Elite Men. 7 laps. 5km with 2 major climbs, and 1km of technical downhill that was full of 4 inches of dust. All the Elite riders who knew the course, knew it was one for the climbers. Any thought of starting off easy but diminished, when $50 was put on the line for the first lap flyer. It was going to hurt. Silence on the start line.
First lap and a group of 5 went clear (Frendo, Dave, Glenn, Josh and Myself), and we stayed like this for the first 4 laps. A train of riders all hurting. Glenn attacked on the first steep climb on lap 5, I was sitting 4th wheel, so relied on others to close the gap, Josh was behind and went with him. Frendo was sitting in 3rd was hurting and the gap opened. Right there on lap number 4 is where the race slipped from my grasp.
2 laps to go and I was riding with Dave and Frendo sitting in 3rd, 4th and 5th. Dave attacked on the second long climb of lap 5 and I went with him, and we put a small gap into Frendo.
Start of lap 6, and Dave put everything into the second long climb, and I was starting to feel the previous weeks enduro. It was like an elastic band that took a lap to break, I had roughly 150m gap to Dave, and then roughly 200m in front of him was 2nd place (Josh). I could see them on the climb, but didn’t have the BANG to close the gap.
I tried to make “easy” time on the downhill, to get back to these two, so really went hard through the tech downhill section. The crowd cheering was awesome, and no less than 6 times did I think I was going to crash my freking brains out. It worked, I would close the gap, but they would turn the screws up on the climb (note to self, must weight under 70kg). The climbs were stinging the legs on the last 2 laps, with the first steep climb on the last lap had me running up it.
The photo attached is me on the last lap, gritting my teeth, hurting a lot and in pain……doing what I can to move into 3rd place….digging deep….it was awesome. I wanted to slow down a little, but that’s not fun. So I dug hard and tried to switch the mind into “no ryan, you like this, it’s fun” mode.
4th place. Sadly 4th overall in the series.
Next big race is the XC state Champs, that I want to win. Septemeber 9th at the course that will be used for round 2 in the National Series. The real training for the season started this week, long days on the road bike, starting the intensity training, and clamping down on the diet.
As a training treat, I will be entering in the double epic this year, 200km over two days on the 25th/26th of August.
So the schedule up until the first National Round is:
- 29th July Nunn 60km Marathon.
- 25/26th August Double Epic.
- 9th Sept QLD State Champs.
- October 7th to 20th is 2 week training camp based in Bright VIC.