The Shimano MTB Grand Prix was held in the Wellington Shire Council at Blores Hill on 17 April 2021 and launched cross-country mountain bike racing by Rocky Trail Entertainment in Victoria. With a 13-year history the series now offers regular events across NSW, in the ACT as well as QLD and the racers at Blores Hill race welcomed it in VIC. Phoebe Thompson and Adam Bazevic win the 4-hour solo race, solo racer Scott Chancellor takes outright win in the 6 hour race.
SHIMANO Cycling Australia has been the principal sponsor since the series was founded and with strong support from the cycling industry has grown to one of the major cross-country endurance racing series in Australia. With Jo Parker and Bob Morris a highly experienced event management team have been leading the charge to expand into Victoria.
“From the first time between the tape to racers that have spent a lifetime training for power output, they will all enjoy lining up at our start line”, explains Bob Morris, the Race Director at Blores Hill. In the current COVID-19 event recovery stage, registration patterns for the 2021 Rocky Trail season indicated that their events will continue to grow after a record year in 2020, he added.
Here is the Race Report by Bob Morris:
Those who had previously raced with the Gippsland MTB club at Blores Hill MTB trails knew the tracks would be good, but few expected them to be as mint as they were. Gippsland Trail Fairies has prepared an immaculate 11.7km course with hardly a leaf on the race line let alone a twig. As dawn cracked on the morning of the race, expectations were high for a fast and fun four or six hours. Wellington Mayor Garry Stephens welcomed racers and wished them luck and the monster airhorn set the dust flying right on schedule at 9am.
Phoebe Thompson and Adam Bazevic win the 4-hour solo race
Phoebe Thompson from Emerald punched out 7 laps in 4:16:21 to take the 4hr Solo Women General Classification ahead of Kate Nelson from Sarsfield. Phoebe has represented Australia and was expected to ride strongly but has seldom been tested over the longer distances with her 7 laps representing approximately 80km it was great to see her being able to keep her lap times consistent right through her race averaging 36min laps and finishing 10th overall.
Adam Blazevic from Forest Hill finished 8 laps in 4:06:08 got the GC outright honours in the 4hr Solo Men ahead of Liam Johnston from Underwood and Sam Chancellor (Gherang). Adam is one of Australia’s best Cyclocross racer and dug deep to extend to the 4hr format. Liam is stepping up into the endurance game and Sam had come off the Shimano GP at Stromlo in Canberra the week before and had a good comparison. Sam commented that the Blores Hill track had a little of everything, but you could never back off the pedals.
Some of the best racing in the GP4 was in our U15 teams with the lead changing often between Redbull Juniors of Taj Grumley and Obi Vardy and the Redbull Rampage of Cruz Duck and Harry Gault. The young pinners from Longford had only 4 minutes separating the teams at the end of 4 hours with the Rampage pipping the Juniors.
Solo racer Scott Chancellor takes outright win in the 6 hour race
In the GP6 hour Scott Chancellor from Glen Iris managed 12 laps to beat Dom Paolilli who only got in 11 laps, missing the cut-off by just 1min and 49 seconds. Richmond’s Chris Hellman lead a group of 5 riders on 10 laps.
Mountain Ducks team of Michaela Meharry and Gabrielle Rusbridge were the only Female team and completed 8 laps despite some mechanical issues. Riley Corke and Camden McLean managed 12 laps as two of the countries best juniors were very impressive maintaining pace with the leaders of the GP4 for several laps before some wisdom kicked in and they backed it off to pace to a more enduring rhythm. Camden McLean enjoyed his second week in a row of Rocky Trail Racing after competing in the Superflow at Silvan only 7 days prior.
In the e-Bike female Jacinta Nelsson from Mountain Bikers East Gippsland completed 5 laps to take the win. In the e-Bike Male, Brooklyn Lucieer completed 7laps to beat David van Stokrom and Kane Lucieer. Brooklyn and Kane represented Mallard Cycles from Sale who got behind the Shimano GP providing neutral support between laps in the event hub.
Local community welcomes Rocky Trail racing
We would like to thank the Wellington Shire Council and the Gippsland MTB Inc. as well as the local business community for their support – the local club received a trail hire fee from Rocky Trail Entertainment, which will be invested in trail maintenance and building projects.
Mayor, Cr Garry Stephens said that the region was excited to be hosting the new event as he welcomed the riders and support crews to Blores Hill.
“This is an exciting event we are proud to have in our patch and we hope everyone visiting will enjoy our natural landscapes, facilities and our hospitality”, he said.
Race Director Bob Morris said that the Rocky Trail team is looking forward to returning to these amazing trails, which surely will become one of the staples on the Rocky Trail VIC XC racing calendar.
All Blores Hill results are available via
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