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The FELT - Shimano Dream Team diary 2006

What do an Australian MTB Champion, an environmental engineer and an Austrian World Champion endurance cyclist have in common? They all ride for the FELT - Shimano Dream Team. Oh, and they are crazy for tackling the world's toughest MTB endurance race - Australia's Crocodile Trophy.

As Darren O'Grady, David Wood & Valentine Zeller battle through the bush from the Northern Territory into Far-North-Queensland, team manager Christi Valentine-Anderson will keep us up-to-date on the boys' progress.

Index to all entries

FELT - Shimano Dream Team Diaries, October 20, 2006

Stuck in the mud

By Christi Valentine-Anderson

Stage Four: Lamond's Lagoon - Goshen Station, 109 km

Felt Shimano Dream Team cyclist
Photo ©: John Flynn
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The Felt Shimano Dream Team Support crew of Ross Mogelton and Josey Wales, along with Dream Team Cyclist Darren O'Grady, took a sneak preview of the first river crossing last evening when they went looking for fresh water. The trio bogged the team car in the deep sand on the riverbank - a mistake that required serious lateral thinking on the parts of O'Grady and Mogelton. Wales was too busy taking photos of the dastardly duo and laughing to be of much use.

As the story goes, O'Grady and Mogelton dropped into the sandy bog and dug all four wheels free with their bare hands and then proceeded to jack the car up to put rocks and logs under it - effectively building a road to drive out on. Once finished reinventing the road, the two went on to push the team's 'all-wheel-drive' Ford into another bog. It was a frustrating, yet funny, caper and they all bathed in the river after another sweaty dig-out.

Photo ©: John Flynn
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O'Grady's opening comments as a cyclist were: " there is absolutely no way I am pushing this car out of the sand." But history now says that 20 minutes later the South Australian was on all fours digging - so he could subsequently push the team car out. Just goes to show the best laid plans are often no more than a pipe dream!

The first river crossing in stage four from Lamond's Lagoon to Goshen Station was the very spot where, just 12-hours earlier, the trio had a little private adventure. "We just did not want to come back to camp and tell Christi we were bogged… so we kept at it." Laughed Wales of the incident.

Stage four was a perfect ride for the Dream Team. All three riders had the word from management, " If we are not playing for the win, we do nothing. Just stay together and don't let anyone dangerous get away." So when Rucker jumped away during the first five kilometres, the trend was set.

Feeling great today, O'Grady had some thought of hunting the Austrian escapee down but thought better of it, as he would have to waste too much personal energy to do it on his own. O'Grady and Wood will be under the pump tomorrow and surely looking to put a score on the board heading toward Koombaloomba Dam.

Zeller had a recovery day today and moral is high within the entire Dream Team.