It’s been a long time between drinks, but what was planned to be a full on racing season has morphed into a busy life off the bike with many different demands tapping into my training time. Put that together with a trip to Brazil and some unsettled weather and the year is shaping up more as one to enjoy rather than to achieve and maybe that’s OK.
I loved the STM series last year and had some success running solo, so I thought it would be cool to form a team and take some time to actually enjoy the event instead of just thrashing my body for 8 hours straight. Gary and I have known each other for years but it wasn’t until we nearly ran each other over at the 80km drink stop in the 2009 Doctor that we became good friends. We both suffered through a wet Sydney 24 and then Gary was my mechanic at the 24HoA last year plus we’ve worked together “spreading the word” about JesusMTB. So I was stoked when I floated the idea with him about forming a Masters Pair for this one and he accepted. He was typically humble and warned he might not quite be at his peak for lack of training, but I had a feeling we’d be pretty close in form and as it turned out our lap times couldn’t have gotten much closer.
I drew the “short straw” for the first lap, but truth be told I love the start. That first drag race up a stretch of fire trail to spread the field is a pure adrenalin rush and I entered the single track right on Gary James wheel which is good and bad. Good coz you know you are lucky to be there, but bad because you know you aren’t going to be there for long. Sure enough he slowly pulled away on the first little climb but there was plenty of traffic and I soon fell in with a train that suited my pace. My only mistake all day was on this first lap when I ran a little wide on a corner and the front washed out on the soft sandy edge. No real damage and I dusted myself off and got rolling again as Farkas went past in a blur. By the end of the day that corner had shaped into a beautiful berm. The next challenge was the fireroad and coming out of the sequence of six switchbacks I hooked onto a fast wheel and had a good chew on the handlebars. I was soon pushing over 90% but I got a great tow and passed a good many riders and the HR pretty much stayed there right to transition where I handed off to Gary.
With Gary James and Rich Peil setting a blistering pace to control the race and Dan and Gavatron matching them in a battle for 1st, we were happy to settle into 3rd place but by early afternoon the Yeti Gu team had cut our 8 minute lead down to just 3 minutes and it was game on in a battle for 3rd. We realised our plan of pulling double laps was slowing us down so it was back to single’s where you get a shorter recovery but you can atleast give it all you’ve got for just one lap. With 5 mins to go Gary put in a great effort to log a 28min lap and I finished with a solid 27 to hold 3rd by nearly 6 minutes.
Thanks to everyone for a fantastic day, the track by SCUM was simply awesome, fast and well prepared, the organisation by Chocolate Foot was terrific and what an advantage to have Castech doing the timing! Thanks also to the sponsors who were generous with their support especially SRAM, Lezyne, Aussie Butt Cream, James Estate Wines and Hammer Nutrition who provided some nice little tidbits to take home for our efforts! and of course my LBS Turramurra Cyclery who always look after me with whatever I need.
10 laps – 93km, 3225Cal
Avg HR – 81% (150bpm), Max 94% (174bpm)
3 bidon x TORQ Organic with a Shotz tablet
2 bidon x Optimiser
1 serve dutch pancakes
1 TORQ bar
2 Shot Bloks
2 Gu gel
2 Endura gel