MTB race (8 hour at Del Rio resport) 7:55:00 
Rocky Trail 8 hour – Del Rio
I had carefully mapped the Rocky Trail Entertainment 8 hour at Del Rio, Wisemans Ferry, as my last race before Worlds. Not going out too hard was the plan, just put in some good quality kms and more importantly, use the last minute chance to test some more stuff before Worlds including some new nutrition products and a mini ghetto-blaster (to circumvent the prohibition on the use of i-pods which has been imposed by the US-based organisers).
The day turned out quite differently. I hadn’t seen the track before (or an entry list) so wasn’t really sure what to expect. I saw Trudy Nicholas put in a steady pace from the start. Too stubborn to let her pull ahead this time I sat on her shiny purple wheel, working quite solidly on the hills to keep up (jeez, those 29ers roll up hills smoothly! Or is it just Trudy?). The track was one of the more bizarre I’ve ever encountered for a mountainbike race: about 5-6 kms of road / fire road (including a 200m vertical climb), followed by some full-on singletrack for about 1 km, then another km on a sealed bike track within the resort leading you back into transition. This peculiar mix of track made for some excellent pre-Worlds training, but might have been a bit dull purely from a MTB point of view. After riding with Trudy for 4 hours, Trudy suddenly announced she was pulling out, which left me with the prospect of going around in circles on my own for the rest of the day. Then one lap later my small front chain ring fell off, just before the big climb. I realised I’d lost some bolts but managed to tighten the last one left to get me back into transition. Thankfully, the Red Bull bike support guys helped my out with some bolts to get me back on track.
Stats for the day: 8 hours, 2600m of climb, 150-odd kms and one officially shagged lady. Foolishly realised at the finish I was the only competitor in my category anyway…