That was the question on my mind.
I was at the end of a big block build and wanted to know what the body still had in it. CORC had organised a club race at Stromlo at the western carpark side for the Saturday at 2pm.
The day started with the bakery bunch ride. For some reason I had been awake since 4am. It was probably because of the Tour de France and the interesting stages that had been on.
I hooked up with Andrew Hall at the Rex hotel along Northbourne Avenue and we chugged down to Phillip for the start.
Andrew had this to say (via facebook) about the morning's ride.
"Funny sort of Bakery Bunch ride this morning - Ride to woden 27 mins @ 271 wnp, 2nd wheel in bunch 45 mins @ 274wnp, 22 min pull with James Downing @ 349wnp (there will be no talking:), and then the bunch had nothing. 235wnp up until the gallop and the gallop was a lazy 288wnp."
I don't know what that means as I am not a Power Meter trekky. I was just trying to take it easy and keep th elegs reasonably fresh for the afternoon. The strong headwind through Gungahlin kept the bunch doing rolling turns at only 40km/hr, where usually it can go 50-55km/hr.
So after that, I cruised home with a lazy 75km in the legs and was home by 9am on a Saturday morning. Don't remember ever being at home at that time on a Saturday!
3 hours later I got my stuff together to head out to Stromlo for the XCO race. There was also a Canberra Cycling club road race out at Stromlo at the same time, so there were just cyclists everywhere which is just great.
The course set was a super long one. It was about 10km in length and took in just about every trail out the west side of Stromlo. My quick calculations after the first lap of about 27 minutes into a 5 lap race meant that this was going to be a long one.
Dylan and Brad took off like scalded cats on the first lap. I overhauled Brad halfway through the first lap, and was able to put in a further 25 seconds into him by the end of the lap, but was about 40 seconds down on Dylan. About 3 minutes into the 2nd lap the rear tyre blew a sidewall and I had to pop a tube in. This took forever for a few reasons, about 5 minutes which is about 2 minutes longer than I would have liked.
Once the tube was in I proceeded to try and haul back some of the time lost. The course was long, which made for easy traffic management, which was light anyway. So I was able to claw back 2 and a half minutes back on Brad over the next 3 and a half laps after fixing the flat.
When I got to the end I could see the tube poking out just a little through the split in the sidewall. Pretty lucky that it didn't reburst!
Most people were just expecting a standard 90 minute XCO race. By the end, this had turned into a half marathon!! But the course was great. The Western side of Stromlo is made for true mtbers with a lot of rocky technical trails.
1st lap is out by a large margin. I think that they turned the timer on late!!
I was pretty happy with the race besides the flat. With the volume and intensity of the last week including the morning ride, it was indicating good things. The high intensity of the actual race was also quite welcome. The next week will be a good recovery week, followed by some tuning in the week leading up to the Husky 100.
Cyclenation recently released the rankings and proze money for the overall marathon series.
Needless to say with this excellent injection of cash into the series, the last 3 races will be hotly contested.
Racing improves the breed, that's for sure!