Australia and MWCC have a new Australian Champion in the form of Phil Gray who was recently crowned Australian Brompton Bike Champion after his victory at the Brompton Bikes Championship held at Sydney Olympic Park as part of the Sydney Club Cup. Folding Bikes all the cool kids are on them!
Firstly many ask what is a Brompton Bike? Brompton bikes are a highly portable folding bike that unfolds like a transformer into a safe, agile and surprisingly quick little bike. They have gears which can vary from 3 to 6 gears.
The boom in the Brompton bikes happened over in the UK, when people would take them on the Tube and then ride the rest of the way to work on their Brompton. This is now expanding to many cities particularly in asia where commuters are beating the traffic jams on their Brompton.
The Brompton Championship is a bit of a different beast to your normal race. Firstly the dress code – All participants, both male and female, must wear a suit jacket, collared shirt and neck tie. Shorts, three-quarter length trousers and skirts may be worn if preferred, though sports attire (e.g. Lycra shorts/leggings, tracksuit pants, etc.) is not permitted.
The race starts in a Le Mans style, with all of the bikes folded up in a grid pattern and the riders lined up in a line. Racers then run to their bikes, unfold them and get racing.
The race then takes on the form of a 30 minute crit race. With the first female and male across the line note only taking the title of Australian Champion but also return airfares and prepaid entry to the Brompton World Championship in England, 2015.
Always up for a challenge with a difference, Phil Gray got himself on the startline. With such a prestigious title on the line, Phil’s current 3 speed wasn’t he felt in championship condition. So he asked around and borrowed Lynne Clarkes six speed edition. It proved to be a well thought out move.
Phil got a good start off the grid with a quick unfold, like watching Optus Prime in Transformers convert. He then found himself in a little group off the front which included former pro and SBS cycling commentator Stephen Hodge.
Hodge probably turned up thinking that he would have this in the bag and most likely had already arranged in accommodation in England. What he wasn’t counting on was the explosive power of Phil, who simply waited until the finish straight before unleashing his burst of power which saw him take the sprint in style!
With that victory he was crowned Australian Champion and even got the honour of being presented with the large novelty cheque. It will mean that Phil will have to get himself a green and gold tie so that whenever he is out on the Brompton, people will recognise him as the current Australian Champion.
Phil plans on making sure he is in fine form, with a well fitted suit when he heads over to the UK in 2015 to compete in the World Championships representing the Subaru Active MWCC Club and Australia. What a fantastic prize to win at a bike race!
Thanks must also go to Brompton Bikes for the very generous prize of a return airfare to the UK but also the organisers of the whole of the Sydney Club Cup – Park Bikes through Nash Kent and Lidcombe Auburn Cycling Club put in a massive amount of work behind the scenes, to organise such a fantastic and well attended event.
Some of the pictures within this article were sourced from Carbon Addiction – A Great Sydney Based Cycling Blog. See more of his articles at www.carbonaddiction.net