Walter Sierra and I began working together a couple of months ago. He likes the big, gnarly mountain bike races and included in that is the Otway Odyssey. It is the first event of his season and so always a little dicey when it comes to form. We are not even into lactate threshold stuff yet! Add to that 1200 starters and what is essentially a seeding race for Australia and it’s one tough nut to crack. He did well to finish 566th in 2011 but given the fact that he has been very diligent in planning and executing his training this year we expected him to much better.
Aussies are rather known for understating physical discomfort, and so this is the web sight’s description:
“The mountain biking fraternity’s favourite marathon event, and one of the toughest. The spectacular Otway Ranges always throws up a few surprises, but always impresses riders with its mix of climbing challenges and enough roller coaster single track to claim more two wheel thrills per kilometre than any other event going. Starts on the Great Ocean Road in Apollo Bay and finishes 100km later in the iconic MTB township of Forrest. Choose from three entry options: 100km, 50km or the 15km Otway Pioneer. ”
Walter chose the 100 km version. 62 miles on tough terrain off road sounds miserable to normal people and like a fantastic day to a guy like Walter. The goal is top 200 as it then qualifies the rider for other invitational events. This is straight from Walter’s post Training Peaks report:
“Had my best race ever. Conditions were tough, lots pf crashes, clay, big hills, some trails were unridable and we all had to walk like 40 mins carrying our bikes. I Improved my time by more than 2 hours from last year. I didn’t finish in the top places but the top Australian riders participated ( like the Olympic team and an ex world champion). I only finished ~1 hr later than the big dogs. Rode really strong, never hit the wall, on the downhill sections I was flying @ 60kph! I’m really happy with my riding, it has really come to a new level and it’s very exciting that there is room for improvement. Can’t wait to talk to you during the week and tell you all about it. That race is used to rank riders in the country and I am in spot number 143. With that I have qualified to participate in a new whole bunch of events that require qualifying times/ranking. I’ll send some photos.”
2012 looks to be promising. We are proud to have Walter as a Training Bible athlete.