2010 Xc Nat Champs - Blr's Humble Efforts

Postby BUSHLOVERACING on Thu 4/Mar/10 10:39pm

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Last weekend the XC National Champs again visited Wellington and our intrepid Bush pilots almost all lined up for the slice of the action and prestige.

We’d done a few laps leading up to it and all knew the course pretty well. We could ride it confidently wet or dry and didn’t care which way the weather went. As it happened everyone was treated to a proper Summer day and the trails were all dry and dusty.
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In the morning race Bushlove was represented by Me, Goldfinger, Tiger and Slackshanks in M1 with THE CHAMPION in M2. We’ve already heard from THE CHAMPION. He had a steamer and dominated from the get go. Fantastic stuff. In the avo we had Sharpie and the Cross’ Bros.

Tiger

Took off like a shot. He’d done the training and was looking for a good result. A big tree read him his horoscope on the first singletrack. This knocked him back several places, but he got back in the game and hauled back up to the action with an epic effort. What a trooper. He came past me on lap 2, slipped in front and says “watch this” he drops three cogs and disappears. I got done by the Oldest Trick In The Book (you need to watch American Flyers). 6th place for Boner-T.
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Slackshanks

Our muscled North Island Cup M1 Champion pretty much designed the course and romped around it. Big Boy didn’t enjoy the heat of the first lap pace, but soon got the wagon wheels spinning and moved up, no doubt dominating on the downhills and boosting the climbs good style on his home turf. I couldn’t hope to hold the Velodrome King when he passed me on lap 3 and rode off like he’d stolen something. A robust 9th for a Top Ten for Rickster.
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Being an allround trail God, Slacky went out the very next day and snaffled the M1 Downhill Silver medal too. Add that to his NI Cup M1 series title. You can hear him jangling a km away now. He looks like Mr-T with all those medals.

Waghorn

Fresh from some extensive non-racing in the good old US of A, Jonny did his first ever race in M2. Maybe he could have got up those hills faster if there was a donut up there, eh Private Pile? Jonny no doubt rode the singletrack and downhill with aplomb, so looks like he suffered in the heat on those climbs. He even let lazy old me stick a whole minute on him. When Jonny loses some of those burger Kgs from the States, he’ll be back in the game. Despite letting me beat him, Jon’s time was still good enough for a satisfying 6th in M2.
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Big Ed
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Main man Ed, had a shabby run in to the Nats. After riding really well for a while and getting the training done, he was our lusty, handsome darkhorse for a podium. A blazing Vegas Stunt Show and then a nasty cold cooled his heels though and when he braved the start line he wasn’t 100%. Ed did a few laps of brotherly wrestling with the Mailman before losing his mojo and retiring. An admirable effort. The DNF Wooden spoon for Ed though. He can use it to serve himself Sudafeds.
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Mailman

After a Senior Men National title in his first year racing (which BLR claim retrospectively), Big Straight Al now races Elite. He describes his outing thus:
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Right from the start of the day I was trying my best to make the day as difficult as possible with an EPIC FREERIDE RAMPAGE warmup crash. When the gun went to start the race, it wasn't much better: swamped at the start, riders unable to ride through a gate in an orderly fashion, people stalling in front of me, riders brake checking me when they spot a twig on the track. My legs obviously did not read the memo about this being the biggest race of the season, and decided they would protest that fact. Normally from here the story would be that I would write a story of self pity and possibly even call up the Wambulance... BUT I AM AN ANGRY STRAWBERRY BLONDE!

Coming back up to the Mt Vic saddle the home town advantage kicked in... the Bushlove fans! My legs made a weak attempt to convince me that slowing down was a good idea, so I dialed up a bit more pain to shut them up and get back into the race. Given I had already had my daily crash, I really let rip on the descents safe in the knowledge that I had meet my daily crash quota.

Instead of giving you a blow by blow account of how the race continued to unfold, I'll let this photo explain:
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While I should be disappointed with my final result, I'm not - this was probably my best race ever! I bet Edwin (didn't care about the other riders, it's all about beating your brother for bragging rights!), rode the descents like a madman and crossed the line completely spent knowing I could not have gone harder!

The Bushlove fan club was amazing! Your support made a huge difference and made me push the pedals just a bit harder!

Goldie

Goldfinger won the M1 National title on a muddy Nelson course last year and gave BLR it’s first National Title. Here are Goldie’s tale tales from Saturday:

Was really looking forward to this years national champs race and even though i thought it was unlikely i would defend my national champ title from the previous year i was keen to give it a good crack. I had 2 races as a lead up to this event and did well in both so was feeling good aboutit.

I had`nt ridden the mt vic course so took the day off work and cruised down on the Friday and did 2 cruisey laps, was a bit greasy on the Friday morning so it was interesting but i did enjoy the technical nature of it, big ups to slacky and co for designing and adding afew extra tricky bits.

The masters 1 field was strong with several legends competing, cabin, hisky, jonty richie etc so was gunna be a tough day and the family made the trip down to watch so had to try and make a good show of it.

Got away to a pretty good start and set into a good rhythm, my only race plan was to not try and chase cabin as i would just end up blowing toward the end of the race, Settled into about 4th place behind tones (who is also in some great form) we hit some single track when suddenly tones spotted some good firewood or something and went about trying to fell the tree, because it was about a 50 year old pine the tree came off best. Made sure tony was ok and continued to ride solidly in 3rd place losing sight of cabin and a dude from timaru early, the bushlove cheer squad were superb and situated in the perfect spotedging us all up a nasty little pinch climb.
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Was a little confused as the digital read out was placing me as 2nd masters1 man after each lap so i assumed the rider in front was leading the senior mens race but at the end of the day i was never going to catch him. Held on to 3rd place followed by silas cullen then hisky.

Was really happy with my result and my consistent lap times and hope to carry on some form to karapoti this weekend. Congrat`s to clive for his smashing M2 title and big ups to tones for picking himself up and riding his way back to a strong 6th position also davo for maning up and racing his single speed on such a tough course.

Monochops

Diesel Power Sharpe had a dodgy run in to the Nats. On top of a cold which needed antibiotics just a week out from the big day, a morning loop went awry when he went down hard on the course earning himself a busted wheel and a lot of grazing and bruising. He even recovered skin from around his stem’s top cap days later. Choice. The Bushlove Big Dog took the start line and steamed around his 5 laps, not as high up as I know he would have liked, but still gave a good account of himself, making up places in the second half to finish a fine 13th place in a field rammed with the best names in NZ XC.
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Me

To justifymy impending poor performance, I wore baggies and rode my singlespeed. That way everyone would think I was doing really, really well, even if I was totally out the ass. But if I did OK, everyone would be really surprised. Epic elite sandbagging. I did a good enough first and second lap but when I called the engine room for moar power on lap 3 and 4, I was given the finger.
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I was really pleased with how I rode, except the uphills. I felt like I was doing trackstands most of the time and had to do a little shameful hiking on laps 2, 3 and 4 :o( 11th in M1 for me. One of us always has to get an 11th.

Wonderwoman

Ashley was chief marshal and did great. Probably the most lush marshal ever. Apart from maybe Peter Barnes.

Cheerleaders

We’d all like to give a big special thank you for the awesome job our cheering crew did. The noise everytime we crossed Alexandra Saddle was brilliant. As soon as our helmets popped into view our cheerleaders and plenty of other friends in the crowd started yelling and it was a huge boost. Smokescreen families and partners were joined by Nicki, Megan, Paul, Orla and Mailman’s no doubt long suffering flatmate, Belinda, to add punch to the Bushlove cheering section. Thanks so much for spurring us on!
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Well done to all Wellingtonion XC keeners for fronting up at such a tough event to give it a crack. Tom Bradshaw nearly got on the fast U19 podium, although his Dad, Ant, did make it onto M3’s. Wellingtonions were crammed into the Masters grades, showing that although many riders didn’t travel to the event from afar, Wellington has great depth in these catergories. Sam Sheppard got third in elite and won U23 which was awesome too. And of course a big thank you to the Godfather for bringing the Champs to Wellington again, doing a grand job and getting on the 2nd stepof the M3 podium beneath the young Painting Man who intimidated with a new beard. It was great to see Cabin get the M1 title and then bridesmaid the short track on Sunday. Nic did a fantastic job of dominating the Elite Ladies race and steamed off the front for a magnificent win and her first (of many) National Title.

We rehydrated at The Southern Cross that night and the usual suspects were joined by outoftowners Cabin and Nic for celebratory beers and lulz. Clive of course wore his medal to the bar.

Looking forward to the Karapoti now. Only 3 sleeps to go…

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Original Published: 6:45am Thursday, 4th March 2010 - NZST
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