2011 Cape to Cape – Stage 1
I was only able to start this race with the help of Bruno Wicki and his family. Having Marlene being our shuttle driver and Damo sorting accommodation made it all possible.
Lining up on the start line I wasn’t aware that this race had attracted so many elite riders from across Australia. The boys I knew would be hitting it hard included Chris Jongewaard, Andy Blair, Shaun Lewis, Matt Flemming and Peter Hatton. There were a lot of other unknown riders that were also pointed out as being hot contenders from Western Australia.
The start of the race had us riding up a fairly significant climb from the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse where there were several attacks off the front. No one got away early on until around 5km into the race where the track just went straight up into a climb that was barely rideable. From here Andy made a gap. Chris and Pete were in second and third and I was a few hundred metres back with WA local Craig Cook who was smashing it!
About 25km into the race and I almost didn’t finish as I tried to double a rock section. My back wheel landed harshly and would have been flat if it wasn’t for tubeless. A slight buckle and dings but the wheel was still rolling well. From here it was only another 5km where we hit the beach section. Looking up the coast I could only see 2 riders Chris and Pete who were both walking. I thought Andy must have taken a wrong turn. I was trying to ride as much as possible and it was here that I was hitting my max heart rate as I was trying to maintain my momentum. I rode ¾ of the beach however, most of that was at 5km/hr as there were so many soft sections of sand.
Coming off the beach was a few hundred metres of sand running before the trail become rideable with many steep undulations. Craig and I had gone past Pete on the beach and had almost caught up to Chris but he must have put the power down over the last 5km into the finish. With 400m to go Craig wound up the pace and I wasn’t going to go past him when he was doing 62km/hr…
I came across the line in 4th with a time of 1hr 36mins. I don’t train for races this short!