Thursday, January 21, 2010

NZ MTB cup series- Dunedin race

This was to be my first experience of cross-country MTB lap racing. I had chosen to do this event as a stepping stone towards the Oceania’s MTB champs that are to be held on the same course in March. I was keen to gain as much experience as possible and have a good hard hit out. It has been a big learning curve entering the world of mountain biking and this race was no exception. It had rained a lot in the week leading into the race and all of the practice rides I had done around the track that week had ended up with me on my arse or in the bushes struggling to ride the wet slippery conditions. The boys at R&R Sport bike work shop set me up with some good mud tires for the conditions and a bit of advice that would turn out to be a massive help come race day. Luckily the track had dried out a bit come race day which made things a bit easier. I was racing in the senior age group category and our race consisted of 4 laps which took in the best bits of Bethuns Gully and Forester Park. A fast start saw everyone tearing off the start line. I worked hard to hold onto the front rider during the first 10minutes. As we entered the technical single track for the first time I could tell I was riding better than he was. At some stage he popped his cleat due to messing up a technical corner and I got past him into the lead. For the remainder 2/3rds of the lap I didn’t look back and rode hard through the technical descents.
It was great to hear that I was 45 seconds up on second place by the end of the first lap and I used this to fuel my effort. For the next 3 laps I set to work riding as hard as I could, focusing on good lines, pushing the up hills and keeping my energy levels topped with Leppin Squeezes every 20min. I rolled across the finish in 1st place in a time of 1hour52min, I had won the senior grade by 5 min which I was stoked about.
Watching the elite level racing in the afternoon was great motivation and a good indicator of the top level to strive for. So now after recovering well from the race it is back into some high volume training to future develop my aerobic capacity so I can put in some good quality high intensity training in preparation for the Oceania’s in 8 weeks.
Ill keep you posted