Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The 25yr training plan

Two days and counting till the primary objectives of our MTB season kick off. The 2010 National MTB Championships, and the Karapoti Classic just 7 days later. Both celebrate the 25th anniversary of competive MTB in NZ, which began with the first Karapoti back in 1986.

So its a big deal. And a quick flick through mums photo albums proves I've been building to this for just that....25years! Pictured above shows a young Cabin (right of picture) circa 1986 fresh from one of my first MTB training sessions. Its certainly a pretty sweet bike. Matched by some equally sweet overalls, and I am sure some pretty sweet jumps were completed too.

Fast forward to 2010 and Nic is feling pretty good. Wrist injury has progressed well and she'll be getting the Nat's course dialled. Meanwhile I've completed my final "secret" Karapoti smashfest training session today, so hopefully will be recovered by next weekend!?!

And at the very least recovered enough to withstand the Bushlove assault on the Masters XC title. Should I be afraid??

Monday, February 15, 2010

N-Duro series final: Mission accomplished

... so phase one of Team N-Duro's 2010 season is complete, and after Sunday's 3rd and final round of the Bike Vegas Summer N-Duro series, I once again secured the overall and retained my "King of the Series" title to ensure it's been a good start to the year.

It was also suggested that I should have won it...... After all I set the courses. I obviously didn'y do a very good job as this is where I point out that I also didn't manage to win a race and secured the title with three straight 2nds. The bridesmaid strikes again. Frustrating, but in the circumstances I'll take it!

The unique feature of the N-Duro series is that the title is based on cumulative time, which means you can't afford to take it easy at any time. It encourages aggressive racing which can only be good. Fronting up on Sunday I was in for a tough day with Stu Houltham and Mikey Northcott for company, and a tough race certainly followed.

I tried to be conservative, but with Mikey and Stu pushing each other super hard it become a very tough day. I soon found myself struggling to hang on on the ups, and hanging it out on the descents to regain touch utilising the suburb traction (?!) of the Ravens on the slick surface. The race see-sawed a bit until Mikey eventually got away for good up hill road with about 20km to go.

I thought I had it under control, but chasing hard down chesnut link I promptly rode straight into a tree at high speed. Smartly I used the handlebar to stop and while that bent, my face stayed intact. I was a bit sheepish for the rest of the descent but soon got my act together when I realised Mikey had flown the coup. Digging deep I chased hard all the way back and managed to limit the losses to just 58sec at the end. Taking the series by a mere 3min (over 6hrs racing with Mikey). Stu battled hard to chase us home for a great 3rd on tracks not so familiar to his prefered wellington terrain.

I am super stoked that a) I proved to myself I can still foot it with the best of the best in NZ (maybe better than ever before). and that b) I'm going to get to watch a great battle between these two and others at the National Champs in Wellington in two weeks while I relax on the sidelines.

And Nic? She grudgingly sat out Sundays race. Her wrist injury sustained at Tokoroa was a bit worse than first thought. So is off the MTB for a wee bit to ensure she's right for Wellington. Training hard on the wind trainer....and getting a wee bit frustrated!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two for Two: Team N-Duro takes on Tokoroa.....

..... and the Tokoroa soil comes up trumps

However, as you can see by the stylish wee medals pictured below, Team N-Duro's first venture onto the National MTB scene this season at Tokoroa on Sunday proved quite successful. Nic put in a rather dominant display to claim her first Elite National Series win, quite fittingly 3yrs to the day since her first real MTB ride. But the day wasn't without incident.

First up in the morning, I decided to race in Masters so I could test the course for Nic....or maybe because I was too lazy to race Elite?! To make things more interesting I decided to start the race with no back brake (The 50km MTB ride I did with brake part dragging on Saturday had finished off any pads that were left). Spicing things up further were the almost 30 U17/U15 riders that started their race 30sec earlier, making the first lap rather interesting. Showing some interesting styles on the technical descents to compensate for the lack of rear brake, I managed to survive the course. Pushing reasonably hard and taking a comfortable win.
So on to Elite, and a pretty intense race was on the cards. The Cougar Park course was fast, and undulating. Promising a brutal pace and quite literally survival of the fittest. With a good sized field of NZ's best women, Nic was keen to force the pace early and lead out. Sure enough she proceeded to appear back after lap one with a 30sec lead, which she proceeded to slowly extend over 5 laps to eventually contest a sprint finish with Carl Jones. She lost.... but then Carl was in the process of taking a well deserved victory in Elite Mens. Nic had taken the womens race by more than 5min.
Seemingly an incident free race..... that was until I discovered she'd had a big crash early on lap one pushing too hard in singletrack (note to self... stop watching Sam Hill footage prior to races), damaging her wrist in the process, and fighting back through the lead pack. The wrist is really tender now so she did well to keep riding. Adreneline is a great painkiller. Then there was an over the bars down the bridge drop. And....and.... Then she settled down to ride a strong controlled race.
And what about that 3 yr MTB anniversary? Surely I'm kidding? No. I thought it was quite a nice story. You see Nic bought her first real MTB late in 2006 from Crank It Cycles in Palmerston North via some dodgy salesman named Cabin. She didn't actually ride it until Waitangi day 2007 when she ventured over Greens Rd. Waitangi weekend 2010 and she posts her first National Series Elite win in dominant fashion. Pretty cool really.
Finally, big ups to Carl Jones. The potential has always been there, and its great to see it realised. Maybe he listened to us and learnt something useful during his time with Aunt Betty's? Or maybe he didn't. Still, I was stoked to be able to witness his breakthrough ride firsthand.
Roll on the final of the N-Duro Summer series this weekend.
P.S. Those that take notice of our event calender.... yes, I did compete in the Blue Lake Multisport festival's Sprint Triathlon last weekend. Short version of events, awesome swim for first 200m. Then I got tired. It was an average time. On to a fumbling transition, smoked the bike (fastest split), and another average transition. Before an adequate run bought me home to a comfortable win in the open mens. All good, except for the 3 young U20 hotshots were still in front of me.....