Race report by Andrew Finlayson
The Mont this year has been a priority race for a few of the
JetBlack team members and despite the re-shuffle of dates and the team reconfiguration that followed we had 3 full teams entered. JetBlack Racing in Foursomes Open Male, JetBlack Dais in Foursomes Masters Male and JetBlack Salubrious 6 in SixPacks Open Male.
JetBlack Racing consisted of Andrew Finlayson, Andrew Fell, Daniel Procter and Ian Anderson and were racing in Foursomes Open Male. JetBlack Dais consisted of Michael Brown, Dave Pickles, Ashley Mills and Pete Rohr and were racing in Foursomes Honest 40s. JetBlack Salubrious 6 consisted of Kyle Sharp, Tom Green, Rob Snewin, Mike Davies, Dustin Sharp and Hamish Wing and were racing in Sixpacks Open Male.
Kyle, Tom, Rob and the rest of the Sixpacks arrived early to reserve a good spot for the weekend and the rest of us left Sydney (and other far away places) later on Friday. The requisite stop for pies at Goulbourn was the meetup for Brownie, Pickles, myself, Dan and Felly. We then headed down in convoy, well almost, as Pickles took a last minute exit swipe across the freeway and left Felly and Dan stranded having missed the exit. Kowen was made at around 11am and while Dan, Felly and I had some confusion regarding tent configuration, Brownie and
Pickles made attempts to catchup to the Salubrious 6 in the beer consumption stakes. I think they came pretty close to achieving success and Brownie felt the need to retire at around 7pm, only to be rudely awakened by Pickles for another round. All in bed by 0930 though, ready for a solid day to come.
Up early for breakfast and an awesome coffee by “2 Before 10” who have some serious coffee cred. Double shot lattes and ristrettos were the go and had us pumped for the start. Strategy discussed and racing orders determined we headed for the race briefing and start line.
A 1/2hr start line wait wasn’t all that great given the temperature of the morning but at least Brownie and I were allowed to push in for a front row spot. The start was behind motorbikes until we were through the event centre but they certainly weren’t holding back on the pace. Brownie got a pearler of a start and was right
with the front runners. Some regular craziness ensued and I was nearly taken out by a crazed diving roadie. I managed to survive though and the 2 climbs before the singletrack sorted the field. I managed to enter the singletrack 4th
further back. I progressed solidly and only dropped one position until just after
the bridge underpass, then things went pear shaped. My dropped chain got clipped by the rear wheel and mangled the derailleur. There was no fixing this one so I whipped out the chain breaker, ditched the chain and ran the 3k till the downhill section and rolled into transition, losing about 7 minutes. Not a great start.
If I thought my start was bad though, Brownie had a shocker. Puncturing much earlier in the lap with a torn sidewall he had all manner of issues getting a tube setup and inflated. He lost 20 minutes in the one lap and knowing that everything needed to go right to place well, the race result was more or less out the window.
Meanwhile the Salubrious 6 tapped out a lap, caught no doubt in some major conga line. Dustin rolling in for an 1hour24 lap and sending Hamish out. I’ll put Hamish in for the dark horse award as he lapped super consistent sub 1hr laps for the entire event.
Having had a rotten start I sent Felly out and he punched out a solid lap, making plenty of position along the way. He rolled in and tapped Dan who took off with similar intentions. It wasn’t to be though as Dan flatted and lost another 6 or so minutes. Hoping our bad luck was behind us, Ian headed out for his first look at the track this year.
Ash Mills, Pickles and Pete Rohr all took their turn to check out the course and find some flow. Although the track was busy everyone was enjoying the event so far. The open male team was looking solid after a difficult start and had settled into top spot in category and 4th We knew that to hold that spot was going to take some racing overnight and were all prepared to continue solid laps throughout the tough early morning hours to come. Dan Procter was working
hard through some serious back pain but otherwise we were all in good condition and, having had no more mechanicals, high spirits also.
Brownie, Dave and Ash pushed through till 1130 pm where Pete Rohr decided that a couple of night laps sounded like fun. The others headed off to bed and Pete knocked out a couple of laps to keep things ticking over.
The Salubrious 6 also kept things rolling, enjoying a bit of night riding while getting as much sleep as possible. They continued throughout the night and early morning with very consistent laps.
Daybreak and JetBlack Racing open male were in a fantastic spot with 1⁄2 hr lead on 2nd minutes it was going to be a case of hanging onto our hats and hoping the 6 man team behind us were feeling the pinch. We pushed on with very consistent lap times but the team behind us were putting a few minutes a lap into us. Dans back had decided that lap 6 was going to be his last so I took the last lap. Heading out with a 6 minute lead I knew that an easy roll around was not going to be good enough. With that racing buzz running through the veins I punched out as good a lap as I could manage, 52m12s with some on course encouragement from Mike Davies and Kyle Sharp. My second fastest of the race!
I knew we hadn’t been passed by anyone during the lap so we had overall sewn up. Some serious elation (and a beer that went down very quickly) as I crossed the line for what is the biggest win for any of our team of 4.
The Salubrious 6 had continued to the end with fantastic consistency from all 6 members, total credit to them on their result 80th from 144 teams in category.
JetBlack Dais pushed out a few more laps on a very cut up course throughout the morning to finish 34th respectable result given their early difficulties.
Massive credit goes to Andrew Fell, Dan Procter and Ian Anderson for their focus and consistency throughout the event. Anyone who has raced a 24hr knows that it is won and lost in the small hours of the morning and JetBlack Racing showed the character required to get the job done. To finish 1st
teams and in the top 3 outright in an event with this standing, surrounded by only 6 man teams and more than a lap up on the next 4 man team is an incredible result and one that we are all proud of.
A fantastic weekend racing, it was a pleasure to be with great company and I always feel the support of the entire JetBlack Racing crew, as do we all.