I went into this race very relaxed. It was no longer a Championship event so that pressure was taken away. But it is still the world’s largest MTB event. With 101 riders lining up for the open mens category it was never going to be an easy race.
Solo riders were once again pleased with a rolling start. Thomas Lindrup (NZ) went from the get go. I was happy to sit back in fifth place and let others have their go up front. By lights on transition I was in third place, but with a quick swap of helmet and bike I was back out on course in the lead.
From nightfall through to sunrise I was content to ride my own pace and just roll around. I made comment to my support crew at about 8 or 9 o’clock that I was feeling really fresh and holding myself back. From that stage I knew I could take whatever the other competitors could throw at me to stay in the lead. By 1am I was also in 27th place overall.
At dawn I had one lap up on the field still feeling good. It wasn’t until about 8 or 9 o’clock I felt the lack of training I had done was holding me back and I wanted to get the race over and done with. My support crew informed me 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed riders had been putting in some fast laps, and I needed to keep going. A bit of number crunching was done to see how hard I had to ride and whether another lap was required. I did the extra lap without complaint and finished one lap up on second place Jason English (BMC).
Thanks to my support crew for keeping myself and my bike running flawlessly throughout the event. Also to the many people supporting out on course and from afar over the weekend, it never goes unnoticed. Lastly my sponsors, without you I couldn’t do what I do, thank you.
(Blogger won't let me upload photos, will post some sortly)