It looks like tomorrow I’ll be going into hell to build a snow man to make the time up on Andy and Kyle. But with many more kilometres to race at the Snowies MTB Festival, as always in stage racing, it’s still all to play for…
– 6 hours earlier –
Yesterday’s TT around Lake Crackenback gave us all a good insight into the likely make up of the race for GC, or general classification/overall. After the TT I was sitting in 4th heading into Stage two’s 26km smash up the Thredbo Valley Trail. Flowing up from Lake Crackenback to Thredbo the ‘TVT’ is an awesome piece of trail, that, while climbing over 500m, still doesn’t feel like a climbing trail. There are pieces that climb sure, but it is far from an uphill slog.
Launching off the start I slotted nicely onto Kyle Ward’s wheel as we made our way up and out of ‘LCR’. On the entry to the single track Andy Blair snuck through and it was time to play! Firing on all cylinders as you negotiate sweeping single track is an awesome feeling, and doing it with the adrenaline of a race pumping certainly clears the mind!
As we left LCR things started to settle in as everyone sorted themselves out. Kyle was out in front and that left me holding Andy’s wheel as we broke clear of the others. For 26/26km of the stage my eyes were set firmly on Andy’s rear wheel. Knowing he had done some riding on the TVT before I was happy to be on an experienced wheel. Coming into the final few kilometres I had a little dig to try and move ahead, but Andy was having none of it after setting the pace for the stage and put me in my place! Crossing the line nothing had changed and Stage 2 ended with Kyle in 1st, Andy 2nd, and then me. As expected the gaps opened and the GC was looking a little more polished.
Then it was #aerotuckandhuck time with the Super D stage down the Thredbo All Mountain track! Andy seemed to be taking it pretty serious with his Aero helmet and I was looking to make it down in one piece! His helmet choice must have worked though as Andy took a solid win over Guy Frail (Awesome ride!) and Kyle Ward. It was a fun stage and a bit different to what we usually ride but with times fairly close and no real shake up on GC… Ok I’ll say it again, It’s still all to play for!
Despite resorting to a bit of #bikedoping with the dropper seatpost and the #aero advantages of the Evade helmet I’m stoked to finally get one over @okylewardo in the #allmountain stage of the Snowies MTB Festival. I’m also quietly chuffed to put away @ryno86 in the ongoing battle of Palmer vs Vouilloz Still a decent gap to Kyle on GC but I guess we will see what tomorrow brings #aeroiseverything #enduro #soenduro #fullenduro #skinsuit #aerohelmet #noschoolliketheoldschool oldschool
A photo posted by Andy Blair (@andydblair) on
So, it looks like tomorrow I’ll be going into hell to build a snow man to make the time up on Andy and Kyle. Sitting in third is good but second sounds like a lot nicer place to be. First has a good ring to it also… Maybe that’s a bit far fetched with how strong Kyle is going at the moment but… I’ve really got to find something else to say… It’s still all to play for!
Samara Sheppard is still leading the women, with Renata Bucher in 2nd and Cristy Henderson in 3rd.