Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Two races in two weeks....

This weekend was the Final round of the National series (only three rounds this year). The race was held in the Hunua ranges, south east of Auckland city. Another hot day and this time a rather flat track, although narrow tight and twisting through Manuka trees we had a few grass fields and gravel roads to slog along as well. I have raced in Hunua a number of times over the years, although the last time was in 2005 I still new what to expect (and most of the track) before I even rolled out for a practice lap.
I had one of my worst starts in years and got tangled up in a pileup in the first corner, by the time I got going again I was pretty much last and with no real snap in the legs I had to limit the losses going into the first single track, I spent the whole first lap picking my way through the field until I was once again in about 6th place and on the wheel of Tom B. As we hit on of the gravel roads I rolled up beside Tom and said we needed to work together to close the gap as we could see three riders up ahead, Tom agreed and we kept the pace high but steady for the next few laps slowly closing the gap down. Sam Shaw and Logan Horn both crashed and Carl attacked, we kept on trucking along taking turns to lead and closed the gap to Carl again. As we caught Carl things started to click for me and the turbo kicked in, I slipped past Carl and started to put the hammer down although this only lasted a couple hundred meters as I pedaled into a stump and through myself on the ground knocking the wind right out of me. I got up and back on the bike as quick as I could as I knew Tom was just behind us and Sam was closing in on us again. We started the last last in a group of four and Sam was on the front and trying to get away, I was able to stay close to him and close the gap each time one opened. I rolled into the front on the second to last gravel road and lifted the pace through the last bit of single track to see if I could get a gap, with a few meters onto the last gravel road I knew I had to keep the pace high so he had to work to get back to me and wouldnt attack me on the last pinch climb into the event village, It came down to a sprint finish and I was able to get him by a couple cm. We had both put it all on the line in the sprint and had to have a bit of a lay down once we crossed the line.

I was awarded the third place behind Anton Cooper and Dirk Peters so I am rather happy with how I rode and the result.  The body still has a few tender spots after that crash so Im icing and antiflaming as often as I can to get rid of the tender spots as its a short turn around this week with the National Champs being held on Saturday so only five days to recover and get the body back in order before we all meet in Rotorua to do battle all over again!
A big thanks to Coach Bobby Tuxford and family for putting me up for the weekend, always awesome to stay with you, and also thanks to Ricky (last week) and Lisa (this week) for being awesome bottle  feeders!

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