Monday, March 22, 2010

Oceania Champ... Nic's report

So a pretty good weeked for Team N-Duro/Nature Valley in Dunner's. Ater Nic's Saturday heroics I enjoyed a mint Sunday....

.... got up. 1hr10 trail run. Went to crusty corner for chocolate croisant and coffee. Won the Oceania Short track title!!! Scotty cooked a mean BBQ for dinner. Watched 4 episodes of Nitro Circus season 2, and polished off some cake and ice-cream. Nice.

Anyway..... Nic's report on the weekend as follows.....

I am home from a successful weekend racing the best of the Aussies in the Oceania MTB Championships held in an old stomping ground of mine – Dunedin. Quite contrasting is that back then I was a student playing premier club rugby at half-back for the Varsity women’s side, running a bit & quite possibly socializing too much! Indeed it was a different agenda this weekend & I am happy to report that I had a strong race claiming my first Oceania XC women’s title to go with my recent National Elite XC title! Rowena Fry (Australian National Champ & Avanti team-mate) was second (+1min20sec) & the one who I had to keep clear of throughout the four lap race on a superb course at Forrester Park.

It was my birthday on Friday, which I had forgotten about until Cabin mentioned it. Then I was reminded frequently as fellow XC racers Gav & Raewyn had speckled the course on Friday with an array of signs to make sure everybody knew! It made for an entertaining pre-ride.

I was feeling fresher & stronger as race day approached. I had had a flat day at the Karapoti race 2 weeks ago, and that race seemed to further knock the stuffing out of me. I did manage to fit in another ‘block’ of training in between & we changed my approach to Saturday’s race which was a good call. I was recovered, and raring for another punishing outing.

First Lap, and pace is on to hit first singletrack

The race start was hot off the line, but into the first turn & single track it slowed, quite significantly. I was about fourth wheel & felt we were creeping so I made a couple of passes & sat in behind leader Rowena Fry. Up a short pinch I boldly went around Rowena & pinned it for the ‘farm track’ climb. I kept the pace reasonable and she drew alongside and we rode to the top close enough. Rowena led into the first single track descent, and along with Fiona MacDermid we seemed to have gapped the field nicely.

Impatient up the next climb I was raring to get by & get away so I attacked & after a lengthy piece of single track I popped out clear of Rowena - much to the crowds delight! I knew it was now my race to control & went about riding smooth, strong & fast. Mid-way through the second lap Rowena rode back to within 15sec of me. I could see her on the switchback below which startled me a bit, but I sensed she was working hard. I rode the descent well & made a plan to stay consistent until the climb then test the legs again. There were 2.5 climbs on the course, the farm track was the most grueling & each time I went up it I felt better & better. By the fourth & final lap I was firing & I managed to extend my lead. I was pretty happy exiting the forest for the finish line with no-one (but a few U19 boys I was amongst) close. I won by a tidy 1min20sec.

Post race interview. Cabin super impressed by the old school journalism. Pen and paper, jotted notes..... and he wrote an interesting and accurate story too.

I seem to be learning more & more about race craft & it felt great to be able to apply the pressure, absorb some & finish off so clinically. I was not only happy to win but I was happy with my performance all round. It is definitely onward & upward from here, in 3.5weeks I will be in Europe to contest the first three World Cup races – a big step again, but one I am looking forward to. It is great to measure up, tick that box & then set about the next goal.

I would especially like to thank my sponsors for their marvelous support. AVANTI, 2XU, BALANCE NUTRITION, NATURE VALLEY, RIDESTRONG, N-DURO EVENTS, SMITH OPTICS & NEW BALANCE. I certainly hope to be reporting more great news as my season continues. Thank-you also to the many others that support me, most of all Cabin – coach, partner, team-mate, house-mate, masseuse, mechanic…you get the gist. Cheers!

1 comment:

mountainrider said...

Congrats Nic - truly chuffed to hear about your win, well deserved and I can't think of a nicer Kiwi for it to happen to :-)