Like a strange form of cannibalism, a major International road race has consumed a local club MTB race on Sunday. Well, I watched the last big mountain stage of the Giro on Saturday night/Sunday morning, thus rendering me too tired/lazy to get out of a warm bed on a cold morning to head out to Killingworth for the HMBA club round 5. This didn't particularly worry me. Tim fron NZ came up for a ride in the arvo, so we hit up Glenrock with Kedan, Ben and Mal. It was a little muddy in places, I didn't think we'd had that much rain over the previous two nights. Apparently it was dry as a bone at Killi. We had a pretty good time though. Scotty and Deano were down in Woolongong for a State XC round, and Deano continued his anger-fueled bike-blitz with a win in his age group. Well done mate, again! Scotty had a solid ride too, he thinks he was 5th in his class... nice one bruvva. And in news from the Central Coast, Nath made his racing debut at Ourimbah, taking 2nd place in the B grade XC... tidy work indeed.
Over the last week I've been weighing up my options as to what bike would be a suitable steed for my type of riding, i.e. XC/enduro/trails. Everyone I ask for an opinion has a different view from the next bloke, which is understandable. But doesn't bloody help! I like the Stumpjumper, but am worried about extra weight and maybe too much travel for XC racing. The Epic carbon has more rear travel (100mm) than my current Epic (90mm), and is plenty light. Just not too sure about carbon for MTB's. Not so much the material, but the look. Yeah, it's all about the looks! So I'm gonna wait it out and see what the '07 models offer. My bike is still a damn fine ride, and does it for me in the looks department.
So now that the Giro has finished, I was able to update the contenders lists and info for the Tour articles for Bicycling Australia Magazine. Basso dominated the race , but can he back up in July and take the big one? Probably. But I think Ullrich will be making him work for it. The Kaiser was just out for training at the Giro, and showed he's not far off form with a win in the TT. And now Vinokourov's team is in drug hell and sponsor-less, will he be able to pull together the remnants to back up his challenge? I'll get back to you in August.