Turns out there was a bitch of a headwind on the way out to the race. Thankfully I found a tame roadie to sit on the back of up the Hutt rd. He didn't seem too miffed at a mountain biker in baggies, tee and with a messenger bag sitting on, although he probably would have liked me to take a turn. Then managed to tuck in behind an old couplle in their car along the front, gotta love how slow they accelerate some times. The woman in the passanged seat definitely didn't appreciate that though, got some abuse so stuck my tongue out at her before swinging off around them. No help up the hill though, just sweating away in the 34-34. Taking it easy can be a little scary up Wainui!
Got to the start and signed on, spun around a bit,, got some kit on then hit the front row for the XC race. Had a blinder of a first 50m, led the field, then realised I was and decided that it probably wasn't the best plan. Probably should have had a little more faith as I ended up one wheel back from the split up Jungle Gym and had to take a dodgy overtaking manouvre to get past the guy. Sorry for the t-bone, but I had little choice. Gained some ground on the leaders, but never quite made it up. On the first descent of Spoonhill I was on it (like a car bonnet!) but it did cost me my one bottle which rattled lose. I paid for that later in the race.
After that I didn't see the guys ahead at all, and was just in no mans land until Hisky started to catch me towards the top of the second lap. By this point I had worked out that I had cocked up bottle-wise and had reverted to consolidation, trying not to go backwards and sweat out all of my remaining fluids. Annoyingly the legs felt sweet and I love the trails up there; just seem to suit my style of riding quite a lot of the time (gutted we didn't get to race Snails, I love pinning it on that track). Held Hisky off until I cocked up on the last descent, about 200m before the end, with another guy in sight. Managed to clip a tree, which essentially cost me 2 places. In reality I should have gone harder up the final climb, but never mind eh. Live and learn.
Not sure where I rolled in, but it wasn't good.
Next up was the Super D, but not before a spin to the Dairy to refuel with powerade and water. The Super D was set to run down Bee-line and Bee-line extension, a fun, flowing descent, with a few jumps, a few rolling drops and lots of fun high speed stuff. Not enough to warant a DH bike (Gav) and maybe not even enough to warant putting the seat down. The track is around 3mins (with only about a dozen guys going under 3mins) and requires pedalling all the way for a fast time.
I took an early run and set a good time, although I'm sure I can go faster, I mucked up one corner which cost me a good few seconds, and getting a couple of the jump/berm combinations dialled would get a fair amount more speed without increasing the risk to me and my little xc rig. But never mind, I think I got a 2:58, one of the fastest pro-elite times, so I was pretty happy.
After this my mind turned to beer, with some talk of sculling a beer a lap for the short course. Turns out time was against us so short course sober it was. 4 laps of a really short course was what was left in front of us. Not sure what happened again, did ok, just enjoyed it really. Descents were fun again, but I was just keen for it to be over.
Now I'm just looking forward to getting my forks back and getting back out on the mtb again! Road ride tomorrow...