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2017 Convict 100

Fatboy's picture

By Fatboy - Posted on 09 May 2017

Re: This ride meeting: 
Convict 100 2017
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
100km Male Masters
Position (Category): 

Having competed in 12 of the 13 runnings of this event since its inception in 2005 it is always a highlight for me. That first year was by far the toughest with 3 big climbs starting with Jacks Track then climb up 8 Mile Track (the descent the 68km riders do now) then the climb up Blue Hill (the descent the 100km riders do now).

The challenge I have with the event now running in the reverse direction as per year 1 is I like to go easy for the first hour then step it up. Climbing Jacks Track at the beginning of the race means you have no alternative other than to burn all your matches just to get up it so you’re in the box early. I do recall looking at the view across the valley after the climb and wanting to stop and take a pic of the cloud cover below.

My first timing point was the left turn off Jacks Track where I was 3 1/2 mins quicker than last year. That kept me motivated but when I hit the road section on the way to the pontoon bridge I was all alone pushing into the breeze so struggled and the result was at the crossing I was down to only 2 1/2 mins ahead of last year.

I felt strong up Shepherd’s Gully dropping a couple early then catching a few on the way up. I was passed half way up by the leading 68km competitors - my mate Craig’s nephew Owen with a team mate sucking his wheel with his head down. A quick hello with Owen and off he went looking strong pulling away from a couple about 100m behind. Funny thing was his uncle Craig called me the next day to tell me that was him sucking Owen’s wheel and went on to talk through their entertaining race resulting in them crossing the line together some 6mins ahead of 3rd place. Watch Owen in the next few years when he gets more endurance in his 17 yo legs!

Meanwhile I gained 1 1/2 mins up Shepherd’s Gully over last year and felt I was going to have a good day. I rode the technical section well including keeping enough air under the bike that I didn’t land on the snake sun-baking on the rocks…

I arrived at the halfway water point and took forever to fill my Camelbak so lost a couple of minutes. The section between there and the 72km water point is always a challenge with all the baby head rocks which just seem to take all momentum away and this year the branches were overhanging drawing blood on both arms in a number of places. My biggest challenge though was being flicked in the face as I was sitting on someone’s wheel and as he’d push through the branches I’d have to keep my head down to stop my eyes being barbed.

As I rode through the next water point I was joined by a couple of guys I’d been with earlier but had pushed ahead of me. I was now on exactly the same minute as last year! The 3 of us kept surging on all the hills for the next 15km trying to drop each other but nobody could pull ahead so we got to the top of Blue Hill and agreed to work together to the finish but by the first corner I realised my pads had completely worn so watched the others take off down the hill while I stayed on the brakes the whole way down just hoping I didn’t wear through to the pistons. Once at the bottom I turned myself inside out to bridge the 200m gap which I finally closed when we hit the right hand turn onto the main road to the finish.

After my 5km TT I told them I’d have to suck wheels for a while and when I came good I took my turns as I knew I could beat last year if I went hard. I lead into the finish chute where I swung wide and called them through for a formation finish. We had grins from ear to ear after the finish. This is why we put ourselves through this pain!

I ended up beating last year by about 2 mins and was a little disappointed but since I’ve looked at the results and compared with last year it was a much slower race. There was a big gap between times amongst the elite’s but it was a weak field this year but when comparing say 20th, 50th & 100th places they average 16 mins slower than last year so I’ll take my result as an 18 minute improvement Smiling

Brian's picture

Well done. That course direction was a first for me but I was told it was slower with the course being a lot looser.

hawkeye's picture

Especially with all the challenges you've been facing over the last 12 months. Smiling

ahein's picture

Great result mate and best of all was to hear you were smiling across the finish line

Lach's picture

..... on a course that seemed to produce slightly slower times for many. And great to be able to finish 100 kms smiling. I've never done that.... Smiling

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