All good intensions, train, eat, sleep. Reality, work, sick, sleep. And with this level of preparation we headed into the final round of the RT GP. Initially we were disappointed that the location was moved from Mt Annan, only due to travel convenience. But Awaba, well, what can you say about this trail, a favorite of just about everyones, a trail that encourages flow. You know where we'd rather ride...
Finally a great start with limited hold-ups on the first lap for us. The trail has seen some rain and it was tacky in spots. Unusually we come across team mate, Browny, off the rivet on this initial first lap, we're feeling good and hammer up Camelback Climb (my fastest ever - Strava) but don't see Browny again.
It is on our second lap flyer we drop a water bottle after Camelback on a fast flat section, we silently curse our poor bottle handling and mentally note its location as to pick it up next lap. Thankfully it wasn't to far to transition, and we picked the near empty bottle up on the next lap.
Again it is a race where we are swapping places (for four hours at least) with 7hr team of two, Max and Charlie. Max would warp-speed his SS past us then, on the next lap, we'd come across Charlie as she was having a ball on a sweet section of trail.
We also spent some time with our JetBlack MTB Racing team mates, like Jason Hewitt, a man on a solo endurance mission. Jason has been making his mark at the top end of the 7hr solo for a couple of years. Can't forget our other team champion Dalene Pretorius, again a 7hr solo, who every time we passed her had a big smile.
Back in our race we catch up with Morgs from Shimano and once again we figure we're riding a little fast for our current fitness level. Morgs was going at a good pace so we hung out with him for a couple of laps. It was on the second last time up Camelback after leading Morgs for the lap we knew the pace had been to hot and we motioned to Morgs that this was it for us.
Transitioning to what would probably be our last lap our team mates passed on info the team mate Kurt, also a 4hr solo rider, who had gotten away from us on the initial laps, was jus 30 seconds ahead. It was tempting to rush into the single track and chase Kurt but we didn't get carried away, catching Kurt in the first quarter of the lap. Kurt looks like he might be hurting, testing him we don't ease up as we pass but Kurt doesn't tag on the back of my wheel.
Thankfully from the top of Camelback it seems like the trail is just about all down hill. Shad is yo-yoing off our back wheel as we make the final kilometers back to transition. As we get closer we hear the PA is alive with race updates, seems like the 4hr race has just finished. We have time to zip up our JetBlack MTB Racing jersey and be the first 4hr #rockytrailracer across the line.
It has been a great series in 2016, I've especially enjoyed the company I've been able to keep on trail. There has also been such a diversity of trails too, epic hills of the Glenrock region to the speed of Singleton. With Awaba being the final jewel in the GP Series crown.
Thanks to JetBlack MTB Racing and all our supporters for making this series of events as smooth as it has been. We'll see you at the next event!