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2012 Australian XCM Champs

By Dicko - Posted on 11 June 2012

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Australian XCM Championships
Jet Racing
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Full Marathon - 84km Male and Female - Open, Sport, Veteran, Masters, Super Masters, Ultra Masters
Position (Category): 

This race was not really in my plans, but given my recent results and managing to avoid any sickness so far this year, I thought I would give this a go. You never know when you will get another chance right ?

My plans were to get down to Canberra and do a pre-ride of the course the Sunday before, but with all the rain this never happened. So I found myself not really knowing what to expect course wise, but from reports of other riders, and previous knowledge of riding Stromlo - I knew 80km + out here was going to be a hard day out.

I lined up at the start line with Gazza who was in sizzling form after a recent win at the 5 day stage race out at Alice Springs. My race plan was to ride the first lap at a comfortable speed and then pick up the effort on the second lap.

The race started with its usual 'quicker' pace, but we all settled down to race pace after the first 5km. I settled in to a rythym with a couple others for the first 15km until we hit the first real single track. This is where things got a little tougher as the next 15km was lots of tight, rocky single track, and fireroad climbs, which gave you no chance to rest or recover. There was lots of climbing as well, but my legs felt good and I managed to spin fairly easily up most climbs. After going up and down to the top of Stromlo a couple of times, we finally get back to the start area, but this was not the end of the first lap as the garmin read 35km - and marshals kindly pointed us back to the top of stromlo, this time up the well known combination of fireroad and the ABC switch back section of the course. This I knew pretty well, and soon again I summited up the last nasty little firetrail before heading down the familiar skyline descent.

Once getting back to the carpark, I headed out for another lap, and was surprised legs were still feeling OK after all the climbing. My upper body and back were hurting from all the techy single track. Clock read 2:32 so if I can do the same I will be close for my target of 5hrs or just under. Heading out on my next lap I started to increase the effort. This lap was much smoother as I knew when to go fast - hold speed - and when each of the difficult techy sections were coming up. Here I began to pass riders one by one, which was encouraging and began to urge me on. The climbs were definitely harder on this lap, but I managed all without getting off the bike, which given the number of riders walking was encouraging. The last 10km was great, as we had three riders in the masters category jostling for position. I would drive up the climbs, and then I would get caught on the techy downhill. The last climb to the summit, I put in that extra little effort pushing hard in granny all the way to the top, and thought if I can get 10 - 20 secs gap, I should be hold it on the last descent. I came in 2 secs and 12 secs ahead of the two riders in my cat. In the end I finished in 7th in category at 5:14, with a second lap of around 2:41.

Overall I would rate this as one of the hardest and grueling marathons I have done. Even though it ended up around 89km, the climbing and lots of techy singletrack gave you little or no rest. Even the downhill sections required lots of concentration to go fast and hold your line. So mentally and physically this marathon was hard. Which I guess is what you expect from the marathon champs. I am certainly feeling it today.

Happy ? Yeah for my first marathon champs I am happy with the result. Didn't quite hit my targeted 5 hours which would have put me close to podium.
My bike was flawless, and I was glad to be on the Specialized Epic dually on this course. To get through a day on this course with no mechanicals is an achievement in itself.

Well done to Gazza who finished in 4th. He put in a flyer of a first lap, and I never seen him again to the finish. Great stuff mate.

See you all at the Husky !!

Well done Wayne. Top result.

Sounds like it was a hard corse

And keep on making the most of your good form !

Top effort fella. Great result. I don't know where you're finding the time to ride. But keep it going!

Good result and good riding....time to get back on the road bike Eye-wink

on what looks like our last mtb ride for a while? ( In Sydney anyway!)
Keep up that form Mate. That was a bloody tough race!

@garyinoz, better still, if the track holds up join us at Awaba Sunday morning Smiling

I'll see on Saturday, need to do some K's as I missed last weekend whilst in NZ.
Would be nice to get back on the dirt though - I'll let you know.

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