Here is a personal perspective of the Yarramundi round from one of the leaders, Saul Britton. Next and final round: Canberra, August 15.
After the disappointment of DNF'ing the last 8-hour race at Killingworth, I was keen for revenge at Yarramundi last Sunday. After a victory in the Sydney 24-hour last month, and plenty of training miles in my legs, I was confident of a good result.
The solo 8-hour endurance race format has been attracting an amazing depth of riding talent. Hot shot speed freak XC-racers Aiden Leffman, James Williamson and Hamish Elliot, together with the seasoned Enduro stalwarts, are all regulars on the 8-hour start line so an 'easy' race is never an option.
Just like Killingworth the front runners of Leffman, Williamson, Elliot and myself were content to cover each other for the first two hours and ride with plenty in reserve. At this mark I decided to control the race a little and thought an attack was in order. I shot into the distance and the pack of three let me ride away. Even though my pace was unsustainable my plan was to gap them solidly and hope they burnt out chasing me down.
I managed to stay away for two hours before my pace slowed. At this time Aiden and James came through. Absent from the crew was Hamish, who is a renown strong finisher and can never be discounted until the race is over.
The dry and dusty Yarramundi track was at is brutal best. The traction was virtually non-existent, the pinch climbs stung, the dust was thick and suspension was tested to the max by the incessant square edged bumps that riddle the course from start to finish.
After the group of two came through I went through a bit of a tough period where my lactic filled legs began to slow and lose strength so it was time to wind the pace back and throw down as many Hi5 gels as I could. I circulated at a reduced intensity for an hour and in this slower time Hamish managed to come through into third place.
Aiden Leffman withdrew from the race at the five hour mark, obviously finding the blistering pace that Williamson was setting to be unmatchable.
As the shadows lengthened on the spectacular 24' winter's day I spent the final hour trying to bridge back across to Hamish. My efforts were in vain as he was way out of sight and my legs were way too shot.
So, back on the podium with a third, and an announcement from NiteRider of a new light sponsorship for the upcoming 24-hour races, was super sweet. Thanks to everyone who has helped get me up there.
To date, the overall points standing currently has Hamish Elliot in first place, James Williamson in second and myself in third. The final of the five race series will be held in Canberra on August 15th.
Bring on the pain.
Saul... Read More
Cycling Australia today announced the 3 cyclists it proposes to nominate to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection in the Australian MTB team for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
The nominees have qualified for selection as per the 2004 Australian Olympic Team Nomination Criteria but selection of the Olympic Team will be conducted solely by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC). Selection may also be contingent any appeals lodged against non-nomination. The closing date for notification to Cycling Australia of an appeal against non-nomination is 5.00pm (AEST) Tuesday July 6, 2004.
Mountain Bike XC – Men
• Chris JONGEWAARD (SA) 18.07.1979
• Sid TABERLAY (TAS) 22.01.1980
Mountain Bike XC – Women
• Lisa MATHISON (QLD) 31.01.1985
For a complete list of all 25 cycling athletes nominated by CA for the 2004 Olympics go to www.cycling.org.au... Read More
The largest mountain bike in Australia has just been run in Canberra ACT. With approximately 5500 in the forest, 525 on track at once, 2200 riders, 8400 laps and a distance ridden of 4 times around the planet the logistical requirements are mind numbing, but Canberra Off Road Cyclists once again pulled it off. The Solo Australian Championship jersies were awarded to Josh Street won the solo male class again with 21 laps in 24h 23m and Tory Thomas winning the female solo class with 17 laps in 24h 28m. Fastest times on the event in night and day was taken out by Trent Lowe. The overall winner was by a 4-man team of Dylan Cooper, Richard Vollebregt, James Williamson and Nick Kiraly who rode 28 laps in 24h 39m. Full results are available here.... Read More