Monday, October 19, 2015

2015 Crocodile Trophy Stage 3 - Atherton Bike Park

After being incinerated on Stage 1 I requested Mother Nature to turn down the heat a little, she kindly did for Stage 2 but on the 15km neutral rollout this morning to Atherton Bike Park for stage 3 she turned it from comfortable to very much Irish - in Ireland we would call today a “soft day” which basically means raining but not too hard and cold, but not too cold - it felt like home.

The style of racing for stage 3 would be pretty much as far away from the type of mountain bike racing we had the previous day as possible. On Stage 2 it was about peddling hard, a lot - today, left right up down, left right up down for three plus hours - my brain is more tired than my legs! Basically it was 60 kilometres with 98% purpose built single track very similar to what we would see in Ireland or in the UK. I love it as it makes mountain biking very accessible and pretty much weather proof but for racing, I’m less of a fan.

The race started with a mad rush to get into the singletrack as passing opportunities are very limited - I wasn’t so good at this bit and ended up picking off riders as the day went on. For the second of the two laps I started to enjoy it a lot more and started riding reasonably well with my second lap being a lot faster than my ‘fresh’ first lap - I guess the engine turned on and my hands were too sore to yank the brakes much.

As I type this I just found out my finishing position, 8th, two better than yesterday but I was happier with how I rode the day before - funny how that works. I now sit 10th on GC with the four hardest days coming up. As I said at the start, today was polar opposite from yesterday but Urs is showing his class by winning both stages - an excellent all-round performance.

Tomorrow is a stage for me, up and down long climbs all day and so far the forecast isn’t giving it too warm (we will start to bake again a little later in the week though).

For power geeks, if you look closely at my Strava file today you’ll see how different it was versus the previous day - today you were either pedaling hard or coasting/soft peddling - not much in-between.

Also, many thanks to Stewart Carr of Phyxme in Cairns (formally of Ireland) for keeping everything going well.

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