Sunday, 21 March 2010

Oceania Champs

It was behind these two that the race had some chasing excitement - Paul van der Ploeg (Australia), Andrew Blair (Australia) and Adrian Jackson (Australia) provided an effective Australian block on the rest of the field. However, New Zealand's Mike Northcott worked steadily away at the strong Australian presence to finally break free at the end of the fifth lap into third position, which he held to the line.

My best Oceania result so far,
The trip started off not so good with getting off the plane to find out our accomidation had been cancelled and re booked to someone else!. We ended up running into Alex Mcgregor working in the bike shop and he offered for us to stay with his family as every thing else was booked out.
The track was very similar to the one we have raced on in the past, only this time it was dry!!! a good thing as I had on a new set of GEAX AKA 2.0 tyres on and in the dry, those things are FAST!! We took off from the line and I slotted into second spot as we hit the gravel path, I stayed in second until near the top of the first big climb of the lap when a couple more of the Ausi riders jumped past me into the single track. Locky and Dan (the top two ausis) got a gap as I was still trying to recover from the super fast pace up the climb. I spent the next couple laps swaping spots for 4,5, and 6th with a couple other ausi guys before finding my legs again (just as Stu Houltham was about to catch up with us) and I set out on a mission to catch the third place rider. I was decending really fast and was pulling time out of him on most of the climbs, closing the gap. He saw me coming and tried to get away a few times but my legs were feeling good and I knew I could get him and still had a few good attacks in the legs for the last lap. I moved into 3rd just before the start of the coke lap (last lap) and held the pace high on the big gravel climb with a couple small serges on the way up just to see what he had left, not much as the gap opened up and I was gone! I finished in third to take my first Oceania medal. I was 3min 42 behind Dan and Locky who had spent the whole race attacking each other and having a sprint finish, so the gap was pritty good really (last year I was about 7min back) so this has to be a good thing eh!!??!!

The short track was on the following day during the down hill lunch brake. It was 20min plus 3laps. I rode around the edge of the track as the woman raced, so I knew where the track went but I didnt do a proper lap before we started. The crowd was pritty small for the womans race so I decided to try and make our race a bit more exciting. Off the line I had decided to go "BLOCKS!" and try to get a gap, This worked well but on the second lap I hit some moss on an off camber up hill bend and down I went! once up again I had to get my chain back on and get going again, By this time I had been past by most of the field and had to spend the next 10min chasing the leaders back down. I sat on the back of the lead bunch of about 7 for a couple laps to get my breath back and then moved up into third for a lap before going to the front and lifting the pace again, I spent the rest of the race in the top three swapping spots and streching the bunch getting rid of a couple more riders. With 5 of us together on the last lap and me in third spot as we hit the finish straight, I hooked another gear but had heaps of grass in my cluster and my chain started skipping. I had to go back a gear and kick off that, running out of room in the sprint I crossed the line still in thrid. THE END

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Front page action, and world famous in the Waikato! Yeah!!!