Pass me a sledgehammer because this nut is becoming too hard to crack
This was the first time I would race my brand new Turner Czar and I was interested to see how it would roll in such esteemed company. After cracking two Turner Flux frames, I had waited since October 2012 for Turner to design and manufacture their latest 29er cross country race bike. With a number of problems associated with building up the bike, I was quite relieved to be sitting at the start line on my latest steed.
I was also keen to deliver a good performance for the MIA Blackmans squad and Team Manager, Michael Brown. An added bonus was riding for a squad with so many riders competing in the team categories, because I would be a lot harder for my solo competitors to spot and I hoped that this wouldn't help motivate a rider chasing me late in the race. This had happened in the last round of the Chocolate Foot when sparring partner Dave Langley amazingly closed a five minute gap in the last hour of the race at Nowra.
The race exploded from the start and I was able to propel myself into a decent position near the front avoiding the usual chaos as the riders funnelled into the singletrack. After establishing a decent position it is important not to blow up trying to maintain the same pace as the team riders and those riding for just four hours. I eased back a little, only to see Garry James cruise past. This was of less concern than normal because he was racing in a different category and, without his nemesis Peter Selkrig to contend with, it would probably mean he would be less inclined to race on the rivet.
A consolation for me was winning the overall series, pipping Andrew Wells, with Benjy Morris in third. Rocky Trail's series has been superb and an overwhelming success. The races have been held at some of the state's finest mountain bike venues, and without doubt, a multitude of riders and I are looking forward to doing it all again next year.