Round 1 was held in Dunedin "Dunas" over the weekend. I had a niggle in my right knee a few days before flying down. It was a new track this year with a 10min climb gaining about 205 virt meters and then a decent dropping us back to the start finish, the track was going to be a very tough race track. Throw in some rain and the climb became unridable in parts on Friday. The decent also became challenging, even just to keep the bike up right and on the track meant you were doing well in places. I flicked some GEAX GATO tyres on as they were going to be the best choice for the conditions, giving me grip on both the climb and decent with out loosing to much rolling resistance. During Saturday practice the climb dried out and was fully ridable again but the decent stayed wet and slippery. During my couple laps I had a "moment" and my front wheel slipped off the track thanks to a small rock garden mixed in with the mud, as my wheel slipped off the side of the I steeped out with a straight leg and turned that niggle in my knee into a lot of pain! Ice was the first point of call at the end of the lap and a few other things to try and settle it down once we got home. Race day I decided to use a bit of strapping tape to try and support it and stop any over extending during the race.
I had a good start and was able to hit the front on the first pinch of the climb along side one of the two Aussies that had made the trip over (chasing UCI points), Part way up the climb a few riders slipped past me and opened a small gap, I decided to ride tempo to look after the knee a bit (as it was already hurting) and also as it was going to be a hard day out and there was a good chance of people blowing and coming back later in the race. On the way down the hill I had a few "moments" and gave the knee a few more reasons to hurt, By the time I was on the third lap I was mostly using my left leg to do the work and that dosnt work while trying to keep you balance on the slippery tree roots and rocks, so I decided to shut it down before I did any more damage as I would rather take a few days to recover at the start of the season and have it sorted for the up coming races. It always sucks having to stand there and wait for the leader to come through to lap us out but at least this way I could get a few points (and every point helps).
I have had the knee looked at and have a couple more physio appointments during the week so hopefully I can have it ok for the weekend so I can race in Christchurch"Chch".