Seven shuttles. 300 riders. The event centre and trails at Greenvalleys MTB Park were pumping on the weekend. For the launch of the Illawarra MTB Festival, Rocky Trail brought two of its flagship series down south and sold out the venue: the Fox Rollercoaster Superflow put on two race tracks on the Saturday and the RedAss Downhill State Round sent its racers down the infamous ‘Sir Bishop’ track.
Shane Gillett and Stephanie Jackson increase Fox Superflow series leads
On the Saturday it was all about the superflowy trails at Greenvalleys. The riders were shuttled to the starts of the two newest track additions at the park and from midday the two race runs counted. Anthony Elliott from Wallaroo just outside of Canberra took out the elite men’s category with an ex aequo time on one track with his runner up Jon Gatt, one of the local racers. Elliott finished in 6:39min ahead of Gatt (+6 sec) and Sydney’s Jon Odams (+7 sec).
In the women’s, Kellie Weinert from Campbelltown secured the win in 7:59min ahead of Stephanie Jackson from Sydney (+33 sec). Jackson now holds a firm series lead. In the elite men, Shane Gillett from the Central Coast leads the series ahead of Ben McCarthy from Canberra and Hamish Cowan.
Harry Parsons and Sian A’Hern win controversial RedAss Downhill races
The RedAss Downhill race day started with the announcement by the commissairing panel, who closed a section of the new Sir Bishop track due to safety concerns. The controversial decision was met with both positive and sceptical emotions by the riders and track owner.
“At Greenvalleys we are all about progress and it is a shame that Martin [Wisata] didn’t run the full track today, but he runs a safe event and I respect his decision”, said Greenvalleys owner, Nick Haertsch.
“The new section cut in at the top of the track was still very raw and we decided to re-route parts of the race track to avoid a critical and in our view very risky section. We know that our riders give those extra 10-15% during their race runs and we just didn’t want anyone getting caught out, which could have potentially ended in very serious injuries due to the nature of the track feature in question”, Race Director Martin Wisata responded. “The facilities and trails here at Greenvalleys are just amazing and this mountain bike park is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for gravity riders in NSW”, Wisata praised the efforts by the Greenvalleys crew and added that he was looking forward to returning with another sell-out crowd in 2018.
With the fastest seeding time of the day, Mittagong racer Harry Parsons then rode to elite victory on his birthday in a race time of 1:44.387 ahead of Josh Lea (+2.795 sec) and Michael Willis (+4.518 sec). Parsons said that he was able to take the advantage on his home track. Sian A’Hern from Canberra won the elite women’s race in 2:04.581 ahead of Kellie Weinert (+4.96 sec) and Joanne Fox (+24.566 sec).
In the series, Kellie Weinert now leads ahead of Central Coast racer Ellie Smith and Jo Fox. In the men’s Duke Millington (5th at Greenvalleys) and Hamish Cowan (4th at Greenvalleys) are now ex aequo leaders of the elite category ahead of the final series round in Lithgow on 14+15 October 2017.
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