Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jacks Adelaide Report

In this blog I will be explaining what dad and I did on our recent trip to Adelaide where I competed in the Australian mtb championships.

Day 1(Wednesday 13th of January 2010). Dad and I had to wake up at 4am to catch a bus to Brisbane airport with a stop over in Sydney for 2 hrs before flying to Adelaide airport which is 20km from the national mtb championships track. After picking up our hire van from the airport we drove to the Caravan Park at Mt Barker which is a historical township in the Adelaide hills. Having packed for expected hot weather we didn’t take many warm clothes, so we were surprised by the very cool evenings which we encountered, hence our first night in the van was restless.

Day 2(Thursday 14th of January 2010).
XCO practice day at Eagle on the hill Mtb Park. The track starts off in a quarry which as you can imagine is hot and dusty. Within 200m from the start you are already climbing a set of eight single track switch backs, you then go under the down hill course and down a steep hill leading into more downhill flowing single track which spits you out onto a fire road before hitting the first feed zone. After the feed zone there is a bunch of fast downhill berms. You climb up a rugged rocky technical section before crossing the finish line you then have to do the whole 8.5 kilometres all over again. After 2 practice laps I felt fairly confident apart from the constant fear of flatting on such a rocky course.

Day 3(Friday 15th of January 2010)
Today is race day and I am feeling nervous but quietly confident. My race plan is to go to the front and try to hang in. BANG!! The race is on and it was a sprint to the front and I came 3rd up until a very tight switch back section where my competitors tried to ride a very tight rocky hairpin they were having difficulties so I bailed off and ran to the lead. Half way into the first lap it became apparent that I couldn’t maintain this pace so I reluctantly allowed 5 riders to pass. Unfortunately I lost contact with these individuals and rode the remaining lap solo. This was my first national championship race, and I gave it my best shot. I feel privileged to have had this fantastic opportunity to compete at such a level. This was no Saturday morning Wooroi ride with a bakery stop to follow. My competitors were brilliant riders who hammered full on for 50 minutes. They were all very deserved of their placings.

Day 4(Saturday 16th of January 2010)
On Saturday I was fortunate enough to ride within three bike lengths of Lance Armstrong on my mtb bike averaging 35km\h. I had to jump some gutters to get into this brilliant position but oh what a buzz being at the front of the peleton in such famous company. There was a turnout of over 5,000 cyclists who were going on this 40km ride. Later that day dad and I also took advantage of the bike paths along the Glenelg beachfront. Adelaide is quite a bike friendly city with many flat bike paths in town itself. Other cycling options include the climb out of town up into the ranges toward eagle on the hill on designated cycle pathways.
If you’re a roadie in Adelaide you’ve got the magnificent Barossa Valley to explore, but don’t expect to have the roads to your self in Tour Down Under month, this is Australia’s Tour De France and attracts cyclists galore.

Day 5(Sunday 17th of January 2010
This was our last day in Adelaide and Dad wasn’t leaving without getting up close and personal with all the action of the Tour Down Under Prologue. Whilst I managed to get into the bike polo scene and play with the local lads, dad was roaming around the start line of the TDU Prologue. He saw all the teams being introduced to the thousands of fans and watched the 25 lap race around the main streets of Adelaide. All in all we had a brilliant few days and we shared some fantastic time together. Dad says that if you can’t afford to go to the Tour De France you should visit Adelaide for a similar experience down under style. Live the ride, love the ride, Jackylegs.

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