Trenton's Nationals Wrap Up
Canberra All Mountain Cup
A brief update on the Canberra All Mountain Cup. Starting with the Super D on Friday, riders were all set to tackle the 10 minute track before a massive electrical storm came over Mt Stromlo, dumping a tonne of water and hail all over the track. Thankfully it only lasted 15 minutes and we were able to get going shortly after that on a now, quite wet track. I had a clean run and got down the mountain in a time of 10 min 19, putting me in 3rd in under 23’s, 7 seconds behind 1st and 2 seconds behind 2nd.
With such small time gaps between riders for the super d, smart racing was going to be vital for the XCO format race on Saturday. I was having a great race, feeling almost perfect on the S-works. I started quite hard and had a bit of a gap happening but ran into trouble when working my way through the rear of the elite field. Losing time and my rhythm trying to pass eagerly, the others soon caught up and we rode as a strong group of four, up into the pointy end of the elite field. Unfortunately, luck was against me and with one lap to go, I sliced the rear sidewall on a nasty rock and had to run a few km back to the tech zone. My race was over and I lost 11 minutes.
Backing up for Sundays point to point was always going to be hard, especially due to the fact I had ran the previous day; something that my legs are really not used to! I didnt have a great start and was sitting in 5th wheel into the first singletrack. I managed to jump into 4th and stayed there with the other 3 boys from the previous day as we continued to pick off the elite riders, at a cracking pace that was being set up front. The legs were really sore and I just lost touch with the leaders on the final climb before the iconic ‘Skyline’ decent, which would take us all the way to the finish. It was Luke Fetch this time, who bad luck would pick on, seeing him puncture his front wheel around 1.5km from the finish. I passed him on the way and picked up 3rd on the line, 19 seconds down.
With all things considered, it was a pretty good weekend for me despite being out of contention for the overall gc. I knew I had the speed to be at the front of the field and I can take that confidence into the Australian Championships at Eagle Park in Adelaide.
In typical fashion, I dusted off the mountain bike for the weekend in Adelaide which would host the Australian Mountain Bike Championships for its final year of three. There has been so much rain here at home that it has made it nearly impossible to get out on the mtb without wrecking a groupset, therefore the road bike has been the only feasible option. This would be such a massive change for the weekend to come! 36 degrees greeted us at Adelaide airport after an early flight from Sydney. I was able to cut a few practice laps, but knew the course was the exact same as last year, so I decided to keep it to a minimum and get out of the heat asap! Race day came around and before I knew it I was sitting on the start line. Somehow I managed to get the start number 101 indicating that I would be the first to get called up. With predictions of 39 degrees, all racing was reduced by 1 lap, leaving the Under 23’s with 5, 5km laps. We started 2 minutes behind the elites and started picking them off one by one, as I was tucked into second wheel behind Jack Haig. I got around him halfway through the lap and started setting a bit higher pace. Going onto the second lap I made the most of this and established a small gap on the two chasing torq boys. Unfortunately, I made a really stupid mistake, losing the front wheel in some loose dirt, and found myself scrambling back down the track for my bike, just as the other boys regained contact. I jumped back into second wheel with Jack at the front and Robbie behind, and thats pretty much how it stayed until halfway through the final lap where Robbie got the jump on me on a small fire road section. I was relegated back to 3rd and on the final fire road before the long decent to the finish, he also jumped over the top of Jack to ride the remainder of the singletrack back to the finish. By this stage I was feeling pretty busted after digging deep a little early in the race, along with the heat and just lost contact with the boys. I crossed the line in 3rd, content with the result. In the end the 3 of us caught up to 5th in the elite field despite a 2 minute deficit which we ourselves, along with others, were quite impressed with! I was outnumbered by the torq team boys, but credit to them, they both rode super strong and Robbie especially rode a very smart race. A well deserved national title to him.
Once again the bike was outstanding and I’m not sure I would have picked another bike to race on. A big thanks goes out to mum and dad for getting me over to Adelaide to contest the championships, as well as the Specialized Australia guys and Anthony Shippard for both lending me spare wheels at the last minute to use throughout the race if necessary. Earlier this week the guys from DRIFT sorted me out with some new S-Works mtb shoes to race on and I will say they are incredibly stiff and comfortable to use. Very impressed!
Continuing the mtb racing, the All Mountain Cup returns next weekend for the final round at the Awaba mtb park. A local one for me so I will be looking forward to it for sure.
- Trenton Day
Pics: Russ Baker