It all started on Friday morning. Get to the warehouse, load my van with pallet of beer for Jetblack 24. Get all the camping stuff in, check the new team tent, and get home to get everything ready not just for myself, but rest of the team. Checking weather every half an hour and evaluating the situation. Should we be going to the race or skip it due to bad weather forecast. 40mm for Friday and 35mm for Saturday (race day) is not very promising, but I still have a commitment to get the beer to the event anyway, so basically it has already been decided. I am still not sure what bike I am going to ride. Should I take my Pivot 429sl or Mach 4 27.5inc bike. We are racing in team of 3 so what would be the fastest bike for the race. After little bit of thinking deciding taking both and try to change them lap by lap and see what difference feel, time and power output I have to put in. Car is all packed up with all gears, bikes, food and our race caravan is hooked. Just to wait for Michal Kafka to finish at work and we are ready to go. In the mean time I am deciding to have a little 2h power nap to prepare for long drive up to James Estate Winery located at Upper Hunter Valley. We are leaving around 4 pm. Heading firstly to The Odd spoke Dural to pick some race goodies and mainly my new road bike Giant TCR Advanced SL Limited Edition. Talking to Han, the owner of the shop about new stuff coming to Australia, especially new Fourier oval chainrings, which he brings to the country. Leaving around 5:15 p.m. heading North to F3 freeway. Stopping for dinner at our usual spot Oliver’s real food cafe. I just wish they would have more vegan options, but what can we do. Having pumpkin soup with veggie pocket and caffeine packed soy decaf flat white to keep us awake on the way up ;-).
Another great race on Quantum Racing calendar. It is the iconic marathon race located at St Albans. The Convict 100 is one of Australia’s most challenging MTB marathon races following the historic Convict Trail through the Dharug and Yengo National Parks. The course features a mix of fast fire trail, technical rock gardens, rocky descents and spectacular ridgeline views.
It was Friday after work and I was in my van on the way to Tamworth. This time I was just by myself, Ondrej has decided to try his luck at this year Convict 100. And it has payed off, Ondrej finished 1st in veteran category. Also with top 5 results counting to overall standing in the series, he could afford it. On other hand, I couldn’t. In 4th round I had crashed and had to pull the pin. At the Bathurst round I also missed out during of injured back after trying my luck at Cyclocross race. After 5 ½ hours of driving I finally arrived to Tamworth. Andrew Lloyd and his “coach” old man have been waiting for me with hot tea on the stove. At the time of my arrival the temperature had dropped to zero and it was getting really chilly. Read more…
3 Rind Circus has become an icon in MTB and it is always on our calendar. Race is located in one of the best MTB locations in NSW – Wingello forest, home of many other big races such as Highland Fling and James Williamson endure. We always love to come to this race, unfortunately this year not many of Quantum Racing boys had turned up due to various events on the same date. Andrew Lloyd racing up in Newcastle, Miles Watson at Terry Hills Cyclocross and Alex Koojiman and Steve Billington already in Europe getting their legs ready for Craft Transalp.
So this time it was only 3 riders from Quantum Racing. Michal Burda who arrived to Wingello on Sunday morning and Michal and Ondrej who have decided to started their round trip with in laws at Belanglo State Forest. Michal missed the windows for online registration so he had to get his registration done in person on Saturday evening, having a chance to experience night race in spectator role. He said it looked like great fun and he won’t miss this one either.
Hooray! It is done.
Today was about survival. Legs filled with lead and 17-20deg climbs for 10km was simply not nice. Followed up by single track descents that are so steep and so long, the brakes were on full power for around 5km and my butt was so far back u were almost sitting on the back wheel. We were screaming for mercy to stop using the brakes and give the braking fingers and arms a rest.
Whilst there were three hills, the gradient was more reasonable than yesterday which is closer to what I am are used to. It felt like the oaks Anderson 100km training loop.
There were some screaming descents on tarmac today, more scarier than usual due to the speed and dodging corners, cars and barriers, it is Italy after all.
Tenderised meat, that’s how I feel after today.
Roll me in breadcrumbs and call me schnitzel.
The climbing for the first 60km was really steep, full time in the 40t cog biting the handlebars to keep the front wheel down. Then there were the screaming descents, in the 70kph range. Press repeat on that cycle about 10 times and you get an idea of what it was like, brutal. The scenary continued to be glorious, although difficult to appreciate whilst suffering.
First to the race, today’s stage was a welcome relief after yesterday, with veterans of the event saying it was the hardest they had ever done.
Today was billed as a sight seeing bonanza and we weren’t disappointed. Passing from Austria to Italy over the dolomites, the views were the best yet, amazing and too hard to put into words.
Carrying your bike for 4km up 400Vm over the top of the alps;
Stinking hot and humid weather;
Long long hills;