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Tougher than expected

hawkeye's picture

By hawkeye - Posted on 26 September 2010

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Back Yamma Bigfoot 2010
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

That was harder than I expected. Because it was relatively flat, you were on the gas pretty much the whole time.

It was hard to carry a lot of speed through the corners because of the dust and quartz gravel made the surface really loose for much of the singletrack, and you ended up using the brakes quite a lot through the twisty bits. kiwiphil and I did a reconnaissance run of the first 25km loop on the Saturday arvo, and I had four or five half-loses, which was sobering. Phil told me later that he was the same. It took us 1:30-odd to do that lap, and we didn't hold back that much, treating it as a pre-race warm-up, so I was thinking that inside 3 hours would be a good time.

The following day the weather was great, and the 100km guys took off an hour ahead of us. I was expecting the track to be quite cut up but I found I was more in control. Not sure if that was because I was riding more within myself or the 100km guys had cleaned the track a bit - probably both.

The sprint was manic. I was on the back of a group of about 20 or so leaders. With the fine talcum-powder dust it was impossible to see. I heard someone stack behind me - I think it was the girl who lined up left of me at the start. So I let a small gap form and led the second bunch through the singletrack until we turned onto the fire road at about the 30 minute mark. I managed to get a gap with one other guy behind me but dropped my gel, and fumbled the thing trying to get it open without littering and the bunch went past and I slipped off the back.

There was a guy in a red shirt that I kept on swapping places with for most of the race. I'd get him on the climbs, he'd put 30 seconds on me in the twisty singletrack. So that's obviously something to work on. Part of that might be tyres, but most is probably technique. I finally got past and held a gap, but part of my plan was to stop at the 25km mark and top up the hydration bottle with more Endura, and at that time he went past me. Bugger!

In contrast to the pre-race reccie I only scared myself once during the race. I had a big front wheel washout on a long left-turn berm in the second half that felt like it went for a second and a bit. Somehow the front grabbed again and I stayed off the deck.

Red shirt appeared in the distance in the closing stages and I managed to reel him in just as we crested the last fire road climb. I'd felt the twinge of a cramp at the start of the climb but managed to keep it away by dropping a gear and keeping the heels down. Mission accomplished in getting into the singletrack ahead of him this time, but unfortunately he went past me again when the track opened out briefly, and I have no idea how he stayed upright in the loose gravel and dust as it twisted between the trees. The track leveled out and I tried to pull him back but bobbled on one of the muddy sections and had to dismount, so he got away.

Overall I'm quite pleased with my time at 2:35:30 (roughly, allowing for pressing the button 5 seconds before they said "go!" Laughing out loud ). I didn't have a lot left at the end. Will be interesting to see where I placed in the field when the results are posted in a day or two.

Scottboy's picture

nice write up you are getting good at this , lol , did you stay for the presentations ? Who won the 100km race ? I might give it a go next year as my brother liked the track too .

hawkeye's picture

We took off just before the presentations. We were both pretty shattered and thought we'd better give ourselves enough time for a relaxed drive home.

The winner did the 100km in roughly 3hrs 47minutes.

Scottboy's picture

going too look up what time my brother & his boy got ,one did 25km the other 50km , how long was the drive ?

ps's picture

Good to hear you had fun and anytime you average nearly 20kph on a ride is a good effort.

hawkeye's picture

your advice on nutrition during the race made a big difference, ps. I didn't do the tape the gels to the top tube thing like you suggested... and as a result learned why you suggested it. Will definitely do that next time.

The pace for the whippet who won the 100 was 26.3km/hr.

hawkeye's picture

59th out of 124 finishers in the mixed field for the 50, and 54th out of 104 male finishers. So not quite in the top half of course finishers. Only if you count the DNF's does that get me just inside the top half.

I'm happy with that - I might have been a couple of places further up and a few minutes less without a couple of the mistakes, but I'm sure everybody made their share so it kinda evens out.

I see CB managed to finish the 100km. Looks like he had a tough slog but major kudos to him for finishing after what he's been through over the last year. Brilliant effort, mate!

Scottboy's picture

heard the course was marked out with a few arrows & signs there should have been bunting across firetrails if u missed turnoffs not small signs with arrows that were hard too see or pickup at speeds

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