The AusCycling 24 Hour Solo National Championships were hosted at the Jetblack 24 Hour event on the weekend. Sydney’s Jon Odams and Kate Kellett from Torqay claimed the outright solo wins and were awarded the coveted Green & Gold stripes among a group of 10 newly announced 24 Hour Solo National Champions for 2022 across a range of age classifications. With its home in the Seven Valleys and Lidsdale State Forest, the Jetblack 24 Hour also offered 24 hour team as well as 6+6 hour categories.
Rocky Trail Entertainment organised the 14th edition of the Jetblack 24 Hour and proudly hosted the AusCycling 24 Hour Solo National Championships this year. Solo endurance athletes from all along the East Coast of Australia and Tasmania – 41 Men and 13 Women – lined up as part of the field of 300 mountain bikers at Lidsdale State Forest in Lithgow, the heart of the Seven Valleys Region.
The overall solo winner and 40-49 Australian 24 Hour Solo National Champion 2022 is Jon Odams from Bonnet Bay in Sydney.
The 40-year old said that he had been memorising the course well during the first part of the race, which was a strategy he benefited from during the night laps. The all-rounder who races across many mountain bike disciplines, including gravity, gravel and shorter endurance events, completed his last 24-hour event appearance over 10 years ago in 2011. He added that he had specifically included night rides in the preparation for the nationals event this year. It was during those consistent night laps, that he was able to create a solid gap to his competitors, finishing with 47 laps in 23h25:31. Odams executed a perfect 24-hour race with a solid pit crew, no major mechanicals or physical upsets and said,
“This was a fast and tough race the whole way through. A huge thank you to the organisers for such a good event and course. Now to let the body rest and enjoy many treats.”
He said that the title meant a lot to him and that he had been fully focused for the entire race,
“I literally didn’t get off my bike, only to swap between the two bikes in the whole 24 hours. I simply wanted to give it all that I could and it worked out.”Jon Odams
In the outright men’s second place was Jason English, the seven-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion from Newcastle and a legend of the sport who clocked in 46 laps in 23h45:37. With the gap to Odams increasing during the highligh experienced ultra-endurance athlete punched out solid laps in the early morning hours to secure the silver medal in the 40-49-year classification behind Odams ahead of Alwynn Miller from Inverell (-5 laps). In third outright in the mens was Mick Sherwood from Tamworth (-2 laps).
Kate Kellett dominates women’s competition
The women’s solo outright winner Kate Kellett didn’t leave anything out on track and dominated the women’s field from the first lap. An emotional Kellett at the finish said,
“This medal means the world to me. This race has been very important to me and I trained on a specific ultra-endurance programme for months. It’s been a great, but still brutal course.”Kate Kellett
She said that second-placed Kaydee Raths had been very strong right from the start too and that had put quite a lot of pressure on her. The 40-year old Kellett from Torquay finished on 37 laps after 23h51:22 with a gap of 35min28 ahead of the US-born Kaydee Raths from Tasmania.
“I’ve been missing the cross-country racing in Tasmania, where it’s more about gravity. So I prepared by riding long distances on my new local trails to keep the kilometres up”, said Raths.
In third outright was the Jetblack 24 Hour title defender from last year, Gwynn McLeod from Canberra. The 40-year old age group Silver medallist this year said that it had been exciting to race in such a competitive female field. Michelle Newstead from Grafton was fourth outright (-4 laps) claiming the Gold medal in the 50-59 age group ahead of fifth outright, the Bronze medallist in the 40-49, Rebecca Stone from Moggil in QLD.
“Mountain Men” lead the charge in the Teams classification
Our outright solo winner Jon Odams also led the honorary title of the “most laps” completed until Sunday mid-morning and was then overtaken by a team of six, no less. The six racers of “The Mountain Men” team completed 49 laps in 24h10:59.
In the 6+6 Hour competition, the 34-year old Ed White from Paddington in Sydney took the win with 24 laps, crossing the line at the 24h05:49 mark. The 6+6+ hour racers had stopped between 6pm and 6am. In second outright was 22-year old Archie Gibson (-2 laps) ahead of Rodney Rae from newcastle (-2 laps) and Clayton Locke from Canberra (winner of Supermaster 50+ and -3 laps). In fifth was Grandmaster 60+ racer Matthew Swait from Blackheath (-3 laps).
The only solo female at the start was the 15-year old Lilli Rae who spectacularly completed 19 laps.
Race organisers from Rocky Trail Entertainment said that they were looking forward to returning to the Seven Valleys in 2023.
“It was an honour to host the Australian 24 Hour Solo National Championships at the Jetblack 24 Hour and I’d like to congratulate all the new National Champions. What a show of determination and grit.”Martin Wisata, Rocky Trail Co-Founder
Wisata also thanked all sponsors and supporters and praised the local Central Tablelands Mountain Bike Club for their efforts in the lead up to prepare the race track,
“The Central Tablelands MTB Club with Craig Flynn at the helm as its Club President has worked tirelessly for months to maintain the trails in the Lidsdale State Forest after the huge wet weather impact. The trails have never been in a better condition and once again the network shines as one of the biggest nature assets in the Seven Valleys Region because of the hard work of this incredible local community group.”
For race results and photos, click below.
2022 Australian 24 Hour Solo National Champions
- F30-39 Raths Kaydee| Bib 40 | 37 laps in 24h26:50 (US Citizen)
- F40-49 Kellett Kate| Bib 23 | 37 laps in 23h51:22
- F50-59 Newstead Michelle| Bib 35 | 33 laps in 23h37:21
- F60+ Hayes Whelan-Wick Fiona| Bib 18 | 13 laps in 24h33:09
- M U23 Vidler Thomas| Bib 48 | 24 laps in 19h09:14
- M23-29 Sherwood Mick| Bib 29 | 45 laps in 24h04:20
- M30-39 Houghton Joshua| Bib 22 | 30 laps in 23h14:46
- M40-49 Odams Jon| Bib 36 | 47 laps in 23h25:31
- M50-59 Thompson Wayne| Bib 44 | 36 laps in 22h21:22
- M60+ Peadon Graeme| Bib 37 | 35 laps in 23h33:29