I headed off down the course and in about 300m's, I blacked out for a second, I woke up veering sideways. I fired in a couple of caffeine gels and continued on. A few minutes later the same thing again. I put some more food in, an entire Mule Bar, backed off a little but kept going....
Often when writing a race report I try to be upbeat if it went wrong or down play it a bit if it goes well. Well this one may be a little odd as it was going well and then went complete arse up in no time at all.
Coming into the 24hrs of Exposure I was confident of one thing, I am very strong on the bike now for endurance racing I have put in the time on the bike and looked after any niggles in the body as soon as they arise. So I was confident coming into the race of doing well, not cocky though. Too much can go wrong in a 24hr to ever be cocky or to ever have a favourite coming into one.
After arriving Friday night, relaxing a bit and catching up with Phil, Shaggy, Mel, and Matt, Nik and I headed to bed. In the morning, we would sort the pit a bit more, Phil and I did recce loop of the track at a casual pace and thought it to be Ok. I made a gear change to the singles going from 32/20 ratio to a 32/18 ratio as the course wasn't too steep or have any big climbs, until the rain came down this was a good choice. Although it was changed by Shaggy as the rain changed the game later on.
So after milling around for a bit, 12 o'clock approached and we were soon off and Phil and I found ourselves lapping comfortably at the same speed, so I settled in for the long haul. As the hours ticked by, positions changed, the lap times settled down a bit and I certainly found my rhythm. Although I did get caught up a couple of times for a few minutes in mini battles with other riders, it was mainly to keep a fluid rhythm on the single, I did remain settled and calm.
More laps ticked by and I had a good strategy for the heavier or slippery climbs, I was refuelling well and keeping my stops to a minimum. Phil and I would lose contact then join up again as we rode our own races and as per normal everyone encouraged each other along.
As I pushed on I felt strong, calm and just kept to my own race plan. Soon it was lights on as the sun started to set, this is the time I love, riding into the night is fantastic. As I ride so much at night to train, I always look forward to this phase of a 24hr.
... find out what happened on my Blog.