Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bontrager 24/12 2011

This was my first year at Bonty and having signed up sometime ago I hadn't given it much thought until about four weeks ago. The first shock was when I looked on the map and realised it was a 400mile drive! anyway I was entered so committed.
Having only competing in the ultra fast summer enduro 2 weeks previous and having to have the subsequent week off as managing to lose my voice through a bad cold/chest. I had thought that Im very unlikely to fit for this but took it easy and rode a 10TT the night before I left and only being 8 seconds slower than my course PB I realised my fitness was that off.
As it was such a drive I left Norwich at 4am on the Friday morning and only stopped for a "Big one" fry up @ services just outside Bristol and arrived onsite around 11am. It was lightly raining on arrival and got steadily worse as the day wore on and at one point was biblical in proportions.
The course was being pre-ridden and some serious mud was being picked up by the riders, as I was self pitting and with one bike I decided to save my energy and bike for the main event.
The rain stopped on the Friday night and after the usual 8 person portion of pasta and a beer I turned in for a early one at 9pm. Had the usual awful nights sleep in the pop up tent (need to seriously invest in something decent) having condensation dripping on my face during the night and having to stumble across the silent campsite a 4am for a pee.
Got up about 9am so got a few hours kip in albeit not that great and I had prepped everything including bottles the night before I just sat around and chatted to other competitors.
11:30 came and I rocked up to the start line, despite being 30mins before the start I was about 5 rows back but this was going to be enough to get a reasonable start and not get caught up in the mele that is a 1000+ riders trying to squeeze through singletrack.
As my first lap was also my recce lap I was quite impressed and shocked by how technical the course was. Lots of big roots, rocks, berms, river crossings and switchback climbs. This was going to make for a very tough 12hrs. Spent most of the first 4hrs battling for a top 10 postion with Rob B from Columbia/Bike food and Rob from the Royal Navy team and having seen Rob B laying on the grass at his team tent between laps I realised I wasn't the only one suffering so early on. Quitting was crossing my mind more than once as I just couldn't get my groove on but I plodded on thinking what it had cost my sponsors to send me there and with the help help of Scott and Mark (loco-tuning who were supporting Zoe on her solo 24hr quest) who gave me the motivation to get back out there and also at one point let me eat some on their delicious chicken curry!
Not sure if it was was the chicken curry or the copious amount of energy products finally kicking in I got my groove on and managed to catch Rob B up towards to last two laps and the 7th place Rob (royal navy) on the penultimate lap. The last 11th lap was just keeping it consistent and keeping my 7th position, came in at 11:57pm and not knowing the time all night it was to late to lurk so crossed the line and called in a night.
Showered and then sat up with Mark and Scott and cheered Zoe Frogbrook on with her 24hr solo in which she finished a very impressive 2nd.
My aim this year is top ten positions at large National events like this and job done, so despite the early fitness issues I left a happy boy!

1 comment:

  1. Good work, still plenty of time left this year to go for a top 5 ;)


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