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 :)