2013 3 Ring Circus (Wayne)

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Our results at this event
Rider Overall Category Pos. Time
Gazza 11 Masters Men 1 2:12:57
David 15 Masters Men 3 2:17:02
Wayne 16 Masters Men 4 2:17:06
Brian 24 Veteran Men 7 2:21:41
Graham 32 Veteran Men 11 2:24:41
Gary 62 Veteran Men 18 2:33:48

I love the 3 Ring Circus, and the team at Wild Horizons always put on a great show.

This year I decided to do the night event in support of one of our sponsors Lupine Lighting Systems, as well as the main event. With Gazza joining me at the start line, we were primed to have a fast race, and fast it was. With Kyle Ward and a couple of the younger guys, punching off the front in consecutive turns early, the blue lap was a bit of a blur. By the time we had crested the 'grassy hill' and entered the main single track of the red loop, the young guns had broken away, leaving us older folk to sort ourselves out for the category placings.

All ended up pretty uneventful, with Gazza, Duncan and myself all going turn for turn until the last 500m, when out of nowhere pops another riderand goes flying past. Gazza and I had misjudged where the finish was and thought we had a few more turns to go. By the time we realized our mistake the finish line was upon us, and we took out the minor placings 2nd & 3rd respectively.

Thanks to Lupine / Virtuascape for some great lights, the combo of the Piko on the helmet weighing in at 50gms and the Wilma on the bars provided awesome ligting especially in the twisty STof Wingello.

Sunday, morning and the main event. With a civilized start of 10am we had plenty of time to get things sorted and prepared. That is until I had found that my rear tyre was flat, and I had cracked a carbon rim the night before. Fortunately by adding a few cups of sealant and pumping up to around 40 psi I managed to get the rim / tyre to seal and hold air. With that, a couple of C02 canisters and tubes I decided to start the race.

At the start line there were a few new familiar faces for the main event, the elites had Shaun Lewis, Jarrod Hughes, Kyle Ward, Mike Blewitt (MarathonMTB), Dan McDonald and joining Gazza and myself in the other categories , there was the other players Mark McInnes, McAvoy, and Dave O'Connell.

As usual with the circus, things start fast on the blue lap. I had held on to the elite guys to just before transition, but went through some 30 secs back. I could still see Gazza up ahead, and thought today is a long race and I have plenty of time to make up the deficit. Through transition, a quick check on the tyre, all was going well.

Dave (Doc) and I were now riding together, as part of a small group of around 5 riders. I t was great to have a team mate to share turns and to push each other along. Unfortunately the small group was a little slower in the ST, then Doc and I would have liked. As Gazza entered the ST around 30 sec up the road, this would be the last time we would see him all day.

Our group, with me and Doc leading, entered transition 2 together, and then set about a plan to bring in as many riders as we could in the final yellow loop. Knowing this loop well from training we explained to our group where the main climbs and descents were, and advised of a fast line through the creek at the bottom of half way hill. I hit the creek at the bottom fast, and then I heard my rear tyre burp, hitting one of the rocks through the creek. It resealed and on a quick check it looked like I still had about 20PSI. With none of our group going to stop (it is a race after all) I decided to continue and try and nurse it back through the last 12km home.

Our group was now 4, with Doc and I moving to the front, I could see Mark McInnes at the top of the next rise. On my calculations, Mark was in 2nd, leaving only 3rd place for me and Doc to fight over, unless we cold catch Mark. Unfortunately our young compatriots in the group were done for the day, leaving just me and Doc to drive the train home. By now my tyre was down to around 15psi, which was ok as long as we were going straight, but cornering at any speed was difficult - this was not going to be my day. With 1km to go Doc sent it, gapping our younger guys and I tagged on his wheel to come over the line in 4th, and 16th overall, Doc taking a well deserved and earned 3rd place. Doc thanks for getting me home, sharing the banter over 54km, and a great race overall.

Gazza, superb ride today, you were on it from the beginning, and must have been flying through that ST to put 3mins into us. Well done mate - a well deserved effort.

The rest of the team came in soon after, with Brian and Gary D both setting PR's, and coming 7th and 18th respectively in category.

Well done team - SXC Racing, and as always the support of our friends at Pepper Coaching !