The other weekend I competed in the Toowoomba what Rocks Enduro. I jump at the chance to race out on the Toowoomba trails every chance I can get. They have such a good mountain bike community out there working on the trails and developing sustainable and wicked fun trails.
Here are the stage for Saturdays race.
Stage one was the start of the downhill track Frenzie making it’s way onto Canyonero. The TMBC had a nice flow to their event with all the stages following onto each other. Stages two, three and five all started at the same point. There was a new trail called ‘Ida’ going right on to a classic, Reaper. Stage 3 was High Life onto Rollercat. Stage four was Turkey onto Centrelink, which is pretty much awesome corners onto a blast out, down, super fast XC flowing trail. Stage five was Calibre and straight back to the event area.
I didn’t want to crash on something silly and not be able to race in the first round of the Nomad Sunshine Series at Jubilee Park. So I wasn’t giving it my all just incase I pulled a Jared Graves…
At the end of the day I was 4th in elite, but 5th overall. Pretty happy with how the day played out. Smashed out the course on my Trance Advanced 27.5 1, check it out on the fortheriders.com page.
Nomad Sunshine Series, Jubilee Park – May 17th 2015
The first round of the Nomad Sunshine Series was held at Jubilee Park, which sits on the side of the steep slopes of Toowoomba. First round, first time to stretch out the racing legs and see where you stand against everyone else. People who don’t race the national round won’t have done much punchy cross country racing in Queensland unless you were attending the shorted XC races that the TMBC also runs, Wild West Series.
The track was pretty much, go up a nice gradual windy climb with a short fire road descent in the middle followed by a wicked down trail, which was a bit of Turkey and onto Centrelink to hit on back to the event area. Here is the course below.
As the image shows, the course is 3.8km long. We, A Grade Men riders had to pump out 7 of these laps. The whole race I felt like I yo-yoed off the back off wheels. The first two laps I felt like I had stumps for legs that just didn’t want to go. I eventually came good on the third lap. Maybe unknowingly, Declan Wharton paced me into a good rhythm and I found some pace. Unfortunately he was pretty frisky on the climbs and got away from me a few times.
We battled out for the whole race until the start of lap six where I dropped my chain. Uh-oh. I tried to pull Declan back, but I could only just spy him on some of the switchback climbs. Finishing lap 6 I had another train drop on Centrelink. This wasn’t helping at all. I felt like I was riding for 6th position now. I rode as fast as my legs would let me, trying to make the most of the race. Low and behold I found Declan on the climb and I knew I had to make my move before we hit the descent if I wanted to avoid a sprint finish around the hairpin turn on the loose gravel fireroad. I passed and layed the hammer down to try and break Declan and get some ground. I think I must have had a little bit more in the tank at this stage and I got the gap I needed to hold the position to the line.
Bit disappointed with the chain drops because 4th may of been a possibility, but getting up on the podium is always nice. I reckon QLD has one of the best MTB community out there.
If you want to check out the bike I rode on head over to fortheriders.com to check it out. I was on the 2015 XTC Advanced SL 27.5 1.
For the Riders 45km XC MTB (Hosted by Tre X) – Sunday 24th 2015
This race was a week after the Toowoomba event and this race hurt.
The course was awesome, but it did not give you any chance to rest. Nothing but full gas. The soil was a mixture of soft sand with hard dirt fire roads and some loose dirt covered with pine needles. It felt a little rough on the hard tail although very manageable.
It was a lamont start, meaning a run to the bikes as the start of the race. Having 6m long legs helps with this aspect even though crazy talented kid Dean Cane crushed it to the bike. But I was the first onto the course with pro like cyclocross skills. Sadly my early lead was destroyed by Ethan Kelly’s insane power. Once it got to the fireroad it was bye bye to Ethan and hello trying to suck onto Dean’s wheel to recover. This kid is fast.
I took the lead of our two man chase group. Unfortunately this is where my race starts to deteriorate. Dean and I were flying around this bend one second then I was shoulder charging and having my body slap on the ground the next. I didn’t expect the ground to just move under me. Obviously this was a surprise to me but I honestly did not expect it to happen in this section, I had felt so composed riding the trails just moments before.
Dean checked if I was ok and I think I nodded, still in a bit of, “What the F*** just happened? Am I dead?”. Then my fellow team rider Simon “Freddo” Frederiksen came by a second later and asked if I was ok. I think I may have hit my head, but everything was so fast I wasn’t sure and I didn’t feel too bad once I got on my bike and rode on. I really wanted to get on the back of Simon to gather myself but I felt flat. I was hitting the fire roads and feeling smashed. Every time I got to single track I felt good, but flat on the fire roads.
The crash wasn’t helping. The small bumps in the track eventually felt harsh and my shoulders and wrists were hurting. Similar to Toowoomba, I felt like I was just racing for 4th place. I think I was bad luck. Dean had a worse stack than I. He told me he just got Ethan into sights and then BAM, he flipped over and broke spokes in his front wheel and got some shifters to the knee. He came into the timing area to swap bikes with his dad. Unfortunately he didn’t move his timing chip over which is apart of the race number and lost a lot of time in the process. Completing the 5th lap he said he had to pull out because the pain was too much.
When I finished I was startled to find out that I had come 3rd and then saw poor Dean with his leg patched up. He had to get stitches! I hope he gets better in time for an important running race the following weekend.