This turned out to be a very fun event. The course was kick arse, with more technical aspects than I have ever seen in an enduro event. There were rocks upon rocks upon rocks, step drop offs and tricky technical switchback climbs. Hmm climbs, this is were my day went wrong. The lack of racing (and training for that matter) showed on the climbs. After about two hours my legs began to tire of the relentless power climbs over obstacles etc. I was cramping quite badly and had to take it a bit easier or else I would have nothing left in the legs to allow me to enjoy the pleasures on the course, mainly the thumping down hill sections.
Even though I could sustain my normal power output for the entire race, I was able to sustain a very good heart rate. For me this is a great sign that with a few more races (and a bit more training) I will be back to full form. I spent most of the racing riding with the eventual third place getter Scott Chancellor (Orbea). We chatted and enjoyed the riding together until I needed to slow down. I held on to finish in fifth place less than 1 minute of fourth (Paul Randell) and 3 minutes off Scott.
The bike (Hei Hei) didn't miss a beat all day (although the new XTR cranks don't look so new now thanks to the rocks). I parked my pre made bidons etc in the Total Rush tent, and the boys helped with my transitioning for the day, thanks guys. Thanks also to all the supporters on the course, even though I wasn't in the running all day, I got heaps of encouragement which helps a lot in when the body is hurting.
A huge THANKS also to Robyn for supporting from home with the three kids. She does a great job supporting me even when she isn't at the race venue.
These two immages came from Stephen Rowe, check out his site for some great action shots from heaps of MTB events.
Thanks Shelly for this image. (She was waiting for her man Tim, not too far behind me)