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Masters National and World Championships 2009

Masters National and World Championships 2009

National and World Masters Games 2009

When the World Masters Games were scheduled for Aus in October this year it was the perfect time to put in a little focus for the ITT in both the Nats which was the week before and the Worlds. Now as age related races I think the general perception is that Masters Racing is easy! Let me tell you at the pointy end of these races riders are still more that capable of winning state A Grade and National elite races. In the Masters 2 cat the main rival in the ITT was always going to be Peter Milostic, he is just a super solid rider and after finishing 7th in the elite ITT at Ballerat in January behind the likes of Rogers, Meyers, Hanson and The Jonginator he is the real deal.

Prep for the races was not as good as it could have been, I stupidly raced 3 Enduro MTB races in the 3 preceding weeks and had shockers in all of them for various reasons. The main problem being that I am only training around 6  – 8 hours a week nowadays and I have simply got out of the habit of eating and drinking well on the bike. It sounds odd, but, it is a fact. Sound Hydration and Eating habits are formed during training and the only downfall of the reduced quality over quantity approach is that for most of the training sessions you are not limited by your consumption of calories.

I had gotten myself into bad habits only drinking 300ml in a couple of hour and not eating at all. My power was up near my personal bests, with my 20 minute max up to 365 and 5 minute max up to 418 watts. All good and I felt very powerful, I had even just established the PB time on our local time trail course so I was feeling good and ready for a great series of races, however, there was another slight problem in my weight, I was carrying about 4 – 5kg’s more than my best race weight and I knew this would affect my road race performance especially at Canberra where it was a little hilly. All things considered I was going ok so was looking forward to the change of pace and doing a little on the road again.

The Nationals ITT was a shocker with an out and back along the Uriara Road out of Stromlo into a gale force headwind. I cooked it a little in the first 5 minutes and never got on top of my gear. I came in with a 27.54 and initially thought it might get me a podium. Peter had totally blitzed it in 26.14 or something ridiculous so we knew he had the win, but it was looking close for 2nd and 3rd. One of my local FTP Training and Nowra Velo riders Damo Mason was within a second or two of me either way and with a stuff up in the timing we had to wait until the next day to find out that he had beaten me by 2 seconds and M. Tollhurst had nipped us both so I missed out on a medal by 2 seconds! A little gutted, but, also stoked for Damo. He had really put in the training and with a series of difficult things to deal with had pulled out a superb result.

The road race was super tough and ended up with just 14 of us left in the lead bunch, as predicted the climbs were hurting me and on the last time the 3 sisters I popped, I chased for the entire length of Uriara Road (23 minute average of 334 watts) and got to within a car length of the group at one stage just to see a rider attack and drag the bunch away from me again. I ended up rolling in, in 14th place. One of my Nowra Velo team mates the mighty Matt Carmelotti came away with a superb sprint win, another awesome Nowra Velo result.

The crit was a great race, the rain had stopped and I was feeling frisky, I knew as always that if it went to a bunch gallop that I would get smashed so attacked early. Stu (Computer) Campbell came across to me and we worked well together for the best part of 30 minutes with the lead yo – yo-ing between 10 and 25 seconds. With 3 laps to go a few Canberra guys made a big effort and dragged the bunch across to us and the game was over. With me off the front and Damo blocking, Matt had a dream ride and was there to finish off the double taking the sprint with his massive quads pummelling the opposition.

All up Nowra came away with a plethora of Medal from the Nats and from such a small country town it shows the depth and quality of the riders on the South Side of Sydney.

Damo missed out on a Medal this time around
Damo missed out on a Medal this time around

This all left us primed and ready for the World Masters Games. FTP Training rider Bruce Williams (Drapac Robbie Williams Dad) and I had both had 4th places at the Nats and were determined to make amends at the Worlds. The pre race prep week was a little better and I was feeling good. On the morning of the race at the Eastern Creek Raceway the conditions were great. Masters 2’s were off early and Damo and I had the chance to do a little warm up lap of the course before our start.

It was going to be fun, a little technical with all the turns around the drag strip and car parks, but, fast and fun. I started after Damo and quickly settled into a great rhythm. You instantly know when you are on a good day, the pedals just spin round with the cadence and power high for a low RPE. I settled into an easy pace and built steadily through the ride. I knew I had done a ride as I smashed it across the line in 25.24, it was now up to the others to see what it would get me. Damo rolled over and said he had done a 25.30 something so I had gotten my revenge on my old mate, but, what had Peter and the fast looking UK rider done.

Tension built as we all waited and finally the results were posted. Peter had again won with a 24.09 (av 47+km/h) and I had snagged a Silver medal a few seconds ahead of Ben Wilson the UK rider who had pipped Damo by 3 seconds for the Bronze. Super stoked and the result I was looking for, I just need to work out how to make up the minute or so to catch up Peter!!!Next up was Bruce who smashed it around the course coming in with a big smaile and knowing that he had done a good ride, as it turned out another Silver medal to the Nowra and FTP training crew ;o) Happy days.

The Masters 5 OTT Podium
The Masters 5 OTT Podium

The road race followed a normal pattern for me (after poor old Damo had a massive crash) I attacked after 1 lap had one guy come across to me a massive power house of a rider Tim Dalgleish. We smashed it hard (well he did) I was doing 340 – 360 watts long pulls on the front and he was coming through and I was at 400 – 450 to hold his wheel. I was a little concerned as I knew at this rate It could all be curtains. We had after about 90 minutes a 1.20 minute gap and it looked to be all over. Wilson and East were trying to bridge the gap and then I popped, I think in retrospect that I was a little lighter than I should have been in the morning when I jumped on the scales.

I don’t think I had eaten enough after the ITT the day before and with the travel to and from I was just a little under with my energy stores. I had eaten enough on the bike but to no avail. I hopped on with the caching pair for a lap and then with the remainder of the bunch for a bit but, with not a lot left in the tank and out of the medals I bailed. Damo to my surprise had got back on the bike and soldiered on to finish with some nasty road rash to remind him of another Eastern Creek Race. Stats for the day were great the 60 minute NP was 346 watts and the whole race of 1 hour 45mins for me was up at a massive 0.92 IF with big and close to PB’s on 2, 5 and 10 minute powers.

Well now it is a little recovery and then the real build for the big MTB races next year, I need to focus on getting back down top 67 kg’s and therefore getting my power to weight back up to 5.2 – 5.3 watts/kg. When I am heavy and around 4.8 watts/kg I am simply not able to really get up there in the rolling hilly races. So it is fork control time and no wine and ice cream with dinner!!!

Catch you all on the road or trails


Picture of Mark Fenner

Mark Fenner

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