Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2014 MTB National Championships Predictions

A lot of people don’t regard this blog as a serious, informative and reputable source for cycling news – or as it more commonly known these days,

But to me, this seems unfair. In the past year alone there have been stories about racing:
• Desert Racing, the Tour Divide, Tour Down Under and the Herald-Sun Tour 

There have been opinion and investigative pieces:
• Drugs in Cycling, Spiritual Doping, Racism in the Tour de France and Quantum Mechanics
As well as informative articles about cross training:
• Backgammon and Ice Hockey 
Plus numerous tips on nutrition and technology:
• Spherical Diet Plan, The Hops Window, Performance Enhancement on a Budget, Stack Height and Recumbent Saddle Comfort
Then there’s the stories about the people who animate the world of cycling:
• Jared Graves, John Tomac, Dion Shaw (the Sock Pimp) and Neil van der Ploeg 
There have been DVD reviews and even a series of Vegetarian cooking videos coinciding with the Tour de France:
• Vegetarian Taste le Tour

Yet despite all these fine examples of top-shelf cycling journalism, the wider cycling community remains unconvinced about the legitimacy of this information source. But all that is set to change.

The Private Cyclist this week presents three exclusive scoops from the 2014 Australian MTB National Championships held over the weekend in Bright, Victoria.

Forget regular old reporting or even exclusive breaking news this week. In order to demonstrate just how deftly The Private Cyclist’s finger rests on the pulse of serious mountain bike racing in Australia, three bold and accurate predictions about the MTB Nationals are revealed below.

By the time the post you are currently reading has hit the shelves (so to speak), all of the National Championship events have been completed. But these predictions were made late last week, prior to the event and are presented here with only the strictest journalistic integrity. Hopefully they can serve to legitimise all the other informative articles, reviews, investigations and in-depth examinations presented on this blog.
And before you start questioning the authenticity of this claim, let me first address the issue of trust surrounding any predictions made in a post published after the fact. 
The only way to accept the authenticity of these predictions would be to see absolute proof of them being made prior to the event being run. So here it is:

What you see in the photographs above (apart from a very reasonably priced Men’s Perm for $80) is a current newspaper (the highly acclaimed “Korean Today”) from Thursday the 6th of March (prior to the MTB National Championships) on display in front of a computer screen outlining The Private Cyclist’s 2014 Australian MTB National Championships Predictions showing that they were, unquestionably, made well before the actual events took place.
And before you start questioning the legitimacy of this claim, let me also address the issue of how to prove that the newspaper from March 6th was not simply photographed after that date.
Any regular readers of “Korean Today” will be well aware of three important facts regarding this Korean language newspaper in circulation in metropolitan Melbourne:

1. In this publication, it’s the Ugg Boot shops, rather than banks and car companies, competing for the big advertising space.

2. Their razor sharp exposé on the real-life Barbie doll (who had five breast implants and hypnotherapy to help her believe that she’s actually dumb) was as controversial as it was gripping.

3. The paper stock used for this publication does not remain in tact any longer than a day before it disintegrates in to a fine powder, which, rather cleverly, can be scooped up, mixed with water, ox tail, cow’s feet and innards to form a rather delicious traditional Korean soup called Gomguk.

The point being that no copy of the “Korean Today” would ever stay in tact long enough to be photographed after the MTB Nationals.

So, in summary, what you see above is proof (albeit a rather long-winded proof) that the predictions made by The Private Cyclist were in fact made in advance of the events of the 2014 Australian MTB National Championships taking place.

And to demonstrate just how accurate these predictions were, let’s take a look at each of them in a bit more detail:
1. Following on from his strong showing at previous National Series rounds, Jared Graves will, once again, channel the great John Tomac and display some surprising equipment choices that may, one day, revolutionise Cross Country mountain biking.

The Private Cyclist was certainly on the money with this inside scoop. Graves kept his innovation under a shroud of secrecy rivalling that of the great winged-keel equipped America’s Cup yacht Australia II in 1983.

The famous skirt used to hide the innovative new “winged keel” that helped Australia become the first nation to take the America’s Cup away from the USA back in 1983…and also allowed our Prime Minister to dig this special jacket out of his fancy dress chest.

Graves managed to keep this clever piece of hydration equipment on the down-low until just before he lined up to start the Men’s Elite Cross Country. Obviously it worked as he had an impressive ride to 2nd place.
Prediction: Correct
2. In the Downhill, a certain rider currently sponsored by a well-known energy drink will have a storming final run to make the Elite Women’s podium.
In a display of foresight that only the keenest mountain biking commentator/analyst could muster, Danielle Beecroft rode to 5th place (which puts you on a podium in MTB events) in the final of the Women’s Elite Downhill. While Beecroft isn’t technically sponsored by an energy drink company, The Private Cyclist did manage to dig out this old photo of her wearing a Red Bull hat.
Prediction: Correct(ish)
3. In the Men’s Cross Country Eliminator (XCE), a crash in the preliminary rounds will thwart the hopes of one of the pre-race favourites.
While there was a crash in one of the earlier categories, the Men’s Elite competition was actually fairly free of incident. The only thing captured on film (or whatever digital cameras use) was this minor touch of wheels that led to Holly Harris being denied a berth in the Women’s Big Final.

Her competitors must have sympathised with her though, because in the Small Final (deciding 5th-8th place) she lined up on her own and only had to cruise around the course waving to the crowd and giving high fives.
Prediction: Vaguely Correct

Unfortunately there were no predictions made for the Observed Trials, mainly because The Private Cyclist doesn’t really understand how a bicycle can function without a saddle.

With such incredibly bold, insightful and (fairly) accurate predictions, it will be interesting to see if the mainstream cycling media starts to pay a bit more attention now that it has been demonstrated that the The Private Cyclist’s finger is definitely on the pulse of serious mountain biking in Australia.

In fact, with the United Nations declaring 2016 as the International Year of Pulses The Private Cyclist has enlisted some big names in the world of cycling to help raise awareness about the important role that pulses (such as lentils, chickpeas and other grain legumes) play in crop rotation due to their ability to fix nitrogen.

The Private Cyclist supports "Cyclists With Their Fingers on the Pulse”
2016: International Year of Pulses

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