"Yeeeeeewww" Yangs MTBA National Round XC #1—Boulder Country.

Race bikes—cleaned and ready for a drilling!
Yesterday, 20th November, marked the official start to the 2010/2011 MTBA National Series XC racing.

Last time I headed out to this particular venue, the You Yangs in Geelong, Vic, it was a shocker. A beautifully built, awesome and fun track...but typical Melbourne weather let us down with damn near flooding. The whole race was a mess, I was a mess too, and didn't ride well at all. Aido prevailed in the tough conditions—the tough cookie that he is—and rode to second.

This time, the first half of the course was completely new—it seemed a lot like they were sending us up a DH track. It was boulders and granite wall-rides galore. It was a climb that local knowledge favoured, or at least a whole lot of technical skill. Arriving at our first practice lap I felt quite nervous, not being able to nail much of the technical climb at all. The second lap was a fait bit better, and by the third practice lap there were only a couple of features I felt needed some work.

The race day rolled around and the whole ride out to the course I was moaning and groaning—hating everyone and bitching about everything, I had a myriad of complaints and grumbles. This lasted a while, well into mid-warm-up when Aido presented me with an espresso, and suddenly I was optimistic and jovial once again (I have a fairly large dependence upon caffeine, I have discovered).

I don't know that I have felt this nervous before a race before. I tell myself 'it's just like a state series race!' but I am not kidding myself. I had the jitters. What if my race turned out like the last one here? What if I can't keep focussed and lose the plot? What if I haven't gotten any better since last season and I get lapped? There are a lot of what-ifs, and the only thing that helps is caffeine and a dose of HTFU on the start line.

I felt sorry for the junior girl sent off with the elites...it would be a long day for her!

The gun went off and I got a good start, at the end of the start loop the relatively large field was split into a few groups, and I had tacked onto the rear of the front group—a good move.

I climbed with the main part of the front group for lap one and tacked onto a girls wheel for a couple of laps, switching who would ride in the lead, until a stupid manouvre on a rock garden saw me momentarily unable of clipping in. Lost some time, and the wheel.

Anyway, managed to minimise my losses, despite my distinct dehydration and running into stuff on the last lap (I maybe drank one bottle throughout the whole race, silly AB!), and finished 7th overall and 6th Elite Women—my best National Series result yet. Super stoked, and now motivated to get fitter and faster (within reason, of course!) for Hobart in three weeks...we'll see. Can't get too fast yet, as National Championships is in February and I would love to be flying by then!

Meanwhile in the boys race Aido lead for much of the race, claiming second behind Ben Hendo. Glenny Boy had a great race, sneaking into the top ten. Cyclinic rocks!

L-R: Aido, Hendo and Carlso on the podi-o

Nothing better than a pre-event wrap in the Geelong Advertiser...

The SBS Cycling Central Wrap-Up...

Beer and Pizza after bikes and sun...perfect!