Monday, September 16, 2013

RTE 7hr - Stromlo

2nd - 7hr (elite solo)

15 laps - 07 hrs 06 mins 13 secs

Last weekend was the Rockytrail Entertainment GP7 round at Mt Stromlo.

7 hours at Mt Stromlo sounded like a good opportunity to get some Stromlo race miles in the legs ahead of the Scott and Wembo 24hrs.

7 hours at Stromlo - easy right? Well, chuck in a massive training week and one of the toughest enduro course you can run this was always going to be a grovelfest ...

The course was the switchbacks up to the Playground, then down through Rascals. Old Duffy, Blackberry etc through to Blue Tongue, Heartbreaker and Skyline. The down Luge and Berm track all the way to the bottom.

In this course, the climb is not the hard part ... it is the repeats of Berm and Luge - as you are descending, on the brakes and hitting the berms with full speed. This adds up pretty quickly, nailing your wrists, hands and shoulders.

The race start was complete chaos. Martin had the idea of a rolling start down the 4x bridge. Sounds good, but letting loose a couple hundred riders on the sketchy right-hander with only 150 meters until the first singletrack is always going to be craziness.

Needless to say, there was a lot of bar rubbing and jostling for position as we headed for the first singletrack. I opted to jump in behind the Wombat (aka Shaun Lewis) - and figured I'd spend the first lap behind Lewey and Kyle.

Unlike the 7hr at Mt Annan, I was not going for any first lap craziness and was content after the first lap to let the 4hr and team riders go. I knew this was going to be a long day out.

I set my own steady pace and took advantage of the open track before we would catch up to traffic.

Looking back, I could not see Ed but figured it would not be too far behind. On about the 2nd lap of traffic, Ed, Andrew Lloyd and Troy came across to me. They got caught in the traffic and I kept a little gap down the descent.

We all came together again on the climb back up the switch backs, but something happened to Ed and he dropped off, and Lloyd binned it hard coming out of the wall ride.

Troy smartly sat in, and was clearly riding well. I was quickly showing my fatigue, making lots of silly technical mistakes. Blrruuk.

Around the 5 hour mark, Troy went to the front and put in a fast descent. Feeling even more baked, I had little interest in chasing him down. Having not seen Ed for some time, I figured I could just roll out the last 2 hours.

In the end, Troy finished in 7:04, me at 7:06 and Ed at 7:12 - so all pretty close - and a great training ride!

Putting in 15 repeats of Skyline and Luge was a good reminder of the pain to come in Wembo, where we could be seeing close to 24 x Skyline + Luge repeats!

For this race I took out the Cannondale F29er - so 29er hard tail. I opted for this over the Scalpel purely to save weight. The course had nothing really rough, so the F29er was great fun.

Although the climb added up, I ran the XX1 36T chain ring. Even with this I never got near the top of the rear cassette - on this course, I think I really only used 4 gears for the whole day!

A big thanks to;

  • Cannondale Australia - F29er was awesome as always
  • Sugoi Australia - Sugoi RS kit worked a treat
  • Adidas eyewear
  • The Cyclery
  • Frameskin
  • SRAM Australia - XX1 36T
Now off to get in another 30 hour week!!

"yeah, I grovelled around for 7 hours ..."

Classic Canberra shot

Skyline ... wooo hooo

Are we there yet ... ?