Dirtriders 6hr - Rockhop

Posted on July 4th, 2009 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

After three months away from racing I figured it was time to make a return to the race scene at the Rockhop 6hr.

I felt like my presence was missed as soon after arrival I was queried as to why I was there and whether I realized it was a mountain bike. I did realize and figured MTB race = beer and I had drank plenty of beer in the past few months so I should be set.

I had fond memories of the Beaconsfield course from when I raced in my debut solo race a couple of years ago. As with previous years, the course was super technical, a real mountain bikers trail with plenty of rock hopping and no shortage of climbing.

The first couple of laps served as an intensive mountain bike refresher course and I soon remembered how to ride over and thought things that I hadn’t tackled for a while. The field had settled down by this point and I had scored a couple of riding companions (James and Michael) to keep me company on the lonely solo journey.

Three hours had rolled over which marked the half way point of the race which also indicated that his was the longest time that I had been on a bike since the Otway Odyssey which was in February. Not too long after this my riding buddies had pulled the plug and I was once again left on my lonesome.

The bumpy descents and technical climbs were starting to take a toll by the four hour point, it was a rude reminder of how taxing riding off road is on the body. While the upper part of me was feeling pretty buggered, by some miracle my legs were still feeling good and still climbing well. I then realized that there was a really good chance I was actually going to finish this thing, provided I could hang onto the bike down the descents.

I struggled though the last couple of hours and rolled over the line in 4th place after completing 10 laps in 6 hours and 38 mintutes, clocking up over 100kms with close to 3500 metres climbing!

More photos here.

Otway Odyssey

Posted on April 29th, 2009 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

I know it’s be a couple of months since the Otway Odyssey was held but I thought I’d post a few words and some photos anyway. Better late than never right?

What can I say about that Odyssey, it’s known as one of the hardest (if not the hardest) mountain bike marathon race in Australia and attracts the best races from all over the country. Let’s just say it held up its end of the bargain, it was tough, really tough and given its reputation, you have to stay focused when youre hurting and not let the thought of whats to come crush you. That pretty much sums up my race I’d say, I suffered cramps from about 90 minutes in (probably due to a case of gastro the day before) which pretty much made for an extra tough race.

OO 2009 Start Line

Coming though transition after 60 odd kilometres I was convinced that I was riding at the back of the race and had no real drive to continue until I was told I was in fact just outside the top 20. That gave me a massive boost which made me regain focus, I remembered that I was in a similar situation the year before which meant I could still ride myself back into this race. I went out hard into the Yauhter Loop where I past several riders within the first few kms which fueled the fire. Mairina’s Run was as mind blowing as ever with its amazing banked corners that god himself may have carved. Dropping down into the gully after the last burms was when it all turned pear shaped, a stick went through my front wheel stopping the bike and sending me superman-ing headfirst into the gully, knocking the wind completely out of me. After picking myself up and searching around for my ejected bitons, a few riders that I had previously overtaken cruised on past which was a damaging blow for my head space. I got going again slowly as my lungs didn’t like breathing too heavily after taking a pounding during the crash. I had pretty much decided that I would pull the plug at next transition as I was hurting real bad and the final 13kms was nothing but fire road climbing death.

Erin and Choma

As I limped along in my sorry state, Alex Randall appear from behind and gave me the pep talk I needed to keep going and finish the race, the basic gist of it was harden up and don’t pull out. Alex and I rode together for the remainder of the race though the huge fire road climb of the final loop and crossed the line together in 25th and 26th place.

OO Crossing The Line 2009

Brett and Alex OO 2009

Anaconda Enduro Photos

Posted on August 17th, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

Photos from Anaconda Enduro Series are here.

Thanks to On Track Images for the great shots.

AES

Photos from Anaconda Enduro Series are here.

We may have lost the tour.

Posted on July 31st, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

While Cadel Evans had the yellow jersey slip though his fingers, some fellow aussies were riding their guts out the other side of the world in the 24hr Solo World Championships held in Canada.

We had a super strong contingent this year having dozens of aussies making the trip to Canada to compete.
Not only did the boys and girls just about win every category, they also took the top 4 spots in the big boys race (elite) too, with James Williamson taking the honors of becoming the World 24 Hour World Champion.

Special mention to Troy Bailey, for taking out the 35-39yo category. Troy put in a solid effort with 14 laps and put in a super consistent effort. Congratulations mate!

24hr WC Results

Anaconda Enduro Series R2 Videos

Posted on June 18th, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

Part 1

Part2

Anaconda Enduro Series R2

Posted on June 6th, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

The second round of the Anaconda Enduro Series was held among the mist at Lysterfield Park on the weekend, where all the lycra clad participants froze their butts off for the first few hours of the day.

With quite a few line up changes and some additional teams in the pro pairs category, it made for an action packed day of racing.

Team Yeti Cycles made their debut in the Anaconda Series sporting a new “prototype” yeti ridden by fast guy Ben Randall. The paint was a bit different from what we’re all used to seeing and the decals were a little primitive with a what looked like a hand written down tube decal, but that didn’t slow the boys down ridding themselves into 3rd place.

The team giant lineup remained the same with Murray Spink and John Claxton smashing out 10 laps and finsihing up in 2nd place. John clearly had to get back and moe the lawn as he left halfway though the race leaving Murray to finish what he had started. Murray did well to regain second, but was unable to reel in the Torq team who were tearing up the course from start to finish.

The big line change was with team Torq, bringing in hired gun James Maebus which was a surprise to us all (well at least me), which made the team un-beatable on the day, finishing in the top spot with 11 laps of the 13km course.

Also worth a mention is Adrian Jackson, fresh off his win of the NT stage race, who absolutely smashed the field not only in the solo category, but just in general, finishing in 4th place overall. AJ your a freak!

Brett - Anaconda Enduro R2

Anaconda Enduro Series Round 1

Posted on May 18th, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

The first round of the anaconda enduro series was held last weekend where some of Australia’s best XC talent duked it out for cash and glory.
With $1750 up for grabs for both the male and female Pro categories, there was a lot at stake and the competition was hot all day. With just 8 minutes separating the top 4 male pro teams at the end of the day it sure made for an exciting race.

We unfortunately missed the podium and the cash by just 72 seconds at the end of the day, out classed and out ridden by Josh Flemming and Rob Eva.

Race Report here.
Results here
Below is a video that one of the guys made of the race.

BMC 100 Classic

Posted on April 24th, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

Marathon races are becoming the new black on the Australian MTB circuit with no less than three major marathon races already being held in Victoria this year.

This week it was the BMC 100 Classic, which was held at one of my favorite places to ride, the wombat state forest near Woodend. It could not have been a more perfect day for the race, there wasn’t a cloud in sight and the predicted temperature was in the low twenties. At 6am it was a different story though as I fought off the shivers that almost caused my bowl of muesli to leave the clutches of my freezing hands.

The sun had finally started to peak over the surrounding hills by the time we were standing on start line waiting for our epic journey. Before I knew it we were off down the road with 100 odd kilometres in front off us, which everyone seemed to realize as it wasn’t the usual mad sprint i’m used to at the enduros

Within a kilometer we were already into the single track which was a little unexpected after racing the Otway Odyssey where the first fifteen kays were on the road. The first kilometers were pretty relaxed apart from random people crashing in front of me, including one of the Torq riders who made an unintentional exit from his bike while negotiating a slippery tree root. I slipped past the fallen rider to try and catch back up to the lead bunch before they disappeared out of sight. I caught back up soon enough and even made it past a couple of riders who were starting to fall behind the lead group. Feeling pretty happy with were I was sitting I though I would settle down a bit and take on some fluids. I bit down on the hydro packs mouth bit and pulled to activate the valve, instead of getting a mouth full of water i got a mouth full of plastic as the non leak mouth bit had come off causing water to be sprayed all over me and the trail. I quickly pulled over the to work out what the hell was going on and ran around looking for the for end of the hose thinking that I needed to stop the precious fluid from leaking everywhere. I then realized that I didn’t actually needed it and jumped back on the bike in pursuit of the other riders but was thinking my chances of a good finish was as good as gone.

Within maybe 20 minutes (not that I had a clue as I forgot my bike computer) I had a rider in my sights who was only a few 100 meters ahead on a long fire road section. I quickly caught him on a climb to then see Paul Randal not too far ahead. I caught up to Paul as I powered along the open dirt road trying to ride myself back into the race. We worked together until we caught up with James Maebus where Paul opted to stay with him as I pulled away up a steep climb.

Eating and drinking was a bit of a struggle for most of the race, not only did I have know idea of the time and knowing when to eat, my stomach was not playing the game. Each time I had a gel or a bite of a bar I felt like it was going to come strait back up, which is unusual as I always find it pretty easy to eat on the bike.

After getting past James I was riding on my own for probably over an hour before I started to see riders ahead of me again. I zoomed passed a few more riders including Troy Baily and Rohin Adams before I was once again riding on my own.

On a long road section I could see two riders working together who must have only been about 800 meters ahead of me. I was determined to catch them, the chase was on and I was going to get that carrot. I worked my butt off and soon caught up to the two riders, one of who was Adam Gibson. I tried to scoot past them, pushing hard along some undulating fire road but Adam was not going to let me go that easily. We rode together for a few kays before disaster struck once again, this time in the form of a flat tyre. I was once again standing by the side of the trail watching my competition ride into the distance. I fixed my flat while cursing that I never bought a CO2 inflater the day before. I was up an going again in about five minutes and managed to not lose any more positions.

I crossed the line in 4 hours 49 minutes in 7th place out of 400 odd starters, just four minutes behind Adam and Dennis.

So is it possible for a race to become a “Classic” in the first year it’s run? I think any race that finishes with a person handing you a beer the moment you cross the finish line has got be a classic in my book.

Results here.

Three Ladies, Riding a Bicycle at Beachworth

Posted on April 7th, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

With Erin off injured, I was once again left to fend for myself in the state enduro series . Originally it was going to be solo effort but when I jumped on line to sign up there was in message from Duncan offering a spot on their three lady team, “Three Ladies, Riding a Bicycle”.

With the race starting at 10:30am I opted to travel up in the morning of the race with the Salsa Amigos, Simon and Carson. We arrived at Beachworth at 9:30, giving us plenty of time to get organised before the race, or so we thought. We were told that there was no parking at the race site and that we had to park 3kms away and use the shuttle service to the event. We unpacked the car and awaited the arrival of our limousine to escort us to our track side home for the next 6 or so hours. More and more cars arrived, parked and awaited the arrival of the shuttle bus, after 15 minutes we were beginning to wonder if there was a shuttle at all and began to think that this may have been an elaborate scheme our competitors had cooked up to stop us from racing, like something out of speed racer.

SHITS 2008

Some 30 minutes later after the planned start time we were off and racing up the prologue fire road. It was the normal battle at the start with the usually suspects riding off the front with me chasing them up the road. We had only been riding for maybe 500metres or so when were directed into the single track (a mistake) which was only a quarter way up the road. This entry point must have been halfway around the course and was the point where all the climbing was to be had. I worked pretty hard in the first couple of kms, riding in 3rd place until I ran wide on a corner letting a few riders pass, by the time I arrived back at start/finish line I had smashed my legs and had slipped further back in the field. At this point I noticed that there were no members of the three ladies waiting to go out for a lap, as that was considered the prologue circuit and I was now required to ride a lap of the normal course with my legs already shattered. About half way around the lap my body came back to life and was ready to race again so I worked hard to make up a few positions that I had lost in the first part of the lap.

It took me a little while to settle into the race, with a flat on my second lap breaking my rhythm, it wasn’t until the third lap where I got to have a clean shot at the course. By this point I was getting to know the course and really started railing the corners and picking fast lines through the rocky descents.

The other ladies, Duncan and Dave were smashing it, riding the course like the owned it, although Duncan was having some dramas with his stomach which resulting him bailing out of doing the teams final lap, leaving Dave and I to defend first place on our own. I was stoked to have the chance to ride another lap, as I was really enjoying the course and having an opportunity to ride one more lap was a bonus.

Results are here.


Thanks to Becs for the photo.

Otway Odyssey

Posted on February 28th, 2008 by brett.
Categories: Cycling, Racing.

The along awaited Otway Odyssey mountain bike marathon was on again this year for it’s second year running.

I’ve pretty much been looking forward to this race ever since I crossed the line at the odyssey last year.

Despite the average weather causing the terrain to turn into a mud bath and my unintentional exit of a cliff, the otway odyssey did not disappoint. Heart pumping climbs that didn’t seem to end and blistering downhills that had your break fingers screaming for it to stop.

I was really happy with how the race went overall and again had that amazing sense of achievement when crossing the line once again this year which is exactly what you want from a race like this. Also, finishing just out of the top 10 in 12th overall was more than what I could ever have hoped for given the all star lineup.

Erins race report here.

Result are here