Returning to Stromlo to race always brings some pre-race nerves, we have been racing at Stromlo since 2007, when we had our first go at a 24hr solo. We were returning this time for round three of Rocky Trail Entertainment's 2016 Grand Prix Series after round one at Glenrock and round two at Singleton.
Nerves were good though, we had sufficient experience to handle any trails and conditions that would be thrown at us. Goals had been set and our energies would be focused on those achievements.
It was super busy in location with not just the GP but a massive junior road event on too. Our JetBlack MTB Racing team were once again in mass attendance excited to get out on the trails.
Thankfully Rocky Trail set a good length starting run before we set into the singletrack on the first lap, we tacked onto the back wheel of one of our youngest team mates, keen to set some fast laps early and knock over some goals. Through the next few laps there was some trading of places as we all settled in to race pace.
We were super happy with the selection of trails, a gradual single track climb into the steeper fire-trail climb, descent into Luge, crossing over to a gradual climb punctuated with technical rock sections. From the top it was pretty much a loose downhill run back to transition. We felt it was a good balance of climbing and descending, we were having fun without to much effort.
With a good start and flowing trail we were ticking our achievements off for this round as we headed into the second half of the four hours. We have been very happy with the change to XT 11 speed this year, set to a 30t Hope N/W cog we've got the perfect ratio for style of events we are riding at the moment.
Turns out the 30-39 category was the most competitive again in the 4hr, with the likes of Jason English, Dillon Cooper and Andy Blair taking the top three spots. Very happy to place 6th to those guys.
Great work by Rocky Trail Entertainment, delivering a versatile course. Thanks to JetBlack MTB Racing team for the friendly atmosphere, on-trail support and transition expertise. The team was well represented across all categories and delivered some top results too. You'll see us at the next Grand Prix if not before!