Category Archives: Results

Tathra fun and …

A few of us, James & Stacie and family, Harri & Libby, Sue & Denys and myself (Bleeksie) went to compete in the re-scheduled Tathra Enduro on the weekend of the 28th August, which also happened to be Stacie’s 40th (uhum) birthday…. WOOHOO, party!

The weather was super kind to us with temperatures of 6 to 20 degrees… awesome.
Stacie rode her first ever MTB race on the Saturday, 20 km (respect!), having a little off by clipping a tree (looser!) when James & family diverted her concentration with some hackling from the side-lines.

Also Kids races galore with lots of future athletes and the longer distance events on the Sunday.
James & I rode part of the course early Saturday morning and were amazed at how well the coastal tracks had held up to the preceding weeks of rain, couldn’t find more than 2 puddles but could find plenty of scary narrow tree pass-throughs.. YIKES!
Later that morning the sleepy-heads did their recon ride, quite casual for all of us with the hardest thing being to avoid a sunburn and that extra glass of wine on Saturday evening… huh, what race tomorrow??

There was plenty of shuffling of race distance entries and by the end of Saturday it appeared all shuffles were downgrades and I was the only one of the house left riding the full 75km event!
Don’t they realise that in the 75km you can relax a little, it just means longer in the saddle… or was it!?

The 75km start time meant I was the first of the household to roll out, nice of others to wake and send me off with the other 75km’ers. It felt fairly good for the first 2km sticking with the lead 9 riders, then when they actually started racing the speed went up and I though…ouch, still 73km to go let’s slow it down a little. Many riders passing me the next 5 km then settling into a steady rhythm and no more being passed.

After the pass through the HQ around 45km mark, I still felt good and put a little more pressure on the pedals, this saw me collect and pass riders every few km.
I did meet plenty of those narrow tree pass-through again, clipping 4 of them with a little YELP! and a PHEW! each time.

Not realising I passed the leader in my category at around 4km to go, I just kept riding my own pace, just keeping the cramps at bay… maybe 1 large water bottle and 3 gels isn’t quite enough for 75km! Anyway, every was going well until I met the last narrow tree pass-through just in front of a log roll-over… Clipped the tree, front wheel stopped by the log, meanwhile my body goes up into the air and, as I was still hanging on to the bars, I summersaulted hitting the ground with head, hip, knee twist….. SHIT, what just happened? Where am I? What are those bike tools, phone, gel wrappers doing on the track?

Another rider came up to me making sure I was ok, I told him I would be fine and to go and that I was just going to rest for a bit then continue. Gathering my personal belongings and stuffing them back into my jersey pockets, grab my bike and OOOPS! Something wrong with the front wheel, looks like it hit the log sideways and potato chipped it, blowing the tyre off in the process and cracking the carbon rim…. damn, un-rideable. I look on my Garmin and it says 69km, F#$K! that’s another 6 kms to go.

I rack my bike on the shoulder and start running, ouch, everything is sore, I hobble, pause, walk, shuffle my way to the finish, many of the riders I passed passing me again, plus a few extras. Ah well, just want to finish. Luckily the Garmin had missed a few KMs due to the tight single-tracks and the finish was at 71km… phew, made it!

Not only made it, but still hung onto 2nd in category.

Libby and James also managed 2nd in their categories, and Sue managed a 1st.
Harri a respectable 5th and Denys … what can I say, well done for coming along! 🙂

Now we were ready to PARTY! Bring on the celebratory champagne and awesome food and all important cake.

Final stage (#3) of Vietnam Victory Challenge

5am wake time again…. uugh! Thankfully the early starts mean slightly more bearable temperatures for a while.
Todays stage was the 3rd and final stage of Vietnam Victory Challenge, an annual race running for it’s 2nd time, and the stage consisted of 3 laps of a loop, part of which we had ridden on both stage 1 & 2 in one direction or the other.

The brand new Cube bike I was kindly sponsored with for the day by “ASAMA Bicycle”, was tuned with the seat-post 5mm past it’s safety limit and my own seat, which has some high rails, to gain as much height as possible. Matt made sure his rear tyre was in top condition and investigated his rattling rear hub, making sure he would avoid a hub blow-up like mine.

Matt was placed in 3rd and had the task of clawing back 8 minutes, most of which he had lost due to double flats on Stage 2 when Dan Isaacs managed to roll past on his single-speed. For me there was a less daunting gap of 3 minutes to make up to regain the yellow again.

There was no time to rest or even test the bike, I just had to push it as hard as I could on the Cube, having to pedal standing each time the road went up due to the super low saddle and as the bike’s bottle cage bolts (without cage) couldn’t be undone I carried a small water bottle in my jersey pocket and was very happy it lasted the whole 34km without the need of a refill.

For something different to the other 2 stages, they made us start in age groups, youngest first, this meant my group (50+) started behind the whole field including many sloooow riders, luckily it was a climbing start that did sort out the slow riders but it was tricky passing them as they wobbled up & all over the tracks.
The 11km loop had a few short climbs and a large hill I just walked up each time, no great loss in time and saved my legs.

It took a while to get towards the pointy end of the field, passing 90 or so riders in the first lap. Matt was riding in the 40+ group was gunning it and was still in front of me while he was chasing his “8 minutes to 2nd place” until he had a small crash that bent his rear derailleur and gave him a bit of gravel rash. Passing him on a small incline I told him I wasn’t going to stop as I needed to regain every minute I could on my own rivals.

Part way through the 2nd lap I ended up riding with the Pro women and knew they were always going at a good speed so kept with them until the end, apologising to the lead girl because they had to do another lap while our category didn’t. Now it was all about those 3 minutes I needed to win overall. Matt rolled in 5 minutes after me and my rival was 10 minutes behind me, then it ended up that todays course wasn’t single-speed friendly and Dan rolled in just outside the time Matt needed, so Matt made it to 2nd place and I made it to 1st place.

Party all around, with many of the Hanoi friends taking podium spots.

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Stage 1 of Vietnam Victory Challenge success

It was a hard 48km track, super bumpy and a sweat fest.
I rode it in 2:49 with 58mins in VO2 heartrate zone… ouch!

Managed to get a win in the 50+ and 9th overall and Matt Larkin just got pipped to 2nd in the 40+ category, also Dan Isaacs (ex Bike Culture) managed a 3rd on his single-speed (kudos!!).

Nearly the same course tomorrow in reverse. My rear wheel has three massive cracks in the rim, so hoping to keep it alive and make it through without loosing too much of my 21 mins lead.

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DUO-Classic 2016

Libby and I rode the Duo Classic on January 30th.
This is a great event, as the vibe is way more relaxed and friendly then most other XC races.
You could tell at the start line, it was super noisy with everybody chatting with each other, unlike many XC races I have done where we all stand around eyeing off the competition and looking at our stems.
This event was at Kowen and Sparrow, and the loop was 25km which we rode twice.
It had been raining the days before and, although the start was dry, it was forecast to start to rain again later during the event, we were just hoping it would hold off long enough to get around.
Then not only didn’t it rain until well after the presentations, it actually became super sunny and the damp track got better as it dried, helped by a strong wind.

We said to each other that we’d just ride to complete the course and that Libby would set the pace… ok, I rode a little ahead so that I definitely would not slow Libby down, but as usual she started chasing me a little which upped our speed and her pain levels at the end.
To our surprise we ended in 2nd place, beaten by the only 50+ team who were combined into our 40+ category 🙂

Keep an eye out for this event next year, it is worth the pain to enjoy the atmosphere.

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Less climbing more technical

Rode another cyclocross event and managed to get 1st in category and ca.12th overall out of about 40 or so riders.
Getting the hang of the bike but still hesitant during the mass starts.
Great to see the kids all enjoying a shorter version of the track and all getting a medal and some even cups.

Course this time was 2+km with no major pinches or down hills, just a few tiny bmx rollovers and plenty of super sharp corners. Luckily again no mud but this time some stone-pits to ride through… easy when they are straight and a lot harder when they are long and around a corner in the loose stones.

Cugnaux cyclocross results

kids are rewarded

Autumn Series Finale 2014

During the autumn season in the Tarn (district #31) the FSGT, Federation Sportive et Gymnique du Travail, puts on a cycling road-criterium series.
There are five races in the series each with a race distance of approximately 60km, for my category #5 anyway, with laps between 2 and 10km in length.
Due to my travels and visitors, I had so far only been able to race two out of four.

The final race in the series was in Villaries on the 5th September, again near Toulouse, and I managed to get myself there to ride and Brooke to come along to be bottle-bitch and general support along the side-lines.
At the previous 2 races I attended, I finished in a 1st and a 2nd place, which had moved me up into 3rd overall in the general classification of the series with 25 points, 3 points below the shared 1st & 2nd spots.

Luckily for me the two guys, Gerard & Serge, who beat me in the previous race had not raced before so were starting with fresh scores and a bit of catching up to do.
For me to get the series win I had to finish on the podium today and neither of the guys that had 28 points were allowed to finish in front of me.

I realised during warm-up that both the faster (and older) guys, Gerard & Serge, were there, so I had to make sure I’d keep an eye on them and get into a break with either or both of them.
Then when we were lining up on the start-line, I noticed the winner from the previous race, Gerard, had been put up a grade into category #4, so there was only one guy in my category (that I knew of) who was stronger than me, especially on the climbs.

Lucky for me the climbs were less severe than last weekend, and a couple of laps in I knew it was really only Serge and a couple of others who had the legs to attack the climbs, and after neutralising some early break attempts, I ended up chasing some prime-sprinters to the line and ended up in front, which was a perfect sign for three fast guys, including Serge, to jump across to me and we started a break.
All four of us worked hard to get away from the bunch and a couple of laps later it was clear to me that Serge was still stronger on the climbs than all three others in the break and true to form he managed to loose us on the 2nd final lap climb.
I could not chase him and knew I didn’t have to for the series points, so sat in and worked with the other two to stay away from the bunch.

Of course this meant my side-line support gave me hell, heckling and calling me all sorts of names, and loosing interest a little… just kidding Brooke.

Making sure I didn’t attack too much and didn’t just stay on the front, with some very strategically placed “pretending” that I was completely bugger during the beginning of the last lap, I couldn’t have planned it better, as on the final climb the next fastest guy attacked thinking I was toasted, with the third guy chasing and I sucking hard on their wheels.
On the final run in to the line, it was a fairly flat/down run-in, they started winding it up and I made sure I wasn’t on the front. Wedging myself into second wheel until the very last 200 meters, then winding it up and crossing the finish line in 2nd place behind Serge who was probably already relaxing in the cafe 🙂

Anyway, as only Serge got more points on the day and it didn’t matter who finished behind me, it meant that I had enough points accumulated to get 1st spot in the overall series classification.

It does mean they moved me up a grade for any future races, not that there are anymore road events, I may end up racing some cyclocross.

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