Although we race in Dunedin almost every year it was a new venue for us this time moving across town to Signal hill. The course was a tough one consisting of a brutal climb, steep and very long. Then a descent that was fairly technical but became muddy and slippery with the rain we had in the lead up.
I had a decent race riding to 2nd place. I didn’t have the speed on the climb to match it with Carl the winner but was able to finish best of the rest with a good margin. The big ascent of the hill each lap took its toll as the race went on and I would say I will be unlikely to find a harder climb in any XCO Olympic format races this year. The descent also had its challenges and I had a few wild moments sliding around in the mud. The bottom section in particular didn’t dry out as much as the rest of the track and forward progress was hard at times with the bike moving around all over the place. The other problem was the fresh layer of mud we picked up each lap adding kilos to the weight of our bikes and making the uphill even harder. The legs definitely felt it and I was quite glad to cross the line at the finish.
I have spent the last few days in Queenstown soaking up the sun and getting in some good riding preparing for the next round in Christchurch this Sunday. I have never raced there before so it will be good to have a hit out in some new territory.