Manly Warringah Cycling Club would play host to the 2015 NSW State CX Championships using the familiar Terry Hills course. Racing on a Saturday afternoon is nice as it make for a quite relaxed start to the weekend not having to wait all weekend to race on Sunday.
Arriving at the course around midday it was soon evident that we would be using a lot more of the park making for some new obstacles and challenging terrain. The course was set out similar to that used a few years back at the national rounds. Straight away I entered and wasted no time in putting my kit on, heading out to complete a few laps. It was a great course with a good mixture of fast long straights and technical slow section. Spaced evenly throughout the course was a number of barriers, some on hills some on the flat.
I decided that I would ride all except one barrier as I was coming in at over 40km/h. This particular barrier I was running because there was a sharp 90 degree turn after and also a descent so you could clip in easy without losing any time.
On the opposite side of the course was an technical up hill section with steps, barriers and small logs to make the riders get off and run. Lucky for me I had been practicing a lot on features like this for the past weeks so I had no issue with riding up and hopping the barriers were other were dismounting and running. On this section I wasn’t gaining much time during but once at the top I could accelerate away as I was still clipped in and other would be fumbling for their pedals as the had unclipped to run. This is where I found that I could make big time gains.
Next thing I knew I was on the start line putting myself on the right side allowing me room to swing in and use the apex or the first left hand corner. The gun went off and we were away I got a great start and managed to get a few bike lengths in the start straight I sat up a little and took the first corner easy not wanting to crash on the tar.
After the first barrier I started to pull a little gap and coming onto the first long open straight I put the power down and glided across the rough horse tracks that others were bouncing around on. Immediately I had pulled a gap and felt good while doing so. A few minutes in I realized that I had a god little gap and that if someone was going to close it in they would have to work a lot harder than me. Crossing the line for the first lap I settled into my own tempo trying to push as if I had someone on my wheel. I knew this would be great training as it was an extended effort. This race is great timing with National Champs coming up next weekend.
As the laps passed I tried to hit all the lines smooth and fast but the one I really wanted to do every lap was the technical climb with steps and barriers. As I descended into the bottom of this section I would take a few deep breaths and try to relax my body as I was about to use all my energy trying to ride the section without getting off. This seemed to work and made me feel stronger during the climb as it was only a little recovery but that’s what made the difference.
Coming into the final lap I tried to pick the pace back up as if I was racing someone. I pushed hard to the line trying to go as fast as I could making sure that I had used all my energy and got a good training session out of it at the same time.
I am happy to take the win even though some of the big names were not there but this has provided one of the curtail building block for next weekend National Championships race were I will be racing the U23 division instead of the Elite category that I have been racing all this year.
A big Thankyou to Joshua from Riding Focus for the photos.