TORQ/Merida Team Marathon Champs 2016 TASMANIA
This year was my first Marathon champs and is an event I’ve always wanted to do, just never was the timing right. The race lied two weeks after Oceania champs and two weeks before the Cairns world cup which meant that my XCO form was good, but like a lot of elites racing the event we were all wondering how we would go lasting a full 4.5hr marathon. The weekend started with Wardy’s plane being delayed, which left me with plenty of time to unpack my bike at the Hobart airport. Luckily for Wardy and I, we had our legendary team mate and Hobart resident Nick Morgan looking after us with accom and transport, which made life a hell of a lot easier. On Saturday Morning we drove up to Derby, which is a tiny old mining town way out in beautiful back country Tassie and completed a lap of the 30km loop. We quickly found out that the course was going to be tough, with the likely winner needed to be a good climber and descender, with the course basically having one major climb and decent.
That night we stayed at a pub just outside of Derby, which upset Wardy as there was no phone reception and left the likes of Peta Mullens depositing large amounts of coinage into the local phone box. The accom which was described by Josh Battye (Torq/Merida teamie) as a, “Garden shed with bunk beds” was quite unique, but I enjoyed the cozyness and much to others dismay had a wonderful night’s sleep.
So race day come along and the fellas and I were feeling ready. After a few pre-race ritual monos with Wardy we lined up and set off for 90kms of pain. For a longer distance race the start was quite aggressive and everyone was keen to be first into the single track, which left Wardy having a little bit of a rumble with a European rider, who lets say come off 2nd best.
I was happy to push the pace on the climb and managed to be first into the decent, which I think was critical for this race, after raining earlier in the week the track had become quite slippery and muddy. Through the first lap it was Brendan Johnston, Scott Bowden, Andy Blair and myself all together, which meant that it was likely going to be a close one. Lap two was much the same, except we managed to tail off Andy Blair slightly, which set the final lap up for a big three way battle. I think that Brendan, Scotty and I all knew that the race was going to be decided with a major ‘smack down battle’ on the 8km climb. The attacks came quick and fast with each of us having a few proper digs, and after a couple of km’s Scotty was the first to pop. This left just Brendan and I, and although never having raced Brendan in a XCM I was feeling pretty confident. But after multiple attacks he would have the better of me with Brendan going into the main descend with a roughly 30sec gap. I was still hoping that there could be a chance of catching him on the long decent but after searching my pockets I realized that I’d made a costly mistake as there were no more Torq gels to be seen. This left me becoming quite starry eyed in the last 5kms and Brendan’s gap was able to grow. In the end was super happy with my 2nd place and I recon next year it’s something that I definitely want to come back and try to win.
Top 5 results:
- 1st - Brendan Johnston
- 2nd - Tasman Nankervis
- 3rd – Scott Bowden
- 4th – Andy Blair
- 4th – Shaun Lewis
- Total time 4hrs 34mins
- Distance 89.6km
- Climbing 2318m
- TSS score 342
- Average HR 160bpm
- Max HR 188bpm
- 9 Torq gels
- 5 bottles with Torq energy
Overall it was a awesome weekend & a really tough race. now to focus on recovery & getting ready for the Bendigo Epic followed by the Cairns World Cup. Thanks again to everyone that supports the team & our sponsors, your support directly contributes to the future development of young Australian riders "So Thank You" from everyone in the team.
Also a BIG Thanks to our amazing sponsors below- Without them, it honestly wouldn't be possible!