The first dirt crits of the 2010\2011 season have commenced. The first one was held at Majura Pines and was on one of those courses that was just plain hard. After sort of recovering from bronchitis, I lined up in A-grade with some of the regular fast guys to gauge how my form was.
To say that I was a little underdone after a coupel of weeks off was an understatement. No top end at all really. 10 minutes later @ an average of 29.6km/hr and I was happy it was over. 3rd place behind Ben Henderson and Brad Morton, with Ben Cory coming in 4th. Daylight behind Ben to 5th.
This week however, after a good set of long weekend rides on the road bike and things are feeling better. Not quite 100% better, but stronger than the previous week.
After this week's short track Thursday, I will be heading off to Bowral for the NSW State Short track titles. This will be followed up by the NSW State Cross Country Titles. 2 days of racing in Elite class against some really fast guys. Always good to assist in the form building.
The Illinbah National round has been cancelled, which in my honest opinion is no great loss. This leads to the Geelong round at the end of November as being the (un)official first round. I really enjoyed the You Yangs track the last time I raced there. Fast flowing singletrack with super technical terrain over the natural rocky terrain.
Last time, it had bucketed down and gale force winds wreaked havoc on the event centre. I am really hoping for dry weather as this course is sensational in the dry.
I am also hoping for dryish weather this weekend also. The ever present fear of the Capital Punishment mudbath is always in the back of my mind when it comes to wet weather racing. Bring on the dust I say!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
In the lead up to the Scott 24 hour race, I was battling with hayfever or the flu (symptoms are the same), and therefore pretty much spent the week on the wind trainer, riding lightly. The week after the Scott was spent on the windtrainer and in bed recovering from a mild case of bronchitis.
Today was the first time back on the road bike in 2 weeks. Ouch! Saturday was wind trainer, Sunday MTB, and Monday, recovery MTB. It did feel good to be back on the road bike. Its efficiency is superb. However, the legs are screaming now. Missing that continuity!
On Thursday the dirt crit short track racing starts at Majura. Right now I am a few weeks off from feeling strong, but these will assist in the re-building of good form.
I also have the NSW state XCC and XCO titles next weekend at Fitroy Falls and Bowral. I will do these as training, as I don't think I will have full strength back until the weekend after that.
The attached photo (taken from the Back Yamma Bigfoot) shows how I want to ride through all of the pollen producing plants that the copious amounts of rain has produced. Mouth Shut, keeping it all out. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen, so I will just wait until it gets hotter and burns off all the plants, so they can't produce any pollen.
On bike related news, I have got some new bits that I am trying out.
- Cannondale Hollowgram cranks with 40\27 chainrings (Sram XX spider and Rotor rings).
- Stan's Podium MMX wheelset.
- Continental X king tyres,
- Continental 2.0 Race King tyres
The new chainrings are taking some getting used to - mainly in the headspace of knowing 'what gear to be in'.
Wheelset is superlight - no kidding!
2.0 tyres are also superlight (430grams) - same as 1.95 small block eight. Will ride these tomorrow.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The Scott 24 hour race for 2010 has been run, won and done. This year it was run in conjunction with the World Solo Championships. Luckily, the solos and the teams were run on 2 different courses, which allowed for the solo guys to do their thing without the hassle of teams.
The teams course used the standard blue loop of Mount Stromlo made popular by the twin lap set up of 2008. There were a few new additions, namely Blue Tongue, Little Seymour and the newly created Willow Trail, which pretty much made for an 18.5km track with not a lot of fireroad.
This year the Lonsdale Street Cyclery team entered 2 teams. The standard 6 man team was made up of Trevor Rix, Allan Sieper, Doug McLean, Will Bowron, Ben Carmody and myself. The other team was the 4 person mixed team made up of Cameron Kerr, Kylie Webb, Devin Sando and Jon Harris.
Friday and Saturday mornings were spent setting up the tent and getting everything sorted. Trev had sorted us a corporate tent that we shared with the Specialized guys, Tanya, Jay and Adam, who were on hand with a very bling demo fleet.
We had the team roster sorted the week before at the team meeting, with Will graciously offering to do the team run (by default of being the youngest rider on the team) and at 12:15 on Saturday, he raced the 400m around the bitumen road crit track and started the first lap. I took over from Will and handed off to Ben. From here on, it was just a matter of sticking to the plan and punching out consistent laps.
After the 6th lap, we had worked our way up into 2nd place behind the Spearman Cycles team and just in front of Team Felt. Throughout the next 18 hours there was some good racing that occurred with the night laps proving to be decisive as we were able to pull away from Team Felt, and at one stage in the night, Will had got us back to within 28 seconds of the Spearman Cycles team.
After the 24 hours we ended up covering 26 laps of the 18.5km course, which was 480km at 19.49km/hr. IN the end, this resulted in us getting 2nd in the 6 man teams, and 5th overall. Again, a great team effort and quite satisfying in the end.
The mixed 4 team that Lonsdale St Cyclery entered as a cruisy relaxed team ended up getting 2nd in their category also, which was a major bonus, covering 23 laps and 425km!!
We were also fortunate to share our corporate tent with the awesome guys from Specialized. Tanya, Jay and Adam were an awesome bunch of guys who were running a demo fleet made up of somepretty sensational bikes. There were at least 5 S-Works Epics available for people to ride either around the holden's creek trails, or even take it out for a lap of the course. Not too shabby riding a $10,000 demo bike on a real mountain bike course, rather than in a carpark. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see the orders come in for these bikes.
Right now, I am trying to battle off the bronchitis that is trying its best to take over my chest, and drink a truck load of water to flush out the crap that I have eaten on the weekend!!
In the end I also decided to run a pair of Schwalbe Racing Ralph Double Defence tyres. I was really happy with this choice as there was a truckload of rocks all over the course, and the resulting dust that formed also required some good deep biting grip.
This week will be a good opportunity to slot in a recovery week and get some more sleep in the bank.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I am here at the Scott 24 hr race with the lonsdale st cyclery team, hitting up the 6 man teams event for another year.
The le man's start has just been done and I am now just waiting for Will to finish his lap then I am out for a fifty minute smash.
The course is super dry and dusty in true stromlo fashion. It is breaking up a bit and will get a bit hammered over the next 24 hours.
We will see how things go over the next day / night / day.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Yesterday I got my hands on a pair of Continental X-King 2.2 Supersonic tyres.
Today I will be mounting them up and giving them a bit of a thrash at Stromlo on the Scott 24 hour teams course.
I have gone for these tyres as they have a few attributes that I am after for this weekend.
UST bead - nice tight fit on the rim
RS sidewall - a bit more rubber to allow for easy tubeless (with sealant) sealing
Skinnier bag - to pick the way through sharp rocks out the back of Stromlo
Deeper side knobs - to punch down through the deep dust that a 24 hour race produces
Low centre knobs - to facilitate fast rolling
Pics and further write up to come.......
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
A long weekend is always a good chance to ride the bike.
Days ridden: 3
Total hours: 12
Calories expended: 15,000
Road bike: two days
Mtb: one day
Stromlo climbs: ten
Scott 24hr course laps: 2
Slices of recovery cheesecake: 2
Energy gels: 20+
30km/hr block headwinds: 75km
Needless to say, today is taking the bike for a walk on the windtrainer in third gear watching stage 7 of the 2010 tdf