After having a bit of time away from racing I was pretty excited to be jetting off to one of my favourite tracks at the You Yangs, just outside Geelong. All the locals swear that it never rains there, but every time I turn up it buckets down and this year was no exception. Cutting laps of the track on Thursday and Friday was less like work and more like just having fun on the bike. I put a 2.25 Nobby Nic on the front because…well I thought it would be super-fun on the descents, and I was right! There was not a lot of climbing but it was very technical so you had to ride at 95 percent so you had a bit extra in reserve to get up onto a rock ledge or through a garden of boulders.
The Saturday of the race it was all blue skies and 20 degrees – fantastic conditions. With a long open starting loop it was fast from the gun but at least there was time to sort ourselves out before we hit the singletrack. Two girls went out fast and were not seen again. It was an advantage to start fast as it was difficult to pass on the singletrack. National champ Rowena Fry was sitting in front of our group and I was pacing off her. By the second lap though I was feeling pretty strong and pulled in front of her, only to have my spare kit detach itself from my bike and almost get tangled in my spokes. Regrouping I settled in again behind Row and overtook her in the feedzone. On the first technical climb though I zigged instead of zagged and lost traction to end up behind Row again. Finally I passed and made it stick, riding strong on the fourth and final lap. Enjoying the fast and technical descent I finished third and very satisfied.
A week later and I’m back in Victoria for the Jeep 24 hour teams race. On the way down to Lorne from Melbourne it was too much of a temptation and Boothy and I pulled in for a muddy but super two hours at the You Yangs. Kicking back at the motel contemplating another weekend of smashing it up on the trails we both acknowledged how lucky we are to be able to do this. Living the dream!