2013 National CX Round 5

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After the devastation that was my National Champs race, we headed out for dinner on Saturday night. And this was excruciating; not just the pain in my gut, but more so the amazing food that everyone was eating.. Lamb Shanks with mash, BBQ Beef Ribs.. Ugh, I chose bread, and picked at bits of a very simple (boring) "pizza" as I went into survival mode. I needed to keep my food in my belly, remain hydrated and get a good nights sleep.

My focus was set to the next day; the final National Round of the 2013 CX series. I was sitting comfortably in 2nd place for the series, determined to have an awesome race with the chance that I could still win the series.

I woke on Sunday feeling a lot better, and had some plain toast for brekkie. Sipping on TORQ energy throughout the day, I started to feel hungrier and hungrier and thought this was a good sign! I knew my legs would be a bit fresher than the other girls; having only completed just over half of Saturdays race, but it was a fine line between fresh legs, and a lack of nutrition to fuel said legs. I hadn't had a proper meal since FRIDAY!!

The course was a lot of fun; thick mud leading into a barrier before heading up the purpose built 'Flyover' stairs and dropping down the ramp, lots of corners, grass, fast gravel sections, steep pinches, but the best bit was the epic mud pit. Spectators were everywhere and it was a great atmosphere. Now this was a CX course. 

A big womens field lined up for 45 minutes of mud, sweat and (hopefully no) tears. 
From the gun I had a great start and was on Row's wheel, we had already created a gap to the next group. Coming into the muddy sections the crowd was going wild and it was an exciting vibe! We stuck together for the first lap before entering the main finish area, where Row crashed and I took advantage; not only taking the QOM (First up the stairs) but I managed to open up a decent gap and rode alone for awhile.
 
 
But I knew that I was losing fuel and Row's determination wouldn't allow for me to get too far ahead. I settled into a tempo and eventually Row jumped back on the wheel before taking the lead again. We lapped around and when it came to the greasy pinch, Row didn't make it up and I rode by. A minute later I was told by the crowd 'She's lost multiple places'... If Row was to finish 5th and I won the race, I would win the series. Knowing this, I was determined to win this race. 
 
April & Mel were chasing hard in 2nd and 3rd, and I was losing energy fast (The nutritional supply from a meal 48 hours prior to this race was fading... who would have thought!)  With 2 laps to go I could feel the twingey onset of cramps. This was scary! I knew I could manage it on the bike, but it was the dismount and running that I was terrified of! As I got the bell for the final lap and hit the stairs my quads and hamstrings locked up.. CRAMPS!
 
I mounted the bike, rolled down the ramp and felt a massive sense of relief, as long as I remained pedalling smoothly and riding well, I could hold off the cramps and win the race. April was still chasing hard, but I was comfortable with the gap I had and managed to maintain this to cross the line for my first ever win at a National Round! 
 
April took 2nd place, with Mel Ansett securing another 3rd place for the weekend. Row crossed the line in 4th place, which meant she had secured the series win, with 485 points compared to my 480 points! 
 
 
What an awesome day on the bike. The course was perfect, the mud was epic, the spectators were wild and the racing was exciting. Thanks to Dirty Deeds CX for putting on a fantastic day of racing and restoring CX faith!! 

Big thank you to...

- Neil Ross for coaching me to some great results in a short period of time!
- Dad for the unlimited amounts of support and making the trip over to Melbourne
- Mum & Lil Sis Melissa for making the trip from QLD to catch up and support 
- Al & Echo for being training partners and for all of your support at home
- As always, TORQ Nutrition
- The spectators for creating an awesome vibe

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