Australian National Champs Race
We arrived safely in Adelaide with Bike and Baby stuff. No problems with excess baggage so that was good. This was my first race back since having a baby and also since Dec 2009. So its been a long time! Im not feeling too fit, but entered the race with the aim to get back into it, have fun and see friends.
4X is not my preferred discipline. I rather DH or XC, but 4X seemed the easiest of the 3 to race in while looking after a 7 month old. Tony my husband was there to keep the little man looked after while I was racing, but because I am still breastfeeding so I need to be close by.
It was hot and dry up at Eagle Mountainbike Park. I had not ridden the 4x track before and it looked quite tricky in places. As soon as you are out the gate there is a rock drop then a gap jump over nasty looking jagged rocks into a berm. Practice went ok, and I was comfortable with clearing the rock gap jump on the first straight. There were 5 different lines you could choose from, with the Gate 1 line having the largest rocks to jump over, and Gate 4 the smallest. I was comfortable with all the lines except one. I had a decent crash on the one straight out of Gate 2. I think I clipped my front wheel on a slippery rock which sent me over the bars. I got some good bruises and thankfully didnt break anything.
Gate starts are getting better, but sometimes I cant clip my feet into my pedals. Something I need to work on. Race Day: Practise at the track started at 8:30am. Seeding at 4:30pm then racing at 7:30pm. So a very long day out on the hill. Especially for a baby... I seeded in 3rd place which meant I had a choice between 2 gates in the final. This was good because it meant I didnt have to choose Gate 4 which sent you straight into the outside line of a berm. A very slow line. Sarsha seeded in 1st place, so got 1st choice. After a bit of indecision, she chose Gate 2. Indi chose Gate 3. I was happy with this because it means Gate 1 was mine. It had the largest rocks to gap, but was the fastest line. Felix was pretty cranky by the time the finals came around. I could see Tony and him on the sidelines in the heat struggling. So I had extra things to worry about. I was completely over the race by the time finals came around. It had taken too long and my little man needed feeding!
Because the Elite Women had seeding rather than Motos, it meant that I had no practise riding with anyone else in the gate with me! So this was a big downfall I was not confident with storming out the gate and over the rocks with 3 other girls. This showed in the final. I failed to clip one foot in, and was very slow out the gate. Everyone says I gave them all a 20m head start. Whoops. I came out the gate in 4th place, then managed to get into 3rd on the first corner. Then one of the girls nudged me out the way on the 2nd corner. But I got her again on a rock jump, when she went around it. With a sprint to the finish, I nearly got 2nd, but had to settle for 3rd.
I was happy that I raced and competed, but not happy with the ‘way’ I raced. Lack of preparation, practice and sleep! Hard to give 100% on the little sleep and energy that I had. Next Nationals race is at Toowoomba in March. I will aim to be a bit more positive by then!
Here is a link to the highlights footage.:
http://www.eaglechamps.com.au/cms/index.php/content/news/4x_highlights/Photo Below: Me racing in the 4X Finals.Photo Below: Pump track racing.Photo Below: Podium in 3rd Place