Brisbane’s Sugarbag Rd trail network, in the centre of Caloundra is a peach of a MTB park. Rocky Trail Racers got to savour its sweet flavours for 4 and 7 hours on Saturday with the inaugural running of the Shimano GP on the Sunshine Coast. The event attracted a smaller than expected field but impressively 25% of them were women seeking to be crowned Queen bee.
Still buzzing after more than 4 hours in the saddle, local rider and CORCA member Geraldine Haidle completed 6 laps to just beat by 4 minutes Christine Turnbull also on 6laps in the GP4 Solo Female. This was Geraldine’s first race with Rocky Trail and we are sure it won’t be her last.
Sticking to his race plan Ryan Cavanagh dominated the GP4 Solo Male categories being the only rider to complete 9 laps in the time with an impressive 9 laps in 4:27. Damien Rosenthal completed 8 laps in 4:18 and Bobby Blinco 8 laps in 4:23. All three riders won their age categories 18-29, 40-49 and 30 -39 respectively.
Local talent out in force
Teaming up to race the GP4 Teams Male from the Eleven Hill Coaching stable Kyle Stewart and Thomas Johnson pipped younger stable mates Thomas Waites and Lachlan Pennisi. Both teams completed 9 laps with Kyle and Thomas finishing at 4hrs 10min just 13minutes ahead. There are a swarm of fast riders coming from this local coach Craig Quinn. Craig said,
“You guys [Rocky Trail Entertainment] run such a smooth event that it makes for a relaxed atmosphere even with the intense racing. We love the Rocky Trail GP format because it allows our riders to have a good hit out without the pressure that XCO racing presents.”Local coach Craig Quinn
GP4 mixed teams again saw Hayley Oakes again prove her talisman strategy, this time teamed up with Brayden Martin to take out this category. Hayley has won the category each time COVID has allowed her to race in QLD but has chosen a different partner each time. Brayden’s race didn’t start exactly to plan as his chain broke on the start line and he had to run to transition to hand over to Hayley before after completing only 400m. This stung Hayley into action as she went about having to pass the entire field to get back to the pointy end and on terms with the front of the race. They completed 9 laps in 4hrs 13 min which also had them second overall in the 4hr event.
In the GP4 Female Team “snax-ah-dent” team of Katja Rex and Elise McDonald 8laps in 4:32 took the flowers ahead of “Eleven Hills Girls”, Jess Hoskins and Millie Siddans 7laps in 4:02 and local CORCA team of Clare Burns and Keiko Nabetani 7 laps in 4:27. Keiko and Clare are active members of the club and were out during the week raking the trails in preparation for the racing.
Special category for local singlespeeders
Single Speed racing came to the GP as a Rocky Trails Entertainment nod to a Single Speed event that was cancelled earlier in the year due to COVID. Sugarbag is a hive of single speed riders and so it was that a small but dedicated field decided to take on the 4 and 7 hr format. Rhys Kent completed 7 laps in 4hrs and 10min but most impressive were the efforts of Ales Flisar who did 7 laps in 4hrs 15min on a 20’ BMX bike. Ales modified his bike to include 2 working brakes (a rule of the race) for the events and is an extreme example of the single speed culture. In the GP7 for Single Speeds Wayne Thompson did 12laps ahead of Levi Van Pan Huis’s 11laps
Solo racer Brodie Gardner wins seven hour line-honours with 14 laps
In the GP7 Solo Male local rider Brodie Gardner completed 14laps in 6:55 to be unchallenged. Brodie was 2 laps clear of Scott Farrell and Tony Bryan who did 12 laps in 7:05 and 7:12 respectively. In the GP7 teams “Local Shreds” , Zachary Meyers, Sean Toms, and Josh Stevenson provided some of the day’s best laughs as this teams of Juniors challenged included a race within the team by seeing who could get the fastest lap and who could do the most laps in the team. The team did 13 laps in 7hrs and 10min… BTW Sean got both the fastest and most laps (29min 55sec and 5 laps). JetBlack Racing team of Jake Adams, Matt Hourihan Dustin Gorbould did 12 laps in 5hrs and 15min. In GP7 Female Teams Sherry Ey and Maggie Mills partnered to complete 10laps in 6hrs 36min.
Michelle Woods takes female solo win
The Queen category on the day was the GP7 Solo Female. Michelle Woods, Rebecca Stone and Emma Rhymer battled it out all day. Rebecca started fastest and led for the first 3 laps before Michelle worked her way back into the lead and applied consistent pressure. Emma was looking to stay in the mix until mechanical problems took the sting out of her race at about the midway point. Michelle would go on to win completing 11laps in exactly 7hrs ahead of Rebecca by only 15minutes and Emma a lap down on 10 laps. All three women were planning to be competing in the World 24hr Championship at this time before COVID put pay to the plan.
“It was great to have an event to come to with the 24 hour race being cancelled. To race here against such competitive ladies is an honour.”Michelle Woods
We look forward to tasting again the delights of Sugarbag and more Shimano GP racing in 2021 and will have our full race calendar out soon.
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Competitors: Download your Race Photos
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!