After a tough week trying to recover from jet lag and the heightened effects of it after the Motatapu I had managed to put in 3 good solid weeks training. I was starting to feel in a lot better shape heading into what was destined to be a tough race at the Oceania Champs in Hobart, Tasmania. I was well looked after the week leading up to the race by the top Aussie junior rider Ben Bradley and his Dad which made life nice and comfortable and we also managed to fit in a couple of swims at the beach to cool off during my stay. Something I wasn’t going to get the chance to do once back in Europe! The course was very bland and basic but had a fine gravely surface on top of the hard pack base which meant you had to keep focused and on your toes down the descent. The course was basically one big zig-zag climb up and then a zig-zag descent down, nothing special. Because of the good UCI points on offer I decided to play this race safely and win in the least risky approach possible. That basically means not going off the front too early in the race and then facing the possibility of blowing up and getting reeled back in and also not pushing too hard on descents etc. or leaving it to a tight sprint finish. I played a good waiting game and waited for the other riders to tire before making my move on a very steep fire road towards the top of the final climb. I made a 10-15 second gap and then held that gap down the descent without taking any risks to the finish.
The Australian rider Jack Haig took 2nd place and Kiwi Dirk Peters rounded out the podium in 3rd. I was very happy with how the race panned out and the UCI points will be of great benefit in the big European races I have coming up. Thanks to Ben Bradley and his Dad Leigh and Sid Taberlay for making me feel at home and showing me all the good tracks! Also Russ Baker for the photos.