Junior men finish 5th in the relay
Monday, 19 July 2010
A brief report by Luke Poland:
Our final race, the MTB WOC Relay Championships turned out to be an excitement filled day, keeping us all on the edges of our saddles! The morning began with a short ride to the assembly area, and at 10am the Senior Mens teams began. Steve was the first leg rider for our first team, and Grant took a place on the line too, to ride for the second "mens" team (which included Mel and Mary). At 10:20 our Junior Boys began with Chris bravely nominating for the first leg. Chris returned in a fantastic time, and Marc headed out, also returning after a great ride. Luke was the final rider and kept up the pace, crossing the line in fifth position, just in front of a frantic Russian. The course was physical, with a big fat hill on the way to most peoples second control, and another just before the finish. Highlights of the day included Super Bock (local VB) at the finish line, some stellar muddy sections on course, and a great repetoire of Grunge music.
And continued by Mel...
We were all really proud and pleased to see the junior men string together three of their better rides to get a podium place in the relay. Very pleasing for them individually, but also very promising for the future of the sport. The senior teams had mechanical and gender disadvantages. In the first leg, Steve had a solid ride and sent Alex out around mid-field. Alex unfortunately had a flat on the way to the first control which he fixed promptly and continued smoothly through the course until just before the spectator control where he had yet another flat. Not wanting to run the remaining loop, which was taking about 15mins to ride, Alex got a tube from some the spectators. Their team was subsequently disqualified because you are unable to accept outside help even when two flats has definitely put you at a disadvantage. AJ had a couple of small mistakes, but otherwise had a speedy ride. So, what now of the "Mens B team" who are still in contention? Well, with two women in a strong field of men we were hardly ever in contention. All three of us had good rides with minimal small mistakes and we finished in 28th position out of 34 or so (and 18th nation).
Performances of note from the day include:
1. The Czech juniors who took out both the mens and womens relay classes
2. Danish senior women who at the end of the second leg had a mere 2 or 3 second lead which Rikke Kornvig managed to extend to about 5minutes, and the Finish senior women who pulled themselves from 6th to 2nd in the final leg.
3. Mechanical tantrums were greatly entertaining. Second place went to Per Frost of Sweden who, after his second flat, declared that "I hate this f#cking sport, my tube is broken again" *all in a swedish accent*. However, he was well outclassed by the German first leg rider who ran up to the spectator control with a flat rear tyre apparently ready to complete the last loop on foot. When someone pointed out that he had just run 2 or 3 meters past the (blatantly obvious) spectator control it was the absolute last straw... he commenced to swear and curse, threw his bike at the control, picked it up threw it over the fence towards the spectators, lept over the fence and preceded to kick the sh!t out of his bike before turning on the nearest tree. I would like to say that I have photos to share of this episode, but Briohny was too scared of her own safety to take any, despite having a truely advantageous view.
The team has now left Montalegre after the final hurrah at the banquet last night. Luke and I are currently hanging out in Porto before flying out to the UK tomorrow, Mary and Marc are headed back to Aus, while the rest of the team are spending a bit of time in Europe (AJ-racing, Alex-riding, Kay-touring, Grant and Briohny-following the tour) except for Steve who is holidaying in Thailand on the way home.
All in all it was a successful championships for the Aussie team. And equally/more importantly it was an enjoyable time with some very entertaining moments and a great group of people.