This report begins a few days out from the race, with some intense riding through the week, I wasn't sure if I would make it as I felt so fatigued on Friday night. I was in bed early and didn?t ride Saturday hoping that 36 hours recovery would see me right. Even climbing the stairs Saturday night, the quads were still burning so it was with great relief that I bounced out of bed Sunday morning feeling fully recovered and ready to race.
The drive up to Ourimbah is always relaxing and included the mandatory stop for coffee in Wyong before heading out to the track. Simon, Greg, Binnsy, Farkas and Larri were already there, it was great to see a strong contingent from TORC.
On the start line we heard we would be bypassing burnt forest and roller coaster to lead straight into magic carpet, graveyard and then a new section before Missing Link. Farkas quipped that perhaps the rider standing next to him on the start line was The Missing Link and maybe he was right.
The start gun went off and so did the field. It was a packed field in B Grade with some new younger faces (and younger legs!) that clearly wouldn?t be blowing up despite the frantic pace on the first lap. We blasted through Jurassic then onto the Graveyard and into the new section of track which is pretty good, a little bumpy but quite challenging and enjoyable. It was then into the looong Meadows...one of the toughest climbs I have ever ridden on a mountain bike. Going over the top I was passed by a guy on a single speed 29er. Obviously he was insanely fit, or perhaps just insane. I let them go in order to find my own pace and ensure I had enough in the legs to ride hard to the finish.
Having lost sight of Farkas after the first lap, I noticed Binnsy was creeping up on me reducing the gap to around 20 seconds in places, so the challenge was definitely on. Ride smooth and fast to maintain the gap and extend the gap on any downhill or flat sections was the plan. Going into the third lap, I seemed to find some extra speed after jettisoning my camelback and I managed to keep Binnsy at bay to cross the line, with Farkas a few minutes ahead and Simy coming in 4th behind Binnsy.
Special mention to James "Chops" who turned up for A grade after taking out third place at the 12 hour the previous day. It would be the only time I get to pass James and it gave me a new definition of what it must be like to feel real fatigue.
If you ride a mountain bike and haven?t gotten to one of these races yet, you must give it a go. The track is awesome, you get to race against your mates and the intense workout you get over 1 -2 hours is fantastic. Just three rounds left for the year
Thanks again to CCOMTB for running a great event.