed pairs, and Garry and Old-man (John) Henderson got 2nd in Masters pairs. So it was a good weekend all around for us Canberra boys!
- Torq gel 1 / hour, 2 in the last hour. Caffeine from 8am - midday
- 2 x Torq bars (1/2 per hour)
- 1 x Cliff Shot Block
- 5 x bottles of Torq energy (2 scoops / bottle)
To deal with the mud, I ran Continental X-King Protection 2.2s on front and rear. These were perfect for the conditions.
These tires were light, and very grippy both in the mud and on the hard pack. These conti tires have a very sticky rubber compound which really grips any surface. The knob spacing was also amble to allow the mud to clear, with no build up on either wheel.
My chain of choice lately has been the SRAM PC-1091-R. This is a lightweight version of the 1091, and has extra slits in the links to reduce weight. The upside of this is that it also helps in mud shedding. I lubed my chain once in the morning before the race (Rock-N-Roll blue), and despite huge amounts of mud my chain had no issues at all. Very impressive.
Finally, the good old Scott Twin-Lock was again invaluable. I used the full lock out on all the fireroads and also in some of the single track pinches. It really makes a huge difference to be able to make the bike fully ridged with a flick of the switch on the bar.
A big thanks to ACT Bike Superstore for getting my bike prepped for this weekend. A special thanks to mechanic Brett for making sure the TwinLock was perfectly tuned.
Although Robyn was not there to support, she was following the results online - so a big thanks for her too!
Next weekend is back to normal training. So probably heading out to Stromlo to start dialing in the bikes in preparation for the Scott 24 hr!
I'll update with some podium and other pics once they come out!