With a hat trick victory of his Mobius Attaquer team, Central Coast racer Mitch Lozinski defended last year’s race win on his home track in the 4 hour event and claimed the overall solo series title. In the women’s event Leigh McGregor from Newcastle won the solo race ahead of overall series winner Natalie Anderson. The mountain bike enduranc event by local race organiser Rocky Trail Entertainment also offered a 7 hour competition. The two solo victories and overall series wins were claimed by the 24 Hour Solo World Champions Jason English from Newcastle and Gwynn McLeod from Canberra.
Local race win in the 4-hour event
Mitch Lozinski completed 9 laps on the 7.5km course set out on his home track at Ourimbah State Forest in a time of 4:12:25. It had been a tough race in the warm weather conditions he said.
“It was brutal out there, but this is my home track and I was able to take advantage of know it so well to take the win”, said the new dad of twin girls who were born just mid this year. Lozinski said that the new additions to family life certainly had changed his outlook on life, however, that he was still committed to racing mountain bikes. “I now ride in my lunch breaks at work, which is really my only opportunity at the moment to train, because when I get home I’m doing all my dad duties to try and help out where ever I can. Having twins is difficult, you don’t get much time to sleep, I was lucky to get five hours last night.”
His team mates said that they were proud of the full podium finish at Ourimbah State Forest with Ben Fillingham from Sydney finishing in second with a gap of 37 seconds and Newcastle’s young gun Owen Tooley in third (+3:53min).
The women’s race winner was Leigh McGregor who said she had been surprised by the warm conditions as well and that she had enjoyed the challenging track, completing 7 laps in 4:27:58. “It was a bit of a shock to the system, but I really like the course that was set out – for me probably the best out of all the series events that I’ve done this year!”
With consistent results throughout the year, her runner-up Natalie Anderson on 6 laps took out the overall series win.
Growing Rocky Trail community expands Shimano series to regional areas
The Shimano MTB GP event offered various team and age classification with many juniors taking part – Jayson Carr won in the junior U18 men with 8 laps, competing with a large contingent from the Hunter School.
Lillee Pollock from Wollongong won the female junior division with 6 laps, competing alongside her parents Doug and Danielle, who won in the Mixed Pairs classification. They commented that it was great that Rocky Trail created an environment that allowed the whole family to compete together in a safe, fun and exciting racing environment.
The eBike category had become very popular as well, said Rocky Trail’s Marketing Director Juliane Wisata. “We want to enable mountain bikers from all walks of life to participate in our events – riding your bike in the bush is fun, but to put on that Rocky Trail number plate is quite a special moment – it’s when you join a community of like-minded cyclists and share a very special experience together”, she said. Wisata added that almost 5,000 racers were expected to take part in Rocky Trail events all over NSW and the ACT with plans to expand the successfull Shimano MTB GP Series into regional areas in 2020.
“Our races close to metropolitan centres have been growing steadily and with the expansion of our business and additional event managers we can now meet the demands of more and more regional clubs and racers who want more races and events closer to home”, she explained. New series venues included Kinross State Forest in Orange in Western NSW as well as Jolly Nose MTB Park near Port Macquarie in 2020.
Jason English tackles coeliac disease, wins race and series
One would think that the seven-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion had his training and nutrition regime dialled, however, solo 7-hour race winner at Ourimbah State Forest and series winner Jason English from Newcastle opened up about his coeliac disease. The diagnosis had come as a surprise and meant that he had to change his nutrition and training strategies. “Today was tough, I tried a new flavour combination in my energy products and my digestive system didn’t react well”, he admitted. These Rocky Trail races provided the ideal training grounds with strong competition to measure up against.
Mark Astley from Berry is the series runner up behind Jason, placing third in the event, with one lap behind the second podium getter, Michael Sherwood from Loomberah.
Gwynn McLeod takes the win
It had been the trio of Gwynn McLeod, Catherine Wood and Dalene Pretorius that dominated the 7-hour podium photos throughout the 2019 Shimano MTB GP Series and the Canberran endurance racer McLeod took out the race and series wins.
Wood was nursing an injury from a race last weekend and stopped early, so her and Gwynn could be seen happily chatting and enjoying the camaraderie of the event. The three top endurance women of the series are expected to compete in the one Shimano MTB GP event that is left this year: the Championship race will take place at Awaba MTB Park on 26 October 2019.