Aussie National Champs

Even though it was a bit of a disappointing weekend, it was good to be back on the race track as Chris and I hadn’t raced since September. We’ve been riding lots but definitely had to dust off some cob webs when it came to race time!

The track in Adelaide was dry and dusty which made for slippery conditions. It was slightly longer than last year as they had to make it at least 2 minutes long to conform to UCI rules. Top mens time was 2:02:36 so they just made it work. Some fun corners, jumps, rocky sections and lots of sprinting out of corners made it physically challenging as well, not to mention the 35 degree C heat.

Claire, first day practice gettin' used to the dust. Photo: Sean Anderson

Claire in the off camber chute. Photo: Sean Anderson

Despite washing out during our final runs in one of the last corners(almost the same one! how lame…), we know we are on pace. I seeded 1st on Friday, quite ahead of 2nd, having much more race experience than any of the Aussie girls, and had a little more in the tank for Saturday. I managed to still finish 2nd after my crash but not a chance for Chris in the stacked mens field. He seeded 2nd to Mick on Friday by half a second and knew he had some more to give in the final. His seeding time was the second fastest elite mens time of the weekend. But you have to stay on your bike when it counts, he still posted a high 2:07 with that crash putting him in 10th.

Chris entering the rock chute. Photo: Sean Anderson

Chris off one of the fun jumps. Photo: Angus Meek

Congrats to the champs: Leonie Picton, undefeated this year at the Nationals and Mick Hannah! Also a good job to Josh B, Bryn and young Rhys Willemse who is coming back from a few horrendous injuries. All very deserving riders.

Speaking of UCI rules, as I mentioned them earlier, we weren’t allowed to wear hats, sunglasses, goggles around our necks or hold anything in our hands during the podium of the National Championship award presentations. I don’t completely understand that rule but it is a bit of a shame as our sponsors help us get to these events, not the UCI, and they deserve recognition. So thanks to all of our sponsors for your support this year, we will show them next race! πŸ™‚

See full results here.

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