For those members who don't know me, I moved from the UK to Australia (Sydney) late last year as a consequence of the impending recession gloom and as a reaction to general itchy feet. So far I've adapted and of recent months have started to enjoy things.
Riding wise, I've become more of a roady since arriving with cross still in its infancy and MTB enduros (a plenty) being a possible longer term but expensive substitute. I never thought I'd ever race a criterium but thanks to my new local road club I've jumped in head first and with some good support, I seem to have gotten a bit faster thanks to perseverance!
More recently I came across a hardcore cross group from Melbourne who were staging a series over the winter months (May - September here) so decided to part with some cash and fly over to check things out.
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect race wise as the group seemed more focussed on the beer and frites. Further, I'd no idea of the fellow competitors I'd be facing. On the day I was pleasantly surprised to find a well organised event with 3 categories to choose from including open, A category and B category. Having done plenty of cross last season with progressively improving results I decided on A category and joined the remaining field of 50 or so including some national level road and MTB lads.
The race was set at 50 minutes plus a lap and took in a 4 minute lap comprising of a predominantly lumpy, grassy circuit with a far dosing of barriers and off camber sections. Having learned the hard way last season I ensured I'd dialled the right lines during the many practice laps and made sure I was well gridded. The race got under way with a decent start and after what seemed like forever I managed to secure 10th spot which I was happy with having mentally aimed for a top 10 place.
Here's a great little video of the event creatively compiled by the gorgeous Kathryn Feldmaier who I couldn't miss snapping away pre race - props to Dunc for the good looking kit!