I had never done a stage race before and Mountain to Beanch 2011 was going to be my first, the event is organized by Wildhorizons the same group of poeple that bring you the Highland fling and the 3 Ring circus.
Before I get started a big shout out to Ben from Osprey for sorting me with an entry for this race. Big thanks mate
I met up with Andy machine Fellows at Canberra airport on Saturday before the race, on my arrival to Canberra I realized that I had left my riding shoes at home. Time for an upgrade anyway. Got out to Thredbo assembled my new Silverback HT [doing a review soon] and we hit the trails, so much fun up there but I knew that come race day I would have to be on it and hopefully get a good position to set me up for the rest of the week.
So race day: Stage 1:
I had everything ready to go the night before I got up and had breakfast and for me, if I could get on the chair lift without dropping my bike or making an arse out of myself I was happy. I had made it to the top of thredobo in one piece. First sucess of the day. We were sent down the hill in a time trial set up instead of a mass start. Obvious reasonsing.
Andy took off a couple of position ahead of me, then before I knew it, it was on. Surprisingly riding my hardtail down the side of Tredbo was pretty good my Canis tyres stuck like glue and I was getting past some guys on soft tails. All was great until I came through a shaded area didn't see a rock and smashed my pedal in. So for the next 9km or so I couldn't get my right leg into the pedal. This was the first problem. All good if keep going I shouldn't loose to much time.
We had been told in the brief before that we would be going on the 4X track. Remembered that as I went sailing past the end of the 4x track, didn't see the arrow onto the track. So I slammed the brakes on went back up the hill and tried not to muck anything else up. By the end of the stage 12km I smashed a pedal, went the wrong way and managed 3 mechanical. WOW nothing like pressure.
I recon I probably lost close to ten minutes over the stage. I rolled 22 over the line. Not my best start. The first stage was great and I really did enjoy the course.
Stage: 2 was a cruise stage from Thredbo village to Lake Crackenback resort about 20km. Once a there we check our bags in set up Denis the Ay Up truck and basically chilled out. I wish, in my head all I could think about is how much time I had lost from stuffing up the first stage.
Stage: 3 was going to be 2 x 15km loops around the resort utilising single track and new multi use track around the resort, some of the single track went right alongside the Thredbo river and you had the occasional wombat whole to negotiate. I was abit nervous on the start line knowing that short track racing is not my thing. Finally the gun went off and I took off up the hill, I settled in the first bit of single track in about 5th or 6th once I got half way around the first lap I tried to make a small break and I didn't pay off. The guys from Gordon St. cycles and Torque Anytime fitness got away from me and my legs did not want to play. After the 2 laps were done my heart felt like it was about to jump out of my chest and I crossed the line in 7th. This pushed me into about 14th overall.
With day 1 over and smiles all round it was time for a beverage and some dinner. Day 2 involved a trip up the ski tube to Perisher to start the Osprey mountain traverse. A 90km stage.
Stay tuned for day 2