Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


17 August 2008


Well what an event it was. Constant rain the day before, overnight and into the morning of the big day was fantastic for the veggie patch, but would make for a tough day's racing. Okay so at 110km and mainly dirt roads instead of cobblestones it wasn't quite the real 'Hell of the North' but with Rio and Vitamin Cottage fielding almost full squads it was going to be a war of attrition out there.

The first few laps I felt pretty crappy, and a small break of four went up the road early and at one stage had 2.30min while we seemed to be fluffing around in the bunch. Still there was plenty of racing to come and I had to keep telling myself to be patience, keep eating and just try and keep surviving the selections made over the sharp staircase hills on the backside of the course. The mud factor was high, but being one of the lucky ones who ride SRAM, the bike didn't skip a beat. These guys know how to make stuff work, (check out this for innovation) and no wonder so many top racers use it for cross, as just like their mtb components the road orientated gear was flawless in the mud. However I was dreaming of having a plush SID on the front, especially along the long straight stretch to the finish line where holes were like land mines as we all squinted and battled through the mud.

By lap five things were looking good, the bunch had been sorted from the pretenders and contenders and my legs finally came around. At the start of three laps to go we were all strung out and attacks were on the fly as the break was less than a minute up the road. This was when the most major selection was made. I hung on for grim death and closed the gap. When the mud settled we were down to around 12. Half Rio, half V.C, leaving Slipstream's Colby Pierce and myself severely out numbered. Crap. The next lap and a half was spent trying to follow moves and without team-mates I was getting right royally screwed over having to follow pretty much everything. So it pretty much went like this; a VC guy would shoot up the road forcing a Rio guy to react and then boom, I had to go with that move otherwise I'd be worked over in a non-chasing bunch. On the final lap it was one move too many, and just before the only road section a group of 4 slipped off the front. I reacted a little late and all of a sudden found myself in no-mans land. It was a tough TT to the finish but I managed to hold off the group and take 5th, a mere 39sec from the win.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Huge effort Chris, you will have to tell your team to tough it out instead of dropping off