Since joining the Marathon MTB team 6 months ago I have seen more of Australia travelling to races all over the country than I have in the 2 years I have lived here. When Mike asked me if I would be interested to race the ICME stage race in Alice Spring, I didn’t have to think about it very long, my first stage race in a very remote part of the country organized by Rapid Ascent was for me a recipe for having an awesome time. I was lucky to be able to use teamie Naomi’s free accommodation at the Chifley resort which she won the previous year. I decided to pay this generosity forward by sharing the room with two other struggling athletes Kyle Ward and Mike Crosby… No doubt this week would become very entertaining…
Having packed for desert weather and being warned about learning how to ride in the sand I was surprised (together with all of Alice Springs) to wake up to a very wet Sunday morning… and it didn’t look like it was going to get dry anytime soon…I have raced a few races organized by Rapid Ascent before, including multisport races, and I have never been disappointed with any of them. These guys really know how to organize an adventure and I was looking forward to hard week of racing. Rain or no rain
Race day arrived and it was time to turn race face on, the women’s field as well as the men’s was stacked with Australia’s best riders, this race was going to test the legs and the mind… Stage 1 was a 40km combination of 4WD roads and fast rocky single track. Really unique riding, I can’t compare it to anything I have ridden before, although I was happy to have practiced handling rocky terrain in preparation for the Convict the last few weeks. It was wet, foggy and cold… not really desert weather… but it didnt stop people from smiling. I lined up with the top girls slightly nervous and wondering if I belonged there. After having ridden a few marathons the race was over before I knew it, pretty spectacular course and I was happy to come in 5th not far behind the top girls which would make for an interesting remainder of the week.
Rowena Fry led the whole way for the win with Jenny Fay only seconds behind in 2nd place, Jenny King was 3rd, Terry Rhodes 4th and I came in 5th place.
The men’s was won by Andy Blair, Sean Lewis for 2nd , Ben Mather for 3rd, Ben Hogarth in 4th place and roomie Kyle Ward for 5t
Hill TT climb this afternoon… hope the legs will have something left to give…
Full Results of Stage 1 Find Below