PORT TO PORT - Tristan Ward

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AQ5A0862

Last Thursday I met Dean and some of the boys at Berry to drive upto Newcastle to race the Port to Port, 4 day MTB stage race. We went into a small bakery in Berry for some breaky. While waiting I had a flick through the paper and what would you know; there was a whole page on me!

After a few hours driving we got to our accommodation that we would be staying in for the week, only to find the crazy old cat woman (Owner) lived in the shed while we stayed there.

Stage one - Pretty tough! Heaps of sand and short steep climbs, i  finished 8th and was pretty happy with that! After we spun down we decided to go for a swim. Taz, liam, lownds and I were standing in the water when lowndsy freaked out. He stood on some sort of sting ray but it didnt have a tail so i tried to grab it and it electricuted me! Fun times!

Stage two - Over night rain and then through a massive climb 2k into the stage where not the biggest motivators, i made it about 80% of the way up the climb with the lead group before riding my own pace. But once we hit the crazy muddy techy single track the pace was on and I was hunting down riders making it all the way back to 10th before flating 3k from the finish! I rode the front in flat and finished 13th. That was one tuff day.

Stage three - I felt very tired from the start and rode as well as i could over the undulating muddy stage with Billy making sure i stayed alive. I made it through for 13th again !

Stage four - The last stage, I just managed to drag my fat arse over the first climb and to the beach, hitting the sand with the boys. That 2km or so of beach was soooooo painful! Getting swept off my bike by a wave didnt help! I made it off the beach around 5th with lownds just off the leaders when suddenly nothing.. I lost drive! First check not a broken chain, but seeing the cassette freewheeling foward was not cool! Thanks to SRAMs XX1 being so good i managed to take it apart and get it going within a few mins. Lucky! So I was back on it and caught up to lownds who also had a mechanical issue off the beach! We hunted down riders untill the finish where I was 10th ! 

So that was the first Port to Port done and sanded :)  Huge congrats to the whole TORQ team! Chris 2nd, Em also 2nd in chicks, Ben 3rd, Taz 6th, Liam 7th (massive effort from the ankle biter!!) myself 11th, billy 15th and Josh in the 30s after a strong showing in his first stage race! Massive thanks to Dean and Gen, Matt and Fenz! And to all our Sponsors! 

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