Wednesday, April 8, 2009


First of all, let's get the results out of the way... It was a pretty successful day for Team N-Duro really. Cabin takes the NZ Masters Marathon XC title, and Nic 2nd in the Elite Womens, to go nicely with her silver medal from the Eite XC Nats.

But it was a funny old day really.

The course, and the setting were mint. Blue Lake has to be one of the best locations from which to hold an endurance sports events anywhere in the world. Period. Coupled with a stunning Rotorua day, good people, and good trails you couldn't ask for much better. So a funny old day I said. Whats with that? Well, it just could've been a whole lot better.
Nic's Race

Nic for starters was having agreat day. Legs were good, feeling strong, and maintaining close enough contact to potentially really threaten local favourite Annika Smail. That was however, until once again Nic's eyes played up. Serious dust early on had iritated them, and by the time she reached old chevy with still around 30km to go, her vsion had deteriorated to the point that in that state, she'd probably be eligible to compete as a blind athlete.

Bravely, and after numerous very scary moments, she completed the course, after borrowing some eyewear that helped a little. And amazingly, held on to finish 2nd, only 6 1/2min down after almost 4hrs. Imagine if she could see?!

Nic, donating her prize to Ross Abercrombie. The kind sole who loaned her glasses mid-race

Cabin's Race

Well, a masters title is nice. But.... I tried to be a bit too clever and regret it a little now. After spending the first hour on the front, I couldn't match the pace of Ash Hough and Scott Thorne when they attacked up direct road. Deciding to follow my Karapoti tactics and riding my own race I let them go.

Matt Gorter must have decided that I had a good plan as he decided to sit behind me. After an hour or so of this I got a little sick of that. If you're strong enough to stay there then do some work. He didn't. It annoyed me. I had my Masters title sewn up, and decided I didn't want to help him win a national elite title. After all it was Scott and Ash making the race, and they deserved it more than someone who was just going to sit on. So I went on deliberate go slow.

So when we still caught Scott and a blown Ash 30mins or so from the finish, I decided against attacking (as I should have), and instead tried to play the roadie game and set up Scott for the title I felt he deserved. All went swimingly until Scott cracked in the last 5km. Handing Matt the win. Don't get me wrong, he rode strongly, and probably smartly. It just goes against my nature. I believe you should do your fair share of work in a race.

So in retrospect, I'm a bit bummed. I should've attacked and gone for the overall. I still have my national champs jersey. But I felt I was the strongest. I tried to play games and it backfired. I should've gone for the overall. Next time huh?

Cabin cruising to the finish. Maybe not as exhausted as he should've been?


Miriam said...

Sounds like a bittersweet weekend. "Next time" is no way to be!!
Still, congrats to you both :-)
See you at Blue Lake April 18

dnfracer said...

Congrats on the masters title, and 2nd overall - not an easy task!

However, I was dissapointed to read your blog and comments about some riders and your strange expectations regarding race tactics in a MTB race. I've been involved in MTB for many years and am at a loss as to how someone can 'sit on' whilst MTBing. From my experience and others I have spoken to, MTB requires a very individual physical effort and working together does not come into play, and any such benefits are usually confined to the peleton on the road.

Letting the early attacking riders go is not a master plan, rather a standard tactic if you think you can run them down later. So was everyone in the race following your brilliant plan? Or just the eventual winner Matt?

You said you went on a deliberate go slow, and mentioned that you felt Matt was not being fair?! WTF!!! Since you were not on a road and the ability to pass was limited who is playing the unfair game? The fact that you still caught (obviously your friends) Scott and Ash goes against your view that you should have attacked and gone for the win. I think you did, you just didn't have the legs to finish, just like Scott and Ash who may have gone out to strong and blown, hence you caught them on your 'go slow'.

In retrospect the strongest rider won, as is the case on every race day. Maybe next time huh!?

Cabin and Nic said...

Fair comments dnfracer.

As I did say... Matt was good enough to stay with me/us through the singletrack, and really he rode a smart race.

My comments on my own actions (which I later regretted), related more to the 4wd/fireroad sections, where it becomes very much like a road race.

As I said. I tried to be smart/cunning, it back fired. I could've/should've put the hammer down but didn' should always put your very best effort forward in a race situation, but on this occassion I didn't.

...and I now regret it.