I came into this event feeling relatively positive, whilst I don't follow a training plan I felt stronger than last year, and riding with the Sxc Racing boys in the lead up to the race I seemed to be going ok. A week in Brisbane for work before the event meant I was at least rested.
I wasn't too worried about the rain and tried to stay positive as the forecasts turned from biblical, to torrential, to rain periods, then a chance of it holding off in the morning.
There were the usual start chute shenanigans as everyone is racing off. I snuck onto Dicko's wheel and rode along. All the expected protaganists were up there. At the bike wash it started splitting where people were getting off, Chitts did well to ride it and gained considerable time as a result. At this point I felt I was going ok, I was with Brian through the meadows and we caught up with Gazza's group although I dropped off shortly before transition.
I refilled water bottle and rode through to st2 with a few buys from MWCC and Gazza. Entering the singletrack there was a a holdup on a simple rock rollup meaning we had to dismount. From there climbed up the firetrail and hung on to Brian's wheel before getting dropped. I was isolated for a while then caught up with Gazza's group at the feed station. From there we rode in a group of about 8-10 up halfway hill and ground it out to the top. At this point Dicko rolled up looking strong. At this point I was starting to struggle a bit, my hands were cold (I have bad circulation so when its hot my hands swell and when it's cold they feel it) and I was finding it hard to shift. My only objective was to not be isolated on the roads back to Wingello but I failed in that so struggled into the cross winds alone getting some food in at the same time.
At transition I knew I wasn't in good shape but Doc had rolled in not far behind me so sought shelter in his wheel for a while but couldn't hold on. From that point in it was simply a case of riding in and looking forward to getting into warm clothes and having something decent to eat.
There were some great rides out there, particularly Minter who punctured twice and still came 2nd in Masters, Dicko also put in a great ride considering a far from ideal run up to the race. Well done to all that finished, especially the Sxc Racing boys.
When I got home I estimated that I only consumed in the region of 150-180g of carbs over the whole race, this was nowhere near sufficient especially given the cold. Something to learn at least, until the next time.