Cheers Mr C.
Yeah read their slow stuff was still around 70percent VO2 max and around 6min miles
Yeah not too bad thanks Bob. Luckily all the elite guys were up in Nelson for the NZ mtb series which put most of us on a pretty level playing field.
Anyway here's the profile for the elite race. http://www.malvernlions.co.nz/bikerace/profile2012.pdf
So it started out allright along mainly gravel farm tracks and then after riding through fresh cow shit and a herd of cows we hit the hills. Holy shit! Pretty steady gradient straight up and up and up. My HR monitor started doing 4beeps which I hadn't heard before which meant I had exceeded my maxHR so seems my last HR record wasn't a mistake. Weird how I spent all those yrs thrashing myself in training and never got over 187. Perhaps my new HR monitor is just more accurate than the cheapies I had before? Anyway this wasn't because I was going mental up the slopes but because this is what was required to just keep the pedals turning. Kept pressing for a non existant gear as my 22 X 28 was too much of a grind. One guy had cleared out up ahead and me and this other guy were in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Strong guy soon was trying to fix his bent deraileur hanger at the side of the track so that was him gone
Just before the top of 1st ain rise it got steeper and it was a struggle to find traction on the loose surface and then this old legend( NZ agegroup TT and roadrace champ even if he is over 60
) inches past me and the other guy. I shouldn't be ashamed as this guy is a complete freak and would be a World class rider in his AG. Always rides a fantastic tactical race and always finishes strongly unlike me.
So up the top was sticking to his tail and didn't bother going past him as although he was average at the descents he was the strongest climber. Just didn't see any point of passing, for him to catch me up immediately when it turned skywards but in hindsight probably a bit of a mistake as it allowed the guy behind to catch us up, him being a good descender. Along the crest before the big descent I went passed him and me and the other youngish guy started gapping him. Really quite technical up the top of the descent with big sharp fist sized rock on a sweeping 30percent grad corner which is prob where my mate slashed the sidewall of his new $80 speccy front 29er tyre (no idea how he made it to the finish with his tube ballooning out!). Anyway if you came off there you'd be pretty badly beaten up. Anyway after a few corners flew down the long straight steep descent, and must have hit 70kph+ as I was in the lead and thought the guy behind was a better descender on his FS 29er( from seeing him in other races) so was hands off the brakes and going for it. Shocks worked brilliantly as last yr was in agony going down there on my rigid in my hands and biceps from the jarring. Guy at the bottom reckoned that was the fastest he'd ever been on a mtb. Undulating at the bottom through a few fords and then we were in to the forest which was a fantastic fun track through shoulder high grass and little vehicle tracks you had to keep in, around fallen trees etc. Couldn't see any sign of the old guy who was too sensible on the down to take a gamble and risk injuring himself.
Both of us now in the lead who'd been beaten more than a few time by the old timer in Le Race etc knew that he'd be coming back so were trying to make the most of our lead. My legs started to flake out around the 2hr mark and then about halfway through the forest the guy made a burst for it up this average climb and I couldn't follow him. Stupid legs! Very soon he was out of sight and all I could think of was the old guy being a good TTer and a better climber would be catching. Looked around and no sign of him. Then when doing a small U turn at the end of the forest before heading back to the last long grind of a climb who should I catch sight of but "the old bastard!" about 10secs behind:x Didn't take him long to go past on the lower slopes(around the 42km mark?) and like a metronome was still climbing as strong as he was at the start of the race.
I on the other hand was fading badly and just trying to coax the body to the finish. Had seen the leader perhaps only 2minutes ahead on the climb and thought "enjoy it while it lasts" as the old boy wasn't giving up and was looking for the win.
I was in a bad state by this stage and was just trying to keep the pedals ticking over and had this sense that the whole field would soon be passing me. Walked up this pinch climb as knew I couldn't clear it and then when trying to get back on my bike went sideways and failed. Looked back and this guy huffed his way past. Followed him for a bit but then let him go. The last main climb just went on and on up into the mist and drizzle and I was just crawling. Kept thinking the next undulation was the top but then it wasn't. Seemed to take forever and got passed by another guy after walking up a longish steep section. Got back on and followed him to the top and down the other side to the bottom. Just a few undulations to go but the track was pretty hard to find and then the guy ahead just disapeared. No idea where he went and wonder if he perhaps went around the last pinch climb on a sheep track instead of going around the markers as I nearly did myself?
So a bit disapointed on how much time I lost in the finish, and my lack of stamina, but given my training I shouldn't expect much more than 2hrs out of myself at max effort. Actually felt pretty good until the legs died
Old guy won and totally demoralised the guy in 2nd according to him and put 3mins into him by the finish. Must have put at least 10 into me
Luckily all the guys who passed me were over 40 so I won my category(<40) winning a family jet boat ride voucher even tho I came 5th overall
Just checked posted results and they must have made a mistake at prizegiving as I came 2nd in the <40's
3hrs21:45 54km 1700m climbing
3 16 80 168Av