Sad news that Jesse Carlsson has pulled out Race to the Rock. After speaking to Jesse and from his facebook feed, this what we have ascertained;

After doing all the rocky difficult single track, and coming to the end of the Mawson trail, Jesse had a big stack on an unsuspecting smooth gravel downhill run. He was heading west into a setting sun and was briefly blinded by glare as he approached an unseen clay wash out full of ruts. The bad timing saw him come down very hard, heavily winding himself (and puncturing a hole in jersey in his chest), throwing his back out and also sustaining injuries to his wrists and ankle, plus some deep and dirty cuts and grazes.
 
He managed to remount and ride one handed in agony about 30kms to Parachilna where he stayed the night. He still wasn't sure of the extent of the injuries "in these races everything hurts anyway, so you don't really know how bad the injuries are".
After resting he awoke to a very swollen ankle and wrist, but headed out for another 60km ride on one arm, one leg and lots of rough gravel to Leigh Creek to see a doctor. The doc. cleaned him up but suspects a broken wrist (no x-ray machine in Leigh Creek), so with Jesse not being able to hold on to the bars, he has understandably decided to pull out.
Hard bloody yakka is what Jesse is made of, and even though he won't finish, Curve  and Jesse can proud of what Jesse has achieved for this race in such a short time. Luring riders from Australia and the world to take on this adventure with him. Plus the stunning coverage with Cycling Tips ensures that more people will attempt this crazy but amazing ride. Now he can also be proud to see Sarah Hammond, the only female entrant, who was sitting in fourth on day 3, has now taken the overall lead. 

What a race! Well done Jesse.

 

Race to the Rock starters group shot

They are off and riding... Starting from Victoria Square in Adelaide's city centre 20 brave riders have committed to packing their bikes for a 2300 km solo adventure into the great Australian outback. Ranging from early 20's to early 70's the age range is huge. It's a male dominated ride with Sarah Hammond being the only female.

I arrived at 5:15am September 3rd 2016 to the start point for what was to be my first experience in real life as to how an ultra endurance race event starts. Photographer Lana Adams emerges from the darkness, followed by participating rider Ty Domin. By 5:30am, 5-7 riders arrive. By 5:40am, another 10 or so appear. There is a mix of excitement, nervousness and curiosity. Everyone is checking everyone else's bike, meeting and greeting eager to get going. I try to meet all the riders as they arrive and take a pic of their bikes. Bikes are in no particular order, and not a complete gallery of every bike. (Apologies for not attaching riders names to each bike.)

At 5:45 Jesse and Sarah arrive and the starting group is quickly gathered for a obligatory group photo before commencing at 6am sharp.

Race to the Rock rider Ty Domin

Race to the Rock bikes

Race to the Rock bikes

Race to the Rock bikes

Race to the Rock bikes

Race to the Rock bikes

Race to the Rock bikes

Race to the Rock bikes

 Once the group shot is taken and 6am arrives, everyone gets moving. Having insight to Jesse's plan on day 1 (His whole race schedule for that matter.) I wanted to ride out to the outskirts of the city and into the hills to get an idea of the pace the leaders will settle into. RCC members join us as the meandering bike path turns into bitumen on Gorge Road, then takes a sharp climb of 10-15% into Batchelor Road where the group gets split up. Jesse, Justin and Gunther were nowhere to be seen. They accelerate once the tight bike path opened up and off they went.

Race to the Rock day 1

Race to the Rock day 1

Race to the Rock day 1

30kms from the start point, I wave goodbye to Sarah and the rest of the riders as they begin day 1 of their journey that is Race to the Rock.

Im happy to have shared the morning with the riders and wish all of them luck.

Ride Safe

Steve Varga

 

In September 2016, I'm (Jesse C) riding unsupported 2,300km from Adelaide to The Rock (Uluru otherwise known as Ayres Rock) via the Mawson Trail and Oodnadatta Track as fast as I can. The route covers some rugged, remote country in the Australian outback. Different to a lot of bike-packing adventures, this is not a "yeah two bottles will be fine" sort of a ride. The route demands respect, research and some caution. You're welcome to ride it too, but you'll also be on your own, and I will try my very best to get to Uluru before you!

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