Monday, 2 December 2013

DAY 2 NSW GRAN PRIX - WOLLONGONG


We were on such a high from yesterday’s race that when we sat down for our team meeting, the first port of call was to remind ourselves that the job is not done yet. Although we clean swept the podium, we certainly didn’t do it easily and it took full commitment and selflessness from the team to pull a performance like that together. Rule #12 – never be cocky! (I’m sure there are 11 more important rules and day I will make them up).

The Wigglettes warming up
Photo courtesy Kirsty Baxter

The Wollongong criterium is a short one; just 660metres in length. The circuit takes off and turns a sharp left to start the climb to the opposite end of the track. As the climb goes on it flattens out, but a tailwind along this straight meant that the most opportune place to attack was slightly nullified. We then take a sweeping left all the way to the finish on a downhill run, that was somewhat sheltered from the wind as you ‘S’ through the final widened barricades to the line.

So with the conditions the way they were, the course was very fast and very easy. Usually this would mean that a bunch sprint was looming, but Wiggle Honda had other plans. Our team of riders are aggressive in nature and we were out to have some fun today in the hope for another break that we could be well represented in. This meant that the pace could never ease, and that we would have to counter each other until we could counter no more, or the peloton gave up.

Rocking my new Wiggle Honda dhb skinny!
Photo courtesy og Kirsty Baxter

After a top 10 call up to the line and a few interviews with Channel 9, the race was underway…36 laps to go! After two nervous laps the first bit of action went down, a crash through the finish line that took out Tralaggan, Becker and Rowney. To continue the action I got on the front and drove the pace to hurt some legs, until the only legs I was hurting were my own and the girls had all rejoined the peloton. Rowney seemed fine, Becker had hit her head hard and was a little scattered, and Tralaggan was forced to withdraw a few laps later with cracked forks.

Now with one ‘Wigglette’ less we needed to race even smarter. Collins was the first to re-iniate the attacks and from there they just kept coming. Different combinations continued to launch off the front and come back with the main suspects Hosking, Roy, Rowney, Cromwell, Williamson, Collins, Kitchen and myself taking turns. Plus a few new faces in Viotto, Finegan, Lindores, Martin and Ricardo putting themselves in the mix.

The 6-woman break on our way to lapping the field...
Photo courtesy Kirsty Baxter

On lap 11 it was Collins, Viotto, Martin, Rowney and Williamson on the attack, then lap 12 was Kitchen, Rowney and Hosking before lucky #13 rolled around and I countered an already strung out peloton over the climb with Roy, Viotto and Finegan in tow. Williamson jumped across while Collins nullified the peloton, and Gilmore signaled to Becker to come and join the fun. It was a perfect combination for us so in the first few laps I drove the pace and let my nerves get the better of me before wise ol’ Becker came and said ‘let them think we don’t need this-make them work’.

And she was right, we didn’t need this, because if it didn’t succeed we had three more girls waiting in the peloton to do it all again. So I calmed down and followed her lead. The break co-operated and we continued to extend the gap over a negative peloton and after 24 laps abroad when they were in sight, Becker launched across. Williamson followed not long after, and a mighty chase from Roy with the rest in tow saw all six of us now lap the peloton.

Collins & Kitchen prepare for the sprint for 7th
Photo courtesy Kirsty Baxter

My nerves started to play with me again and saw me go straight around the bunch and attack. My bid for glory didn’t last long and I decided that I needed to calm down and save myself for the finish. The dynamics of the race had now changed and all the early damage had been undone. I needed to rest while my breakaway companions did, and let Collins and Kitchen control the peloton. With 4 laps to go the bunch were given their bell and left to sprint for 7th place. After Hosking was relegated for deviating her line, Kitchen was given seventh and Rowney eighth.

With three laps to go our once group of six was now eight, with two girls not realizing that their race had finished, but it was quickly sorted by the commissaries and the cat and mouse game began. Becker came to me and said ‘so I will attack, and you will sprint’ – I wanted to say no, but we had discussed this exact scenario in our meeting (minus the whole lapping the field thing) and it was decided that I would be the sprinter in this situation. Oh no…

Wiseol' Becker aka Lotte - my secret weapon :)
Photo courtesy Kirsty Baxter

For me, this was hard. I was a domestique, I was never the ‘pea’, and I never put my hand up for it because the pressure is beyond me. So with my heart in my stomach I rolled the last three laps on the wheel of Roy. For some reason the voice in my head piped up asking stupid questions, have I done too much this week? Have I done too much this race? What if I go too early? Or too late? Knowing the sprint ability of all the girls in the group didn’t help because they are ALL good! But I told myself not to worry because I had a secret weapon…I had Becker.

I waited for her final lap attack. I don’t think it came as a surprise to anyone, but still it was a struggle to hold the wheel of Roy as she chased Becker back. I never looked behind to see where the other girls were, and instead watched as Becker teased Roy onto her hip down the sweeping descent, and then accelerated to hold her there like the professional she is. Then when I finally had the guts, I stepped off the wheel and sprinted to the line. I didn’t salute until my whole bike had crossed, just to be sure. Then I screamed and threw my hands to salute. I had won. Becker had finished second. And thanks to Lauren’s win yesterday we had clean swept the series! Watch the replay here.

L-R: Viotto (6th), Becker (2nd), Finegan (5th), Me (1st), Williamson (3rd)
Photo courtesy Andy Zakeli - Illawarra Mercury

It was so special to me that someone like Becker, who was strong enough to win on her own had faith in me to get the job done, and I wondered if people had thought this much of me when I had helped them in the past. I know that Gilmore always did, because she was repaying me this year with an opportunity of a lifetime, to ride with Wiggle Honda and chase my MTB ambitions. We sat down for a quick debrief before we all went our separate ways. 

Gilmore said her congratulation speech and how proud she was of us, and we talked about how once again we had ridden a near perfect race as a team. I spoke about how I was feeling, words from the heart about the enjoyment of being in a team and sharing this with them and my eyes started to well up. So here we were, sitting in deck chairs on the top of the hill at the north end of Wollongong beach, huddled in a bonded circle sharing tears and laughs… What a team :)

The 'A Team' - L-R: Tralaggan, Collins, Kitchen, Me, Becker, Gilmore
Photo courtesy Kirsty Baxter

Day 2 – Wollongong Results
1st    Peta Mullens (Wiggle Honda)
2nd  Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda)
3rd   Sophie Williamson (Wakatipu)
4th   Sarah Roy (Roxsolt Sydney Uni)
5th   Kate Finegan (Specialized-Securitor)
6th   Em Viotto (Suzuki-Bontrager)
7th   Lauren Kitchen (Wiggle Honda)
8th   Loren Rowney (Specialized-Securitor)

Overall Results Points Classification
1st    Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda)           36pt
2nd   Peta Mullens (Wiggle Honda)                 34pt
3rd    Lauren Kitchen (Wiggle Honda)            32pt
4th    Sophie Williamson (Wakatipu)               29pt
5th    Sarah Roy (Roxsolt Sydney Uni)           27pt
6th    Loren Rowney (Specialized-Securitor)   26pt
7th    Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda)               26pt
8th    Kate Finegan (Specialized-Securitor)      24pt
9th    Em Viotto (Suzuki-Bontrager)                23pt
10th  Tiffany Cromwell (Orica Green-Edge)   21pt

First thanks go to the generous guys at Wiggle for allowing us to race here in Australia, and of course the Wiggle Honda team. Thanks to dhb clothing for spec’ing me out in a cool long-sleeve skinny, and to high 5 for the double-gel kick I get off the start line. Phil Bates and his entire team for putting together another well-run highly paid televised International Gran Prix series, and to Channel 9 for showing the country that we do it just as well as the men do. Of course to our staff who worked tirelessly across the weekend and I know I’ll miss some names here; Jai, Dan, Jon, Glen, Michelle, Alex, Dell and the entire Gilmore family-children included. Not only do you make my job easy, but you are all great company to hold. Can’t wait to do it all again next year..

Sunday, 1 December 2013

DAY 1 NSW GRAN PRIX - CRONULLA

After a week of rain and mud in Tasmania, and reduced racing due to the flood-like conditions, I had a big week ahead of me on the bike. With my 2014 professional year approaching I'm trying to teach my body what it's like to just 'be' on the bike for 3-4hrs a day, and with the UK-based Rapha Condor boys in town-now is my opportunity. So a solid 500k plus a MTB race was a nice way for me to head into the NSW Gran Prix this weekend.

Why am I the only one who couldn't put my food down for the photo...

The team all arrived on Friday; Emily Collins from NZL, Lauren Kitchen from Port Macquarie and myself from Bendigo. Jo Tralaggan made the drive to Rochelle Gilmore's apartment in Cronulla, where German teamie Charlotte Becker has been soaking up summer rays. For the six-rider line-up we have three staff on-board. Jai Redmond as Director, Dan Brickell as Mechanic and Jon McEniry back from our 2012 roster as Physio and Swanny. After a sneaky photo shoot (we never get away without a few happy snaps) we headed to dinner followed by our team ritual (Cold Rock) and hit the hay in preparation for a mecca weekend of cycling.

'Giggle Honda' pre-race..
Photo courtesy of Kirsty Baxter

Course re-con and team meetings are always interesting when you have a strong team with a lot of cards to play. As a fly on the wall you would hear us talk more about our own form, what 'style' of race we each want, how we want to execute that, a lead-out order if it were to come down to a sprint and of course the main threats in the race. For us, we decided to make a call on the lead-out order on the road, which is quite uncommon, depending on who had done what in the aggressive style race we were striving for. And after the late withdrawal of Dunn and Wells due to illness, the obvious main threats were the other five professionals in the field - Hosking, Rowney, Cromwell, Williamson and Roy.

It was a stressed out area in our tent before the start. We had come second at Noosa and really wanted to win this one to show our appreciation to Wiggle for supporting the Australian Domestic season. Many family, friends and cheer-squads lined the barricades for the live streamed event on Channel 9, so it's safe to say that Australia really was watching us! Just to force the mood, I had to undergo a last minute frame change due to a flat battery. The Campagnolo Super Record EPS battery is internally cabled into the frame, and with no way to charge it on site, we did a quick wheel and seat-post change onto one of three spare bikes, and all was fine and dandy! Until Rochelle broke a pedal, of which the spare bikes had none, and Jai had to charge back to her apartment (around the corner) to get a spare set!

Dan the Man 'Cool as a cucumber' for a last minute bike change

Finally we were racing... 15 laps of a 1.3k circuit. The course begins with a 180deg turn, then a long tailwind straight up to a sweeping descent, that leads into a short headwind climb, and a downhill run to the finish. The 20k of action went something like this:
Lap 1 - Wiggle Honda controlling the peloton
Lap 2 - Lindores (Roxsolt) launches first attack covered by Cromwell (Orica Green-Edge), Tralaggan and Viotto (Suzuki Bontrager), bought back before end of lap
Lap 3 - Martin (Roxsolt) attacks but it's quickly nullified over the climb
Lap 4 - Nervous energy in the bunch as we wait for the next attack
Lap 5 - Gilmore punctures-I attack up the climb but am covered by Hosking (Roxsolt) with Rowney (Specialized) Kitchen and Becker in tow. This was to become the winning move.

The winning break with Rowney, me, Hosking, Williamson and Becker
Photo courtesy of Michael Chapman

Lap 6 - Gilmore and Tralaggan control the peloton, while Becker attacks our break of five through the finish
Lap 7 - This gives me a chance to counter the move and go solo...
Lap 8 - Rowney, Hosking and Williamson share the workload and bring me back after two laps
Lap 9 - Kitchen now goes solo, meanwhile a trio of Cromwell, Roy (Roxsolt) and Collins have escaped from the bunch
Lap 10 - Kitchen still solo, Rowney chasing while Hosking waits for team-mate Roy. Williamson attacks over the hill but it covered by Becker
Lap 11 - Hosking begins to chase as the trio of Cromwell, Roy and Collins make contact
Lap 12 - Hosking still driving in pursuit of Kitchen who is now in sight. I attack over the top of the climb with Williamson in chase and we bridge to Kitchen at the end of the lap

Not a Time Trial fan...
Photo courtesy of Kirsty Baxter

Lap 13 - Hosking is left to chase again before Rowney and Collins bridge to the front making the lead five strong-Kitchen, Williamson, Rowney, Collins and I- being chased by Cromwell, Roy and Becker. Hosking loses contact and returns to the peloton controlled by Tralaggan and Gilmore.
Lap 14 - I attack up the climb again but Rowney gives chase, and as we crest Kitchen counters and goes solo
Lap 15 - Kitchen leads by 5 seconds over the climb while Becker regains contact and launches past the chase group. Kitchen wins, Becker second and Collins wins the sprint for third.

Kitchen bombing solo to victory for Wiggle Honda!
Photo courtesy of Michael Chapman

Day 1 Results - Cronulla
1st     Lauren Kitchen (Wiggle Honda)
2nd   Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda)
3rd    Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda)
4th    Loren Rowney (Specialized-Securitor)
5th    Peta Mullens (Wiggle Honda)
6th    Sophie Williamson (Wakatipu)
7th    Sarah Roy (Roxsolt Sydney Uni)
8th    Tiffany Cromwell (Orica Green-Edge)

Your women's podium L-R: Collins 3rd, Kitchen 1st, Becker 2nd

So we are a very happy team, in fact as we celebrated at dinner sometimes we forgot which one of us had actually won the bike race! Our post-race debrief was short because, as I said in our meeting 'we rode pretty damn awesome' now holding 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th on the points classification going into todays second and final criterium in Wollongong. Once again we will be chasing one more stage win for Wiggle and line up against another strong field so it will by no means come easy with some tired legs in the bunch. So don't miss the action-make sure to watch the 'Wigglettes' on Channel 9 at 12.30 for live coverage!

The team with Jon (physic), Myffy (PR) and Dan (DS/photographer!)



Sunday, 24 November 2013

HELLFIRE CUP DAY 4


When we woke up at camp today the mood was quiet and somber for the final day of the Hellfire Cup. Those that hadn't already moved to hotels early in the week had made tracks last night to avoid being bogged this morning. Even the event centre and volunteers had moved on to today's new site 5k down the road at the Bream Creek Show-grounds. Although on higher ground, the misty cloud that had shadowed us all week seemed to be in tow, but what was lacking was mud, dammit :( The course was a series of bunted switchbacks down a sloped hill, through a barn and up to the Avanti Plus finish line.

The course was to be raced in reverse order of the general classification with your partner, and times were taken on the second rider across the line. Times were to be added to the overall, and with a good lead now it was near impossible for us to lose. Instead we were racing for something a little more exciting; money. Duncan had put forward $600, $300, $100 for the mixed podium on behalf of his company stormboyphotos.com which made the 1minute effort worth racing.

You could've been mistaken that many were actually racing their own partner to the finish as men with ego's left the girls behind, or that it was a competition for the 'best drift'. Car horns, bells and cheering made the miserable day pass quickly until it was our turn for a run. In short, I had a shocker! The eliminator style racing is not my thing at the best of times so I was glad to finish in 2nd, just 0.6 behind young guns Tristan Ward/ Emily Parkes. Mel Ansett / Ben Rendall completed the podium. I'm yet to see stage results but can confirm that the overall was unchanged. 

Final General Classification
1st   Peta Mullens / Jarrod Moroni
2nd  Renata Buchar / Jarad Kohlar
3rd   Jenni King / Stephen Matthews
4th   Jenny Fay / Michael Crosbie
5th   Jacqui Slack / Ben Allen

After the novelty cheques were handed out we sped to the carwash, washed the mud from our camper, flew back to Melbourne and are now driving the final stretch home to Bendigo. As always I would like to thank my team Target Trek MTB racing for their ongoing support; especially Pete Dowse for on-site mechanics, jacket holding and official photographer. Also my amazing Trek Superfly for being faultless through the week and getting through the mudfest. And I never thank him enough, but my partner Jarrod Moroni for pushing me, nurturing me, driving, mechanics, babysitting, entertainment and putting up with my emotional antics for this week..oh and the rest of our four years together!

So before I wrap it up I'd like to use this space to give Duncan and the boys a clap, clap for a job well done. Firstly they dealt with fires followed by floods, and the fact that the event went ahead at all is a miracle. The volunteers set up site at four different locations including tents, music, electrics etc. and it's clear that the team spirit and passion is there for this event to be a future success. But as with any event in their first year there is always going to be criticism, and I'm a 'tell it as it is' sort of girl.

The Cup received an amazing amount of exposure and drew a world class crowd thanks to a prize pool of $40K+, including $15K for the first placed team! I was very lucky to take home $3.3K of that. But it's safe to say that expectations were high and despite the unfortunate weather, what was delivered was closer to a well-run multi-day pairs club race. 

The bush showers were a work in progress, unfortunately set-up late and eventually running out of water. Torq took the initiative to siphon the water out of their camper so that the team could have a wipe down. Then after relocation of the campsite there was no longer power to charge phones etc. There was however.. wifi :) Once again Torq led the way with Andrew Christie Johnson purchasing a generator to power the team site. There was no designated bike wash bar a nearby creek, and very limited mechanical assistance on-site. But perhaps the biggest concern was the lack of electronic timing and/or transponders, a must-have for both safety and reliable timing.

First year events are usually reserved as a test-run for locals and the occasional inter-stater, but the Cup went above and beyond this and unfortunately struggled to cater for it's 300 participants. I do believe that this event has immense potential, and the format and location will thrive with better infrastructure and weather conditions. In fact I would go as far to say this could eclipse events like the Cape to Cape due to the laid-back single-track nature of the race, but this year far from proved that to people. So while Duncan goes away and sorts out these buckles, find yourself a partner, and know that the wheel will spin true again for the 2014 Hellfire Cup!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

HELLFIRE CUP DAY 3

After overnight rain and morning drizzle it was hard to be motivated for the 9km 'cruise' to the now 14km mass start stage. The transit wasn't without havoc with someone suffering a broken collarbone and the lead van getting bogged before being pushed to safety by Trekky and Vandy. My thoughts are that a 'cruise' stage is designed for one purpose, to get riders to some awesome trails that can't be missed...so I was devastated to find that we had ridden 9k of fire-trail, to race 14k of fire trail, and 'cruise' another 7k back to race headquarters..argh! It was a half hour wait before the race started on a narrow road with self-seeding of riders-it was carnage when we hit the first mud corner!

I was well positioned and went out hard, but as we climbed Bucher stormed by with Kohlar in chase, and Fay was powering along, propelled by the ever strong hand of Crosbie. I was suffering on the climbs and was eventually caught by the combinations of Moller/ de Groot and King/ Matthews and relied on Jarrod to keep me in touch with them thanks to a few pushes. The fire-trail was wet and mud flicked in the eye until I could see only blurs of colour, and as I descended blindly behind Jarrod I overshot a quick corner and found myself in the bush..crash #1..

It was a hard but short chase back to the bunch and not long after..crash #2..when de Groot fell into partner Moller on a climb! After a bit of recovery on the wheel, Jarrod put the power down and we rode away in the last few kms to save a third place on the stage. Fay and Crosbie took their first stage win, while Bucher and Kohlar claimed some time back on us for the overall. We guessed our way back to base on the return 'cruise' in miserable conditions to find that the afternoon stage has once again been cancelled.

1st- Fay / Crosbie          33.55min
2nd- Bucher / Kohlar    + 37
3rd- Mullens / Moroni   + 1.23
4th- King / Matthews    + 1.29
5th- Moller / de Groot   + 2.05

General Classification after Stage 3
1st- Mullens / Moroni     3.45.51
2nd- Bucher / Kohlar    + 2.39
3rd- King / Matthews    + 9.13
4th- Fay / Crosbie         + 9.58
5th- Slack / Allen          + 13.35

Racing aside, my enthusiasm is on a downward spiral for the Hellfire Cup. There is only so much motivation I can have in rain stricken fire-road races, and I think I nearly used the end of it today. Please Duncan, give me some more single-track!

HELLFIRE CUP DAY 2


I would like to thank the weatherman for being ridiculously bad at his job today! The forecast 150mls of rain turned out to be a morning drizzle followed by stunning sunshine. But the damage had already been done to the altered course and the 20k circuit was now consisted of 17k of fire-trail, 3k single-track. The first 10k was dry uphill fire-road, while the descent took us into dense bush land that was still very wet, extremely muddy and soo much fun!

The relay format gave us an opportunity to play out some race tactics and try to extend our 41 second lead. So we decided that I would go first in an attempt to pace off the men, and hit the descent before it got too ‘chopped up’.  We were the only mixed pair to do so which would made it a risky chase from behind for Jarrod.

I raced hard from the gun, seeking a wheel that was just above my comfort zone to really push my limits on the climbs. I was constantly chasing wheels and changing groups and on a few occasions sprinted to the top of the hill as if it were the finish line! When the ascending finally ended I knew I could just enjoy the muddy downhill slopes and let loose!

When I transitioned with Jarrod the race was looking interesting:
Michael Crosbie to Jenny Fay      46.10min
Tristan Ward to Emily Parkes      + 2.42
Ben Allen to Jacqui Slack            + 3.21
Stephen Matthews to Jenni King  + 3.22
Jarad Kohlar to Renata Bucher     + 5.39
Peta Mullens to Jarrod Moroni      + 7.05

So now it was time for me to sit there, fret, and be nervous for 50mins until they came around for the finish. Our goal for the day was to extend our lead over Bucher/Kohlar, but a stage win never goes unwelcomed. I was confident Jarrod would catch Bucher, so my focus turned to the stage and the only team threatening that was the combination of Crosbie/Fay, on a course that suited them down to a tee. From all reports the course was manic on the second lap and the mud sliding uncontrollable! Lucky for us, Fay and mud don’t get along all that well, and Jarrod much prefers drifting as opposed to pedaling; so the pass was made on the final part of the descent and we took the to win in 1:45:14.

2nd - Fay / Crosbie      + 1.21
3rd – Bucher / Kohlar  + 2.44
4th – King / Matthews  + 3.16
5th – Slack / Allen        + 4.54

General Classification after Stage 2
1st – Mullens / Moroni     3.10.33
2nd – Bucher / Kohlar      + 3.25
3rd – King / Matthews     + 9.52
4th – Fay / Crosbie           + 10.36 
5th – Slack / Allen           + 11.36  

Tomorrow they have altered the stages yet again. The morning 14km Time Trial has become a mass start race, and the 3pm QOM/KOM is now a team relay, with the night stage relay now cancelled. Fingers crossed for a little more sunshine...

Friday, 22 November 2013

HELLFIRE CUP DAY 1

As always, it's exciting to see a new race on the calendar. The Cup is a new stage race based out of the scenic rural town of Kellevie, where 'pairs' team up or 'lone wolves' go solo, riding out into the Tassie forests and stunning coastline to complete seven stages across four days. The event centre is quite remote, down rough farmland trails beside a river, with camping encouraged thanks to on-site lunch and dinner included in your entry fee. In short, the AvantiPlus Hellfire Cup is all about the bike, the trails, the mateship, the bush, the party and the local community.

But in February? this year, when the event was initially planned to run, the bush surrounding these beloved trails was sent into turmoil when struck by fires. The event was subsequently cancelled and a years worth of work simply gone. Although shattered by these turn of events, Cup organiser Duncan Giblin and his team went straight back to work, re-building trails and holding fundraisers to bring the event back to its expected glory and the event was rescheduled to November.

So here we are, in a boggy hilltop paddock, with no showers and limited power, after the race headquarters partially flooded due to massive downpours of rain and was forced to relocate to higher ground. The atmosphere is grim as we prepare to race Day 2, on an altered course with a delayed start time. A 40km relay, with each team member completing one lap of the 20km circuit, predominantly fire-road to allow access for emergency services if needed. 

For Jarrod and I, we lead the mixed category after yesterday's stage. It was a 26km dash through the bush with some awesome mud-ridden single track and descents, broken up by some tough fire-road climbing. Despite losing 10seconds on a wrong turn, and me face planting in the mud on the second to last corner, we took the stage out by 41sec over the adventure pairing of Renata Bucher and Jarad Kohlar. It was a close fought race until we hit some sloppy mud and Renata ran off the Usain Bolt! But we pegged them back on the single track mid-race and made a break for it on the wicked descent to take the win in 1:25:19.

2nd - Renata Bucher / Jarad Kohlar  +0.41min
3rd - Jacqui Slack / Ben Allen  +5.42min
4th - Jenni King / Steven Matthews  +6.36min
5th - Myra Moller / Daniel de Groot  +7.14min
6th - Jenny Fay / Michael Crosbie  +10.15min
7th - Mel Ansett / Ben Rendall  +11.07min
8th - Emily Parkes / Tristan Ward  +19.55min
9th - Juliet Plumb / Scott Wilson-Haffenden  +23.01min
10th - Sharon Heap / Les Heap  +23.15min

The afternoon relay stage on Day 1 was cancelled due to the torrential rain and relocation of the campsite, so we spent the time cleaning bikes, kit and refreshing 'BOM' for weather updates. At this moment in time it's NOT raining! Lets pray to god for Duncan's sake that it stays that way :)