Sorry been super busy this whole last week.
Day 4 90km race stage with a 40km cruise/ hill stage. It started nice and fresh at Cooma I was a little worried about how my ribs would hold up but what the hell. The race started with a lap of the Cooma race course and the first man and women across the line would get a prize. So once the race got underway there was some foxing going on amongst the bunch, basically I was going to hug Andy wheel then just before the line go for it. Great plan hey. I got three quarters around the track and when it was time to punch it I had nothing the legs weren't keen to play at all.
After we left the race course the next 30km were all fire road, everyone knew that the best place to be was up the front and try and break away before the wall at the 30km mark. The pace was on from the start well for me it was LOL but, after the 10km mark everyone was kinda strung out over the country side. For me this was good I was sitting up the front with Andy, Garry and David thanks to Andy helping me out, after that we hit the wall, it was this fire road type climb that just seem to go on for ever with water bars dotted all the way down. Until this day no one had ever climbed the whole thing without stepping off there bike. Andy was the first out off all before him to master the climb. Congrats mate.
After the climb we crossed down through paddocks and into another farm where the one and only feed station was set up. 40km mark. Bart Hickson came sailing past me at this point and although I was keeping him insight for a while but I couldn't drag him back. I did the rest of the stage on my own. The country side we were riding in was amazing, so super long climbs backed up with some super descents. I came over the line 5th and super happy with my ride. Once again Andy dominated the field and won the stage.
The cruise stage started at Yowie [ where thats right in the middle of nowhere] from here we cruised for 40km into bermigui, we got sorted on our accommodation and then straight to the fish and chip shop. Best fish and chips ever.
Last stage and with 1 minute and a bit between me and Scott from GSC it was going to be 50km with the throttle wide open. The stage started under police escort and Hews car until we hit the paddock. From here it was a dash across leg zapping grass until we hit the Bermigui dirt surfers trails. This was great single track, the track had everything at this stage Scott was right behind me and even though I was trying hard on the single track my ribs were not happy. Scott waited for the perfect spot to attack and I had nothing to respond, a couple of corners later I was once again off the bike. This stage was split into 2 because of the tide and beach access or lack of it, there was an time unraced section, basically you had 30 min to get to the start of the last 30km. By this stage Scott had put another 1 minute into me. 2.5 minutes down.
Andy had a quick chat with me and like he said have a crack at every hill and I might just drag it all back. The paddock we were riding through here were freshly cut and after about 500m my rear derailleur was choking with grass. Richard from anytime fitness had the right idea and was busting out this stage on his SS. No problems with grass for him, a couple hundred meters again and then once again I had to stop and rip out grass. Ok so by this stage of the race all I could think was I have had quite abit of bad luck. Then over the next hill and round the corner I saw about 3 or 4 people that ripped the derailleur's clean off the frame due to the grass. To my surprise one of them was Scott, hey was in the process of putting a new derailleurs hanger on his bike. This was my only chance to gain some time back, then next 30 km consisted of grass paddocks, on and off beachs and running up stairs. I smashed about 4 gels into me on this stage and didn't look back. By the time I got onto the last beach to the finish I was stuffed., at this stage Richard handed me a soft drink best thing ever. Scott came over the line only minutes behind me.
I managed to finish 4th over the line for the last stage, my best result of the whole week.
I just want to say this race is amazing, super well organised event, great country side and a heaps of fun. Thanks to Garry and Richard, great meeting you and already looking forward to the next race you guys are at. [ Thanks for the lift to Canberra to Richard]
As always thanks to the people that made it all happen for me
Ben from Osprey hydraulics: everyone that used one of these packs at the race Loved it, including me.
Ay Up: for the best lights ever, bright and reliable
Onza: heaps of grip and I had no flats the whole time
Silverback bikes: considering I have never ridden this bike before the race I am super stoked with how it performed.
Infinate for keeping me going.
Aussie butt cream for the obvious reasons.
Compressports: I rode in this gear on the long stages and for recovery. It really helped with the muscle fatigue.