Well what a great weekend of racing I just had, coming off of a peak for the World and National Masters games I am always a little unsure as how long I will be able to hold my form once the real training stops and the maintenance starts. With a heavy workload at the moment with lots of programs and clients to look after it has been about 6 weeks of 5 – 7 hours a week of training tops. 2 weeks ago I managed to win the local elite Road Race Champs for the first time which was very pleasing, a solid race where I decided not to just keep smashing myself leaving nothing at the end. It came down to 6 of us and a little sprint saw me take the win.
This weekend was an open elite criterion on the Saturday in the lovely town of Berry on the south coast of NSW, followed by a 100 mile MTB race the Highland Fling on the Sunday. Two very different races and with the crit being a hot dog it was going to be interesting for sure. I decided to ride the 40 km to the race for a warm up but didn’t bank on the big North Easter blowing up and creating a block headwind the whole way out, bugger. The legs felt tired before I had started!
The race was on from the get go, with the likes of Aaron Donnelly some Institute riders the National Masters 2 road race and crit champ and with a few other good sprinters it was always going to be fast. Each corner saw 1000+ watt spikes in power followed by some threshold efforts and another 1000+ watts effort. This was the race up and down with riders getting dropped left right and centre.
After about 15 minutes there were only about 12 of us in the race and after a few attacks it was a small bunch of 3 away with a chasing group of 6 then a small group trying to get back on. I was in the small group of 6 and with about 10 to go 2 riders clipped off the front and left us to sprint out for 6th. With $$$$ down to 7th and some money on the first local rider it was looking quids in. In the end a hectic sprint saw the young guns push me into the dirt on the right and blocked me for 8th!! Where is the respect for you elders guys ;o)
The legs were a little tired, but I was looking forward to Sunday’s epic. The race started quite fast and Dennis Van (the man) Mill was setting a good tempo. 5 of us clipped off the front and then got lost, letting around 100 or so riders get in front before the first bit of single track!! Arse!! I was running road shoes and pedals and getting off and running was difficult and getting back into my Keo’s a bloody nightmare on rough single track.
Dennis managed to get up in front and I never saw him again. I settled into my own little race and worked on hydrating and eating, not wanting to blow up again due to poor discipline. All went very well and I had a blast of a race, never pushing that hard and having fun. I came in 2nd in 7.43 with a little in the tank if I had needed it. A great race all round and I am looking forward to next year already for sure.
It will be all go again now in prep for the National ITT champs in Ballarat and the Jayco Bay Crits, before we start getting MTB specific for Wildside, National XC and Terra Australis.
See you on the trails (or the road)