The final Shimano MTB Grand Prix event for 2020 was held at Majura Pines in Canberra and was an endurance test for riders and organisers alike. Challenging weather conditions with temperatures in the mid to high thirties and tough wind gusts were challenging for all.
In the four hour competition the young local racer Zoe Cuthbert completed 9 laps and won the women’s competition outright ahead of acclaimed endurances athlete Sarah Riley from Sydney (+22:48min) and Claire Menzies (7 laps). Cuthbert admitted that she struggled to get into a rhythm early in the race.
Going into the Rocky Trail 4hr I was feeling pretty unmotivated and flat. […] Once I started riding and got into a rhythm it all came together and I ended up finishing the 4hr and riding 70km. The lesson learnt is sometimes you just have to give it a try and see how it goes!Zoe Cuthbert, outright winner female solo competition 4 hour race
The men’s winner Ayden Toovey said that he had raced hard and was content to “finally nab P1 in another awesome Rocky Trail event”. Clocking in 11 laps in 4h23:17 on a hot day the local gun missed the outright line honours by only 5 minutes against the pairs team of fellow Canberrans Dave May and Rob McLachlan. Ben Henderson placed second in the solo men’s with 10 laps and Daniel Schwartz from Campbelltown came in third.
Storm front forces 7-hour racers off the track
Race organisers from Rocky Trail Entertainment called the 7-hour competitors off the race track at the 6-hour mark as a storm front was moving in. Women’s winner Kaydee Raths said that she hadn’t felt her best on the day and a “good dusty tumble” had taken it out of her. Yet, the Sydney-based US-American athlete impressed everyone with 12 laps on the fast pine forest course that also included several tough switchbacks to climb up before rewarding its racers with a flowy descent on brand-new berms by the local trail builders.
Sydney’s Catherine Wood, one of the Rocky Trail regulars placed second on 10 laps ahead of Gwynn McLeod from Woden who had finished early after 8 laps.
In the men’s Alwyn Miller claimed his second victory in the series and won the solo competition with 14 laps in 6h12:21. In second was Owen Gordon from the Blue Mountains who has well and truly established his name on the endurance racing leader boards at Rocky Trail events this year. The 21-year old from Springwood said that the final round of the 7 Hour Shimano GP Series was tough in the heat.
Hot and dusty trails of Mount Majura did not disappoint.Owen Gordon, looking forward to the Season Finale in Lithgow
Was a very close battle between Alwyn Miller and myself until I cramped 5.5 hours in and lost the lead, ending up in 2nd. Thanks to Rocky Trail Entertainment for an amazing year through this difficult time and with one final race to go, the 24 Hour!
The line honours went to the Men’s pair of Lachlan Bakewell and Robert Bennett from Newcastle with 15 laps.
The Shimano MTB GP will return with events in Canberra as well as across NSW, QLD and VIC in 2021.
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Race Photos are now online and ready for download from the Outer Image Collective portal! They are included in your entry with thanks to support from Mackay Regional Council, Ride Fox Australia, Lazer Sport Australia and Race Face Performance Products through Shimano Cycling Australia and Stans NoTubes via Jetblack Products Australia. Get your pics now and share them with your friends! Use the hashtag #rockytrailracer so we can follow your stories! Remember to check he no-number galleries too, just in case!