Monday, May 9, 2011

Mud, Shuttles, Hot Chips, and Crowns: Sunday in Vegas

It's officially. XC is clearly the best discipline of MTB sport, as proved yesterday as Nic and Dirk Peters were crowned King and Queen of the rapidly becoming iconic Triple Crown event in sunny Rotovegas yesterday.

Pitting riders of all disciplines against each other over 3 Super D runs the event really is an allround test. Too much pedalling to favour a DH rider, too intense to favour as XC rider, and varied enough to make bike choice confusing. If in doubt, don't change anything. Just ask Carl Jones with full XC hardtail set up in 5th.

Nic hasn't raced her MTB since December but showed her skills certainly haven't diminished. It was a successful comeback on all accounts. Rode some mean trails, did a few drifts and jumps, and talked smack with many equally stoked riders. Threw a trusty Nevagal on the front of the XC race hardtail to give some extra grip, and bombed away on the trails. Won the womens comfortably and scared more than a few of the men with a midfield finish overall. Was gutted defending champ Alice was out with a broken ankle. Showed some pretty sharp skill and hopes to see more top Women take her on next time. The challenge has been laid down.

I was, well, average. I got better as the day wore on. On the first run (that should have favoured me) I was smoked from pedalling so hard after weeks of complete laziness. Nearing the end I must have been sub conciously looking for short cuts and took an unplanned diversion off the side of roller coaster. Wouldn't reccommend the route as was someway down a bank and had trees in the way (Apparently a few others tried the same line with similar lack of success).

Lost way too much time on that run and put muself well out of top 5 contention as Dirk, Des, Pattle, Byron, and Carlos all put way too much time into me. I got better the less pedalling was required. Here I am pretty excited and maintaing good focus and speed as the finish line, and the mean feed awaits.

Quintessentially Kiwi. Not only was I handed a steinlager by fellow riders at the finish, but the organisers had thought ahead and ordered $100 worth of hot chips, pre-buttered bread, and loads of tomato sauce. Mean.

Johnny Click wasn't shy to get amongst the chips. A wee bit of consellation for him after I pipped him for 6th place by 0.3 secs (over 24min)! Big thanks to Stefan Bennett and his team of volunteers for making the day happen. Really look forward to the next one

And a huge thanks to Gavin and Brent at Avanti for the loan of the sweet Avanti Torrent for the week. One very capable bike, and a bucket load of fun to ride. It certainly wan't the bikes fault I missed the top 5. That was simply being outclassed by an awesome bunch of allround skilled MTBers

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