After a busy few months of racing I realised I hadn't done any specific training for this event so I was a little unsure how I would fair. After riding with John Blankenstein at the Sydney 24hr I thought my fitness could be better but I knew the flowy Majura Pines track would give me plenty of opportunity to pedal easy and recover.
The day before the race, I headed out for two laps, one on the Mach 4 that I had got use to and one on the Mach 4 that I was still setting up. It took ages to get the second bike sorted but I wanted to make sure I was happy with it come race day!
The race started with a gentleman's lap as we remembered James Williamson, the 2008 24hr Solo World Champion who died just a couple of weeks before. We also wore arm bands to show our respect and care.
As the gentleman's lap finished the pace didn't seem to get too silly. I was setting the pace most of the time and was happy to ride comfortably. Brett Bellchambers on his single speed couldn't handle us geared riders changing down to lower gears on the climbs and he rode off after a couple of laps. I wasn't too concerned, knowing he would have been destroying his legs pushing the climbs so hard. He must of stayed out the front for about 4-5hrs and his lead got up to two minutes. I was begged by some of his fellow single speed riders to let him stay out the front! I finally caught up to him and he must of backed the pace off, dropping back to 5th place. I thought I would make the most of the small gap that I had developed catching down Bellchambers and tried to maintain consistent laps as the night approached.
Just before the 7 hour mark I was ready for a sleep and had to rely on some caffeine to keep me awake! At this stage I was also hanging out for pizza and 7 or 8 slices later I was still loving the taste but not enjoying the volume in my guts!
I wasn't going too hard during the night. I had been watching my heart rate earlier on and worked out how hard I should be pushing the hills. I was getting time gaps and was making a siginificant lead up to the early hours of the morning where the gap started to become more consistent. With about 5 hours to go Andy Fellows in second place started to increase his pace and as the 6hr riders caught me I decided to try and race them. This was all fun and games until I made an attack on Mark Tupalski and possibly went a little too hard! It was around this time that I couldn't get enough chamois cream. I have never had any issues like that before but I have always used Cannibal Clothing. I'll be back wearing Cannibal Clothing for the next 24hr!
The last few hours I wound the pace down a little and tried to do the maths so I wouldn't have to do an extra lap. So with two easy last laps I managed to come across the line at 12:05 to finish ahead. It was great to have heaps of other riders from Port Macquarie come down and qualify for Worlds.
A big thanks goes to Jen once again for being support/mechanic/everything.
JetBlack Products and Pivot Bikes for 2 awesome specked Mach 4 bikes for 24hr racing.
Shotz Nutrition, I think we have a pretty good 24hr strategy.
Gordon Street Cycles for changing bits and pieces all the time, and keeping the bikes in top working condition.
My brother and his family for coming down to cheer and my parents for doing the pizza run!