The last stage was still being sorted out the day before this race stage started. With the original route flooded the organisors had to find a plan B. This involved breaking the race into 2 parts and giving the riders exactly 30mins to travel from part 1 finish to part 2 start. This happened to be around 6km so it plenty of time.
The race started with a police escort of Bermagui to the start of their mountain bike park. We did a lap and a half here. Towards the end of the first lap I noticed my rear tyre was going down. I was keen to try and just ride it until I get to my 30min transport stage where I could fix it. Unfortunately it was getting to flat and I had to stop and give it a quick squirt of CO2. The was enough to get me to the transition however the tyre was still loosing pressure. I decided to put a tube in and taking the old tyre off revealed a clear lack of tyre sealant, no wonder the thing went down!
By the time I got the the tyre fixed I had less than 15 minutes to ride the 6km down the road and relied on fellow racer Greg Porter to help me down the road at speed. I arrived at the check point around 30 seconds before I had to start! I was about 20 seconds down on the leaders when I was allowed to restart and caught this time up over the next couple of hills. There seemed to be a lot of grass riding in the second part of the race which was pretty tough going. About 15 mins into the second part of the race a few attacks went. Andy Blair rode off for a few minutes before Andy Fellows and Nick Both got away. Everyone was together at the first river crossing and I managed to get across pretty fast. This led onto the first beach. I clicked it up a few gears and tried to pick a few good lines down the beach. I didn't think I was going that fast but at this stage managed to put a gap into the rest of the field. Once I got off the beach I started to wind up the pace to see if I could hold the lead I had developed.
With around 10km to go on the clock I was starting to run out of water. I thought I might be able to ride 10km without fluid however I decided to stop at the caravan park we ride through for a quick refill.
I kept looking behind me during this stage expecting to be overtaken but I managed to come across the line first after punishing the bike in the salt water, sandy beaches and muddy paddocks!