The Sydney 24hr is an important race to me as my sponsors JetBlack are the major event sponsor. It's great being able to show off their cool products and race at the same time!
The JetBlack 24hr also fell at a time of the year where I knew I would be getting over doing high intensity races and it gave me a good excuse to have some time off the bike to complete the Overland Trail in Tasmania with some kids from school the week after the race.
I had the intention of doing this race on a single speed to give Ed Macdonald a chance to flog me but the only way I was going to single speed it was on a 29er. Unfortunately I won't be seeing any 2012 bikes for a while so, much to Ed's dissapointment, it was XX gears for me!
With Jen deciding to stay home with Archie, I was thinking I was going self-sufficient until my parents decided they could help out. I think packing for a 24hr is getting easier. I now have a lights box, a nutrition box, a gear box and a tool box. Too easy!
The race started out with a seeding lap and Ed attacked off the front. I didn't want to get dropped quite so soon so I tried to stay with him. This was my first lap of Mt Annan. It had at least one "A-line" that was just as quick as the smooth "C-line". It had quite a few rocky gardens that made me wonder why. It had some pinchy switch backs that were not single speed friendly but it also had quite a few fun little sections where you could carry some good speed.
We took a few turns early on to see who was going to do the pace setting. After a couple of laps Ed rode away from me but I eventually caught back up and tried to maintain the pace we started at. The temperature seemed to get hotter as the race progressed so fluid intake was critical. I was surprised at the amount of people out on the course cramping. I guess they don't all use Shotz!
It wasn't until 4-5pm when I eventually got a small gap on Ed. I was feeling really good during this time and managed to stretch this lead out in the first part of the night. However feeding eventually became a bit of a challenge. I was doing around 30min laps which were half the time of the laps at the Scott 24hr where my parents had their first real go at feeding me. They were generously feeding me the same amount of food each lap so by 7pm when the pizza arrived I was only able to put down a couple of slices. From 7pm to 5am all I had were Shotz gels and fluids as I had developed quite a full stomach. I still felt ok during the night energy wise and the caffeine gels did the trick to keep me awake.
During the early morning I had settled into a comfortable pace and Ed was starting to catch back up. I knew he was working harder than me to make up the time and I was getting prepared for a very hard finish to the race. At around 7:30am I got a message from Ed's support that he was on his last lap which really surprised me. We were eight laps up on third place. As Ed didn't go out for any more laps it meant I didn't need to either to keep my position. At the time we were sitting 3rd and 4th overall against the teams and my mum was dissapointed I didn't go out and race for an overall position! It was time to recover and get sorted for a 60+km walk rather than destroy myself!
A big thanks to my mum and dad for stepping in and looking after me! Thanks to JetBlack for all the great stuff they give me - Stans wheels, Weldtite lubes, Nite Rider lights, 661 gloves and Crank Brothers pedals. Thanks to Gordon Street Cycles for keeping my bikes going. Thanks to Shotz Nutrition, Adidas Eyewear and SRAM for their ongoing support. And finally, a big thanks to Martin and Juliane for another great event!