Todays race was very technical. One of the most technical maps I have ever seen or ridden on. There was a 10km course on this map called Pirita. It was mapped at 1:5000 so everything was coming up quick. There was almost a track every 5 metres and the new thing to the Australian team was that we were allowed to ride anywhere we wanted.
I started out the course a little confused. The first route choice to one I did it fine but the first road you came across wasn’t actually really mapped correctly and almost everyone ended up coming into control number one the way you wanted to exit it. I faffed through the rest of the control up to number six where I rode straight passed it because it was tucked behind a tree as I came across it. The next few controls I lost a little time not being completely used to the maps and terrain.
I did a silly error to 14 and cut across the oval then had to head take the track leading out of check point 14. Turning over the map was interesting. Already thinking the first side was tricky then finding out the other side just made the previous area look like child’s play. I lost map contact on the way to check point 18 and was completely and utterly lost for five or more minutes until I found control number 31. I found it tricky to tell what was a main track and what was a small track. After that I didn’t have many problems navigating besides riding past a couple of controls that were either on the ground and hidden or just hidden behind trees.
The rest of the Team seemed to have similar problems and we all battled through the maze of tracks. The locals mentioned that this was one of the hardest maps they had and that the World Champs won’t be as close. I think most of us were around the 50-55min mark. The winner did 37. We didn’t know how. We know we made errors and felt there was around 10minutes of mistakes but to shave off almost 15minutes of our best time was astounding.
Free day tomorrow. So I think we will go for a gentle ride with a map and practice some techy navigation.