After a long session I was at the final two round of the NCXS.I was hoping to post a good result prior to heading off for the US for a few weeks of racing. Arriving on the Friday I was meet at the airport by team mate and local Shaun Lewis who would be housing me for the weekend. It’s great when you can stay at someone’s house at an event because then you don’t have to struggle with the simple things like washing a bike in a hotel complex.
Straight away we headed to the Focus office that was located just down the road where I finally got to meet the rest of the team that do the hard work so we can go away and just ride our bikes. After a few hours at the office helping out where I could and test riding some of the e-bikes Shaun dropped me back to home so I could build my bike, go shopping and be ready for an afternoon spin once he finished work.
The next day we headed to the parkland early to set up the usual Focus banners, tens and inflatables. As the day moved on and our race came closer I headed out on the course for a few practice laps prior to the elite women’s race. I tried to hop the barriers but was having trouble with them and crashing a number of times before I finally decided to run the every lap as I wasn’t sure if I could do them consistently enough for the whole duration of the race.
Next thing I knew I was lined up on the front row waiting for the 15 second call. The whistle blew and we were of flying down towards the first corner. I managed to get on the front and was soon overtaken on the outside of the first turn by team mate Tom Chapman. Along the back straight there were a few unfamiliar faces there that usually don’t finish that far up the front so I moved past trying to always keep a gap open to move out and around is the rider in front dropped the wheel.
Mid way through the first lap I found myself setting the tempo on the front of a very long line of riders. The course was almost dead flat with about 3 meters of elevation per lap so I made it hard for myself to try and get a gap. Coming around to finish the first lap there was a group of six riders clear from the rest of the field.
Everyone wanted to be at the front through the corners but along the main straight it was like the pace had been turned off. A few riders attacked starting to build the pace and heart rate up again and then soon enough riders at the back of the group were starting to yo-yo on and off.
I noticed this and tried just to hold my own tempo when at the front saving energy for the last lap sprint. With the bell being rung and only three riders in the front group we knew that the winner would be from in that group. (As long as nothing catastrophic happened) Coming into the barriers Tom and Myself ran and Shaun Lewis Rode the barriers getting an immediate advantage and managed to press for the last little bit to the finish line taking his first ever National CX Series win. Tom managed to out sprint me in what was one of the closest finished I have ever had in a cycloross race.
The Focus team was over the moon to take out the top 3 steps on the podium and especially with some of the staff there to watch and cheer on.
Check out the Focus Bikes Australia Team Video Below