Cheers to Adrian Rumney for this mint pic
Well after all the time I had off from training last year, yes it was most of the year! (although I was still riding bikes of some sort, just not "training"). I had found myself totally burnt out and with other things needing to be sorted out in my personal life, I simply wasn't enjoying riding and found I couldn't push on when the hurting started. I have worked through most of that stuff now and the riding (and hurting) is fun again!
After returning from a couple weeks hanging out in Wanaka with some cool people over new years, I returned home and had a couple big long chats with my coach (BOBBY TUXFORD) and my first official day of training was on the 8th of Jan. Yes this only gave me about three weeks of hard training to get ready for my first race "Round two of the National series in Wellington", but with the head in the right place and using what fitness I had held onto I was excited to see where I could get myself to in the short time I had.
I arrived in Wellington on the Friday and Rolled a couple laps of the track, Being held on Mt Vic it is a bit of an old favorite of mine as we have been racing on this hill since the mid 90s. The track was similar to the one used last year with a couple slight changes, I already had the perfect tires fitted (GEAX MEZCAL 2.1 TNT) on my bike and felt at home on the down hills straight away.
Race day was a hot one and starting at 2pm meant a few people were going to cook them selves! I didn't have much of a kick off the line and with a few guys in front of me stuffing up on the loose gravel I struggled to hold the front guys up the first climbs, I knew I just had to ride my own race and not worry about who was around me or what they were doing. Slowly but surly I started to catch a few riders, this said on lap three I was with young Tom B (who grew up in Wellington and knows the tracks on Mt Vic rather well) he attacked me into a short down hill section and then cut over to block me at the top of the next little pinch, then moved across to shut the door on me going around the outside of him into the hairpin. I swapped sides and came up the inside rather fast as he swung out to set up for the corner (29er vrs 26), as he turned in I was already there and with a slight pause mid corner before a sprint out of the corner and into the next down hill section I had the spot and put more time into him on the down hill, It was good to see him racing like this (as this is how I like to race) but as he learned I have many, many years of tricks to pull out of the bag when I need too. I worked my way into 6th place by the finish, I am happy with my result all things considering, I felt strong all race and my recovery after the race was good as I was still able to get out and do all my sprints on Tuesday after work. I have taken a lot of positives from the race and am already looking forward to this coming weekend in Hinua, Auckland and then National Champs in Rotorua on the 16th with a bit more top end speed Im sure!
Finally Id just like to thank my awesome friends in Wellington (and Roadie/Dave) for a mint weekend!