The State Championships are a special race. With no prize money on the line, it’s all or nothing to chase the coveted striped jersey.
With this in mind, I had to be deliberate in my strategy. Facing off with Andy Reardon (Team Sonic p/b Podium Sports Medicine) during the race, he had the advantage technically, and I had the edge in horsepower. I fought hard to lead through the twisty and challenging sections, so that even if I had a mistake, I wouldn’t be left on the back foot as he attacked. On the power sections, I slotted in second wheel and tried to hide from the wind as much as possible.
This strategy was working great, and even forced a mistake from Andy on the last lap with about 2 minutes left to race. This gave me a lead of about 5 seconds and I was determined to make the most of it. However, my front tire, slowly leaking from a thorn, had other plans. Apparently 12 psi was inadequate for the lean I chose through the 3rd to last corner and I found myself on the ground. I didn’t panic and started running until I could get the bike back up and hop on just as Andy zoomed past me. It wasn’t the position I had hoped to be in at this point but I thought I still had a chance and went “full-stick,” with just enough to make the pass at 50m to go and take the win.
I never hope for a finish like that, but sometimes the craziest races are the best ones and it was definitely exciting. I was also happy that I got the jersey to match Kaysee’s!