Australian 24 hour solo champion

16 April 2009

Written by Norm Douglas

After 12 months of build up... endless hours and kilometers of training and numerous lead up races, the 2009 Australian 24 hour Solo Champion is our very own Jessica Douglas.

The race was held over the Easter weekend at Majura Pines in Canberra, over a fast and flowy course.  Jess' main rival was the 2008 champion and world #2 Katrin Van Der Spiegel.  Jess set a blistering pace over the first 5 hours to lead Katrin by as much as 2 mins.  During the early night the rain started to fall, and fall hard.  This suited Katrin who proceeded to build up a lead over the next 8 hours, which stretched out to as much as 9.5 minutes.  Jess then started to reel her in lap by lap and was within 4 mins of Katrin when a unscheduled "nature call" forced her to lose a massive 7 minutes, which gave Katrin a whopping 11 minute lead.

Katrin's support crew mistakenly thought that Jess had slowed down and allowed her a longer meal stop (only about 5 minutes), but what they didn't know was the "Forrest Fairy" was on the rampage to crush all before her.  Over the next 3.5 hours Jess not only passed Katrin, but proceeded to amase an 18 minute lead.  This proved too much for Katrin who essentially conceeded defeat with still almost 2 hours of racing left.  As can be common in 24 hour racing Katrin pulled off the course secure in the knowledge that 2nd place was hers, and waited till the 24 hour clock wound down.

When Jess was told she had lapped Katrin and was virtually assured the win, Jessica insisted upon doing another lap... one she will remember for a long time to come.

The win gives her Australian Champion status, and the right to wear the Aussie colors at events such as the World Championships in Canmore Alberta Canada in July this year. Part of Jessica's prizes is an enconomy air fare to Canada to compete in the Championships.

Jessica would like to thank her major sponsors Torquay Cycling Factory in co-operation with Giant Bikes, also SRAM components, Jet Black and Night Rider lights, TORQ nutrition and the Forrest community.  As a point of interest Jessica completed over 37 laps of the 9km course.  She never once sat down for a rest and had approximately 40 minutes in transition during the entire 24 hours.

The Forrest community is very proud of Jess, and I'm sure every will now wish her well in Canada for the World Titles, and we are looking forward to taking on all before us.

Full Race report on Cycling news http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb/?id=2009/apr09/aus24solonats09 

Full Twitter feed of the race here > http://twitter.com/jess_douglas