Trenton Day - Jet Black 24hr race Report
The Jetblack 24 hour came around at a perfect time to smash out some hard fast laps as some pre-season intensity, due to minimal events around the time of Christmas. When Dan McDonald first contacted me about the race, I was a bit dubious however, he put my mind at ease when mentioned the option of the 6+6 hour event. Perfect! This was also going to be special as it would be my first proper race on my new S-Works Epic 29er!
Arriving at 10am with Cam Ivory, we moved into camp with the McDonald family, rego’d and prepped the bikes. The boys passed the first lap onto myself which I was more than happy to do and with less than an hour to race start, I kitted up in the nice bright red colours Drift/Specialized. I snagged a spot on the front row and waited for the countdown. After doing quite a few miles on the new bike in training, I knew what it was capable of and feeling super confident. The start would be a normal lap plus a (roughly) 1.2km start loop. From the word GO, I put the hammer down and gassed it for the full lap coming in with a 26 minute lap and a 2 ½ minute gap back to second. Unfortunately they included the start loop in the overall time for the lap so it was a certainty that it would be broken. I passed onto Cam who then went out and smashed a 25:02 raising the bar. Within our team there was and always is a lot of friendly rivalry so I was determined to get out there and put the S-works at the top! Dan came back from his lap posting a solid 26:34 which was pretty impressive after spending the last week off the bike and at schoolies celebrations! I threw everything I had at this next lap and was super impressed and how well the bike responded. The brain made it very efficient when putting the power down on the big open fireroads however, always engaged at the right time to fix up any mistakes that I made. Renowned for being 29er UN friendly, the Mt Annan track was also full of tight corners, sharp berms and a number of other man made obstacles. Despite all this I was able to throw the bike around like a 26er which I previously would have thought impossible. Its pretty clear that a lot of work went into the development of this bike to make it such a weapon!
I jumped out of the saddle and brought the lap to a finish in a time of 24:31 making it the fastest at the present. Later on in the day everyone started to ease up a bit and before we knew it cam was out for the last lap and wrapped it up at 6:15pm giving us an extra 15minutes to sleep in in the morning!
A big filthy pizza and a good sleep in a real bed at Dan’s house really helped to recharge the batteries and before we knew it alarms were going off in everyone’s room at 5:15am. We headed back out to the course and were stoked we were able to avoid riding 12 hours through the night. Dan kicked things off again and we all agreed to take things pretty steady as we had a lead of around 1 ½ laps. Again the rivalry came back to play and the times started dropping on the way to the 12pm finish! Thankfully I was able to keep the quickest time from the previous day and hold it to the finish of the event.
We walked away with first place in the 3 man elite, 6+6 category and fastest lap of the event ( I think the fastest lap results were wrong?).
Big thanks to the DRIFT boys at Kotara in Newcastle for sorting me out with such a nice bike and tweaking it at such short notice before the race! It rode like a dream and words honestly can’t describe how quick it is! Can’t wait for the next race!!
- Trenton Day