The Final Showdown
The Central Coast put on a crystal clear day for the final round of the Club Championships and 6 of the best TORC riders showed up for 6 hours of power. A late change to the rules left a glimmer of hope for any would be TORC Club Champion as triple points were on offer. Mike I who has been Mr Consistency all year seemed to have the title all wrapped up but now he had a real fight on hands. Mike F and Stu B were the two closest rivals and as usual from the start, Farkas was last seen disappearing in a cloud of dust.
The start was pretty fast and the pre-race plan to keep the HR to around 80% suddenly seemed like a joke. I was hitting 90% on some of the climbs but I was feeling good so I kept a steady pace. Farkas got a good start and was in the lead bunch until halfway through the first lap when an angry stick snapped his rear mech. As I passed Mike, all I could see was a tangled chain and a little tear streaking his dust coated cheek.
Greg put in some solid laps to seal the C grade title, and Cheeso conquered the Drop Off and finished early, keeping his powder dry for the Fling next weekend. Matt also made his debut at Ourimbah and while having cardiac arrest up one of the many pinches had an epiphany. The voice of the bike god was heard to mutter ?Matt?.one ride a week isn?t enough??no kidding!
After two laps I was still in a happy place and stopped to jettison the bike video cam (soon to be published in YouTube) and pick up a fresh bottle. It also gave me a chance to hide from Binnsy who only a minute behind had called out ?I have you now?Israel!? on a switch back. Hopefully he won?t see me stopping and think I have powered on ahead. On the third lap I was pushing hard through Browns, but then a slight lapse in concentration and I was eating the dust when I leaned into a corner too early and the front tyre caught the inside lip. A twisted thumb seemed to be the worst of it, but not bad enough to hinder my shifting.
Laps 4, 5 and 6 were all about just maintaining a steady pace and trying to keep riding all the hills. A bottle change after 4 and at some point I got in front of Stu again. This is where a cool head is needed in these kinds of races, it would be easy to think you are feeling alright and go out and smash another lap, but it is going to catch up with you and you will end up slower overall. It is one of those things you just have to learn what your body is telling you and make sure you look after it so you can continue to ride steadily to the end.
Lap number 7 was very tough and the constant buffeting from the rocky trail was now taking a real toll on my hands. Binnsy was catching me, and was holding my wheel then there was this sound of grinding gears, slipping tyres and a groan of defeat. I have to admit I didn?t look back, mainly as my neck was so stiff by this point, but that was the last I saw of Stu. At some point I thought, ?that?s it, I?ve done enough? and pulled into transition for the last time. I wasn?t sure where Stu was, but if he went onto to do another lap then he could have this round. (STOP PRESS. he got back after Lap 7 and relaxed with Chris, Tim and Luke then went out for his eighth lap, well done mate, great effort)
Thanks to Binnsy for an honest race all day and bad luck to Mike, next year mate. Thanks also to CCOMTB who have run a sensational series all year. Today was a great challenge and a really good test for the Fling next weekend. So that is it, our first Club Championship is over and it has been great fun. Thanks to all the riders who came out to test their fitness and keep an eye out for next year as I am sure it will be bigger and better.