by Bob Morris
Weather Gods forced to step back and watch as the Shimano GP at Jolly Nose delivered the show
Wet and muddy track conditions were expected to play a part early as racing got under way at 9 am and the lower laying parts of the Jollynose forest remained damp. The course set by the Hastings Valley Mountain Bike club and Rocky trail was rated flat and, in some places, sloppy as 10mm of rain had fallen over the past days.
Rocky Trail’s Race Director Martin Wisata said the local Hastings Valley MTB Riders Club had put in many hours of maintenance work into the trail network during the week. “It’s just such a pleasure to work with such a passionate and engaged local club”, Wisata said. The crew and racers had enjoyed the day’s racing, supported by the Port Macquarie Hastings Council and under the patronage of Shimano Cycling Australia.
In the Female Solo 4hr Leigh McGregor completed 8 laps in 4:09:50 in one of the closest finishes of the day to beat Olivia Gollan also on 8 laps in 4:11:37. Sarah Nixon got third 1 lap back.
The Male Solo 4hr saw Declan Irvine, Pro Roadie from Team Novo Nordisk, who in 4:17:19 completed 10 laps ahead of Trent Pons in 4:20:35, and Matthew Borg in 4:21:13. Declan said the track may have suited him as the flat track meant no place to recover similar to a road race.
In the 4hr Female Team category, Local Ladies, Kelly Mapleston and Jodie Kennedy on 7 laps beat MTB Chicks, Rebecca Ryan and Lisa Redmond by 8minutes and All the gear and No Idea’s, Nicole Mat and Megan Couper another 5 minutes back.
The 4hr Mixed Team category Fox and the Dawg team of Briony Mattocks and Matt Caffrey on 9 laps… Briony aka the Fox (we must assume) was the fastest female on the track today. To put her ride in some context her average speed would have put her in the top 10 4hr racers.
In the 4hr Male Team the podium completed 9 laps, with, in first Jetblack Pairs of Mark Mozejko and Kevin Williams, Second, Breakaway Cycles’ Rob Bennett and Lachlan Bakewell but the outstanding performance came from, NIAS Pairs Lawson and Campbell Walsh who took third place. The Walsh brothers from Inverell are only 13 and 15 years old respectively.
Kaydee Raths establishes herself as the rising star on the Rocky Trail endurance circuit
The Solo 7hr Female saw Kaydee Raths finish 13 laps to beat perennial 7hr victor Catherine Wood on 12 laps and Michelle Newstead on 11 laps. Kaydee who is originally from northern California said her skills of riding in the wet which had been hibernating since being in Australia probably assisted her victory. She commented knowing the slippery conditions would probably improve she would use the first 4hrs just to settle into the race before going for it in the last half. Kaydee has really enjoying Rocky Trails Shimano GP format and was looking forward to racing again in Kempsey but not before a shower, a Burrito and maybe a beer.
Solo 7hr Male THE BIG SHOW… How do you win a 7hr race? …
One way is to put in your fastest laps between your 10th and 14th laps… Jason English was in a tussle with Alwyn Miller, Owen Gordon, Grant Webster, etc until the 10th lap when he treated the other 7hr solo racers like a school bag on a Friday by dropping more than a minute from his average lap time and holding that pace for the next 4 laps.
WOW… Jason going on to do 16 laps in his 7:01:42 crossing ahead of Alwyn’s 16 laps nearly 20 minutes behind. Jase, who grew up in the Port Macquarie area said it was great to be back and riding against some of his local mates. He said it was the first time he had used a mudguard since he’d raced 24hr World Championships in Europe and that experience may have helped edge Alwyn who said the slippery conditions were draining and that Jason is nearly impossible to beat.
Both riders will be back at it in Kempsey and Jason was lookin forward to the back to back races stating “ With COVID cancelling National and World 24hr races, Rocky Trail is giving us all something to ride for”.
Solo 7hr Team THE JASE CHASE…
In the stated goal of beating Solo champion Jason English Jetblack Threes, Craig Gordon, Justin McKinnon and Nathan Johnston was the only group to reach this high mark. They did it by having one of the greatest MTB’ers Australia has produced in Craig Gordon, who picked up and carried his team by putting in amazing final lap times in to get across the line less than 1 minute before the 7hr cut off to earn the right to do a 17th lap.
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with thanks to: