Sparky’s story on Race #2
SA XCO series. August 19th, Craigburn Farm.
Awesome track, awesome bike, awesome day and I got the win!
Its only race two of the series, but it feels good to finally get a win and finally silence some of the hecklers from my bike shop, Over the Edge! Its been a few solid months of hard training!
Race two was held at Craigburn farm, up near Blackwood in the Adelaidefoot hills. It is a relatively new mountain bike park which I hadn’t had a great deal of time to explore, so
I was looking forward to some new trails. Once again the Adelaide Mountain Bike Club did a fantastic job of putting together a race loop of 6km that had a bit of everything, including some great flowing downhill sections with sweet jumps, berms and a good deal of climbing. In the week leading up to the raceAdelaide had experienced a fair amount of rain but it was great to see how well the trails held up with only a few boggy sections which were fun to get a bit loose in anyway!
The afternoon racing kicked off just after 1pm with the usual fast start and everyone jostling for position before the beginning of the single track. I was feeling super strong, but with my legs giving out on me last race I was cautious and I planned to just keep with the leaders, try to counter any attack, then see how I felt towards the end of the race. That’s how it transpired, the group dwindled down to just three of us by the end of the first lap and stayed that way for five laps.
The finish line was at the end of muddy downhill section that I knew wouldn’t benefit anyone in a sprint to the line, so it was time to think tactics. I thought I could attack on the final climb but I knew that wouldn’t leave me that much time to get a gap. With all the mud in my drive chain the gears were jumping around like crazy with hard efforts. I decided to just go for it on the final lap and see who could stay with me. I gunned it down the first decent and just continued to smash it knowing there was only 6km to go. I was on the limit the whole time; it was an awesome lap and an awesome feeling to cross the line for my first win!
One final note I must mention my race machine the rocky mountain vertex 29er, this is hands down the best handling, best performing and most fun bike I’ve ever ridden. I’ve blinged it out with a splattering of German made Tune and Syntace products I got through Over the Edge inMelrose. It now comes in at 9.3kg which is crazy light for a 29er! The vertex is super fast as a race bike but is just at home smashing trails or heading out for a mega epic. I love this bike if you can’t already tell! I’ve posted some photos of the vertex in its new form, check em out. Can’t wait for the next race, I’ll keep ya posted.