XCNS18 - Pemberton
Not many people go to Pemberton.. but if you do, take a bike! I am lucky enough to do a sport where I get to travel all over Australia and visit places most people never think to.
I was hesitant to race Pemberton this year due to the huge travel expense but at the last minute I decided to make the journey over and I am glad I did! Two awesome tracks with some cool tech features and dusty shoots. Add a chilled atmosphere, some crazy spectators (chainsaws included) and you have yourself a wicked weekend of mountain bike racing.
The fields where a little thinned out for these rounds, but there where some fresh WA faces that came to show us how the locals shred the Pemby trails!
I spent the Friday sussing out good coffee places and doing some course recon. I was definitely feeling the effects of travel and a harder week of training which resulted in a nice little stack in front of the Two Wheel guys and some not so hot laps to activate the legs.
Day 1 was definitely my favourite course, it had 200m of climbing a lap and some loose dusty shoots that provided lots of carnage to keep the spectators happy! The legs felt good and I was able to ride off the front and take my first National Series win for the year, I even managed to keep it upright down the Tucknott special 'Vanilla Slice'.
Day 2 was a different story. I began the race feeling a bit like a wet noodle. I managed to take the lead after sitting on for the start loop but young gun Zoe Cuthbert was still right on my wheel. I had made up some ground in the second lap only to realise I had lost all the pressure in my fork I managed to nurse my bike into the tech zone for Chris Feltham from MTBike Tech to get me up and going again! Richard Apps, my talented feeder made sure I was well hydrated and ready to finish the last two laps.
In the tech zone I had been passed by some of the U19 girls and Sarah Tucknott (who was sitting in second for the elite women). I made up some ground and found myself lapping with Teagan Atherstone who was absolutely killing it!
After dragging my body around the last lap I was happy to come away with my second win for the weekend. The day was made even better with my lil bro having a ripper ride pulling in a second place, he is obviously getting fit trying to keep up with me ;)
Massive thanks to everyone who helped put on such a great event, and a massive thanks to all the Armidale crew for looking after me so well, I am to lucky!
Photo's thanks to HIXIT