2011 Archives
Solid performances by both teams in the relay Saturday, 27 August 2011
Middle final and another top 10 for Tom Friday, 26 August 2011
A couple of maps Friday, 26 August 2011
Middle Distance Start Times Thursday, 25 August 2011
Long Final - long, hot and hilly - and a 9th in the junior mens for Tom! Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Quick summary of the long qualification / prologe race. Tuesday, 23 August 2011
The commemorative monument Monday, 22 August 2011
Report from the team coach Sunday, 21 August 2011
Settled into WOC accommodation Sunday, 21 August 2011
Photos Saturday, 20 August 2011
Training Part 2 Friday, 19 August 2011
Training Part 1 Friday, 19 August 2011
Gearing up for Italy Thursday, 28 July 2011 Gearing up for Italy

Long Final - long, hot and hilly - and a 9th in the junior mens for Tom!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

By Steve Cusworth. 

I´m sure the shattered bodys I watched climbing the streets of Bassano del Grappa in the final of the MTB WOC Long distance final today would agree with the murmorings of it being the hardest long distance race in MTBO history to date! Compiled by a virtaually compulsary route near the end of all courses along the scenic river which involved riding on a track made entirely of concrete slabs of various height and spacings. This caused around 30 of the junior and senior competitors to flat, drawing out the remaining few minutes of their epic course. There were also many more mechanicals with numerour derailleurs hanging limply from their bikes, notably from two highly ranked senior men from other countries.

The event took its toll eqaully on bike and body with the peak temperature of the day rising above 40 degrees. This, together with the steep road climbs on all courses caused many riders to suffer in the conditions. One of our juniors Chris, although being from one of the hottest parts of Australia in QLD, suffered badly from the heat and required medical assistance on course and could not continue. Chris recorded a body temp of over 39 degrees. This shows how hard the Aussie riders were pushing today. He is fine now, back in the accom after a few litres of water was pumped intravenously into his arm, ready to attack the middle distance in a couple of days. Many thanks went out to the local medical team who got our rider back well and safely. Also notably Chris´s bike got a chariot ride back down the mountain in the back of an ambulance, goes to show how much Italians love there bikes!

The tough conditions proved to benifit the other Aussies, with the higlight of the team being first year junior from Tassie Tom, flying into the finish much earlier then our predictions, finishing in an awesome 9th place. A great effort from a rider that still has 2 more years left in juniors!

The other two juniors both made a few mistakes, though still had strong results, with Oscar finsihing in 22nd and Marc in 29th. It will be interesting to see how the Juniors handle the more technical orienteering of the Middle and Sprint. I´m sure they all have the potential, with clean rides to be in the top 10, if not podium contenders.

A very notable performance came from Alex, earning a very rewarding 20th place. As we all know Alex had to take an unexpected lay off from riding a few months ago. He produced a great effort to recapture some of his best form.

Mel had a strong ride in speed and execution, though unforunately made a couple of mistakes on crucial route choises and finishing in 26th. I´m sure she will be keen to improve on this result during the rest of the week.

A well earned rest day tomorrow for the Aussie team, begining with a long sleep in and a very large serving of pancakes from master chef Lizzie.

For those who were wondering why I was not riding today, I unfortuately snapped my rear derailleur in half in the qualifiaction race the day yesterday. I tried to turn the bike into a single speed though my inexperiance with single speed chain lines ment for a slow repair and ultimatly too much time being lost. I have sourced a new hanger, derailleur and cables and will be competing in the remainign events. (Hopefully with a bit more power in the legs then the riders who competed today).


The view from the old wooden bridge in Bassano del Grappa 


Tom gained a place in the last 2 controls!