My Blog

Vic Inter Winter Race #2 - Ballarat Mud Bath

22 June 2010

ballarat_2After a week off training and riding on the road the previous weekend in rain and cold...what would it matter if i got wet and muddy at the race on Sunday?

Up at 5:30am, on the road around 6:20am, in Ballarat around 8am, it was cold and raining.

We had planned to do a practice lap, but upon arrival the start lap presented a vey slick looking clay encrusted 4wd track.  I walked a bit of it and got a layer of clay under foot that looked like it could build up quite nicely on anything mechanical to keep your bike moving.  Lets leave the pracitce lap until race start...save the poor bike for 3 hrs of it.

Ok, so now we have 2 hours before race start and lots of mucking about to be done.  A great turn out of friends and RDS and clients hanging out and talking up the fun we would have - NOT!  To be honest, it was not getting dirty that worried me, I just did not want to have a mechanical today.  I wanted to finish the 3 hr slog fest and have put in 100%.

Well I got what I wanted...

At 10;30 the race started and about 150 riders headed up the mud road.  I found myself passing people and the clay posed no problem at all.  I was riding very well indeed whilst others where fumbling through the mud, I seemed to be tapping away with no effort at all...must be the bike and wheels!  I will say it again, my new race steed is the best bike I have ridden yet.  Fulcrum carbon wheels, and the Giant Anthem X, Advanced SL1. Upgraded components and some extra bling from Jet Black maketh the bike a very nice steed to sit on for a 3hr mud fest. Not to mention, my tyre choice was pretty good, Schwalbe Rocket Rons, 2.1's front and rear.  They shed mud really well and they are not really a mud tyre at all.  I felt in control the whole time.  Thanks Guy from Bike box for your support.

anyway...like I was saying the bike just cut through the mud and I was having a ball.  I think everyone was!  The only real issue was gear changes, you had to nurse the gears, give them plenty of time to engage and soft pedal up hills not grind as well as keep relaxed up top so you werent holding onto the bike with death grip. It was a fine line between finessing the bike along with minimal pressure, and being strong and powerful and handling the bike with purpose.  I think a lot of stronger guys ripped their bikes to pieces by being too strong and not soft enough on their poor machines! Loads of mechanicals on a day like today.

Part way through the race, the rain started again, and slowed everyone down a lot. 
In the end I got 5 laps in, first female and 6th in B grade men in 3hrs and 9mins.

Thank you Ballarat Sebastapol Cycling Club, great event.

This weekend...Albury 6hr which is part of the Victorian Enduro Series.  Stay tuned...its a cracker race in store with many tough female competitors...and i must say I am excited!