by Bob Morris
Thanks Kempsey for the dance!
It is known as the hometown of the late great Australian Country Star Slim Dusty, but this past Sunday Kempsey hummed along to a different soundtrack with tuned bikes and toned riders beating through the Kalateenee State Forest’s Mountain Bike trails in round 4 of the Shimano GP.
In what was a new format, a double header weekend shared with Jolly Nose, Rocky Trail Entertainment with the assistance of Kempsey Regional Council and the local Macleay Valley Mountain Bikers delivered a great event for the second head of the weekend. Riders were treated to fantastic tracks and the awesome facilities they share with the Kempsey Golf Club in what will surely be the first of many double header weekends to such brilliant mountain bike riding region and destination.
Singleton’s GP4 Solo Female Lisa Redmond 6 laps 4:12:59 only 15 seconds ahead of Georgia Marjoribanks, third going to Rebecca Ryan 4:18:07. Once again this relatively small category seems to draw out the tightest racing. Lisa said she really liked the course and was suffering from some arm pump from the working the fast and flowy trails. Lisa is looking forward to using Rocky Trail races as an excuse to visit family in Canberra later in the year.
Caleb Agostino-Morrow the only GP4 rider to record a 9th lap getting in just 6 minutes before the 4hr cut off leaving on 8 laps Jack McFarlane and Matt La-Borg to fill the minor podium places. Caleb from Newcastle really enjoyed his first Rocky Trail event with a background in Elite Triathlon but with COVID cancelling many events and all International travel he was looking for any chance to race. When asked if a local GP at Glenrock would tweak his interest his response was “DONE!”. Shimano’s Jason Morgan came in 6th in the GP4 Solo said he loved the double header weekend and was staying to holiday another week with his family in the area.
U17 XCO National Champ Hayley Oaks clocks in fastest female lap time
In the GP4 Teams the best racing came form the Mixed pair from PCS Juniors of Sanden Carpenter and Hayley Oates who were fastest ahead of all the GP4 pairs teams. Hayley U17 XCO National Champion came down from Ballina in Northern NSW to compete with her PCS Junior teammate and set the fastest lap of all female rider for the day and was 2nd fastest out of all GP4 riders by average lap time (only Caleb Agostino-Morrow the GP4 Solo Male went faster). This amazing athlete is a big fan of Rocky Trail races and competes equally in Fox Superflow (3rd Elite Female in Nerang in In July 2020) or Shimano GP. We will be seeing a lot of Hayley in the years to come.
Beer & burritos for the double-header win: Kaydee Raths
Kaydee Raths’, beer and burrito recovery plan from the previous days victory seemed to have worked well enough to again hold off Catherine Woods and Michelle Newstead in the Solo GP7 Female competition. Kaydee said today was tougher and she struggled at the end but appreciated that todays course was fast and flowy which suited her style of riding. Her attitude of always wanting one more lap and quote, “liking spending time in the pain cave” undoubtedly helped her push to the victory. Kaydee has become a Rocky trail racer only this year but is hooked and is looking forward to the next race.
Old-hand English dominates 7 hour competition
Jason English again proved what an amazing athlete and competitor he was crushing the field in the GP7 Solo or Teams. His 14 laps in 7:00:33 stretched the wills of his competitors to breaking point. Jason jokingly complained about having a stiff neck from looking behind waiting for his competition to come into view but never saw them. Main rival in the solo Alwyn Miller crossed 18miutes behind Jason to complete what must have been a disappointing weekend given his stated goal of getting Jason at one of the days of the double header. Owen Gordon had a better day of it today to hold third.
When informed the next NSW race would be on his home tracks of Glenrock in Newcastle, Jason English said excitedly, “Oh Yeah!”. Hard to bet against Jason sweeping the series.
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