Great, but tough day.
Usually I camp out at this race - the location is superb - but this time the schedule did not permit this, so I made an early AM bolt out the race Sat, and then drove home late Sat night.
Weather was hot - topped out at 34C and sunny all day - and the location was burnt out in the Black Saturday bushfires earlier in the year, so we weren't blessed with the usual amount of tree cover and shade.
The course was it's brilliant self - not technical, but demanding, very little flat, you're either climbing or descending. Very few places to suck on a drink bottle. This course respects momentum, there are a couple of steep pinchy climbs that you can either charge into, or grovel your way up in the granny gear.
The descending was awesome - sections like Gravity Drop and Mojo blew my mind, repeatedly, and the flowy section before the final climb was a great deal of fun too.
Riding in a pair, I had pretty much no chance to rest all day. Finish lap, clean chain, finish bidon, refill bidon, eat, drink, fill bidon again, back on bike, go. Fatigue wasn't a huge issue (well not as huge as I thought it would be), but I did make a concerted effort not to charge out of the blocks and keep some in the tank. Come about 4pm when the sun was at it's hottest, and there was zero shade on the back half of the course, the laps were an absolute killer. I really fried myself on that one. But that was the low point - after that, the sun dropped behind the hills, and minus the sun and with the ambient temp dropping, riding became a whole lot more enjoyable.
We finished up with 13 laps in 10:50 or thereabouts. I rode 7 - and could have kept riding. My team mate decided 6 was enough, and I took the opportunity to pack and make an early exit for home, beating the traffic. My folks were arriving from Adel, and I was looking forward to seeing them.
So, really enjoyed myself, didn't kill myself but rode to my limit. Certainly left looking for more and knowing that it is within my capabilities.
Solo next year maybe?