Friday, April 23, 2010

2010 Marathon Champs

After not riding for two weeks following my chaffing issue I was very tempted just to give this race miss - but that would be soft! Instead I thought it best to rock up ride the first 10kms feeling good and struggle my way through the last 80 odd kms. And that’s pretty much how it went except that I think everyone struggled to varying degrees in the final 40kms of the race. I have never ridden a marathon race with that much walking/running involved! A good solid 50kms of firetrials and single track was followed by 40kms of fresh cut single tracks that were in sections unrideable. I rode with Johnny Hendo from near the start and we picked up Benny Henderson at maybe halfway when his cranks came loose. It was only that I was riding with someone that I enjoyed being on the bike that day. JD

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 24hr Ozzie Champs

Race plan – ride my own race with nice consistent laps (not go out hard at the start- I have made that mistake before!), get my food right (new Torq Nutrition products) and make it to the morning feeling good! Sounds easy doesn’t it?
After a lap for ‘Willo’ the racing started and I managed to move myself slowly through the ranks from my average start position of 105. The course was the usual for Majura – flowing single track with two small pinchy climbs but still surprisingly harsh on your body! I was feeling comfortable both in the head and the legs rolling around chipping out consistent lap times and my eating and drinking was going great. As night fell my crew updated me with positions and I found I was sitting in 10th place- still a long way to go and anything can happen! Unfortunately it did – to me!
Around midnight I started to feel a little uncomfortable around chamois area and with a battery change I took the opportunity to top up with a slather of chamois cream. This lasted until the next battery change a few hours later but my behind was definitely becoming more uncomfortable. I lathered up again and shot out for my next lap. As I sat down on the saddle into the first section of single track I just about let out a scream as the chamois cream oozed into the cuts on my tender little behind! I rode that whole lap out of the saddle. On my return to transition, my unfortunate pit crew had to witness the mess that my behind had become – I just wanted a second opinion just so I knew I wasn’t being soft! So despite feeling mentally fantastic and my legs feeling like they could tick away endlessly it was decided that I should withdraw due to a skinned little behind! A disappointing way to end the race at 3am.
2 days later I could finally sit again but it was a week and a half before I was game to sit on a saddle again! JD

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Terra Australis 2010

The 2010 Terra Australis was as hard as I remember the last years race! Plenty of long granny ring hills, lots of rough descents and not much flat between! This year I teamed up with fellow team member Mark Tupalski. Our major mechanicals happened on stage one – the roughest stage for the bikes. Mark suffered a flat or two while I managed to snap the tension screw on my rear derailleur. Using the high limit screw we sorted out my bike (less a few gears) and made it to the finish in 2nd place for stage 1.
On stage 2 I suffered a bit, particularly from the last feedzone to the finish but finished 3rd only a couple of minutes behind the 2nd place of Troy and Phil. Steele and Robbie had fairly well established their lead in 1st place overall and we were sitting comfortably in 2nd overall.
Stage 3 was a great day of descending which most people enjoyed. Again we finished 2nd just behind Robbie and Steele and increased our overall lead on 3rd. From this stage, final positions were already decided pending a major mechanical from any of the top 3 teams. For the rest of the week it was a matter of riding the stages and having some fun on the bike!
The mountainous stage 4 with the climb up the back of Mt buffalo had both of us TORQ teams riding together til just near the finish line when Robbie and Steele pulled away from us on a descent. Stage 5 for this year was a completely different stage to last year and provided us with some excellent climbs! The finish line just always seemed to be over the next range or the next climb.
Stage 6 was a cruisey loop which most of us rode together and exchanged stories from the week of riding. With the racing done for the day, the afternoon was spent chilling at the brewery with Dean showing us that he can drink better than we can!
The final stage 7 was again turned into cruise stage which was a great way to finish of the Terra. A great section of single track in the Beechworth mountain bike park started the stage and some flat firetrails to have a laugh on finished the stage. I do have to make a note that I did beat Steele in the final spint for the stage – probably the one and only time ever! Hopefully next year we can look forward to some more teams competing in this fantastic race. If you are going to take a week off work and get away to a stage race this is the one to do – both challenging and scenic. JD

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

National Rd 4 Stromlo Enduro

With all the hustling at the start of the race I managed to pull myself into a good position (3rd wheel) at the start of the climb without feeling close to reaching the red line. Even the climb up the trunk trail felt great but it all came undone on the descent when a piece of bunting had been moved and a few of us up the front took the wrong track! With a lot of swearing and an extra couple of hundred metres riding we pulled ourselves back onto the rear of the main bunch of riders- my position 3rd to about 24th! I was not happy and don’t think I managed to smile till the end of the race. My race plan had been to shadow Johnny Blanket’s moves (knowing he had been winning the previous national enduro’s) and hope that I had enough to out ride him at the end of the race! Unfortunately now I was 20 something places behind him and stuck in traffic while he was leading the race!
I rode consistently with my laptimes varying by not much more than a minute for the 3 hours which brought me to within 10 seconds of Johnny Blanket by the finish line! After getting off the bike I was happy with my result of 2nd having been more than 6 minutes down and bringing it back to just 10 seconds! I was feeling good with the ride.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Manna Park Weekend

This weekend was great from the start! The road trip with Fetchey, Macca and Bec was a car ful l of laughs from the start! Saturday morning involved a mtb crit on a newly formed but fantastic circuit (This was one of the best crit tracks ive ridden!), while the afternoon had a racing a time trial lap of the XC course – an enjoyable track with some techo sections. I dropped in just behind Macca and Fetchey with a 3rd in both of these races on Saturday. The evening involved a couple of drinks, some fish and chips and some dismantling of Darryl Crams bike (while he was sleeping) – all good fun!
Sunday’s XC 3hr race was a leisurely 10am start which suited us fine after a rather late night! The single track wound its way through some dense forest along the banks of a creek before climbing up though some more open gumtree forest. At the top of the climb we roller coasted our way down through some technical rock gardens and tree trunk drop offs before hammering our way down the overgrown firetrail to the finish line. This was a very rewarding track – just enjoying the descending every lap made the climbing worthwhile! Unfortunately for me, my lack of racing could be felt in the legs and I was only able to pull a 4th place behind Johnny Blankenstein. A great course and I encourage everyone to ride it if they get the chance. JD

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sparrow Hill 3 Hour

Well my first race for the year started off with a nice easy rolling race out at Sparrow Hill. With a good start I nestled into 4th behind Benny Henderson and Nah. The majority of the track was fairly smooth flowing enjoyable single track with only two noticeable pinchey climbs and one newly cut rought section of single track. This rough single track was definitely noticeable in the legs as the end of the race neared! With a couple of flats claiming a few riders in the early laps of the race I moved into 2nd place just behind Benny. And that is where I stayed for the rest of the race! I caught glimpse of him during the race but ended up a few minutes behind despite all my efforts to catch him. What a good say to spend a Saturday afternoon! JD

Thursday, January 28, 2010


For 2010 it is now confirmed that I will be riding with the TORQ Team. Thankyou to everyone who has helped me over past few years with product and support. Havingb the backing of these companies has been absolutely awesome and I encourage everyone out there to check out all the cool new stuff they have for 2010! JD