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Round 4 of the Northern Inland Pony Express (NIPES) was held at Copeton Dam on Sunday 22nd Sept. 2013. Once again Adam Scofield talked me into having a ride and offered me accommodation at Inverell with his partner Sonia and their children.

Coffs KTM Husaberg rider Jacko (Jason Grey ) also tagged along for a race.

Sunday morning dawned an absolutely awesome day, ready for  a day of action. Thankfully the previous Monday there was apparently 35mm of rain, not really sure if it made any difference, but it’s better than nothing.

After our sighting lap the reality of the dust problem hit home, a good start was needed. The officials made some quick alterations to the course (better track marking in a couple of places) and also an extended time lapse between the start of each class (2min instead of 1 min) .

Finally racing got underway, A grade, B grade, Ironman (Scoey), over 35’s (Jacko) and me (over 45’s) followed by C grade and Women. I got away in 3rd position and the dust was woeful, so I decided to just settle back into a bit clearer air, find a rhythm and conserve a little energy for the 2hr ride. Within 3k’s 2nd place had stalled on a tricky, rocky, uphill section, no worries into 2nd for me Back into a comfortable pace and in the distance was the leader of our category. After following him for a while he moved over to let me pass, maybe to give himself a break? Not sure really, no need to quiz him why. So I put my head down and kept up a solid pace with a relatively dust free course, by the end of the first lap that seemed to give me a slight advantage.

The second lap proved incident free and I was starting to work my way through some of the other class competitors, although at the end of the lap, 2nd place appeared to have closed the gap. No worries I put my head down again and pulled away.

The 3rd lap was good also, no incidents, although the track started to get chopped up and rough. End of the lap I had made a bit of a gap again. By my calculations (29min lap times) we were going to have to do 5 laps in total, so I thought a bit conservation on this lap would be in order to make a hard charge on the final lap. And this would be where it started to go wrong.

The first half of lap 4 had a good comfortable pace, but catching some slower riders and a lot of dust, forced me to slow, and then I got arm pump. No worries still had a good gap.

Then the last kilometre back to the start/finish I could hear a bike right behind me, and it was 2nd place. He passed me and thought I  would put my head down on the last lap and repass,it was not to be.

As we came to the start/finish we got the chequered flag ? my clock said 1hr 55min, but I didn’t realise that the time starts when the first category starts and with a 2min gap between each class…….oh well !

Never mind, there is nothing wrong with second place and having a trouble free ride on an awesome course. The little KTM 350exc was a pleasure to ride over the ever changing terrain, didn’t miss a beat and the suspension makes it a LOT easier for us more mature riders.

Thanks Coffs KTM and thank you to Adam and Sonia.

DOC Enduro 1

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