Manly Warringah CX RD 3


Only Five days after getting back from the national series in Perth I was lined back up on the start line for yet another ever popular CX race. This time it was club racing and Garry was here so it meant we would both get some good training out of it just a week before the state champs and two week before national champs. I had been training hard doing lot of hill reps in the past week after Perth and knew I was going to be little on the back foot so I when in with a different strategy.

3:30pm – The typical start on the tarred section up the hill at the Manly Club is almost a given making it very quick from the get go. I couldn’t see the starters hand in the distance as he was standing under the HED Wheels timing tent so I just looked over at everyone else who could see and waited for them to start. Everyone when so that must have meant the race had started. It wasn’t my best technique to use but it was only a club race in the end.

I chased down Garry right from the start and the field was stretched out straight away. The first lap felt fast and set the tempo for the rest of the 45 minute long race. A group of about 5 riders got away and I was pretty surprised with how easy everyone seemed to be doing this so after a lap I moved to the front and upped the pace just a little to see what would happen. The riders were still just sitting off the back but still in contact with Garry and Myself. No one had attacked yet as we were just getting settled into a good race pace.

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3:45pm – Half way through the third lap I hid a hole hat was covered by long grass and started to feel the hood of my handle bars just move down ever so slightly and I was thinking about stopping and tightening them but knew I would not be able to make up the time to Garry again after that so I just kept riding trying to be light on the front end of the bike.

3:50pm – About the end of lap three and start of lap four we had started to get a little gap of a bit over 5 seconds and it was ever so slowly opening up. There was no too much technical stuff on the course except for some off camber corners and a kid’s birthday party. One lap Garry even asked for some cake but they didn’t want to share so we continued racing on.

3:55pm – Half way through the race I got to the front and started to set my own pace seeing what this would do to Garry but it had no real effect although it did mean that with my slightly tired legs it was giving me more of a chance to be there at the finish with him. I was trying to pick up the pace around the off camber section of the course and was taking the high line where he was taking the longer lower side line and I clipped my pedal on a tree root flicking my back wheel outside was and nearly making me go for a tumble.

There was no real road style attack but more accelerations out of corners and in technical sections. We came through with five laps to go and Ben Henderson had over taken the other rider and was getting very close to joining back onto us it was a short lived game of cat and mouse a Garry took off with just four of these short yet fast laps to go.

4:00pm – I chassed trying to make up time on him anywhere I could but he simply just rode away on the off camber sections and made it look easy where I felt like I was fighting with my bike a little bit. I chased lap after lap and the gap slowly grew out to nearly 15 second where I could no longer make that up on one lap and Ben had started to sow a little giving me a larger gap and a bit of room to breathe so I dint have to worry about making a mistake and him catching me.

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4:15pm – I Finished in 2nd place 15 seconds off the Winner Garry Milburn happy with how I rode and knowing that my legs will be feeling good for the state and national championships in thecoming weeks.

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Photos from Joshua at Riding Focus and Tia Brown

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