Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012 Super Series Race 4 - 6hr

The Super Series final was originally planned to be a 24hr, but the race organisers decided some time back that  the cost and logistics of putting on a 24hr race did not stack up.  This was still going to be the longest race of the series at 6hrs.  The track was at Murrenbong Scout camp-ground using another combination of the various trails we have raced in the previous races in the series.  Conditions were perfect, and there was a good roll up of solo and team riders, with 5 riders in my category of Single Speed.  I had the Superfly SS ready to go with 34/21 gearing, and repaired bottle cage bolts to hopefully prevent the bidon ejecting frustrations of the last 2 races.

I managed to get towards the front for race start, although I was on the far right and there was a left turn about 50m from the start line.  So immediately the start gun fired, I edged across to the the left and managed to get around the corner with out an issue. I had only ever ridden this part of the track in the other direction, where it was mostly a downhill run home.  Now it was slightly uphill, with some undulations making for some high speeds around some trees, kind of like a slalom run. I managed to clip my helmet on a branch, which gave me a bit of a shock, but didn't really cause me a problem(I did it on lap 2 too :-D).  We proceeded to some more single track and then a flat to slightly down access road, which was well above my SS gearing.  The next bit was a fast bumpy downhill with massive, foot/pedal/wheel destroying concrete block to the left, that I would have to remember to avoid for the rest of the race.  This finished in the creek, that I have only ever ridden in extreme mud.  Again this was not an SS friendly section of track, but the climb up to the dam wall was.  The climb up from the dam wall was another nice section for the SS,  The next section of track I knew quite well with LunarC this year and last year and a couple of Super Series races using this track.  Its a heap of fun and fantastic on the long as you are not stuck behind someone on a climb, because there are a few technical root sections that really need a bit of momentum on a single speed.  At the end of this single track, there is fast slightly downhill access road section that is another section that gives some respite, but really allows the geared bikes to unwind.  At the bottom is another fun creek section which has just enough turns to be OK on the SS.  The climb out of the creek is also very SS friendly, especially late in the race.  The bit of single track that followed was fun, but with a couple of tight turns which were a little tricky.  Another little climb and then a downhill run home.  A total of about 7.4Km.

The first lap took about 24mins, and I was on the 3rd lap with in the hour!  Such short and quick laps somehow make the race seem to take longer.  This was going to be a long race!  Things were starting to settle down and I was mostly able to run my own speed, but at times I seemed to be passing and being passed by a couple of geared bikes as we hit the parts of the tracks that suited each of us.  As it turned out I would battle these guys until about 3 laps from the end when I managed to get away from them on the climbs as they started searching for granny gear.

I felt I was riding quite consistently and with good pace.  The flatter sections were a bit of a grind, but I felt like I was climbing the hills strongly.  If there was one negative it was the way the transition area was configured, our usual spot was not actually on the race track.  I had to make a detour to get drink and food, except for the one time my son and his mate as pit crew met me at the start finish line.  The rest of the race was generally uneventful other than on  a couple of successive laps I managed to tear a hole in my socks and cut my knee buy running too fine a line around a tree and then managed to take a chunk out of my hip on a broken off branch on another tree.

The track held up really well, even though the tight switch backs towards the end of the course that had become quite loose and dusty.  I saw a couple of riders struggling on these corners.  It was great to see the number of kids out there and making it look easy.

In the end I came over the line in 6hrs05mins having completed 14 laps, 105km, which was good enough for 2nd in single speed and 6th solo over all.  I just managed being lapped twice by winner Jacob who again finished 2nd over all.  Another top effort.  Some how he manages to ride massive gears.  There is no way I could run 32/17 for 6 hours on that course.

Full results here. Look like despite missing race 1 I ended up 3rd in the series.  Congrats to Nick for 1st in the series.

My garmin managed to miss half the race, but this is what it did record.

Image courtesy of 

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About Me

QLD, Australia
My interests include Mountain Biking, Rockclimbing and Photography