4 Peaks Day 4 - Mount Buffalo
Oh Jesus, this was hard. The last 3 days caught up with me and I did not have good legs today. Dug deep to hang onto the overall GC win.
The Aussies teamed up against us, deliberately false-starting and sprinting off to block the front of the first steep singletrack climb. The pace was crazy here. Then twice on this climb Will Lind (the guy in 3rd) made big attacks and I had to force my way past his mates to shut them down. I was right on the edge, but was pretty fuming about the false-start cheating so had the necessary rage to get through it.
Once we got to the flatter middle section I went to the front and shut it down, then Willy pushed on and made a 20m gap to me, with another one behind to Aussie Will. From the way I was feeling I knew I was in for a horrible day, but this was a crucial moment so worked hard to catch back up and left the Aussie behind for good.
Then all the way up the second climb I played the cling and fade game behind Will. Not fun at all but the goal was just to get to the top with him then I'd definitely be able to stay within the crucial ~3mins even if he did get away. This is a very cool mountain and some of the views were epic, I stole a couple of glances but mostly stayed in my pain cave. He did get away at the end but I hung on longer than I'd expected to.
Very satisfying to stick it to the others and their dirty tactics today and to take the overall win this weekend. Amazing routes and a few nice prizes too. I've never done stage racing before and I absolutely love it - it's so fun to have some tactics and strategy to think about alongside the running. The main lesson I've taken is that you have to take time when you can, because you don't know whether you're going to be on a good or bad day tomorrow.
Impressed with Ralph's time from 2015 (30s quicker) on this one because we really went for it today.
Map - http://www.4peaks.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/0...
Results - http://tempus.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=...
Overall - http://tempus.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=...