Category Archives: Results

Enjoying some spoils

While in France I was able to join a local cycling club in Sorezè. I’ve tried to do well for them in several events up till now but every time there has been one excuse or another… crashes, missing the break etc.
Feeling a little stronger of late I decided to head out with the club president Hervé to race a local criterium event near Toulouse.

Bleeksie and Soreze club president Hervé

Brooke came along to hand out bottles and yell some incomprehensible words of encouragement… or was that abuse!!??

Brooke as support to Bleeksie in France

The race was a 60km criterium on a 2.4km circuit and there were prime-sprints every 5 laps or so, for money and/or prizes.
Here in the non-pro roadie scene they have categories 1 to 5 and I am in the 5 (the default for 50+ oldies, although the federation can start moving you up if you perform too well for your age group).
They started categories 1 & 2 together and then a few minutes later the 3, 4 & 5 categories rolled out en mass.

About 50 to 60 riders in our group on narrow roads with several squeeze points that really slowed the tail-end of the bunch each pass.
Being called to the line last meant our category was at the back, so I decided I had to work my way to the front 20 or so riders of the peleton to have a better ride.

Made it out there during the first 5 laps, others racing for the sprints but I just let them play a little to hopefully soften their legs. Each time they sat-up after a sprint and I’d be hitting the front and working with several others to keep the pace, with a rest back in the bunch every now and then.

It seemed there were less and less riders willing to attack towards the last quarter of the race so I started planning an escape…. probably a stupid thing. Anyway, a few guys keep attempting to get off the front for a while without success, then there seem to be a duo that were getting away, so I jumped and manage to get across to them, shortly after they decided it was not worth their effort to stay away, as they were heading back into the peleton I keep it going for a bit longer, noticing that I was now on a sprint lap with the bunch looking at each other, so I push the pace again and managed to make it across the last prime-sprint with about 50 meters spare.

Pins Justaret criterium

As usual the bunch sat up after the sprint then 6 riders decided it was time and they started trickling over to me, noticing we were getting a gap and then the attack was on in earnest.

Pins Justaret criterium

We roll over really well and get a good gap, with the peleton even out of sight during the shorter roads sections.
In the final lap we started seeing the slightly shrunken peleton again when a couple of the fellow attackers started sand-bagging.
I see that the bunch was edging closer and our pace was still dropping. I had taken note that I was the only 50+ rider in the group so thought “what the heck” and jumped on the front and kept the pace going enough to stay away from the accelerating bunch. Didn’t matter where in the break I finished, as long as we stayed away I had the category win.
Of course the serious sand-bagger made a run for the line with about 200 meters to go and my tired legs were just able to increase speed enough to hold onto 5th over the line!

1st in category – 5th over the line
and last prime-sprint for €10 and a free pizza voucher!

Podium girls and Bleeksie

Bleeksie asked to speak, being the Aussie visitor

Club president Hervé and join gun (beaten by Bleeksie) rider Sebastien

Showing the Belgium young guns how it’s done

Karl & Tom 2014 Belgium

As two of our 3FIDI members, Cath & Craig, recently finished their Euro stint, they handed over the Belgium representation to our Kiwi member Karl.

In the last two years Karl has been competing in a big event called the BKRC Challenge, organised by the Royal Brussels Kayak Club.
In the organisers words this challenge is a “endurance-type raid-form of triathlon”, and it includes Kayaking (+/- 6km), Trail Running (+/- 8 km) and Mountain Biking (+/- 38 km).

Because this is a teams (of 2 or 3) event Karl joined forces with Brussels-based Australian and long time Adventure Racer Tom Crebbin (pictured below in 2013 with wife Karen), friends of Tom and Alina, and racing under the name KIWOZZI in 2013 they finishing in 3rd spot on the podium (photo below).

Tom Crebbin 2013

Karl_Tom_RBKC_2013_3rd

Being all fired up by the experience of beating 100+ other racers to the edge of the podium, they upped their training this year to give it another go.
A few weeks ago I did get to enjoy the fruits of their labor, by joining in on a few pre-race training rides with Karl & Tom, after which my legs felt like they had gone through the wringer… ouch!
If Karl & Tom are this strong, other teams beating them would have to be seriously powerful.

Tom explains:

The 6km paddle was in the slowest double plastic kayak imaginable and we managed to bash out the fastest time.
Next was a 9km trail run, we got that done in 54 mins which was also the fastest time for the day. This really shouldn’t have been that us old farts run the fastest time 🙂
Then there was the 37km VTT (Mountain Biking) which took us 2hrs 2 mins. At the start of the ride we had a nice lead and put on a fast pace just in case. Then the dreaded call, “My back tyre just punctured!” came from Karl and we scrambled to get a tube in as the tyre slash was too big for the Stans to seal. This little circus cost us ca. 5 mins otherwise we may have whacked out the fastest time there also, we got 2nd fastest by 1 minute. Karl is incredible on his MTB, constantly pushing me to my limits and him barely breaking a sweat!
[artistic licence may have been implemented here by Bleeksie]

Even with the 5 minute loss due to the forced rest-stop during the MTB leg, they won overall by about 10 mins ahead of the 124+ teams including serious young insects… sponsored and all.
And in true Belgium style there was plenty of post-race beer after and bubbly plus a huge cup as prices.

Great work guys!!!!

Top spot Belgium 2014

RBKC 2014 booty for 1st

Full results with split timings:
HERE

3FIDI blitz On-The-Rivet 3-Hour MTB @ Kowen

Two FIDIs fronted up for the last of the On The Rivet 3-Hour MTB races for 2013 (shame on the rest of you!).

Two FIDIs walked away with top of the podium places.

Well done Brooke – She smashed Bec Henderson. I can hear the rumblings of the World Cup for you.

As for Rusty… I thought I’d bonked and stuffed it completely. Thanks to all the real single speeders for not racing today 😉

BrookeRusty

 

And here’s some pics of Brooke smiling (again!) and Rusty suffering from the CORC Downhill FB page (thanks to David B)

Brooke1 Brooke2Rusty1Rusty2

Wembo – 24 hour Solo MTB World Championships

Wembo_pit_area

It had been lingering in the back of my mind for many years, and this year the urge to ride a solo 24 hour race became too strong to resist, and with the Wembo’s — World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation — 2013 World Championships being held in Australia @Stromlo it couldn’t be any easier to join in on the fun.

A combination of racing more endurance events then ever before in a single year and coming of the back of a category win in the Mongolia Bike Challenge I felt this was the one year I could attempt this ultimate riding endurance feat.

I managed to get, multi 24 hour racer, Libby on board to help me plan the event in the lead up and to be main support person during the race. Not having raced 24 hours solo before I found it hard to plan what food and drink I would want, like or be able to keep down to replenish the soon to be constantly depleting energy stores in my body.
With some guidance I opted to buy way more than I could ever eat and drink, with a variety of sweet, savoury, salty foods and drinks. The days leading up to the race were super busy at work so not too much time to think Wembo, but the last day it was all excitement and nerves, with last minute bike service @BikeCulture and setting up camp @Stromlo and purchasing some extra food… seeing I’d just gone through a few packets in the excitement.

The weather forecast was looking absolutely amazing with temperatures of 7 to 24 degrees and sunny. The list of riders who had entered was 270 big with many known names, from elite riders I’d heard about or even met at overseas events to local friends in all categories. There were 19 countries represented, although that may only have been about 20 riders…. hoping for them that this number grows over the year, this being the 2nd year that Wembo has run…. next year it is in Scotland, but I won’t be there unless I am supporting somebody else!

The lap around Stromlo was about 17km and was made up of most of a combination of the usual ‘red’ and ‘blue’ laps, i.e. one big climb up to the top, one big down hill and blue out & back. Some people had mentioned it was a soft course, but no matter how ‘soft’ it is after many many hours it still becomes harder and harder.

At midday Saturday 12th October the race started, with the Elite riders starting 10 ahead of the rest of the categories… woohoo, we had 10 minutes less to race :), then ride until Sunday midday or whenever you pull the pin.
When the rest of us rolled out I soon found myself on eventual age-group World Champions Gary James and Jason McAvoy’s wheels and tailed them for a lap and a half, until Gary up the pace and I finally realised “WTF am I doing!?” I was going faster than I had planned and let their wheels go, settling into a nice pace with plenty of company rolling around Stromlo.

The laps started rolling passed slowly but surely, most riders had their rear number attached showing their names which makes for easy conversation starter, I kept wondering how they all knew my name 🙂
All the time avoiding any timing, lap counting or race updates and feeling ok and everything was on track, of course from the supporters side of things, Libby, Aaron, Cameron and others it was a different story, they were noticing I wasn’t drinking and eating enough.. each time I came through the pit area the whole crowd of friends would force feed me anything that would give the vaguest hint of “yeah, I can eat that… I think”, I can’t tell you have important the pit crew was to get more laps out of me, my back was in a constant uncomfortable state and didn’t make riding as pleasurable as it can be… some pain killers and more food would give me some more time out on the bike.

Making it through the night with a couple of laps on James’ 26″ Stumpy for variety and setting some nice lap times ones jumping back onto my light weight Trek, but on lap 15 (ca. 4am) I hit the wall… BIG TIME… and my body was shutting down, no more eating, no more power, couldn’t stay on the tracks, sleepy…. “press the big red button now!!!!”. Rolling into the pit area 30 minutes slower than any other lap. I needed to sit and have help from anybody around, pep talks, warm clothes and food, then they managed to slowly get me through this very very dark zone… it’s a bit of a blur those few hours. If you were there thanks 🙂

The Sun rise, as always even in teams events, gives everybody a big boost and having regained energy I was talked in to riding some more. I felt like one of the elites passing all riders on the track, feeling fresh and energised. Managed to do two of those fresh laps, with the second reminding me I wasn’t as fresh as I though. Ok, that’s enough, the front guys are way off in the distance and it’s not getting any more comfortable…. I pressed the big red button…. EJECT! 17 laps and 289km done, now it was rest, showering and watching in ore the other riders that are still going around, some with less laps completed and others completing their 22+ laps. The overall winner, Jason English, completing 27 laps…wow!

A big thank you and hugs to Libby Adamson (mentor, main support), Aaron Coles (graveyard…no, funyard shift and a lift home), Brooke Rowlands (pit crew, pinching to keep me awake…ouch!), Cameron Darragh (pit crew, eve/night shift), Joe Andrews (spare lights, pit crew), James Hall (spare bike, pit crew and pre-race setup), Alex Ramsey (bike lights, friendly supporter), and all who showed their support with a quick or long visit…. not sure if I remember all but thanks to Mickey Munro-Mobbs & girls, Milly Brent (also supplied bike feeder bags, although they emptied by themselves during the bumps and jumps), Bec Thompson, Martin Worthy (some cross pit advice & fun), sorry if you waited to see me at the top of Mt.Stromlo on Sunday late morning 🙂 I had pulled the pin by then.

Seeing the Pizza shop that was @Stromlo during the Scott24 was not going to be there this weekend, so I had put the word out for pizza delivery and my dreams came true… can’t quite remember who did bring pizza’s but they were seriously appreciated!

Also thanks to Brent & crew from Bike Culture, for last minute service and the very very last minute (Saturday morning) complete front brake rebuild, plus a last hour brake bleed by the SRAM guys @Stromlo race village!
Bike Culture opened a new shop in Belconnen and it looks great… worth a quick visit if you’re in the area.

…. scratch this of my bucket list …. (I think)

bleeksie Wembo 2013

bleeksie Wembo 2013

bleeksie Wembo 2013

Full results at www.durt.com.au