So day 3 starts with the Ay Up dawn raid at 5:15am, the loop was about 14km long around a dam, the loop had some big ruts and afew hills to keep you honest, no real single track and couple of sandy corners.
So the plan, because these little pegs of mine are not made for sprinting I thought the best plan of attack was to hang in the top 5 for the first lap then hopefully wind up and take a podium position, being a Ay Up rider this would have been great. The coffee van at the start of the race was under the pump it was freezing. I got into a good position for the start and after a couple of minutes it was on. I found myself in the top ten to the first corner, afew early attacks by people didn't faze me to much, just kept the legs turning and stick to my plan.
lap 1 complete sitting in 5th sweet, I knew the guys in front weren't to far away so on the first little climb I upped the pace and got away from the guys I was with and kept the pressure on. All was going great until a slip in concentration or plain bad luck washed the front wheel out from under me. I had put my hand out to break my fall but managed to land over a rutted section and instead of my hand breaking my fall it was my ribs that took the blow. For what seemed like ages but was probably only a minute I had winded myself and as you could imagine my ribs and hip was killing me. Lloyd road past just as I got my breath back and asked if I was OK, I responded yes let them ride past and then HTFU got back on the bike and pushed as hard as I could to finish. Along the way I noticed my back break felt really weird. I got over the line in 10th. Pretty stoked all thing considering.
I thought I had buckled the back wheel but upon closer inspection, I had actually moved the whole rear brake caliper hard up against the disk when I crashed. I must have hit the ground hard. Now post race I had damage to my ribs and trying to get to a doctor to confirm it is a joke, from what people are telling me they are fractured.
After breaky it was time to do the 40km cruise stage. The cruise stages are compulsory stages that must be completed by every rider, if you pull out of any stage or don't make it by the cut off time then you DNF, so for me there was nothing left to do but get on with the job. Pretty uneventful really road 40km across paddock, road and fire road all the way to Cooma. Bring on with day 4.
One of the highlights of the morning stage was seeing the amount of people that had never tried night riding before, come and borrow some lights off Ay Up and give it ago. By the time they came over the line they were completely converted into night riding.
Pretty satisfying really.