Terra Australis Mountain Bike Race 2011 - Day 1

23 March 2011

Well I am now about to start day 4 with a team time trial on the Bright single track for 20km.

Lets go over the race briefly to begin with....

Terra Australis is a 7 day Mountain Bike Stage race. This is the 3rd year is has been run and it is growing in popularity with all sorts of riders from those looking for a fitness holiday with a few challenges to those wanting to win every stage at any cost and train their little hill climbing butts off!

The terrain is epic, remote and boasts some extreme hills to climb and of course descend.

Brad Davies and I are riding for Giant and have the All Inclusive package that means our transport, food and accommodation is taken care of, it seems many take up this option as well.

The vibe of the event is friendly and inclusive, with nightly dinners, presentations and race briefings.

So onto Day 1...

_MG_8086Stage: Falls Creek to Mt Beauty - approx 65km

What a glorious day, a bit chilly but the sun was shining and barely a breeze at our start on Windy Corner.

Having raced a few times of recent at Mt Buller, I have just been living with the fact that I am a bit of a wheezer in the first hour at altitude.  Poor Brad had to back it off a bit after such a good start.
The lead group were off only 100mts and thankfully I was able to sit behind Brad and catch them up on any rollers we encountered.  This was a nice climb and back down to along the aquaduct we were on again.  Feeling good to go, Brad was keeping us in the mix and I was feeling great!

The next part of the race was pretty much downhill for significant periods of time where rocks just popped up out of the grassy double track and it was in fact easier to not brake for long periods of times and just let the bike and body soak up the bumps.

Talk about arm pump!!!! There was carnage along here, with tyres split, punctures, mechanicals and crashes.

Our competition, Mark Fenner and Jo Wall had to stop on the bottom of the first major descent due to a hanger issue and then Jo had a crash due to a side wall tear on her tyre.

_MG_8105This was our chance to pull away, and we ended up winning the stage by 11mins and 10seconds.

Coming in 4th overall for the day.

It was a great day with a perfect mix of up and down.

Perfect distance of 65km and a fun finish on the Mt Beauty single track.

So the hardest thing about today was the amount of very fast and bumpy downhill, not too much climbing at all, maybe about 1600mts.