Tuesday, October 23, 2012
2012 Croc Trophy Stage 2
Before the start of the second stage I had deliberately consumed heaps of fluid. One bidon before and after breakfast, 1 in the 30mins leading up to the start and 2 on the start line. While 3.5kg of fluid seems like a disadvantage over the 3000vm of climbing, I planned to look after myself in this leg in preparation for further stages. The race started with a 15km police escort out of town and partway up the first of many climbs which is where the race officially started. The pace was significant from the gun with a couple of riders attacking off the front at different times. I just hung with the main group that caught all the lead riders as we started the offroad and super steep climbing. I let the top few boys go knowing they were super human euro pros and tried to keep with Cory Wallace my rare non-euro but still international companion. Getting to the top of the 2nd main climb we had three of us that were working turns in an aim to catch the leaders. With 30km to go the top two riders were in sight. Heading up the final 500vm climb Cory and I moved past a very busted second place. At the top of the last climb with 15km of downhill and flat to the finish we were three minutes off the lead. I moved to the front down the final decent and was loving the reward for such a big climb. On the second last corner of the downhill my enjoyment stopped as a fast approaching car sped around this blind corner and didn't see me. I had moved as far left as possible without hitting the loose gravel. The driver needed to swerve 40cm to their left or alternatively stop to avoid a head on collision but this was not the case. In what was described as a Hollywood action stunt both me and my bike flew over the car, me to the left, my bike to the right and my drink bottles everywhere. Cory expected to see blood and guts however, I got up as soon as I could, grabbed my bike, drink bottles and threw a leg over. If it wasn't for the 3 cracks in the frame I was going to finish this race. That is until the shoulder pain really kicked in. The car driver had no idea there was a race on as they saw no warning signage. If I finished with Cory I would have moved up on GC to second overall. Considering the amount of airtime I got and the lack of injuries I think Cory was right in thinking I had angels there to catch me. Cory continued on to try and flag down a motorist to call an ambulance. When he got to the finish the race officials sent their internationally trained medical support. Upon arrival and after initial assessment it was decided I had a dislocated shoulder and the 'medical expert' was really keen to pop my shoulder back in place. I opted for an x-ray and was taken back to the race village by a driver who was intent on picking up several strava segments. Sitting at the airport on my way home with a broken collarbone wasn't what I had planned for the third stage of the Croc Trophy.
Thanks Cory for the offer of assistance and companionship during the race.
A massive thanks goes out to all the people involved with getting me to this race.
The main reason I could do this event was with the assistance from Evan Corry who is the owner of Corry Cycles in Mackay. He lined up the RUOK? team, the support and sponsorship package that made this event possible for me. Shotz also looked after the team with a very generous deal.
Rockytrail Entertainment lined me up with a free entry after winning the Sydney 12hr.
Merida for looking after some of the logistics with my bikes
Gordon Street Cycles for having my bike in new condition for the race
Conti Tyres for expressing some protection tyres that proved themself bomb proof in the outback.