Nic's progress in the world of Elite XC MTB continues on track after a fine 8th place at the Australian National Championships in Canberra over the weekend.
We're just back from a whistlestop 4 day trip, and despite the race being very early in Nic's season, the fact that the race was being held on the course for 2009 World Champs, we decided that was a much better investment of precious travel funds than March's Oceania Champs.
As cheif support crew I decided to take my Singlespeed to give me an excuse for not racing. Truth be told I actually looked at the fairly hefty costs of travel insurance and figured my SS wasn't worth enough to worry about specific insurance for.
The track is interesting. Very rocky. Some very technical climbs requiring strength and skill to conquer. All tied together with some very fast flowing Singletrack. And even a few gap jumps thrown in for those keen. With limited passing opportunities, starting position will be crucial come Septembers worlds.
Anyway... Nic raced well. Midfield start. Then rode strongly and consistently throughout. Only 20sec difference between laptimes all race. And impressing more than a few Australians in the process. A strong 8th. Confidence growing. All positive.
Me? I rode a few laps. Did some jumps. Went for a couple of runs and swims, and enjoyed being coach/mechanic/feeder. Made sure I did a race pace tempo lap to see how it compared to the Elite Aussie men. Turns out quite favorably in fact. It was a good training weekend.
Also of note was the performance of Adrian Retief for 3rd in the U19 men. I was very impressed with his speed, maturity, and all round well judged race. His head is in the right place, and is definately one to keep an eye on.