Small fields but great racing and massive smiles
The return of the HOT ROCK RACE to Townsville XC racing with the Shimano GP by Rocky Trail Entertainment brought lower than expected numbers but no lack of competition. The 4 hour and 7 hour format might have appeared a little daunting to locals at the Douglas Mountain Bike Park and COVID border closures stopped a number of Rocky Trail Racers who might have travelled north to the most remote Shimano MTB Grand Prix, but those who did race were treated to some great competition.
In the Solo female 4hr Meredith Watkins lead the way completing 8 laps and lapping the field beating Leah Denman and Tegan Maguire both on 6 laps. Meredith was torn between the 4 and 7 hr but decided to take the 4hr since she was backing up with a multisport event on the Sunday. Watch out for Meredith at the FOX Superflow sealed by STANS on the following weekend as she chases the 15 runs challenge. This was Tegan’s first race requiring a “Mummy pass”, and her strong third place proved she will keep improving. When offered a cold Redbull at the completion of her race Tegan commented “Oh, that sounds good… but best not, I have to go home to breast feed.”
Sole Male 4hr saw Bernard Cossar-Smith completed 10 laps and lead all the way from the start. Bernard travelled down from Cairns and is one of the nation’s strongest age group XC riders and after a quick warm down was driving the 4hrs home. In second and third completing 8 laps was Damian Rosenthal, ahead of Rowan Greedy by only 15 minutes in a close race. Bernard’s racing plans, like most, have been thrown into turmoil by the COVID outbreak but he said he is looking to include more Shimano GP’s in his ever-changing race calendar.
The team from Bike Fix Townsville provided the fastest 2 riders on the weekend with Bevan Mason being beaten only by teammate Andrew Roberts in the fastest lap ranks. This of course meant they were unbeatable in the 4hr Teams competition completing 11 laps. But the real story of this category was written by the second place “Dream Team” of Drew Roberts and Darcy Cussen. Completing 10 laps and at 15 and 16 years respectively these youngsters provided the drama with determination beyond their years in the battle with third places “Half Baked Goods” Lachlan Spencer and Angus Wood. Drew and Darcy will be riders to watch for the future as both riders have come out of the Townsville Rockwheelers Junior program and are looking to taking on more races.
In the Solo Female 7hr Laura Dunstan was stoked to have exceeded her expectations of completing 12 laps. She was too strong for Kate Davis who completed a creditable 10 laps. Kate was taken back to know she hear she had completed 2850m of climbing in 76km of racing.
Solo Male 7hr category saw Baily Devantier-Thomas be unchallenged completing 15 laps to win ahead of Mark Mollenhagen and Issara Sintothong who after more than 7 hours were only one minute and 24 seconds apart in both completing 12 laps.
7hr Team Dos Hombres completed 18 laps with Nathan Mummery crossing the line with only 10 seconds to the cut off time to allow teammate Alex Diorietes to get one more… Race director Bob Morris was stunned when Nathan Mummery appeared at registrations. Nathan is 5 times mountain Bike trials Australian Champion and has represented Australia at numerous World Championships. Second 7hr team was “The Jo show” team of David Darley and Joanne Koy who completes 14 laps. Dave who is a regular rider at world endurance stage races and a local XC stalward said he “loved the track, it was the best track you could ride at Douglas with the right mix of climbing and smooth descending”. Dave was also appreciate of the trail fairies who cleaned up the “B” lines on “Rock and Roll” track commenting the tidy up will be appreciated by all riders.
Tough course, hot conditions, great start to the Rocky Trail double-header in Townsville! A huge shout-out to the Rockwheelers MTB Club – Townsville! In what will be the first of many Shimano MTB GP – HOT ROCK RACES delivered by Rocky Trail all racers agreed that the format was great and they can not wait for the next.
The Rocky Trail crew will stay in town for the week with the Rocky Trail Academy North Queensland Schools event to follow this Friday, 18 September. The Fox Superflow will be the grand finale with a gravity enduro competition – racing both Saturday and Sunday at Douglas MTB Reserve.
Race photos from the Shimano-MTB Grand Prix Hot Rock Race in Townsville are ow online! They are included in the entry with thanks to Shimano Australia Cycling and Townsville Enterprise, so download them now!