Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Surfcoast 6hour

Post exam celebrations continued from Thursday down to Lorne until Monday. It just so happened that the second running of the Surfcoast 6hour in Anglesea fell on the Saturday...perfect!

The 4pm start time meant my wonderful 'warm-up' consisted of a surf at sunrise and an early afternoon nap. Sean made the trek down from Melbourne and we signed up for the full six hours as a pair. With such choice in race categories and the wonderful beach side setting the start line was packed full of fresh faces eagerly anticipating their introduction to mtb racing.

Rolling on his new bike bling (yes those are Nino Schurter's tubular mtb wheels with dugast tyres) Sean took first lap honours and sent me out in the lead bunch.

With so much time spent on the roadie of late I couldn't ride the singletrack to save myself but the sand wasn't sapping my legs as much as those around and I set about establishing a gap on the rest of the field. Sean went through one of those 'bad times' on his next stint and we were back to second by a couple of minutes.

I managed to erase that in my next stint and sent Sean out with a gap, which he built on, then I built on, then he built on...etc

With a couple of hours to go we had a comfortable buffer allowing us to roll around, not chewing so much stem and enjoying the stunning views the track had to offer.

Results are up, pics are up, Stephen got some as well although I managed to evade him. A special thanks to Choma, who strained a heart muscle (read 'was soft') after a couple of laps, pulled out and lent his lights to Sean who managed to leave his switch at home.

Final tip...I have no affiliation with Continental but if it's dusty/sandy get on the Race King 2.2's, at 460 grams they aint heavy, especially considering the amount of volume in 'em. I was floating all day, definitely helped keep the legs a little lighter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Return to the Trails

I embarked on my own Chase the Sun on Sunday. Finished work and decided to christen the new steed with an evening burn around Lysterfield.

Running some old parts...

Some new parts...

Some Ozriders parts...

There's those Rollin' guys again...

and still stuck with old school cranks

surely it's time for someone to make something with a q-factor less than 170mm again. I may have to resort to some creative engineering of my own soon.

Finishing up, I found just enough sun for today.

Sidenote...Rhino pledged his allegiance to Pearl Izumi socks the other day...I'd just like to confirm that they're awesome. Although be careful...they can get confusing.

Same socks...

Different socks!

Funny Numbers

Some odd things were seen on the Garmin on Saturday...problem is they were consistently odd which probably means they weren't errors. The odd things were pain resulting from Herald-Sun Tour critting.

The pace was on from the gun, the HR flashing 97%. I heard mention of anywhere between 100-140 starters, so inevitably there was a split in the field. I resorted to domestique duties. 57 minutes averaging 93%max.

We were in the second bunch on the road, but points were still to be had so James made his move with one to go, which officially fried me.

Ah relief, rolling around on the final lap. Last finisher, which meant about 30 or 40th with the huge attrition rate. Happy with that.

Then the chicks went around...


and Catherine were both aggressive and attentive. Representing for the fat tyre community.

And finally the big boys stepped up...

who are way fast! That's my best attempt at capturing J-Blood on the attack, which just happened to stick to the end. Second on the day to partner his win up Buller. I pity the guys trying to beat him in Adelaide in a couple of weeks at National XC #1.

Oh yeah, SRAM did a ripper job at neutral support. Hooked me up when my jockey wheel shat itself. Thanks Snozza.

and Mr. Eva on the bike rescuing all from the flat tyre demons. Wish I had've double flatted...could have done with a lap out and some Zipps.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lab Playing

Monash Sport got some new toys, so I played guinea pig to figure it out today. Bit of video, few sticky dots and some computer analysis. My position felt good, so it was nice to hear nothing needed changing from the side on analysis.

Footage is squashed sideways for some reason after the export from Dartfish.

The rear view footage confirmed what I thought about my foot/ankle/knee/hip/pelvis alignment, so I'll be playing around with some cleat wedges in the near future. 1mm on the medial border of my left foot to begin with.

In other news, no more sandbagging for me...I've qualified for A grade on the road after scoring a W on Sunday.

Two man TT off the front for the last 10 minutes, holding 8 seconds to the peleton for the last lap, and the plan working perfectly to win the two up sprint. Quite happy after having a souva for breakfast at 4am and 3 hours sleep.

A baptism of fire for fast critting tomorrow though...Herald-Sun Tour support crit pain begins at 12.50pm. Some big names in the 97 starters, and with right hand hair pins there's sure to be carnage. Come down for some entertainment.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Crittin' Away

To follow up the return of Glenvale last sunday, Sandown kicked off tonight. Massive bunches again. Ten minutes in and I soloed across to a break that looked dangerous. Good move, it stayed away to the finish. Nine in it, I snagged fifth so some more cash to join my third from Sunday.

Now I just gotta learn how to win these things, which will no doubt result in getting the boot to A grade. We were only 0.3km/h slower than A grade tonight, so the jump shouldn't be too bad. I certainly won't be going off the front in a hurry though.

Other news...

Packages arrived...

The summer race bike, lets hope I remember how to ride the knobblies.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Roadie Madness

Perhaps I've got a little dose of the roadie bug. Daylight savings kicked off yesterday and with it crit season. Nearly caught out by the lost hour I suited up and TTed my way to Glenvale, pinning on my number with minutes to spare.

A few attempted breaks, a few breaks closed down and I decided to sit in awaiting the bunch kick. With five to go though the legs were getting itchy again, and I found myself in a bunch of four working well. The bell lap came with the bunch at 50 metres, two were shelled and swallowed by the stampede following as we rounded the last corner, all the cookies were spent and it all came together on the line. In the washup it looks like I managed third, so I'll have to venture down next week as well to collect some monies.

The prep is needed though as over lunch on Friday I put my name down for some guaranteed pain. The Herald-Sun Tour rolls into town next week, and come Lygon Street on the 18th I'll be involved in the festivities, pinning on a number in the support race.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Back to Reality

The last week has been slightly detached from the real world thanks to the Uni Games circus coming to Melbourne. Of course, my circus revolved mainly around some two wheeled antics.

Day one was four laps of the 30km Lancefield-Newham circuit. Monash managed to field a full six man contingent in the 50+ strong field heavily dominated by three Melbourne Uni teams, the first of which included the brothers Braunsteins as well as one Lachlan Norris. Fair to say that they were the wheels to follow along with a couple of other pairs of Drapac knicks hidden under CSU jersey's and two fellas wielding the ever dangerous Van Der Ploeg name.

The steed got new hoops for the day thanks to James Mowatt.

The opening km's were peppered by short lived breaks before a four man group finally got away. CSU, Melbourne and Monash were all represented which resulted in the next 70km's being very comfortable as weaker uni's buried themselves. However, being the defending champion Dan wasn't content to let brother Pete take over the crown from an easy break and jumped away. He succeeded in bridging the four minute gap and continued past to take the win from Neil VDP, brother Pete, Dean Windsor with the first Monash representitive crossing in fifth.

Post Dan attacking the rest of my race consisted of burying myself with another couple of the Monash boys in an attempt to both bring Dan back, and prevent any others jumping off the front. Objective A obviously failed, while objective B was a resounding success as we blew the bunch apart and came to the line with about 15 riders remaining. Five of those with Monash jersey's meant a good leadout and second and third in the bunch kick. No medals, but plenty of points.

Spent, but happy.

Following that effort the event schedulers were nice enough to give us a day off, so day three brought our second event the pairs time trial. I only live 20 minutes away from Kew Boulevard, and yet I detest it so much that I've only ever ridden one lap of it by choice (read outside of racing). Fair to say I was less than motivated to bury myself for four laps of it.

Apparently my legs weren't in the mood either and Hugh pracitcally towed me around before we stopped the clock at 1.09, five minutes down on B1 + B2. We snagged some points to stay at the pointy end of the teams classification with our other pair finishing sixth,

and the girls smashing their way around to a bronze medal.

Day four brought the ITT, three more laps of the boulevard, and I wasn't any more enthused.

Taking straight lines and smooth corners, avoiding the worst areas of road, doing all the one percenters meant even though the legs didn't play ball I stopped the clock five seconds under my goal time of 52 minutes, three minutes down on guess who...yep, Dan.

I was pooped. Our star for the day was James, stopping the clock in a blistering 49 minutes

to score another bronze medal for the team, definitely our best result for the whole week.

Day five and our final event, once again at Kew Boulevard but this time in crit form. Everyone just wanted to go par-tay, and so the hour + three was shortened to 45 + three...the gun went and it was on. With constant cornering everyone was expecting carnage.

Fair to say the one crash was expected, the unsuspected part was that there weren't more but we won't complain about that. Meterage was to be gained through the bottom hairpin and I used it to have a go myself.

I was perhaps a little optimistic though as the heart rate went through the roof and I reallised I didn't stand a chance, slinking back to the bunch. Once again a group eventually went up the road with Monash and Melbourne both represented. The pace settled a bit and they got a good gap, then Dan decided he wanted more medals and rode off the front.

I tried to follow, but he'd worder Peter up to the move who proceeded to put an end to that idea by putting me in the gutter. Meh, not like I was going to stay with him anyway, saved me lots of pain I think.

The pace instantly came back on as attack after attack went and was chased down. Then suddenly some familiar faces appeared back in the bunch. With the four up the road being Dean Windsor, Dan Braunsteins, Lachlan Norris and our star James Henry it wasn't really a surprise when they lapped the field with five minutes to go. Everyone was pulled leaving them to fight it out. Unfortunately for us James couldn't hack the pace and rode home solo to fourth, still a great ride.

That left Melbourne with a two to one advantage over CSU in the remaining three.

Norry was quite content to let Dan go for glory and took third, while Dean was able to spoil the party and come over Dan on the line to put him into an unfamiliar silver medal.

The racing over, it was all smiles. No surprise that Melbourne took the cycling prize overall with Dan's dominance (along with Chloe's dominance of the women), we were quite happy to hear we'd been able to pip CSU for second though. The best news was later that night at the closing ceremony though, overall uni games results were the reverse with Monash pipping Melbourne by 13 points. The party began, and I hit the hay at 5.30 the next morning. A good finish to my final uni games.