With monster balls of ice bombarding Melbourne the 2010 Labour Day weekend was quite memorable for most cyclists. Tales of desperate dives for cover to avoid being battered and bruised by these giants were heard from all areas...well except Upper Beaconsfield. No hail and barely a drop of rain was seen at the Dirtriders MTB Twilight 6hour Enduro. The club decided to put the Monday Public Holiday to good use and start this 6 hour at 3pm, allowing a bit of night riding to shake up the racing.
Pete and I fronted up with mud tyres already mounted expecting the worst. One look at the track surface and it was obvious there was no need. The Michelin XCR DryII treads were quickly wrapped back around our wheels and we were ready to harness the crazy speed and deceptive grip they provide.
Unfortunately the nasty weather in surrounding suburbs had left many wrapped up on their couches as home and after lap one it was obvious the race was between two teams and a solo rider for overall honours. A few hours later we were all still within a couple of minutes of each other, the sun was setting and the most solid shower of the day came through. That was too much for our solo friend and he decided to call it a day. As the sun dimmed further the other team reallised their light setup wasn't quite up to scratch and racing at night wasn't an option. That left us unchallenged to ride out the remaining time in the lead. Eventually finishing more than two laps clear of the rest of the field on 14 laps. Not the most satisfying way to win a race, but a win's a win... preparation is crucial people.
Pete even got to do a double lap as I missed transition thinking it more important to pimp my ride glow stick style.
Special mention to ex-Apollo roadie James Mowatt. The Rollin Cycles junior team were down a rider after one of the Matt's put his teeth through his jaw by crashing in practice and was rushed to hospital. James didn't take much convincing to fill the spot on short notice and was an instrumental part in the junior team beating home the more experience senior team led by shop owner Dale on his new Apollo ArctecM. Moral of the story? Even on a rocket ship like the ArctecM the legs are what decides the winner and the juniors had that department covered. Get that training done!
Finally if you want to see what the trails were like I wore the helmet cam on my dusk lap. The lap was slightly shortened as it was just after the heaviest downpour so it also happens to be the fastest lap recorded at the event. Only the first half in this video though.