After flying from the heat in Melbourne to the heat in Adelaide the sanctuary of the hotel room airconditioning was a godsend. With very little to do except shop and watch television (2 things I rarely get to do at home) it seemed to take forever for the MTB champs to roll around despite it only being 6 days.
With a stunning roll through the Adelaide hills on Tuesday and some course practice on Wednesday all the riding preparation was completed. The last couple of days I spent following the AIS recommended ‘low residual’ diet – basically getting rid of all the fibre in your diet so white bread, rice, pasta; no fruit or veg although I did sneak some lettuce in! Despite my form not being that good the process of preparing for a race does not change. It’s good practice and a chance to fine-tune things like timing of meals, race food, hydration and warm-up routine.
Conditions were perfect for racing with a clear day and around 24 degrees. The course was not overly technical and did not have a lot of climbing but it was deceptively tough. Riding the flowy trails at speed meant being on the edge of washing out in the loose conditions or clipping a tree. My feeding was spot on and my bike didn’t miss a beat mechanically so there is not much to write about the actual race. I had fun and finished 5th which is my second best nationals result to date.
While we are nearing the end of our domestic season the international season kicks of in April when the northern hemisphere has thawed out. Personally I am looking forward to a good 6 months of training to aim for something in the second half of the year. For now it’s time to chill out in Adelaide with my daughter and catch a glimpse of some truly exceptional riders go around in the Tour Down Under.