Convict 100 Century Of Dirt

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The convict 100 started in an interesting way as I was playing ‘taxi driving’ for Jason English, collecting him from Sydney airport right in the middle of Sydney peak hour!  His flight landed at 6pm and I left home at 4:30pm, I only live 9km away from Sydney airport, and I was still late, ‘god damn’ Sydney traffic!!!  We finally got on the road to battle the Sydney traffic out of the airport, I put Jason on navigation duties along with Google maps, which was a mistake, we finally found the M1 and we were away…until we hit the centre of Sydney and the stupid GPS missed a turn and we soon found ourselves doing laps around the law courts and Martin place!  It was now 7pm and we only had done 12km not happy, at least I took Jason on a sightseeing tour around Sydney, after all that I finally found the sign to the Harbor bridge and we are away to St Albans; the home on a century of dirt the convict 100.

We arrived at St Albans the doors to the back country. No phone reception, no work calls, no Facebook, no nothing, worry free weekend how good is that, just a weekend of riding bikes good people more could I ask for? Now it was time to find Jason’s bike and tent as that came down with Jamie Vogele (another port Macquarie local), all we had to find it was a really bad and not very bright rear light. We must have spent a good hour walking up and down rows of parked cars and tents trying to find Jamie , and of course he decided to park the furthest place possible from me.

Race day
The smell of bacon and egg rolls filled the air as the sun rises and breaks the foggy, overcast morning; so tempting – not the best race food in anyone’s books, unless it’s a 24hr then anything goes. Luckily the awesome team form Way2Live were there to fill me up with their brown rice porridge. While I was stuffing my face with their great food, I watched the start of the race begin for the elites, 100km, and the 68km begin. As this was my first real race after coming back from the world 24hr champs in NZ earlier in the year I selected the 48km option – didn’t want to jump into the deep end straight away. 10am rolls around and it was time for the start of the 48km race. Bang!! The gun goes off and somehow I end up at the front of the field and in control of the race (first time for everything right??) for the first 8km of the race it was superfast rolling roads

convict 100I was able to tell who the roadies were within the bunch and the people to watch out for.After the road slog and the creek crossing we hit the first and only hill of the day, this hill is insanely steep and loose with ‘baby head’ rocks everywhere. Half way up this hill there was a crash and I was caught up in the spill everyone was ok but I was not happy as the guy that crashed used me to stop him falling off the cliff, although there was trees every to grab onto. As I headed across the ridge line to enjoy the spectacular views below I was in between the lead group and the group that crashed I was able step up the pace again as there were no big climbs to tackle. Riding solo is what I am best at as I can pace myself and look at my numbers from the power meter and grind it out. Off in the distance I spot a familiar rider and friend, Charlotte. Charlotte and I team up to get back on the lead group, yet again the pace picks up again and its full steam again, with a bit of team work we are now sitting in 3rd and 4th place outright, at this point I could see that she was exhausted, but I was determined to bring her back with a smile from here it was all downhill, the last 5km were a blast on my pivot 429sl, the bike was able to eat up the wash board road surface and power along, it really is the ultimate marathon bike, even with Charlotte in tow. The final 1km sign was ahead and I went all out to take out 3rd place with an awesome sprint finish as 2nd was just ahead. I crossed the line with a respectable time of 1hour and 52 minutes, in 3rd place.

The convict is truly a great race in every way, form the people you meet, to the location, and even and the story’s you ride away with. I will defiantly be back next year to race the full 100km race as I will be in full training mode for the world 24hr champs in Finale Italy.

Dan Baker

National Marathon Championship 2016 – Masters

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My first XCM Nationals,

Taking flight, with Ondrej, on Thursday afternoon, to be at Blue Derby trails 1st thing  on Friday morning, to do few test runs. We have booked our accommodation at Scottsdale, which is about 20 minutes from Derby. Self contend unit with kitchen so we could cook for ourselves. It would be hard to found some vegan restaurant at Derby. Actually not just Derby, but would say most of Tasmania.

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EITA 2016 – Stage 1

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Easter in Alice Stage 1

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Few of Quantum racing team riders have decided to come to Alice Springs for annual EITA race, which includes 4 stages over 3 days. First day is 90km Bunny Buster which is also part of this year National XCM marathon series. Alex and I have chosen 90km, while Angelique decided for 45km option. Unfortunately Hana wasn’t allowed to the start, because they were not accepting registrations day before the race. Start was scheduled for 6:30 a.m. early start, which I really hate, which doesn’t give you much time to digest your breakfast and do proper warm up. My body requires at least 45 minutes to get to race temperature, but with information that there will be 7km of neutral segment, where will be plenty of time to warm up.

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Interview with team manager about Kiwi Crusage

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Quantum Racing team manager it now at Tauranga, New Zealand getting ready for first Kiwi Crusade 7 day stage race.  I had a chance to catch up with him just before he left to get little bit of insight about his preparation, equipment etc.

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AMB 100

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Being one of the very first races of the season, the AMB 100 is always a bit of a whirlwind in terms of expectations and skill levels. No one is really sure what to expect in terms of who has been training profusely over the summer Christmas break, and who has indulged in maybe a little too much Christmas turkey. With participants opting for either 33km, 66km, 100km and 100mile varieties of the race it sure is a good test – and a great opportunity to see who the contenders are for the upcoming season.

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WEMBO 24h – Dan Baker Interview

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Here is a short interview with team rider Dan Baker, racing WEMBO 24 solo. Dan is now at Rotorua less then a day from a start.
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Generation UCan

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GenerationUcan_112014NEW PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCED TODAY IN BETWEEN QUANTUM RACING AND GENERATION UCAN

Quantum Racing athletes will now be working together with Generation UCAN Australia, to fully benefit from this amazing nutrition.

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Jetblack 24 Hours

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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. Read more…

Convict 100

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Convict 100

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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.

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Evocities RD6 – Tamworth

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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 Ring Circus

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3 ring circus

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.

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Transalp – Stage 7

In CategoryRaces, Transalp 2015

Stage 7

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.

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Transalp – Stage 6

In CategoryRaces, Transalp 2015

Stage 6This was a much more enjoyable stage than yesterday.

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.

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Transalp – Stage 5

In CategoryRaces, Transalp 2015

stage 5

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.

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Transalp – Stage 4

In CategoryRaces, Transalp 2015

stage 4

Disaster!

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.

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