Given my affection to mountains, my list of holiday destinations in Australia is not the longest. Living in Bright ticks one great area of the list, and one that I seem to be frequently ticking off these past few weeks is the Snowy Mountains. With the Thredbo National round last weekend done, it was back home for a quick recharge and thankfully the collection of my new steed, #NORCULOUS! The Norco Revolver full suspension.
After one quick ride around the home trails it was time to pack the bike up and once again tackle the winding roads to the Snowies. Or more specifically, Lake Crackenback Resort, where I would be staying for the duration of the Snowies MTB Festival. As far as race hotels go, it’s pretty good… Really good!
The major advantage of staying at ‘LCR’ is you can step out of the door and straight onto the race track. This afternoon, I did exactly that, straight out of the door and onto the start line for stage 1 and 5.5km of flat out time trial action. The course was fairly easy and allowed some high speeds to be maintained as the riders made their way around the Lake Crackenback trails.
While the majority of the course was flat, there was still great flow to the trails and I was surprised and excited by how the full suspension ate up the bumps. Not just the big rocks and ruts but also the smaller stutter bumps that would have me needing to back of the power on the hardtail. This certainly does give me confidence heading into the remaining stages.
Maybe remaining stages is the wrong term to use though as that sounds like there is not much racing to go and that couldn’t be further from the truth! A lot of racing is still left and that means a lot can still happen in the overall standings. I had a reasonable TT with some good speed and power and tried to limit the mistakes which could prove costly over such a short TT. Crossing the line with a 14:13 puts me in 4th. Ahead of me in the Elite Men’s category is Lewis Cressy in 3rd, Andy Blair 2nd and 3 seconds ahead of Andy is Kyle Ward in first. Kyle will go into tomorrow as the race leader but with only 3 seconds between him and Andy it’s still all to play for.
— Sebastian Jayne (@SebastianJayne) February 12, 2016
With so much racing still to go, a lot can happen. It’s also not just more of the same kind of riding. The stages have a real variance to them, with tomorrow incorporating both a 26km single trail smash and then an all mountain descent, which means each stage could play to different rider’s strengths. Only time will tell if that’s enough to shake up the GC!