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Capital Punishment 2012 Report by Kevin Skidmore
Friday morning car’s packed and hit the road an hour before the sun’s up. Decided to avoid the Hume Hwy and took the Princess strait into the rising sun. Lucky for us the rain clouds blocked out the sun rise. As we got further away from Melbourne the weather got better and better, got to be some connection there but I can’t find it… Checked in at the local Youth Hostel and went off to get some dinner and the Capital Punishment rider pack. With 100km of racing tomorrow, laid out my bike kit, food, spares, and got to bed for an early night. Pre-race excitement/gitters make it a bad nights sleep as always, until 2 am when the night club downstairs empties out into the courtyard below. Bad sleep over, now no sleep… Bleary eyed Kenny dropped me off at the start line as the sun starts to come over the horizon. The race has the start in waves determined by where you think you’ll finish in relation to the leaders. I made my way to the start line keen to get underway to stay off the morning chill and it’s a race, lets go already… My wave took off cleanly and we stayed fairly close for the first few km, sitting about 6th (in my group) the pace wasn’t too hard but I could see one rider slowly moving off the front and no-one going after him. A small serge later and I had his wheel, the Big Nine makes this a breeze. He was faster on the fire road but I felt I could go faster on the single track, so took the lead into the next trails. By the time we exited I had a small gap and I figured I try to keep it, that lasted all of 2 minutes… We hit the next single track and I had that sinking feeling, you know the one as your rim makes contact with the ground. I pull over to fix my tire and watch so many go past grrr. Need to make the change to Co2 some time… sooner or later…
Back on the bike and now have a need to ride faster to try to make up some places, because that works, hmm 85km to go… The next few km were a bit of a blur, overtake whenever possible, sprint the straits, catch breath when passing doesn’t work. By the half way point I could feel my legs were toasting and about done. I had to start pacing better or I’d never finish. Feed station 2 and fly in and out to get to the untimed section as fast as possible, with the course weaving it’s way around Canberra an untimed 10km section gets you from one side of the city to the other. I made plans to meet my support while the clock had stopped so span my legs and took a break while I could. Swapped out my tube for a new spare and pushed off to start racing again, truth be told not much race was left in my legs but with only 17km to go I lied to myself and put it back in the big ring. As soon as you cross the timing mat to start the clock the trail turned upwards again. I kept a good pace and passing people, until hsss, 2 minutes into race time again and another flat, aarrgggg. I’m sure that’s not the words I used… 10 Minutes later I was back on and looking forward to seeing the finish line. The only real problem was I still had to get to, and up Mt Stromlo. Determined not to loose any more positions I pushed on, ha, I couldn’t hold any one back, my legs were toast! Finished climbing for the day now for the smiles, I let go of the brakes and hit the decent, then grabbed the brakes again (turns out you do need them after all). I raced all the way to the finish and enjoyed the fast flowing trails again. Can’t wait for next year.
Special thanks goes out to all the volunteers who gave up their time to make this event happen. Thanks guys!
Kevin Skidmore – Rider No. 1125