After 12 years of racing a MTB, I can’t believe that I haven’t ever raced the Beechworth trails before now.  Last Saturday’s Six Hours in The Saddle (SHITS) event, gave me great opportunity to finally experience the rocky trails at Beechworth MTB Park.  Finish Line events certainly put together a fantastic race and the trails didn’t disappoint! 

Fellow Torq team rider, Liam Jeffries, and I teamed up in the mixed pair’s category. At just 15yrs, Liam is the current U17’s National XC Champ. He also showed on Saturday, that he can hold his own against some of the fast guys who are several years his senior! In the last few years Liam has forged ahead with massive gains in power, efficiency and skill out on the trail.  I used to be able to provide some competition during those Saturday morning Pedallab interval sessions…now he just rides away from meJ

Liam and I had some tough competition, with the formidable Fitzroy Revolution Duo of Amity McSwan and Duncan Murray making an appearance.  These guys chose to ride double laps, while we opted for the lap on; lap off routine.  Liam gave us a small lead after lap 1, and then Duncan passed me during lap 2.  There was a little “toing” and “froing” during the first 3hrs, but we managed to edge away in the 2nd half of the race and held on until race finish to claim victory by around 6 min.  It was also a bit of a bonus for me to pick up the prize for fastest female lap time. Great to know the form is coming along, as the Summer Season of racing is fast approaching!

As well as having some fun and racing hard, this event also gave me opportunity to test out and compare the 27.5 and 29 inch wheels.  I now have 2 super-fast race machines in the Cube 29er and Cube 27.5 (using the 26inch frame)…and I find it hard to decide which to ride?! Thanks to Sram and the support of Monza Imports, I have recently been able to fit the quarq power meter to the XX1. So, I was able to compare not only the lap times but also power downloads from each bike.  Well, with just 8seconds separating the 2 bikes, over a 2.5hr time span (4 laps of the Beechworth course), let’s just say I am still confused over which bike is fastest…

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