All I can say is that I have never seen so many steep hills that just kept going and going. This was my first major MTB race and all I can say is I hope they're all not that tough.
The first 5km were all on flat roads until this evil hill that rose 220m in 1300m or 17% gradient! Most only lasted the first 200m before dismounting.
Other hills were in the 9-12% gradient marks so it made last weeks Alpine look like a walk in the park. Once I was over the shock I settled into a great day on and off the bike. The tracks were clearly marked (except for one descent that had me on the anchors not knowing which way to go - probably not looking up enough).
The organsation and support was first class and it has to be the best organised event I've ever been involved in.
I completed the 50km in 4hrs 2min and think I finished about mid field - being my first one I have nothing to base it against.
Will I be back? You betcha!
Dist = 56.0km - not 50!
Time = 4:02
HR = Avg 149
/ Max 181
Speend = Avg 14.7km/h / Max 66.1km/h
Total Ascent = 1,580m
KCal = 4,046 - not bad for 4 hours!