Well today was the final round of the Maverick Series and my last race for the year. Having already wrapped up the Maverick Series in the vets age group at the Epic, the aim for today was to try and get the overall series win. The only rider that could beat me was not on the entry list but I was suspicious of a late entry so just assumed he was there. I was leading the overall series but the series was based on 'best of 3' and I had already done 3 races where he had only done 2. Given this, and his results in his 2 races, I needed to pull out a miracle to win it if he was here so it was all or nothing.
I had flown into Canberra the day before and setup in an air bnb room in Bundanoon so had a relatively friendly morning and easy cruise to the event centre. Was feeling pretty comfortable and legs felt good in my warm up.
I started about 4th or 5th row back next to Gary who was also doing the 50km this year. At the start I jumped on the pedals to sit on the back of the lead group (my favourite place to start) and stuck with them through the road start. Once we hit the paddock they were pushing harder than I wanted to up the short pinches so I backed off a little to save the quads, feeling like I didn't quite have the power I wanted up the steep bits. We settled into a group of 3 or 4 riders to the 25km mark. We saw a few riders up ahead so pushed hard to swallow them up. I was feeling strong and comfortable so spending a lot of time on the front. Lost concentration and turned the wrong way at one point (I really should learn to read signs!!!!) but realised straight away and caught back up to the group quickly.
It was about the 4th creek crossing where I realized I wasn't going to have what I needed today. Just didn't quite have the punch in the legs to push up the steep bits of the hills. I didn't find the hills hard and for some reason the climbing actually seemed a lot less that previous years but something was missing and the power just didn't want to kick in.
After the creek crossing the group I was in pushed well up the next climb but I couldn't match them. The legs weren't sore, no cramping, just not the power I wanted. Definitely more hills and hours on the bike required.
I had no issues up broke back mountain and the punchy climbs before it but just didn't have the speed required. Loved the single track at the top (right up my alley) and went on to finish 19th overall and 6th in vets.
Turns out the arch nemesis was riding on a late entry and finished almost 2 minutes ahead of me so took out the overall series. I would have needed to be at least 15minutes quicker to take the overall series but enjoyed having a crack and coming away with the vets age group series win.
I have really enjoyed the races this year and felt it was well worth the travel and effort to do the Maverick series. I got to ride 3 courses I have never ridden before in great locations and reached my goal of winning the series in vets. Now to sit down and plan next years' attack!
Thanks SXC! And thanks Pure Edge for the awesome products!