The Diamonds in the Dirt mountain biking event was held at Ourimbah MTB Park near Wyong on 9 September. With a timed three-hour race, this is cycling events promoter Rocky Trail’s Women’s Only event. Michelle Morris from Shelly Beach on the Central Coast was the woman who completed the most laps in just over three hours, winning her first solo race on her home track.
Originally scheduled for Awaba MTB Park at Cooranbong near Newcastle, the Diamonds in the Dirt event had to be moved to Ourimbah MTB Park on the Central Coast due to an out-of-control bush fire that threatened the safety of the participants.
With thick smoke clouds reported from the original Awaba venue, fire crews rushed past the alternate event centre at Ourimbah MTB Park just as the riders assembled for race start. “It was quite a sight”, says event founder Juliane Wisata from Rocky Trail. “However, we are well connected with emergency crews on event weekends as well as the State Forest management and knew that the fire was a few ridge lines away and that the fire crews used the quickest access road to get there – right past our event centre”, she explained.
With all concerns put to rest quickly, the three-hour race started with women from all over NSW: a strong local crowd from the Central Coast and Hunter MTB Clubs and riders coming from as far as Orange, Port Macquarie and Wollongong. “I loved how my dream of assembling all kinds of female mountain bikers to one event came to fruition once again – we had a lot of girls who had just gotten into riding, others that race regularly and some really keen juniors also. I was even able to put a couple of laps in myself!”, said Wisata of the brilliantly sunny spring day. “To be surrounded by so many passionate fellow riders and to be out on track with them is just such a motivational and confidence boost, I’ll draw from this positive energy for months”, she concluded.
Home track advantage takes the win
The field of riders participated across several race categories from experienced to up and coming racers and juniors as well as teams. The woman with the most lap times in the three-hour race window was Michelle Morris from Shelly Beach. The mum of two has been a regular at Rocky Trail events in the past, however, she said, this had been only her second solo riding event. “It feels like I’m about to fly out of the nest, I’m really excited”, she said ahead of the race, which she completed with 14 laps in 3:09:01. Being cheered on by husband Benji and her two daughters Michelle clocked in lap after lap including the second-fastest lap time of 12:56 min on the 3.5 km circuit.
The fastest lap time was put down by team rider Bec Vosson from Helensburgh in 12:43 min. As the first finisher across the line, Vosson and team mate Ulla Cady completed 13 laps in exactly three hours for the second place in the overall line honours.
The Rocky Trail crew announced that the Diamonds in the Dirt event will return to Awaba MTB Park in 2018. “I’m looking forward to all the feedback from our Diamonds of the past two years and can’t wait to start planning the next edition of this event”, Juliane Wisata said.
For more event information, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com
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