The final round of the RedAss NSW/ACT Downhill State Series was held at the Awaba MTB Park on the weekend. After Saturday’s practice on ideal – and dry – track conditions, the race day on Sunday brought torrential downpours, which challenged the racers and pushed them to their limits. The local riders dominated the elite categories: Newcastle’s Graeme Mudd wins on his home track clocking in the fastest race time of the day ahead of Jake Newell from Kincumber and fellow Novocastrian Rick Boyer. Michelle Crisp from Caringbah was the fastest woman on track, ahead of Sarah Booth from Tanilba Bay and newcomer Kellie Weinert from Kearns. U19’s Downhill State Champion wins the final race and also takes home the overall category series win.
The final round of the RedAss Downhill State Series race at Awaba Mountain Bike Park was inundated with not only the fastest downhill guys and girls in the state, but also with torrential rain that made sure each and every rider was thoroughly saturated come race time. Organisers from Rocky Trail and officials from the hosting club Hunter MTB Alliance made the decision on Sunday mid-morning to abandon the seeding runs of elite and U19’s racers due to the inclement weather and the times started to fall as the categories started to attack the mountain from midday. “The track was in great conditions and very dry in the race lead up and in consultation with builders and the club we were able to run the race, even in the wet conditions. The track held up really well, yet based on feedback from marshals and racers on the day we decided that it was safer to give everyone just the one race run. They were all supportive and so enthusiastic to have a race, which also motivated the support crews and us organisers to keep going”, said race director Martin Wisata from Rocky Trail of the rough conditions on race day.
Graeme Mudd reigns in hero dirt again
Graeme Mudd clocked in the fastest men’s race run in a time of 4:04.07 in what was a truly insane ride as he recalled at the finish. “I crashed in the rock garden up the top, then had to run with my bike up that uphill section that follows. I couldn’t clip in right away afterwards and raced the ‘stairway to heaven’-section not clipped in. I’m glad to be at the finish in one piece and happy with my win on my home track”, said the passionate downhill racer from Newcastle who once again showed his outstanding talent, even in wet conditions, finishing with a gap of more than 3.5 seconds ahead of Jake Newell from the Central Coast and his team mate Rick Boyer.
With this win in the final race, Graeme Mudd claimed the silver medal in the overall series results behind Andrew Crimmins from Bredbo (NSW). Local Regan Arthur from Killingworth comes third overall ahead of Central Coast’s Brad Kelly and Scott Grundy from Wyongah.
Michelle Crisp strong in wet conditions
Michelle Crisp from Caringbah took out the female elite race win in a time of 5:54.68 and said that it had been a challenging race run, which made her really proud to win, especially after coming back from a shoulder injury just recently. “It feels good to be on the top step again”, she said. Sarah Booth was second with a gap of 17 seconds and takes out the overall female elite series win ahead of the weekend’s third, Kellie Weinert and Cycling Australia Junior Mountain Biker of the year, Danielle Beecroft from Richmond. Vanessa Thompson from Yanderra gets fourth overall and Michelle Crisp is in fifth place in the series.
Reigning U19’s Downhill State Champion Joel Willis from Lithgow wins his third downhill race of the series and takes out the overall title ahead of Ryan O’Linn from Wahroonga and Ben Dengate from Canberra.
Organisers from Rocky Trail confirmed dates for the 2014 racing series with its season opener at Thredbo in April. The first race will be the Downhill State Championships as part of an entire Gravity Racing Championship Weekend together with Rocky Trail’s Rollercoaster Gravity Enduro event.