Ok, so now I have competed at both the Mont and the Scott I think it’s time to compare the two. As most will know, the Mont was put back on in a controversial manner. I don’t want to talk about why it happened that two HUGE 24 hour events would end up being run two weeks apart in the same Australian city. But I do want to give my opinion on the two events. I’m not sure on the number of people who made the effort to travel interstate to both events, but there sure were a large number of Canberra residents at both events.
Firstly the courses. Originally I wasn’t too keen on the Stromlo course because of what I heard about it from the Nationals, “one big dust bowl with no tree cover”. Not the most inviting description of a course. However, once I arrived and had a ride on the Friday before the event, I was fired up and keen to test the course out. Yes it is open to the elements but we were lucky enough to have almost perfect weather, with only strong winds to contend with. The riding was phenomenal. Fast flowing track with a nice technical element and enough climbing to make the downhills that little bit more enjoyable. And the two-lap thing worked a treat from a rider’s perspective, however not so good for solo’s support crew.
In total contrast to Stromlo, I had ridden 99 race laps around Majura spread over two solo 24 events and was well prepared for what the tracks had to offer. My biggest concern was how the course would hold up with such a large amount of riders cutting laps. It did get very chopped up and some section became no fun at all. The downhill sections were very short as were the climbs. It saddens me to say the course did put a dampen on my fond memories of racing at Majura.
The atmosphere at both events was great. Riders on course were having a ball and plenty of people yelling and screaming as laps were smashed out. Slower riders were only too happy to give room for faster ones to overtake. As far as I could tell heaps of prizes were handed out to the punter, particularly at the Scott. It was happening non-stop by the sounds of it. However, the transition area at the Scott was a bit of a let down. I’ll put that down to new venue blues. I’m sure next year both events will be that little bit better just because of what the organizes have learnt from this years event.
If asked, “will you do both next year?” My response would be “probably, I love all rides that last 24 hours”. I am now really looking forward to the Kona 24 at Forest. Once again new venue and new ideas on how to keep the tracks interesting for riders of all levels.