The Australian 2010 MTBO Team:

Men: Steven Cusworth, Grant LebbinkAdrian Jackson, Alex Randall

Women: Mary Fien, Melanie Simpson

And Australia´s first ever junior MTBO team (only junior men for 2010): Chris Firman, Marc Gluskie, Luke Polland

Officials: Kay Haasma (coach),Brihony Lebbink (team assistance)

2010 Archives
Junior men finish 5th in the relay Monday, 19 July 2010
Long Final Saturday, 17 July 2010
JWOC Middle Final and WOC Long Qualification Thursday, 15 July 2010
Middle Distance Photos Thursday, 15 July 2010
Middle distance final Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Photos and maps from the sprint Tuesday, 13 July 2010 Some photos of the sprint and copies of the maps can be found via the official website...
Sprint Gold from AJ Monday, 12 July 2010
World Champion, again! Monday, 12 July 2010
WOC starts tomorrow! Sunday, 11 July 2010
Anecdotes from the team Thursday, 8 July 2010
More about the races... Wednesday, 7 July 2010 A summary of how the Aussie team did and what they thought aboud the races.
And training continues... Wednesday, 7 July 2010 More about the Aussie team training camp in stinking hot Portugal.
Training camp begins Monday, 5 July 2010 Now all the Australian team has safely arrived and got their first taste of Portuguese terrain.
Less that a fortnight to go!! Monday, 28 June 2010 With less than a fortnight to go, the Australian team has begun arriving in Europe and will be meeting up next weekend for some warm up races in Portugal.
Long and Middle distance races: Gdansk Wednesday, 9 June 2010 Melanie´s wrap up of World cup round two held in Gdansk, Poland.
Round two of the World MTBO Cup: Gdansk, Poland Friday, 4 June 2010 The second round of the 2010 MTBO world cup begins tomorrow in the forests around Gdansk, Poland.
Melanie Simpson Saturday, 29 May 2010
World ranking events in Denmark Tuesday, 25 May 2010 Melanie´s experiences at the recent WREs in Denmark.
Welcome to the blog of the 2010 Australian MTBO team Monday, 17 May 2010

Long and Middle distance races: Gdansk

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Team leaders meeting

Before each world cup or championship race the organisers hold a ¨team leaders meeting¨ and being the only Aussie at the races in Poland I was attending these meetings.  It is a time when you can ask the organisers for clarification about the race, rules or mapping etc.  After riding on the model event map, many were wondering if the fallen trees had been mapped on the competition area because several were missing from the model map and obviously might affect your route choice.  We were assured that the maps had been reviewed on Wednesday and printed on Thursday ready for the races to begin on Friday.  

Long distance

I was the first to start in the W21E category and given the above assurance, you may imagine my surprise to find an enormous tree obscuring a junction to the first control and I lost a bit of time working out what was going on.  Calmed by thoughts that everyone was going to meet the same situation I continued on.  It was a physically demanding race with many unavoidable steep pinches that were unridable - so much so I found myself wondering if there was merit in training for running with the bike up hills (something I am generally morally opposed to!).  

Overall, my legs were feeling very sluggish and I made several poor route choices which cost me minutes.  And then I missed an indistinct junction late in the race at control 17.  I finished 23rd, 25minutes behind Michi Gigon who won the day in 104mins 09secs.  By the end of the race, I decided that some dotted tracks could have been mapped as avenues of fallen trees.  At the team leaders meeting after the long distance races the organisers apologised for the unmapped trees, and explained that all the trees had fallen overnight!?!  (hmmm.....) 

Results Splits Map 

Middle distance

This was a much more enjoyable race, mostly because we spent less time pushing our bikes up steep pinches or over fallen trees – after all, part of the reason I like MTBOing so much is because of the riding!  With the exception of the 6th control I had a really good ride, but unfortunately I lost 6 – 7 minutes on that one control.  I had navigated really smoothly and at a good pace until about 30metres before the control where I am sure there was an unmarked, albeit indistinct, track that confused me and it took me some time to work out what had happened.   

There were a couple of other times where I lost 20-30 seconds but these paled into insignificance and I came back with mixed feelings – very satisfied on one hand that I had ridden and navigated really well and a bit disappointed on the other that I had lost so much time.   Michi won again in 52:57 and I finished 17th in 63:21.

Results Splits Map 

Mixed Relay

The mixed relay was held on Sunday in the same forest used for the middle distance race.  I did not compete in these races because I had no Aussies to race with and it was convenient for me to fly back to Norway on Sunday morning.  Given I didn´t have to save myself and my legs I took the time on Saturday afternoon to ride up to a lookout over Gdansk and afterwards went for a long walk which took me back to the park used in the sprint.  Down near this park I got to sit in the sun, on a sandy beach and pretend that the water was not quite so murky or cold. 

Not long now!

There is now less than 5 weeks before the world championships and the team will be meeting up on the first weekend of July for a couple of races in Portugal and then a week of training / familiarising ourselves with the type of terrain.