Rider Briefing: Shimano MTB GP at Stromlo Forest Park | Canberra

Rocky Trail’s SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix Series is one of the longest-standing cross-country series in Australia. All events of the series are stand-alone races and participants can collect points for an overarching series classification!

For the next event we are giving you the first Spring Rocky Trail XC race in the Capital at one THE classic Shimano MTB GP destinations: Stromlo Forest Park!

Here is the rider briefing with some bits and pieces of information to get you ready for and into the mood for racing with Rocky Trail Entertainment!

If you have already signed up, it’s awesome to have you on board! Still one the fence? Online registrations are open until Friday morning before race day! Should we be getting close to selling out, we will communicate it via our website and our social media platforms.


> 2018 mid-season trailer: Shimano MTB GP Racing action


The venue – Stromlo Forest Park

Offering 4 and 7 hour competitions for solo and team riders across many age categories, the Shimano MTB GP promises to deliver a race track with trail combinations in the park that we’ve never before – thanks to some local intell! Plus, we’ll be in Canberra for more than a week before this event, so we’ll have plenty of time to fine-tune a mint race track for you that will blow even the locals’ socks off!


> Link to Stromlo website


The racing – a social affair

As the owners of Rocky Trail, Juliane and Martin, we created the GP events around our favourite trails and we love that we get to discover new venues and re-discover the classics every year. From one race in 2009, the events have evolved over the years and albeit all being stand-alone races they all are part of the over-arching annual series. Riders competing in two or more events get to accumulate series points and get trophies and bragging rights for collecting most points (the best 4 out of the 5 race results count).

We created a 4 and 7 hour competition within each race and there are quite a few categories to choose from – solo and pairs across both options as well as a team of 3 category in the seven-hour.

Everyone gets results in a General Classification as well as in Age Divisions.

> Race categories overview

It has been very important to us to keep this series a set of very social races. We are attracting some of the big names in the XC racing world – often the local guns come out for a play or come along for the series to keep training throughout the year, or, as we’ve been told quite often, “we come because it’s fun and you guys put on a good show”. That’s flattering to hear, however, you must know that with our crew and suppliers, we strive to organise professional events that are safe, fair, value for money, that take you to exciting venues and those where we mountain bikers are welcome.

We want to deliver a series that is less of an elite- and winners-only-focused competition, but a positive and inclusive experience for all participants. The majority of our racers are amateur riders and we love riding and racing ourselves, so we do like to put on some good tunes and most of the time our “honorary Entertainment Manager”, DJ Nigel from Pedal4Pierce, our charity of choice, will spin not only his wheels but also the decks to crank out some tunes that will push you out onto each lap and keep you entertained as you are having a rest in the event centre.

> VIDEO: What it’s like to Be a #rockytrailracer

Race schedule

Racing starts at 9am – pick up your number plate from 7am.

> Detailed event schedule

> How to get to the event centre

Race atmosphere

The atmosphere in our event centre is friendly, happy and inclusive and you will see that Martin is very much in charge. We have been working with most of our suppliers for years – from first aiders to marshals to caterers to photographers, it is our top priority for you to have an amazing time out on your bike and to lend a helping (and rescuing) hand if need be.

Race set up and facilities

Event centre

Located near pump track at the main car park at Stromlo Forest Park. The park offers public toilets as well as showers (they’re hot too!).

> Link to full weekend race schedule

Food & Drinks

The Daily Espresso’s will be there again with coffee and snacks.

Support Service

We will have the crew from FIZO Cycling on-site to assist you with mechanicals – they have some cool offers when it comes to bike service and set-up, have a chat to Jason “Moxy” Moxham and he can sort you out.

Entertainment for visitors & kids

Having said that, we welcome visitors and spectators and invite you to bring your families and kids and friends and parents and partners along to watch you race. For the little visitors we do colouring-in pages and little giveaways and free junior races – these are very simple time-trial style races around the event centre or on kids tracks if the venues allow it.


The hard facts – what you get

We want to reward as many riders as possible with prizes across the series. Therefore,

We will hand out the prizes BEFORE the race start!

Rather than handing out the prizes we get from our fantastic sponsors to the winning riders only, we are spreading more spot prizes across the entire field. We will issue as many raffle giveaway tickets as we receive prizes from our sponsors at each race and they will be categorised according to item value. Each rider with a “winning ticket” will be able to pick a prize from the “Rocky Trail Bazaar” of spot prizes. All other tickets go into the draw for a selected number of major prizes, which will differ from race to race. Having said that, here’s what you get:

  • FREE rider photos by the OuterImage.com.au crew thanks to our major sponsor, SHIMANO Cycling Australia
  • A chance to win a prize via a raffle ticket draw

Introducing in 2018: GC winning number plates!

Each GC winner at every 2018 race will get a pre-assigned and pre-printed number plate, which you can keep and race with for the rest of the series! It’s your exclusive race number that will be reserved for you across the entire series!

Doesn’t matter if you are racing in a different category or team across different Shimano MTB GP events, this is assigned to YOUR name and valid all season! We are trying to pre-assign as many as possible for each event, but of course can make changes on the day. Have a chat to us at rego!



Accommodation near Stromlo Forest Park:

You can camp at the Stromlo car park and event centre on the night before the race but please note that the gates shut at around 7pm. Here are some more links for accommodation and what else is on:

> Canberra Visitor Information

> Discover what else is on in Canberra

Rocky Trail’s 2018 Accommodation partners:

Pacific Canberra

Pacific suites Canberra is delighted to offer the following accommodation offer for the
AMB100, Fox Superflow and Shimano MTB GP events in Stromlo:15% off the Best Available Rate for our spacious apartments Exclusive to Rocky Trail Racers!

“Pacific Suites Canberra is delighted to welcome participants and supporters to Canberra for the AMB Marathon, Fox Superflow and Shimano MTB GP in Canberra.
We offer huge apartments 1 and 2 bedroom. Free undercover parking. Free WiFi. Rocky Trail Big Buffet Breakfast just $15pp. Our 2 bedrooms can be shared comfortably as most have 2 bathrooms and we offer a range of bedding options. For the best deal and to get the best per person rate – please email reservations@pacificsuitescanberra.com.au or call us on 02 6262 6266 and quote your special code “RockyTrail” – or use the code to book online www.pacificsuitescanberra.com.au
see you in Canberra!”

Rates valid for Friday Feb 17, Sat Feb 18, Sun Feb 19  2018
Rates valid for Friday April 14, Sat Apruil 15, Sun April 16 2018
Rates Valid for Friday August 31, Sat September 1, Sun September 2018
Rates Valid for Friday September 7, Saturday September 8, Sun September 9 2018

Mantra MacArthur

The “Trail Canberra Package” offered by Mantra MacArthur offers the following inclusions –

  • Complimentary Late Checkout 1pm
  • Special washing area for bikes
  • Secured bike parking onsite
  • Map of trails throughout Canberra
  • Banana & Nespresso Coffee in the mornings.
  • 5% discount off rate.

How to book: Made direct at property or via Mantra Website, using the TRAILCBR promo code.


#rockytraildestination: Canberra & Stromlo Forest Park

There is so much to do and so much to see – we’ve chatted to some of our local #rockytrailracers for their insider tips on this #rockytraildestination and hope we can tempt you to a weekend away!


Officially opened in 2007, Stromlo Forest Park is a world-class, multi-use recreational sporting facility available to both recreational and professional users. Stromlo Forest Park boasts a purpose built event pavilion, a 1.2km road criterium cycling circuit, a 2.5km grass cross country running track, a network of equestrian trails and over 40km or mountain bike trails suitable for riders of all abilities. Stromlo Forest Park also has various trails suitable for runners and walkers keen on exploring the Canberra countryside. It is located only ten minutes drive from the center of Canberra.


Dylan Cooper, Owner Ride Technics Skills Clinics

Dylan races for Trek Racing Australia and has nearly 20 years of racing experience. He’s won countless national series races and represented Australia at the World Championships 7 times, as well as many World Cups. As well as 10 years of skills coaching experience, Dylan has raced internationally for years and won across various disciplines, including cross country, marathon, short track, road, and enduro. Dylan has been a #rockytrailracer for many years and with his one-on-one skills clinics business Ride Technics has been coaching Martin whenever we are in Canberra.

Dylan Cooper at the 2017 Fox Superflow at Stromlo.

About Stromlo

“As one of our favourite places to ride, we are very lucky to consider Stromlo our ‘backyard’. The varied trails have a bit of everything for everyone, including rock gardens, rolling berms, tight skatey corners, tricky climbs and fast and flowy sections.”

About the race track

“My favourite trails are the steep, technical descents that involve tight corners, for example ‘Short n Sharp’ out the back of Stromlo. I enjoy riding back up to the top of the mountain on the steep and rocky ‘Black Snake Gully’ too”

Before and after the race

“My perfect weekend involves coffee, sunny outdoors activity and family time:…”

Lake Burleigh Griffin
Taking my girls in the bike trailer for a spin around Lake Burleigh Griffin and stopping at a café. My favourite local cafe is Bite to Eat in Chifley, but if I am over north, I love Sweet Bones in Braddon. These days my coaching business gets me outdoors and riding on the weekends too.

> More information about Lake Burleigh Griffin

> More information on Bite to Eat, Chifley

> More information Sweet Bones, Braddon

National Arboretum
The park at the Arboretum is a favourite family spot, as is the mini train at Weston Park.
Note from Juliane at Rocky Trail – one of our absolute favourite playgrounds in Canberra, caters for kids of all ages 🙂

> More information about National Arboretum

Centenary Trail
A hidden gem and also one of my favourite local trails to ride is the Kambah Pool to Point Hut scenic trail. It is part of the Centenary Trail and runs parallel to the Murrumbidgee River.

> More information about the Centenary Trail

Putting his home track advantage to good use at Stromlo: Dylan Cooper.


Di Gbel, #rockytrailracer and Pedal 4 Pierce ambassador

After an elbow injury in 2017, Di is getting back into riding and racing and loves to explore her home trails in Canberra. Here are her insider tips:

“There are lots of places, you can do the walks up Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie – the lookout is awesome. Take the kids to Questacon or even to the Dinosaur Museum at Gold Creek!”

Favourite Museums

> Dinosaur Museum

> National Portrait Gallery

> National Museum of Australia

Favourite Cafes along Centenary Trail

The Cupping Room is in the City and Two Before Ten is in Aranda, both a short ride from the Centenary Trail that encloses the entire city!

> The Cupping Room

> Two Before Ten

> Centenary Trail Map

Favourite Pubs

> The Duxton in O’Connor

> The Walt & Burley

> The Dock at Kingston in Ainslie

> Edgars in Ainslie

Favourite parks and playgrounds for the kidlets

Commonwealth Park Playground has to be the best kids playground in Canberra! Here is a link to the “5 Top Playgrounds along Lake Burley Griffin”!

> Link: Top 5 Playgrounds along Lake Burley Griffin

Best market

> Sunday Markets at Kingston Old Bus Depot

Women’s-specific “What’s on in Canberra”

> Link to “HerCanberra.com.au”


Don’t wanna miss this!

Some of our favourite spots and things and people in Canberra:

Dynamic Motivation shuttles & enduro clinics

The guys from Dynamic Motivation are regularly running shuttles and enduro clinics at Stromlo Forest Park!

> Check out their website


Bent Spoke Brewery

BentSpoke Brewing Co is the brainchild of Champion Australian brewer Richard Watkins and Tracy Margrain. The pair travelled the world drawing inspiration for their ideal brewpub. On June 6, 2014 BentSpoke threw its doors open to overwhelming support from the local community. On the back of this success and support from the community, BentSpoke has begun its next chapter with the construction of a production scale Brewery in Canberra’s northern suburb of Mitchell.

> Check out the Bent Spoke Brewery Pub – yum, Rocky Trail crew-approved!!


Pedal 4 Pierce Charity 

Pedal 4 Pierce is our charity of choice and these guys call Canberra and Stromlo home, riding and racing their bikes for kids who can’t and raising money and awareness to cure Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. You can help out by donating at our events – projects funded by Pedal 4 Pierce support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

> Donate to Pedal 4 Pierce

> Rocky Trail & Pedal 4 Pierce



More SHIMANO MTB GP events coming up in 2018:

Wingello – 27 Oct *new*finally*
We’ve had so many requests for these trails over the years – here you go! Done.


For any more questions, please contact us via cycle@rockytrailentertainment.com and visit the event website.


A huge thanks to the continued support by our headline sponsor Shimano Cycling Australia – you guys ROCK!