Doing it all the hard way...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2010 NATs day 3 (reported on day four)

Hard to believe there have been three days of 2020 Fuel riders pinning on numbers and letting it fly. Last evening it started to rain hard. As we went to bed we couldn’t help but wonder if Friday would be wet or frozen; would it rain or snow? Our speculation could not affect the outcome. We slept anyway.

The short days and cold temperatures make it hard to get out of bed. Eating our breakfast we watched heavy wet flakes fall and cover the ground. We dropped the photographer off and Brad and I made our way to the time trial course. Light rain greeted us.

The course was short with enough up and down to create some time gaps. We started out of a TT hut with a drop ramp and everything. After a hundred yard sprint out, another hundred yards back, then a final out followed by a series of tight turns with sand and/or ice if you went wide. Then you take a long descent where you forced yourself to lay off the brakes because every second counts. A loose turn and a long false flat then a wide turn and you approach the first real climb of the day. You have to focus to keep in the narrow path, as ice and snow on either side result in a significant penalty if you veer off the (literal word selection coming) beaten path. After you reach the top of the hill you drop down on an icy, rutted, bumpy section of road. Then a long steep run up that was wide and icy. My hobnails gripped well and I kept looking for the top. Another steep descent on a rutted icy trail that pours out into a loose right hander and the penultimate climb of the day. Knowing time was of the essence you poured it on and after you crest the hill you have the final downhill, which was fast and if you managed to avoid the ruts all was good. You know there is a final climb coming and you are in the drops trying to keep your eyes from crossing and then you see two orange barriers. If they weren’t orange you might have missed them as your vision is getting blurry. The final climb was steep and then a long hundred yards to the finish line. If you don’t think a hundred yards can feel long, you didn’t ride hard enough. I finished 36th and Brad finished 37th. That could be the highlight of my racing week..

Henry and Aidan raced this morning and did us proud. Henry had a battle with a hay bale and the way Henry tells it, it was a draw. Henry fought back and finished strong.

Local legend Logan Owen just destroyed the field and added another National Championship jersey to his closet.

The good weather (I’m grading on a scale) held again and the umbrella never left the car. Temps in the low to mid forties and cloudy skies were just fine compared to last year. Henry and his mum celebrated his stellar performance by going skiing.

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