Ooh, that hurt.
Took the start very steady, chilled out up the first two hills, got to the top of Devil’s Staircase, realised that I felt absolutely fine, rather than utterly dead. And so gave it some. Railed Big Ring Boulevard, got to the bottom of Dopers and said to myself “right, this hill is mine”. So thrashed it, passed lots of people, coz I was at Warp Speed Grovel, and they were slugs. Still, blew up bad about two-thirds of the way up, but topped out and headed on for a most deserved 15 km downhill. The drop out of the forest was flat out, trapeze strength coming in most handy for just hanging on to the brakes whilst plummeting. And then got in behind some woman who was nailing the gorge, way faster than I could ride it on my own, and just hung on to her.
I wanted to do under five hours. I did 4.25, so I’m a happy bunny.
And Rob? Rob was comfortably in the top 5 at the top of the Devil’s Staircase when he punctured both tyres hard enough to be unfixable. So he had a four hour walk out. Arse.
And if you’ve no idea what I’m on about:
one of the best bike races in the world