The prompt on the top tube of most Niner bikes came to mind frequently throughout the race… “Pedal damn it.” – it says, right under your nose. Well there was plenty of that, and I’ve never ridden a race with less requirement for brakes.
I remember many years ago I was given some valuable mountain biking advice by John Claxton (elite 24hr rider), “Smooth is fast. If you ride smoothly, you’ll always get more speed out of a course” he said. Never was it truer than for the 2012 Duael.
If you didn’t ride this course smooth you simply wasted time. That applied even to the absolutely bloody horrible bumpy section of single track early in the lap. Unfortunately smooth requires strength and good power-to-weight, a couple of things I don’t have so much of at the moment. (Good foresight by Matt, naming us Team Heavyweights!)
But Matt and I rode a pretty solid race; consistently lapping reasonable times and resulting in a second place in the Duael Mens Sport category – pretty happy with that. See full results here.
It was a great day and the race format – short snappy laps (7k) and no doubles – has you on your toes all day. Quick rest, quick warm-up and off you go again. Grouse.
And when you get home, dehydrated, smashed and still weighing in at 104 kilograms… you start to wonder how much faster you could have gone – or could go I should say. Bugger food!