It all kicked off in Rocky Trail style and a unanimous vote, for the long uphill fire-trail start from behind the Shimano flag. While the sun was out it still remained a cool morning, riders from around NSW and the ACT chose to begin their day with the challenges of Ourimbah MTB trails.
|Morgs from Shimano kept us company during the first couple of laps.|
A quick sprint up the hill and we all slotted into the single-track without to many complaints. Around us we had many of our JetBlack MTB Racing team mates, no slouches on the bike in their own right and grouped up together they made formidable teams. As always a couple of stragglers were swept up in the mix of the first fast lap and many of the short fire-trail sections were perfect passing opportunities. It felt comfortable getting started with the team around us, some recently smoothed sections of trail were a great surprise.
Over the first few laps we kept up with Shimano's Morgs, and it was all going swimmingly till his bike started to seriously clatter. Morgs is fast and we had other some fast riders with us, both solo and teams. Morgs pulled over for a quick inspection for the source of the racket and unfortunately we didn't see him again. For us it wasn't smooth sailing either, a scraping sound began emanating from the back brake. We pushed on, an up hill fire-trail was the perfect spot to stop and have a look, it wasn't good but it wasn't seriously bad. Opting to not carry a multi-tool this race was the first sacrifice, and in this instance a little metal on metal rub would be the second. Something had to give and the rub would eventually stop. Back on the bike!
A couple of fast descents and we made it back to the general space we had been sitting before stopping. Transitions were smooth, the scraping was dyeing down and there were just enough spots out on the trail to eat and drink. No one was having a perfect run though, one of our fast competitors motioned us through, they seemed a little rattled and didn't hold our wheel. Our mind started to race, how many laps to go, what sort of effort was going to be needed to round this race off.
Thankfully there was plenty of positive vibes out on course, particularly from our JetBlack MTB Racing team mates. We even had a couple of team mates that weren't able to race, they still turned up radiating cheer for all as on-course marshals (see the video below). We held on to make it onto the podium, the second time in the GP series for this year. Whoop!
Ourimbah is one of our favourite trails to visit, made more special by a solid result in this, the third round of the Grand Prix Series. We've now got some nice points in both 4hr General Classification (GC) and Age Group. Thanks to our supporters and partners JetBlack MTB Racing with The Odd Spoke, Natural Balance and Rocky Trail Entertainment.
Ascent Cycling Enterprises continue to stand true behind their great customer service, supporting our custom built wheels with Mitas tyres, a fast combination.
You can read the JetBlack MTB Racing team blog on AMB here.
Get your 2018 Giro d'Italia Grupetto tour tickets here.