Adventures of the Cotic - A Quick Release holidays mountain bike race team

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Dusk till Dawn 12 Hr - Perth Australia

A few months back when Paul suggested that Adrian and I would go pretty well at the local Perth 12 hour race, it sounded like a fun idea. Especially as Paul had offered to be our trusty team manager.

Adrian Middleton is a fellow Canberran who has moved to Perth and regularly rips my legs off in our afternoon training rides. And whilst he's not technically an AQR rider, there really aren't that many of us around down under so I was prepared to mix the team up a little...

It wasn't until a couple of weeks out that Adrian realised the 12 Hr was actually a dusk till dawn. But he took it in his stride and when the weekend arrived and temperatures in the high 30's were forecasted, riding all night suddenly seemed like a good idea.

Team Delta-AQR. Please note: Paul's moustache was for fundraising purposes only and it has thankfully, now gone.

There were 400 entries in the race, many in teams of 4, 3 and 2 and the standard die hard soloists as well. The course was perfect. Plenty of fantastic singletrack, fast flowing descents and just a few climbs but nothing that ripped our lungs out. And straight away, Adrian managed to get us in a fairly decent position. In fact he entered the first section of single track in 5th and finished his first lap of the 17km track in about the same place.

The race leader heading into the singletrack on lap 1 in the late dusk.

When Adrian came sprinting into transition, I grabbed his CO2 canister (yup I'd forgotten mine) whilst Paul transferred the timing chip and velcro strap from one ankle to the other. I think I got out about 20 seconds after Adrian had arrived so Paul was proving his management skills already.

Out on course it was pitch black and at the pointy end of the field, it was actually pretty lonely - I wan't about to catch anyone and strangely, it wasn't until 20 minutes into the lap that someone turned up behind me. I hadn't ridden the trail and felt like I was breaking in all the wrong places and generally riding slowly. But with some reassurance from Paul when I returned and a check of my lap time, I felt better.

Come on, come and eat some dinner!

As the night wore on, Adrian and I settled into pretty consistent lapping. Adrian continued to ride strongly doing laps of around 56 minutes and I was coming in after an hour flat.

A chill out whilst Adrian was out smashing another lap.

Attempting not to blind people whilst looking around in transition

Consulting the official team timing book.... Nobody but Paul was allowed near the pen.

Good times
As the night wore on, our cheer squad of James and Jason hit the road, with Jas taking his camera with him. But the fun out on the trail kept going. The wildlife was out (plenty of spiders, a few possums and at one point, even a family of kangaroos). We managed to get Paul to go to bed at about 1am but when I came in from my double at 4, he was up and back helping by preparing food, drink bottles, timing checks etc. If anyone is looking for a great team manager, his rates are quite competitive...
Anyway, to cut a 12 hour story short, Adrian went very hard when the sun came up and I tried to do the same. We had had the mixed pairs competition sewn up fairly early but it wasn't until the presentation that we knew how we'd done overall. So, out of 164 teams entered, we ended up 7th overall and managed to take out not only the mixed pairs but the pairs in general (27 teams raced). The guys who 'won' the men's pairs didn't look so happy when the presenter reminded them that they'd actually been beaten by team Delta-AQR....
But saying that, I have to put in a special mention for our mate Chris Fisher (said with a kiwi accent). Chris raced and won solo, did the same number of laps as Adrian and I and came in 4 minutes before us. Top effort from a top class rider.
And huge thanks to the race organisers for putting on a brilliant event, our trusty team manager Paul and our photographer Jason Chua.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Tour De Timor - We Made It

The Tour De Timor has been run and won. Well in fact, it was completed a good few weeks ago. But since the AQR girls from down under put in such an amazing effort, we'll just ignore my laziness....

Saturday - Arrived in Dili from Darwin.

For those of you who may be a little in the dark about the race and why on earth we went there.... East Timor is the world's youngest nation. A Portugeuse outpost for a few centuries, when they withdrew in 1975, East Timor's closest neighbours the Indonesians arrived. With guns. It wasn't until 1999 that the Indonesians relinquished control following a UN sponsored act of self-determination. But their razed earth policy meant that 75% of all buildings in East Timor were destroyed as a result.

The nation is incredibly poor but is attempting to re-build with a very strong focus on peace. The Tour de Timor is aimed at celebrating the country, its culture, and showcasing it as a fabulous adventure travel destination. And it certainly is that....

So anyway.... were welcomed to Timor Leste via the VIP Lounge. The AQR team, left to right was Sue, Libby, Claire and Rachel. I'm the one taking the picture.

Sunset in Dili on Saturday night. We had a relaxing day cruising round Dili and had dinner with our local guide and friend Martin.

Sunday - Dili. We chilled out and waited for our bikes to arrive. Lets just say getting 300 cyclists and bikes from Darwin to Dili wasn't easy for the small regional airline....

Not one to worry, Claire borrowed a bike and had a short foray into the hills. In the end the bikes arrived 15 hours before the race start...

Accommodation in Timor Lodge was basically in shipping containers with air-conditioning... Still the few shrubs came in handy for drying washing.

Monday - Stage 1: Dili to Balibo 125km

The presidential palace in Dili hosted the start.

The stage was fast and furious but long. And those two climbs were killers. But we all made it to the finish ok. It was just afterwards....

Whilst Rach was recovering in the medical tent from over hydrating, I got some local help putting her tent up.

Tuesday - Stage 2: Balibo to Suai 95km

The stage could best be described as EPIC. It took its toll physically and emotionally with the winners finishing in 4 hours but mere mortals taking up to 11 - they cancelled the 'cut off' because there wasn't enough transport to get all the stragglers home. After struggling over the mountains and taking it easy on the descents (Sue was only masquerading as a mountain biker), the AQR girls made it in just over 6.

Over looking Balibo on Tuesday morning

Wednesday - Stage 3: Suai to Ainaro 67km

After a crazy start through Suai's streets, avoiding scuttling pigs and other livestock, we headed out on 50km of pot holed dirt road with rough rocky sections for variety. It was flat and would have been lovely if we hadn't been trying to ride fast. Thankfully after 50km, the potholes ended. It's just that they were traded for a 15km climb... It's never easy in Timor!

Team AQR finished still second in teams classification despite the gap to 3rd narrowing.

Team AQR team made it before the tropical afternoon storm dumped its contents. We found a terrace to camp on which was as dry as it would ever be in a tropical downpour.

Thursday - Stage 4: Ainaro to Aileu 68km

The profile looked a lot like Stage 2 and the team lined up on the start line with trepidation. But the enormous climbs were shaded with dense rainforest on one side and intermittent, amazing views of the valley and mountains on the other. Once over the pass at 1860m it was time for some brilliant descending and even more cheering villagers as the population grew denser. The next couple of climbs were a lot smaller in comparison and the finish came not too many hours after the start.

Unfortunately, we would have like to finish slightly sooner... The AQR girls' main competitors, Trailmix made a massive effort to ride as a team for the first time and managed to take second by a whopping 8 minutes.

Not to be deterred, after the stage, Claire made friends playing football with the locals. Surely she could have had a shower first?!?

Friday - Stage 5: Aileu - Dili 57km

Very early in the stage we passed the entire Trailmix team and two Torq girls (overall leaders) fixing a flat. The race was now on. Raceday Claire arrived and she was stomping. I too was doing ok and very happy to be a good domestique. We all gave it everything to make up time and regain 2nd on the team classification.

Towards the end of the stage there was an exchange between Claire and Rach whilst I pretended I was Jens Voigt. Claire had been encouraging all day but when Rach was strugging with the pace, this is what was said...

Rach: Can I have a hug?

Claire: No, just keep pedalling. Not far now.

Rach: Pleeeease. Come on, just a little hug??

Claire: How about you try eating some cement instead...

Claire was really worried she'd gone too far because Rach was very quiet but as Rach let us know afterwards, it was just what she needed! Lucky, we could have had a mutiny on our hands!!

A few minutes later as the chase group was dwindling

Torq Rider: Its the last day, why don't you guys relax and have fun?
Rach: We are.

With 5km to go Claire rode off the front of the group to secure 7th women on the stage.

Rach and Paul at the finish. Its fair to say that he had turned himself inside out riding for team AQR but it was all worth it. Libby, Claire and Rach had found some great form to secure the women's team stage win for Team AQR. It was great to beat the Torq girls and try a put ourselves back into second.

Bronze medals in the women's team classification was a little disappointing. A "clarification" of the times led to AQR being relegated to third. At least Libby, Sue, Rach and Claire KNOW they did the impossible and clawed back 8 minutes on the last stage. Sue stood on the podium again, taking out the veteran category.

Well, as I said, the race has been run and won. Not by AQR but there's always next year right?
Mmmmmmm, maybe.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Midlands XC4: race season ends.

Warm & sunny, dry & dusty trails, what more could Sherwood Pines have delivered for the final of the 2010 Midlands Series at Sherwood Pines!
James and Nadine delivered the usual top-notch xc racing again with a Pines course full of twisty turny singletrack fun as well as some steep bursts and loose pitches thrown in for good measure.

Gridded on the front row, I got my best start of the season, leading off the line and at the joint head of the pack through the initial fire-road and singletrack sections. The group soon split before the real twisty stuff though and 4 laps of fast and furious riding in the pack ensued.
To be honest, it was my first race of the year riding in a group for the whole thing and it was ace! Being pressured by those behind as well as pushing those in front meant the pace stayed high and laps 2, 3 and 4 were all within one second of one another!
The place-swapping continued right until the line and gaining a couple more places in the last few hundred metres saw me finish in 7th after 1h37m.
A great end to the season... I'm looking forward to a few weeks of chillout rides now before winter training begins. And roll on the 2011 season!
A start to repeat in 2011!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Tour De Timor - Checklist

Claire and I are off to Timor next week for some fun and games. We are riding the Tour De Timor, a 5 day stage race in the tropics. The Team AQR ladies team has been formed, I will be joining them and trying to act as domestique.

Below is the preparation checklist

1. New Felt Carbon Hardtails x 2 - Check

2. Learning to ride hardtails in Perth pea gravel - Check

3. New scare as a result of item 2 - Check

4. New MSR light weight tent - Check

5. Procuring bar-ends, semi slicks and other stage race equipment - Check

6. Lots of training - Claire - Check, Paul - kinda

7. New toys for Paul- XX Reba with hydraulic lock out - Check

8. Installing 4 new Maxxis Worm Drive - Check

9. Sending "personal items" and new AQR kit to Darwin via internal mail - Check

10. Wheels look remarkably fast - Check

11. Purchasing excess baggage for Claire- Check

12. Exceeding excess baggage for Claire - Check

13. Paul's evil plan on how to weigh the bike box - Check

14. Executing evil plan - Check - Bike box weighs - 6kg !

15. Sending Claire to Darwin for a week of acclimatisation - Check

16. Getting worried - Check

17. Nearly forgot Passport - Check

18. Multiple trips to Jones at Cycle Bespoke - Check

Stay tuned for some Tour De Timor tales...

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Torq12:12... Soda action

The final race of the year for the AQR team saw 12 hours of fast and furious racing down south at the Gorrick-run Torq12:12 event last Sunday.

[As usual, huge thanks to Joolze Dymond for the superb images]

Blue skies and sunshine for all but one lap combined with the usual classic rooty, twisty Gorrick course design to make for a fantastic event from midday to midnight on Sunday.

All in all a smooth race for the team, including hats off to Iain for getting in 3 laps before his injured back & leg - which originally suggested he wouldn't be racing at all - started to tell. Massive thanks to Kate who travelled all the way from Edinburgh for her 4 laps, whilst Rich took the fastest lap of the team award with a 39m30s sprint round early on. Finally, James racked up the most at 6 laps, including an unplanned double, the 2nd lap of which started at 11.48pm! Unfortunately his legs hadn't planned for it and the team dropped to 6th place by just 2 minutes at the end. A respectable end to the year though in a tough category.

The race itself wasn't the only highlight of the weekend though, as Kate had her freshly built new Cotic Soda out to play for the first time. Complete with Hope/Stans wheels, KCNC chainset, Magura Durin forks and Bontrager finishing kit, it truly is a work of art and she was raving about it every lap - more on her thoughts as it eats up the miles!

And finally, congrats once again to Kate for her win back in early August at Scottish XC Round 5, which she took by a convincing 6 minutes!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Midlands XC3 - Chesterfield

Unfortunately the photo really doesn't do justice to yet another superb Midlands race put on by James and Nadine at the end of July.

A climbing start around the golf course at the site on the edge of Chesterfield gave way to a steep grassy climb which split the pack well before the woodland singletrack began. And what fantastic singletrack it was! Steep swoopy descents including A and B lines on some sections, along with the super-steep gulley climb to match.

A good start for me at the front of the field saw me settle into a rhythm I was able to maintain for the 4 laps, albeit losing a few places in the early stages as I warmed up. The climbs certainly played to my strengths and let me hold onto a 9th place finish. Roll on the big-ring pain at Sherwood Pines in September!

Next up... AQR newbie Kate Collins at SXC Round 5.

Monday, 26 July 2010

National Champs & TwentyFour12 - AQR podiums!

Just a quick photo entry today after some fantastic results for AQR teams in the last couple of weeks...

Massive congrats to Kirsty for a fantastic 4th in Masters at the 201o National Champs down at the Pippingford Estate on 18th July - and aboard her newly built Cotic Soda race bike complete with Magura forks and brakes, Hope wheels and KCNC (Clee Cycles) and Bontrager finishing kit - a big thanks to all those sponsors too.

(Thanks as always to Joolze Dymond for the photos above.)

This was closely followed by Bontrager TwentyFour12 down at Newnham Park this weekend where the mixed 12hr team came away with 3rd and the 12hr female pair in 1st! A huge well done again to Kirsty and Kate for the latter. Thanks also to guest riders Verity Appleyard (MSC Bikes) and Andy Robson in the team.

Next up, Midlands XC round 3 and Torq 12hr in August...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Bristol BikeFest 2010

It seems crazy that this year's Bristol BikeFest 12hr race was a month ago now, there's been so much going on all summer. Better late than never though, here's a quick run-down of how the AQR team got on...

Bristol provided a gorgeous sunny weekend for the race and the usual fast and fun Ashton Court singletrack - with a slightly shorter lap this year. With Iain, Kirsty, Matt and myself making up the AQR mixed-4, things kicked off at 9am with the mass dash & start. Unfortunately not all went to plan from the off with Iain suffering a snapped chain and 2 punctures on his first lap! Not to be deterred we pushed on through, blasting out lap times well around 25 minutes - making for great racing and eager overtaking required!

Despite more punctures (Iain's had his annual allowance now!) we started to move up the rankings from the low teens early on. With some storming laps during the afternoon as things got even dustier, James came in from his last lap with 8 minutes to spare, completing the team's 27 laps for 7th place.

Perhaps not the position we'd hoped for after last year's podium, but a great comeback and truly enjoyable event that really put the fast and furious into xc racing!

Friday, 11 June 2010

British XC3 - AQR's newest recruit & the Margam mudfest!

Kate Collins, the AQR team's newest recruit tells all about her first National race and first podium of the year in Wales...

After an 11 hour train trek from Edinburgh to Margam Park, I was looking forward to a good night's sleep ahead of a nice dry race the next day. Saturday morning I woke to the pitter-pattering of rain on my tent and thought uh-oh, what have we here! I've only ever raced Margam in the scorching sun. I must admit, at 8 o'clock that morning it was quite difficult to leave my very cosy and warm sleeping bag. I'd packed light in order to cycle to/from the train station at each end - needless to say, I didn't have many layers of warm/water proof clothing...

But after meeting up with James, donning my new AQR kit and downing more Torq bars than I have bikes, I got more into race mode and was rearing to go. Or was I? Where was my number board?! Uh oh, it was a few mins to the start and my tent was, naturally, at the very back of the campsite... So after a quick sprint back to board up, I really was ready, this time!

I'm generally more of a tortoise than a hare when it comes to race starts. This time I was even more out the back than usual as I got tangled up with a rider who must've missed a pedal and seemed to hit the ground right when the gun went off. After the tangled standstill, the rest of the field seemed to disappear into the horizon in mere seconds. So I put the tortoise into full-on mode and passed a few girls by the end of the tarmac. I didn't know whether they were in my category or not but it helped to get my legs going.

We all got stuck behind quite a bit of traffic on the first lap, but as the laps went by the traffic thinned out. I hadn't had time for a practice lap after my trans-UK mission of the day before, so the first lap was a case of seeing how the course differed from the year before and testing out my forks. I was essentially riding rigid too as my good forks were on my good bike (long logistical story of several bikes in several countries). Needless to say, the rocks on the first muddy chute were "interesting", while I descended the second muddy, rooty chute in style using my thigh rather than my forks. Also managed to come a cropper at the end of lap one, where I crashed on the flat (into nothing?!) and went for another mud slide.

Each lap was progressively muddier than the first. I kept pushing hard on the climbs to make up for my less than glamorous descending, where the mud and off-camber trails in the first half of the lap conspired to bring out interesting moves. There was a bit of minor juggling with positions with a few girls, and I tried to keep it as smooth in the rough as my rigid forks would allow (good for skills)! Reaching the summit of the last hill on the last lap, I thought I was somewhere around 5th, so was somewhat surprised when I crossed the finish line to the announcement that I'd finished in 2nd!

All in all, a great fun race. Congrats to Emma Bradley who took the win, Stephania Magri in third and fellow AQR teammate Kirsty who was just seconds off third. Looking forward to my next challenges in the Scottish round at Fort Bill and the pairs race at Bontrager 24/12 on my new Cotic Soda (yes Ian, I am finally laying my '04 Stumpjumper to rest)!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Midlands XC2: The hills of Herefordshire!

Scorching hot sunshine, super dusty trails and big climbs... who would have thought that the 2nd round of this year's Midlands XC series (& the Midlands champs) would deliver all of these!

Returning to an old-skool venue at Mansel Lacy, James & Nadine once again delivered a great course which tested riders on the way up & down - steep descents, off-camber singletrack and a monster fireroad climb half-way through. Oh & what must have been the only mud in the UK on such a hot weekend.

Despite two stops to pump up my slowly deflating rear tyre and a slight lack of power on the climb due to recent heavy training sessions, I was pleased with my 10th place finish... roll on Margam!

Thanks to Roy Bevis for the photo -

Thursday, 13 May 2010

British XC2 - racing down south

It's only 4 days since the 2nd British XC round last weekend but already feels a way away and Round 3 at Margam is approaching fast... especially with Midlands XC2 in between!

Mainly dry weather - albeit frickin' freezing on practice saturday! - combined with a course in great shape and mainly nicely bedded in after the recent Southern XC made for some fun, fast and furious racing. The singletrack varied between fresh bumpy, loamy trails which were punishing for hardtail riders to the sinuous ribbon of brown that wound its way through the acres of bluebells towards the end of the lap.

A great AQR turn out for the weekend meant a good coverage across the categories with Kirsty bringing home 4th in Masters for the team's best result. Despite a monster race-start tangle and crash (which left one poor guy with his bike in 2 bits!) leaving him dead last, Matt Prior pulled out all the stops in the Open race to finish 7th - some impressive overtaking must have gone on there! Iain was the third AQR team member of the day but unfortunately had to pull out of the Sport race due to back pain. As for myself, I finally broke into the top 20, finishing 18th in the Sport race. Maybe the recent training has started to pay off with much more consistent lap times than at Round 1.... roll on Margam.

And finally, a massive well done to Mrs-AQR, Kate Potter for her 2nd in the Elite women's race... good luck for Offenburg World Cup Kate!

Huge thanks to Joolze Dymond for the photos - for the full galleries.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010 A Pyrenean Paradise

Just a hint to check out the front page of Bikemagic this week for the low-down on AQR, riding weeks in Luchon and their future plans for coaching. Cotic hire bikes available out in Luchon too by the way ;-)

In more normal AQR blogging news, it's the Gorrick Enduro this weekend which'll be a training race for me following a pretty long week this week... at least the sun's out!

Monday, 19 April 2010

British XC1: A Master's view

This year I've decided to go for it and challenge myself with the BMBS. Goodbye comfort blanket (the rest of the team at the 12 / 24 hour races); goodbye excuses (no time to train, I'm not sure I can do this etc etc). Just get out there and ride. Sorry, RACE!!! So, here we go... BMBS Round 1, Sherwood Pines. My first race of the 2010 season.

Solid winter training... check
Nice new Bonty tyres...check.
Bike polished and ready to go... check
Weather gods smiling... check

During the week before, I had the usual case of 'pre-race nerves'. However, when I arrived at Sherwood and caught up with the rest of the team, I began to relax and enjoy myself. A couple of warm up laps in the sunshine laid any fears I had to rest, as I found a course that played to my strengths - fast paced and action packed, with enough technical interest to keep my on my toes.

Sunday morning dawned, and I managed to keep the butterflies in my stomach at bay. For the first time in my (short) racing career, I had a proper warm up routine - which I seriously recommend. This was a great way of ensuring I was prepared not only physically, but mentally, for the race.

The Masters line up contained a few names I have raced previously, and a few more I didn't recognise. I'm relatively new to this game, so I didn't really have a race strategy as such - my aim really was to learn from the experience, with the longer term goal of a podium place by the end of the series.

The gun went, and I got a great start, leading the field for the first few hundred yards. A few people came past going into the first main section of singletrack, and I got caught up a little behind some of the blokes who started in front of us(!). With so many categories racing together it's hard to tell where your competition is, so I spent the rest of the race chasing down whoever I could see in front of me, sprinting for the singletrack, and trying to hold off anyone behind me from passing me. I had no real idea where I was placed. I concentrated on powering through the fireroad sections, whilst trying to flow through the singletrack. I was enjoying the course - particularly the dual descent section and the little chute just after the steep climb - and felt that my winter training had paid off. My fitness was good, and I'm beginning to see improvements in my basic skills.

Part way through the 3rd lap, one of the spectators said he thought I was in 4th place - this gave me a real boost and a burst of energy. I was determined not to let anyone past (whatever their category... just in case... although I did make an exception for the top 3 elite women who came through near the end of my last lap...) - but how close was I to that elusive podium place???

As it turned out... not close enough. I continued to work hard through the final lap, but 3rd place was never in my sight. I finished 4th - far better than I had expected, and I feel I have more to give. Well done to Emma Bradley for the win. But watch out girls, I'll be breathing down your necks at Round 2!!

What went well?
* Good warm up
* A great start
* Fitness and power on the fireroads
* Clearing the little log jumps (albeit not very gracefully)
* 4th place...

Where can I improve?
* Cornering... carrying speed through the singletrack
* Confidence in my ability... I can clear those tricky sections, if I get my head round it
* Technique, technique, technique...
* 4th place...

Overall, I really enjoyed the race. Thanks to James Hampshire for an interesting course, and to Ian and Kate for their excellent coaching support. BMBS Round 2... bring it on!!

Kirsty Eastwood, 19th April 2010

Thursday, 1 April 2010

British XC Round 1 - Sherwood Pines - 28th March

A sunny Nottinghamshire weekend kicked the 2010 British XC series off to a cracking start last weekend, with some solid results for the AQR Team too. Top marks to Kirsty for 4th in Masters, whilst Matt rode in AQR colours for the first time and brought home 11th in Open and James started his race season with 23rd in the 69-strong Sport field.

More to follow from Kirsty soon but in the meantime, some photos from the event thanks to Joolze Dymond - for the full galleries from the event.

And a huge well done to Mrs AQR herself, Kate Potter (Cotic Bontrager) too for 3rd in women's elite! (Seen her in super focussed pre-race warm-up mode with her trusty Soda!)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Mont24 - Victory Down Under

It had been a tough week for mountain biking in Australia with the passing of 24hr champion, journalist and good bloke, James Williamson. Whilst James died in South Africa in the middle of the Cape Epic, in Canberra Australia riders were getting set to ride the Mont 24hr. As Willow was well known and loved in the mtb community, the first hour of the race was the Willow Honour Roll, where everyone went for a cruise in his memory.

When the racing started at 1pm AQR's Claire Aubrey set the pace by doing the first lap for her team of Canberra buddies in the boutique category Women's Fours. They rode fast through the day and night, led from start to finish and came away with the victory by a lap. Well Done!

From left to right, Claire Aubrey, Karen Foat, Kim King and Claire Graydon holding the winner's trophy for the MONT 24hr. There was a huge effort all weekend by all the girls and their incredibly wonderful support crew consisting of AQR's Paul Aubrey (lucky for the girls, he was unable to race due to injury). Quote from Claire Graydon: 'Just name your price Paul - we'll have you help out any time!!!'

It was dusty at Sparrow Hill, at least it is better than mud.

Claire off for a hot lap. The team had seamless transitions and made sure to grab every little second possible.

Sunday morning, another beautiful day in Canberra.

Claire won SRAMs Pimp My Mont contest. Her bike was cleaned, and SRAM set a team of 3 on it to make sure it was properly pimped whilst she enjoyed a massage. A new set of Elixir Carbons was included! Thanks SRAM.

Kim King, riding fast. Kim can manage a world championships and win 24hr races as well as enduro multi-sports. I call it versatile.

I'm finished and we won. Claire is interviewed by Stu and Ben following crossing the line on Sunday afternoon.

Next is a sequence of sleeping people, every little bit counts.

Claire Graydon at presentation. Good luck for the Solo 24 this weekend Claire!

Claire's little bro, Luke Graydon on Saturday afternoon

Claire Aubrey on Saturday afternoon