I was stoked to be on the plane and heading to Alice Springs for the Easter in the Alice MTB Muster, a race my good friend and legend bloke JP had organised.
A 27k TT starting and finishing inside the Convention Centre, surely a first in mtb history, this was an awesome way to start and finish a race! My race plan was to ride conservatively to get ready for the night stage later that evening. Loads of awesome single track with some technical hairpins, rocky descents and loose skatey corners to keep us all on our toes. Home for an ice-bath, stretch, food and a nap before coming back for the night stage!
Same track as today but a mass start, I loved every minute of it. I felt like I rode much smoother and picked better lines than the day stage! My Ay-Up lights worked a treat as I rode through in first place for a stage win, stoked!! During both the stages today we were required to dismount and ran our bikes across a road, no dramas, except BOTH times I failed to lift my back wheel up over the gutter and as a result it smashed into the gutter, launching it high into the air nearly knocking me in the head, much to the amusement of the marshals at the road crossing!!
Easter!! We were supplied with some cool bunny ears as we started the 45km course with a neutral roll out to the Telegraph Station, awesome trails I had a blast as I rode on these newly opened trails. Made some mistakes not holding my position strong enough, and then thought I was lost and on the wrong trail when I wasn’t, this cost me a few minutes and I came home a bit disappointed with my time but couldn’t wipe the smile off my face riding the awesome single track. Had the afternoon off which was great, strolled around Alice and had a meal at the pub with some friends and chatted about how rad the race and trails were.
Up early today for the epic 87km stage, which I knew was going to be hard. Loads of pinchy little climbs, undulating climbs the whole way, gnarly rocky descents, loose hairpin climbs and the baking heat took its toll on many riders. A neutral roll out to Desert Park before a mass start around the fence line. JP had made it clear not to go near the electric fence, well my friend Jane did go near the electric fence, I’ll let you read about how that turned out for her on the Liv/Giant website, but let’s just say it was very amusing (don’t worry – she’s fine, but her bike did get electrocuted!!)
I got off to a great start, holding onto one of the quicker men’s bunches and was able to hold a wheel for quite some time, something that rarely happens!! I had a race plan and stuck to it, got into a good tempo from the 10k-40k mark, then went a bit harder over the climbs and then hammer it home for the last 20k. I stuck to this plan and was stoked with the way I raced, albeit I didn’t catch Imogen she was just too strong!! At the 60k mark I felt a squirt on my leg, sealant was coming out of my front wheel, hoping my tyre didn’t go flat it gave me a friendly squirt every so often but fortunately stayed up for the rest of the race. Crossed the line spent in a time of 4hrs.41 and happy to come in 2nd overall.
Presentation night was awesome, and it was great to exchange stories with all the other competitors. This is a truly special race, it is so well run and all the volunteers and club members have put so much time, effort and energy into creating a spectacular event. The trails are superb, the race challenging but achievable and they cater for all – a Singlespeed category, fat bike category, weekend warrior, Clydesdale, juniors, elite, all competitors are taken care of and openly welcomed. Do yourself a favour and come be a part of this awesome weekend in the Alice. A massive thank you to the Central Australian Rough Riders, all the volunteers, track builders, sponsors, JP and family, first aid, timers etc it was an absolute blast, can’t wait to come back next year! And a big thank you to Liv/Giant for the support, Ay-Up lights and Hammer Nutrition! Couldn’t happen without your support, thanks so much!