I nearly didn’t make this race due to a flat battery in the car but RACV came and went within 20mins of calling them. There was nothing wrong with the battery just the car’s owner who’d left the power amp on the day before. I’d been out to Wombat Thursday morning for a dawn ride before work. What a magic way to start the day. We rode the course then some of the gold single track that was going to be used for the BMC 100, so I had a good idea on what the course was going to be like.
There were a few tweaks come Sunday but nothing too drastic. There was still a big lashing of single track through the Pines. I line up again in the Elite field for maximum hurt, which is smaller than I’d thought it was going to be due to the proximity to Melbourne but it’s still looking like a fast group. We start a few minutes early because the starting Marshall is cold and it’s down a small section of fire road, a sweeping fast off camber right and into the Pines for the first section of single track. Finally I’m happy with my start as I slot in behind local rider Paul McEntree. With his local knowledge he’ll have the lines down pat is the thinking. It’s all together through this 1st section then a fire road crossing and more single track. Towards the end of this section there's a pyramid of three small logs. Nothing that should faze an Elite rider but something happens and the train comes to a screaming halt. My reflexes send me right off the trail to avoid the riders. This doesn’t work out and I’m brought to a halt with my front wheel in a pot hole. I get going again and it’s just like the last race from here, on the rivet and trying to find the next rider but it never happens. Lap 3 is the traffic lap and it seems harder than usual getting around the riders. There’s a really nice flowing section of single track about mid lap. It’s fast flowing in the thick of the Pines with a sweet 'S' section that’s got a snowboarding feel to it, NICE! I do a bottle change with Director Sportif every lap even if I don't really need a refill to get the practice in. The feed zone is fast so I take the bottles close to my chest to help make them stick.There’s a fire road climb about three quarters into the lap and I think I can see Troy Bailey's red and white BMC jersey which has me really digging but I don’t catch him and finish 2nd last.
One more round to go in two week's time. I’m REALLY enjoying it and I’m already feeling like I’m going to miss it! Dirtriders are putting on a XC Series over winter to help soothe the itch.
Full results here.