It all started for me last Thursday when Slingshot & I started the long drive down to Canberra. By 7am Friday morning we had arrived in Canberra, & while setting up we noticed fully sick Mick had rocked up. I managed to get out and do some practice laps with Slingshot, Sick Mick, Duck and Graham. The track was great and went down as the best 24hr track i have ridden. It was mostly single track, with a couple of small fire road sections. The single track itself had heaps of tree roots and pine needles which in the dry made the track a little slippery. Anyway, on race day i woke up and to be honest, after all the driving, i wasn't really fussed about doing the race. By the time 12pm came around i was in the mood and ready to go!
The start line had all the big names there: English, Fenner, Fellows, Claxton, Sick Mick and Crummy. As usual, the start of the race was flat out with all the big names gone. I took off with a bit of pace and then tried to get into a rhythm which worked out well. By the 4 hr mark i had taken third place in my category and was in the mix for a top 10 finish, but with 20hrs to go anything could happen. I pulled into pits at about 5pm to put lights on and some warm clothes...... little did i know that the rain was about to unleash. On the next lap I picked up my jacket and got on with the job. By this stage my lap times started to suffer but i was still on my XTC and the harness of the hardtail was setting in, the course was pretty wet but it was not raining anymore. By 12am my XTC had no brake pad left on it and it was time to get on the Anthem for some relief.
By morning and after having a couple of small issues [ falling asleep ] i was pretty stoked to hear that i was two laps clear of 4th place but my lap times left a little to be desired. Slingshot and Duck said the guy in 4th was hammering some laps and if i didn't pick up my game my 2 lap lead would pretty much be gone. With this in mind i managed to go out and pull my lap times back down by about 10mins which was a good feeling after sitting on a bike for 18hrs. Pretty much the rest of the race i had my crew cheering me on where they could, and i just kept myself going until 12. By the end of the race I was told I had finished 3rd in my category to Andy Fellow and English, and with an outright finish of 8th I had achieved my goals for the National race. Fully sick Mick won his category and finished 11th overall with crummy finishing 6th in his category and 21st overall after suffering bike troubles. Standing on the podium with some of the machines around you is a great feeling.
I want to thank Duck and Sling shot for helping me, i couldn't have done it without you guys!
& my wonderful wife Kiri for all the telepathic support she sent me.
Check out crummys blog for his race report