Michael Vanos and Vanessa Thompson have defended their Elite series leads in the Fox Rollercoaster #Enduro NSW/ACT State Series, hydrated by CamelBak in Kempsey. With one more race to go at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra on 2 August, Thompson still heads up the female field with a second place at Round 4 on the popular Kalateenee State Forest trails in Kempsey. A third spot secured the lead for Blue Mountains racer Michael Vanos in the men’s elite classification.
It was a tight race in the female field – Kellie Weinert from Kearns in NSW took out the win with a gap of 3 seconds ahead of series leader Vanessa Thompson. “I had a gap of only 8 seconds on Saturday, I knew they were easy to loose”, said Thompson after the race, which included four timed race sections over two days. With Weinert now in third spot in the series with a considerable points gap, the major series title contender for Thompson will be Emu Heights’ Joanne Fox, one of the most experienced gravity racers in NSW.
Elite Men’s competition tight
In the men’s the results were more predictive – David Ludenia had a comfortable gap on Saturday afternoon and was able to take it all the way to the finish after the four timed stages on the Sunday. “The trails were in great condition and challenging – very fast corners and rocky descents. I was impressed”, said Ludenia who won’t be able to get the series title in Canberra in August due to the points structure, but who will be one of the podium contenders. It will be a showdown between Michael Vanos and Brett Pople (Cessnock, NSW), with the second-placed in the series, Chris Martin, overseas on race day.
Local contender Tim Wynan took out the second spot ahead of Michael Vanos in a spectacular display of home advantage. Only nine seconds behind Ludenia after day one he shook the elite class with a 10-second lead on the first timed stage on Sunday morning. Ludenia dug deep and took back the gap on the last, more technical race run.
“I didn’t have a good feeling on Saturday, my legs felt heavy on the long descent of the first track, I guess I do know some of those corners pretty well and was able to take some speed with me, which paid off. I’m very content with a second place in this strong field”, Wynan said of his home track.
Juniors coming through the ranks
Again the junior field proofed to be very strong at the Fox Rollercoaster #Enduro event. Around 25 riders competed in the Under 19, Under 17 and Under 15 categories – one of the big newcomers was Bella Dragos in the U15 female division. In the boys series, Cooper Lowe from Engadine holds the lead and it will be a tight race in Canberra with Sam Couch from Mudgee (2) and Lachlan Clarke from Seaham (3). Cooper’s older brother and mentor Riley Lowe leads the U17’s ahead of Blake Tipper and Pat Butler from Brunkerville. In the U19’s competition, Oliver Bunny from Coal Point near Newcastle has acquired enough points for a series win in Canberra after two victories, as well as a second and a fifth placing so far.