Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mixed Pairs Racing, Acronyms & The Mount Beauty 6-hour

As mountain bike racing continues to gain popularity in Australia, much of that growth (in terms of participation, anyway) has been in the discipline that Australians like to call Cross Country Enduro. This differs from other forms of Cross Country racing like Cross Country Olympic (XCO), Cross Country Eliminator (XCE) and Cross Country Marathon (XCM) in that the race is contested over a lap course constrained by time rather than distance. It also differs in that for the rest of the world the term ‘enduro’ refers to a completely different form of mountain bike racing (see here) which is much more focused on riding downhill than riding in circles.

Therefore, in the interests of simplicity (and so as not to confuse the European and North American readership demographic – which at the moment consists of Matthias from Germany and Geoff from Canada) I will refer to this style of racing as Cross Country Time Restricted Multi Lap Endurance, or XCTRMLE. I think that should stick if everybody gets on board – I know how mountain bikers love acronyms.

It is unclear whether the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) vetted the signage application for this catering business.

On an interesting (not very) side-note, MTB has a number of other acronym uses including Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Motor Torpedo Boat, Mozilla Thunderbird, Materials Transportation Bureau, Mum To Be, Maximum Therapeutic Benefit, Mid-Amble Transmission Burst, Maintenance Training Bay, Mission Training Brief and Magnetic Torque Bar:

Common formats of XCTRMLE racing include 24-hour, 12-hour, 8-hour and 6-hour events. Easter saw the 24-hour Solo National Championships held in Canberra (you can read more about that here). The Victorian Enduro Series (VES), which will no doubt soon become known as the VXCTRMLES, began in March and includes a number of popular 6-hour events like the GMBC Crazy 6, Buxton Bootcamp and Rockhop Enduro. Round 2 of the series, coming up on the 27th of April is the Mount Beauty 6-hour, which promises to also be a stellar event.

Of particular interest this year is the Mixed Pairs category, which is set for some hot competition not seen since John McEnroe teamed up with Martina Hingis to win the 2010 Liverpool International.

Mixed Pairs are no longer confined to the fruit bowl!

Mixed Pairs racing (or any form of pairs racing for that matter) offers up a number of interesting possible team configurations, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Here's a look at the Mixed Pairs competition in the upcoming Mount Beauty Six Hour:

Cohabitating Unmarried Plutonic (CUP) – Ash and Maj from The Fitzroy Revolution will be looking to have a good crack in this category. Although living together, they have separate rooms and a delicate landlord/tenant relationship - this does throw up the possibility of some unresolved tension over grease stains on the hardwood floors or that blown lightbulb that just hasn’t been fixed - which might wreak havoc with their team chemistry. Adding to this pressure, Maj has been putting in a huge amount of hours at work over the past few months meaning that her form might struggle unless the course at Mount Beauty suits her current strengths - the 1.8km commute to the Footscray train station. Ashley, meanwhile, is still in 24-hour Solo mode and might struggle with motivation and speed in this 6-hour event.

Cohabitating Unmarried Defacto (CUD)
– AJ and Jo are the one’s to watch in this sub-category. While they live together and share a bedroom, rumour has it that they have the twin single-beds separated so as not to get distracted prior to race day.

Kiss, kiss darling? Surely not on race night!

AJ will no doubt put in some of the fastest lap times for the race and if Jo can manage to find enough time to recover before he gets back each lap, then they will definitely be the hot favourites.

Plutonic Unmarried Friendly Team-mates (PUFT)
– While there are certainly less distractions in this sub-category, Kelly Bartlett and Dave Thomas will need to be wary of the gauntlet already thrown down by Ren and Simon who have threatened to “tear them a new one” during this race.

Separately Located Unmarried Twice-weekly Sleepovers (SLUTS)
– In this category, it’s hard to go past The Fitzroy Revolution’s Duncan & Amity who have had plenty of time to refine their transitions, race strategies and nutritional plans over a few weeks spent riding in New Zealand’s south island recently. This should have them in top form.

All that’s left now is to see which mixed pair can pull it all together in the battle of one of the best sports acronyms at Round 2 of the Victorian Cross Country Time Restricted Multi Lap Endurance Series (XCTRMLES).

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