Monday, May 4, 2015

2014 Scott 24 Hour

As I type this brief race report I am still wincing in pain as I am suffering from intersection syndrome! Looking back over the race I question how I let myself get into a situation where I am about to fly to Scotland and I'm not exactly sure if I will be able to finish the 24hr solo world champs that I have managed to win since 2009.

Looking at my race calender from the start of the year and with the world championships being held only two weeks after the Scott 24hr I had decided to give the Scott a miss allowing a more consistent training period and taper leading to the worlds. With the Munga now on the cards I couldn't look past the opportunity for some extra kms and another chance of practicing riding through the night.

With my brother now living in Canberra logistics for the race became a whole lot easier. My brother actually lives around 1km from the race venue! I managed to convince Jen to bring the family down and, with the help of her parents, we had a plan.

The plan was for Jen to look after me during the day and for James Ross to take over during the night. James managed to have a little stack and rendered himself unable to offer any support. I was willing to be unsupported during the night but Jen brought our bub Sylvie with her (9 months old) to run the show.

The Scott had really lost some numbers this year and with a shortage of depth in the elite men's 24hr I was half tempted to race the 6 + 6 riders and have a go against the overall 24hr teams. I was using the race as a chance to get my bikes dialled in for the worlds and it took laps for me to get the bikes tuned. One thing I changed on the bike was the position of the shifters. I decided to move them further away from the handgrip to prevent the shifter from rubbing on my thumb. This in turn forced me to stretch my thumb further to change gears.

From the start I wasn't prepared to go flat out. I was actually pretty busted from my 300km ride on the Wednesday and even when I did try and pedal hard my heart rate remained quite low and my legs were already flat. If it had of been a training ride, by three hours in I would have gone home. My legs felt smashed, but I kept turning the pedals and eventually with changed bike positions my legs started to relax and I could do my own race. After five or six laps my cleats came loose and required a longer pit otherwise my lap times early on were quite consistent. My change onto a night bike was smooth and my lead built during the night. By mid way through the race I was almost ahead by a lap and so I tried to have a sleep. I thought it would be good practice for the Munga having a 45 min nap and then continue riding. After lying down for 45 minutes in a tent I was sharing with a screaming baby, it was time to put all the clothing I brought to the race on and head out again as the temp had dropped to 1 deg. Even though I didn't get a sleep I felt alert and I still had a 20min lead. When the sun came up I was getting close to being a lap ahead. Around this same time my right forearm started to really ache. It actually felt like I had sprained my wrist really badly and so each bump became painful. At 11am I stopped to seek first aid and with a big enough lead I retired early for ice and taping. My bikes were feeling great at the end of the race but my wrist was shocking.

Rehab so far has been 4 days of physio in 10 days, anti-inflammatory medication and a shot of cortisone and still the pain continues!
I have been managing to get in some solid rides but I'll have to do some serious pain blocking and change my shifting technique in Scotland...

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