First race of the 2016 season
First race on the GT aka The Fluro Flasher
First race as an elite!!
The track looked pretty challenging when I walked it on Friday afternoon, a combination of mud, ruts, roots and some big features. Though the top section looked pretty mental with a fast mud chute with some dodgy roots thrown in, this part of the track quickly became my favourite and I really enjoyed just letting the bike do its thing.
Practice day was met with a day of rain, long uplift queues and a passenger coach getting stuck in the fire road ditch. But aside from these minor issues, the day went generally ok though I did manage to puncture on the rock garden and also smash my chain guide casing the step down. Just a mental note for the future.. give a bit of space before sending a drop behind Trick Mick. We both managed to smash our chain guides, but lucky E-13 was on hand to get our bikes up and running. Good egg him. Though I was happy with how I was riding the track, I still felt apprehension about the step down drop nearing the end of the course and knew this would be on my mind the next day.
The rain was still hanging around the morning of race day, and though this is never great for motivation, I was glad that the top section would be staying wet, making it a lot easier to guide the bike through. I decided to do just one practice run before seeding, usually I’ll try and get a couple in but I felt a bit tired and the lure of a brew in a warm caravan won me over. Come seeding run I felt pretty excited, which was really refreshing as I am usually racked with nerves. Rockin my new TRG jersey I was ready to roll. My run was ok, felt a bit like hard work, my arms were hurting and I stacked in on the dreaded rooty corner coming into the lower section. I decided to not do the drop, I just wasn’t feeling it so thought I’d chicken line it. But it’s cool, I knew I could do it, and there’s no way I wasn’t going to do it. Got a time of 3 mins 5 secs, putting me into 5th place.
So my mission for my race run was to take it a bit slowly into the shite corner of roots, pedal like a bastard to get that bloomin step down. Don’t know if it’s becoming obvious, but this drop was soon becoming my thing to conquer!
Race run – went well, tried to keep it flowing and did make a couple of minor mishaps but kept the bike and myself upright so all good. Did some chanting on the lower section and sent the drop – boom… balls to my race time, I did the mutha truckin drop!! Stoked. Anyway I pottered in to 5th with a time of 2 mins 55 sec… just .2 seconds of 4th place, which was pretty darn close.
All in all I had a bloody good weekend on the bike. I came away having learnt a hell of a lot, gaining more confidence and really enjoying riding and racing.
Mick got a podium in his category which was brilliant result, and Liam forever amazes me with his talent on two wheels.