More than 300 riders competed at the fifth and final round of the 2013 SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra on the weekend. The endurance event crowned series winners with Kyle Ward and Susanna Fasold, who took out the elite categories in the four hour competition and Grant Webster and Sarah Neumann claimed the seven hour titles. The big sensation of the day, however, was Australian Supersport Champion Troy Herfoss from Goulburn who won his first mountain bike race with a bang ahead of renowned Canberra riders Andrew Hall and Ed McDonald.
Goulburn’s Troy Herfoss has been one of Australia’s most talented and awarded motorcycle racers for the past five years, racing in the European-based IDM Superbike Championships in 2012. The Australian Supersport Champion from 2010 only recently decided to apply his racing talent to mountain biking, after coming in second in this year’s Mountain Bike National Eliminator competition behind none other than World Champion Paul Van Der Ploeg.
“I’m really surprised about my win today – I’m still fairly new to the sport and I really only knew Andrew [Hall] and Ed [McDonald] and that they are really good endurance riders. So I jumped on their wheels right from the start and then Ed unfortunately had a mechanical and I caught up to Andrew who was in the lead early on. I felt strong and noticed I could ride away from him on the descends and that he didn’t catch up. So I just kept chipping away”, said the down-to-earth newbie at the finish. “The thing I like about cycling compared to motorcycling, and the thing that probably dragged me into it was, that it’s not about the bike. It’s about the effort you put in and you don’t win a race if you don’t put effort in. The fittest guy wins on a pushbike”, Troy Herfoss added.
With plans to get used to training and nutrition regimes ahead of and during events, Herfoss said the goal was to compete in more mountain bike endurance events in future. With the upcoming 24 Hour Solo World Championships in Canberra in October and the JetBlack 24 Hour in Sydney at the end of November, this new mountain bike racer will be one to watch.
Consistent placings get Grant Webster seven-hour series title
The seven-hour series title in the elite men’s category goes to ex-pro road cyclist Grant Webster from Tea Gardens (NSW). With a consistent performance throughout the five-race series he defeated Ed McDonald from Canberra (ACT) and last year’s series winner Andrew Lloyd from Newcastle (NSW).
A recent training accident had Sarah Neumann miss the last two rounds of the SHIMANO MTB GP series, however, with three consecutive wins early on she still claims the overall elite female series title ahead of newcomer Eliza Kwan and Liz Smith from Mt Ousley (NSW).
Kyle Ward wins final round and claims series win
With a race win at Stromlo Forest Park, State Cross-Country Champion Kyle Ward from Wollongong (NSW) claimed the overall series title in the elite men’s four-hour racing division ahead of James Lamb (Bondi, NSW) and Jorge Barron Morris (Kensington, NSW). Susanna Fasold from Sydney’s South took out the elite female’s series title also with a win at the final round, ahead of Emily Cunningham (Kirrawee, NSW) and Laura Renshaw (Merewether, NSW).
Rocky Trail’s race director Martin Wisata confirmed another five events for the 2014 racing season together with major sponsor SHIMANO Cycling Australia. “This was the most successful SHIMANO MTB GP series yet and the final round at Stromlo Forest Park reflected the spirit of it perfectly – we get passionate mountain bikers from all over NSW and the ACT who race the entire series solo or in teams; we attract some of the most talented elite endurance racers who love the challenging and fun race tracks we put on and to see new athletes like Troy Herfoss catch the racing bug at our events is really rewarding.” Final dates and venues for the 2014 SHIMANO MTB GP endurance racing series will be confirmed in the coming weeks.For more event information and detailed results, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com
Elite Results Round 5:
GP 4 Hour Male Solo Elite
1. Kyle Ward / Wollongong NSW / Rockstar Racing / 10 laps in 4:22.43
2. Andy Blair / Canberra ACT / Team Swell Specialized / 9 laps in 3:57.53
3. Shaun Lewis / Canberra ACT / Team Swell Specialized / 9 laps in 4:06.43
GP4 Hour Female Solo Elite
1. Susanna Fasold / Grays Point NSW / Bike Culture | Whyte Racing / 7 laps in 4:29.29
2. Emily Cunningham / Kirrawee NSW / Sneaky Bacon Racing / 7 laps in 4:35.37
3. Laura Renshaw / Merewether NSW / 7 laps in 4:18.34
GP7 Hour Male Solo Elite
1. Troy Herfoss / Goulburn NSW / 15 laps in 7:04.11
2. Andrew Hall / Canberra ACT / Cannondale-Sugoi Factory Racing / 15 laps in 7:06.13
3. Ed McDonald / Canberra ACT / Target Trek / 15 laps in 7:12.14
GP7 Hour Female Solo Elite
1. Eliza Kwan / Canberra NSW / 13 laps in 7:00.15
2. Liz Smith / Mt Ousley NSW / 12 laps in 6:49.42
3. Lana Moy / Collaroy NSW / 12 laps in 7:22.07