The Australian Gravity Enduro Series kicked off with its first race on the weekend with the NSW Round being held in the Glenworth Valley near Gosford. Victoria’s Dan McMunn won with the two best race runs ahead of fellow Victorian Ryan De La Rue, Simon Buzacott from South Australia. With Genevieve McKew and Vanessa Thompson two NSW Elite Women took out first and second places ahead of Rosemary Barnes from Canberra.
More than 120 racers from all over Australia competed in the inaugural mountain bike race on the brand-new gravity enduro track at the Central Coast’s Glenworth Valley Adventure Park, which was put together by the local mountain bike events promoter Rocky Trail Entertainment. They founded the Australian Gravity Enduro Series together with Alpine Gravity from Victoria. The first round attracted 20 interstate racers including gravity enduro gun Dan McMunn from Spring Gully in Victoria, winner of last year’s Alpine Gravity Enduro Series and the only competitor to break the magic mark of a 5 minutes. He recorded the fastest race time of the day with 4:51 min in his first run and followed it up with another 4:55 min for a total race time of 9:46 min resulting in the very impressive gap of 17 seconds to Ryan De La Rue. Simon Buzacott (SA) came in third only two seconds behind and Michael Ronning and Jason Blackmore from QLD came in fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Elite Male category.
“This was a challenging track, but it was so much fun”, said Dan MacMunn at the finish. “We’re all so thrilled to be travelling to all these awesome and different trails across the country and I can’t wait to race all these guys at the next round in Bright at the end of the month. This series will shape gravity enduro racing in Australia and kudos to Alpine Gravity and Rocky Trail Entertainment for putting it on!”
Two major contenders from NSW notably were absent from the start – Jon Odams from Sans Souci fell ill right before the weekend and Wyong’s Brad Kelly suffered a major mechanical in a training ride on the Saturday. The fastest NSW racer was Ryan Connell from Wollongong, who placed eighth in the Elite Male with 10:22 min.
Women embrace gravity enduro format
Genevieve McKew is one of the regulars on the NSW downhill state series racing circuit and has become one of the most successful elite women in the gravity enduro format. The 2013 Rollercoaster NSW State Series winner took out the Elite Women’s series lead of the Australian Gravity Enduro Series with 12:31 min at Glenworth Valley ahead of former 4X State Champion Vanessa Thompson from Yanderra and the Canberran Rosemary Barnes. Katherine O’Shea from Melbourne came in fourth ahead of Sydney’s Katherine Bicknell, one of the most passionate gravity enduro ambassadors. Said Bicknell, “Spread the word, tell the mountain biking girls out there how much fun this is – I’m hooked!”
Australian Gravity Enduro Series moves on to Victoria next
“I’m stoked that the first round attracted such a national field of riders right away”, said Ben Watkins from Alpine Gravity of the almost one fifth of interstate riders at the event. Watkins took the chance to race himself and took out the Veterans category at Glenworth Valley in 10:39 min. “Rocky Trail and we think alike – it’s about the fun for the riders and it’s great that we will be able to showcase such a wide variety of tracks and formats throughout the series. In Bright I’ll put on a staged event – riders will have to complete nine timed sections across two days”, he said of the upcoming round in Bright (VIC) on 29+30 March.
For detailed results of the NSW Round, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com
Top NSW Round Results:
1. Dan McMunn / Rowney Sports-YetiOz / Spring Gully (VIC) / 9:46 min
2. Ryan De La Rue / Specialized AU, Lusty, TLD, Go Pro, 5.10, World Trail / Colac (VIC) / 10:03 min / +17 sec
3. Simon Buzacott / Focus Bikes, Dissent labs, ion / Somerton Park (SA) / 10:05 min / +19 sec
4. Michael Ronning / Giant, Fox, Oakley, Drift / Hope Island (QLD) / 10:07 min / +21 sec
5. Jason Blackmore / Giant Australia / St Lucia (QLD) / 10:08 min / +22 sec
1. Genevieve McKew / Endless Flow Cycles, Knolly Bikes / Chatswood (NSW) / 12:31 min
2. Vanessa Thompson / Yanderra (NSW) / 13:22 min / +51 sec
3. Rosemary Barnes / Swell Design Group; Onya Bike Canberra / Lyneham (ACT) / 13:37 min / +1 min 6 sec
4. Katherine O’Shea / Port Melbourne (VIC) / 14:03 min / +1 min 32 sec
5. Kath Bicknell / FLOW Mountainbike / Sydney (NSW) / 14:59 min / +2 min 28 sec
Further category winners and series leaders after the NSW Round:
U19 Male: Aaron Felton / Bikeculture Sans Souci, Whyte bikes, Lucy’s expresso, sscc / Sans Souci NSW / 11:17 min
Expert Male: Anthony Elliot / Wallaroo (NSW) / 11:19 min
Sport Male: Alistair Schaefer / Kingsford (NSW) / 12:24 min
Sport Female: Coleen Boyes / Thornton (NSW) / 15:27 min
Veterans Male (30+): Ben Watkins / Yeti, Dakine, Teva, Endura, Magneto, Muc Off, My Mountain, Maxxis, Met, The North Face, Alpine Gravity / Bright (VIC) / 10:39 min
Master Male (40+): John Hardwick / Mountain Biking Austrlia / Wollongong (NSW) / 10:56 min
SuperMaster Male (50+): Michael Green / Cromer (NSW) / 12:19 min
U17 Male: Jarrod Murphy / Mount Marha (VIC) / 11:29 min
U15 Male: Nicholas Gulaj / Narara (NSW) / 13:38 min
Full NSW Round Results