I think I found out the hard way why it’s so important to treat 24-hour solo racing with a huge amount of respect. After doing so many, I decided I would have a go at this one with minimal training and an extremely relaxed (even more so than normal) attitude. Since racing the Scott 24 six weeks ago I have only been on the bike an average of eight hours a week, usually less. This has been due to a variety of reasons, but the main one has been lack of time. I have found this low volume of riding to be a good break from the body crushing 30 hours a week I was doing pre worlds, giving me more energy to spend on other aspects of my life.
My race plan was always going to be sit back on the first day loop (6 hours), testing the body and seeing if I had anything to have a bit of a go during the slightly easier night loop (12 hours worth). The swap from day to night lap gave me a time advantage over John, who was storming ahead during the day loop. By 2am I had closed the gap to about 10 minutes and was feeling great. This was probably my first mistake. Getting a sniff of the win at my fitness level made me push a bit harder to gain more time. Then it happened, not sure what exactly, but I will just say lots of little things added up which took the race well away from me. I rolled around for three more laps before John caught and lapped me. This was a huge relief. It meant he wasn’t slowing down and I had no chance of making a mends on the time I had lost as my body cried out for help. Finishing that lap at dawn, I decided to have a rest and see if I felt like going out again.
I did end up going out again. Motivated by a congo line organized to say farewell at two of the sports great team enduro rides, Ash Thomas and Jason Jackson. Both leaving the Felt Enduro Team to “try something new”. I really enjoyed throwing the leg over the bike for one last lap with a great bunch of riding mates. It was a good way to finish the event off for me and I’m sure the Felt boys also enjoyed themselves.