Sunday, June 16, 2013

Catch up!

Just over a couple of hours north of Sydney, nestled in the upper Hunter Valley is James Estate Winery. This was a new location for a round of Rocky Trail’s Shimano Grand Prix and a refreshing take on the standard enduro fair. Open paddocks to camp in, ablution facilities and an open cellar door, all against the backdrop of the vines on one side and a ridgeline of bush on the other.

The chosen course for the round included open trail that circumnavigated the rows of vines then ducked into the bush for what was primarily single track before we popped out alongside the vines again, past great big stainless silos and through transition in front of the cellar door. With lengthy open sections it was fast going and the single-track sufficiently demanding especially as some of the corners blew apart with the large volume of riders on the day.

Great race start photo.
Having had a good lead up to the event I was excited to get on the bike and see what James Estate had in store for us. The bike for today’s event was Project 9er, an On-One Inbred, which previously had made racing at Awaba so easy. Custom spritely wheels spin up quickly and the steel frame gives just a little on the rough stuff. This is rounded out with reliable parts like XO/Noir and EC90.

With an ultra-light aircraft buzzing overhead the local Major got the racing underway and I got a great start, working my way to the back wheel of consistent podium finisher James Lamb. In the front bunch things were fast and flowing, it was nice not getting caught in a conga-line. But this fast start had distracted me, I was enjoying myself and in keeping up with the front grouping over the first few laps had forgotten to keep the nutrition up. Once you start going backwards there is no coming back from it during a four 4hr, well not for me anyway. Did everything I could to keep up but friends and rivals kept on catching me.

Tucking in behind to conserve
All up it wasn’t to bad a day, yes I made a mistake but the riding was fun and that is the main thing. Considering how I started, I finished about as high and on par with my previous results at Awaba, where I rode from the back to place just outside the top 10.

Thanks to Rocky Trail and James Estate for finally teaming up, it gave as a good chance to ride somewhere new. Ride on!

No comments:

Post a Comment