With the NSW edition of the Cycling Australia National Series only a few weekends away, here is the wrap up to the final race in our most recent series. This series may have given some riders an advantage when the National Series rolls around.
The sixth and final event in the joint MWMTB and MWCC was contested in very Non Belgian weather well into the twenties, with conditions dry and fast. Not for the first time volunteers had to improvise with the course, this time due to the NSW Archery Championships sharing the venue. Rob Parbery put his thinking cap on and added some excellent twists and turns in the start and finish area, and some tortuous ups and downs in the BMX track.
The MTB race was a bling affair with Gary Harwood, showing off his new Scalpel 29er and newcomer and NRS Rider Jake Kauffman on a very trick looking Corratec. Gazza got a dream start and, while Peter Baird held up the chasers through the first series of turns, raced off into the distance. When ex NSW Time Trial champion Kauffman got through the pack and into his aero position on the road section he barely made an impression on Gazza who celebrated victory with a customary wheelie!
The Open race sees a mix of MTB and cross bikes, and some riders are now racing in 2 or in some case 3! Gazza again took a flyer with Nick Both in tow, while a crash mid field saw Roger Shackleton falling on the tricky descent into the rear trail. With the planks now placed in the circuit, Gazza and Bothy showed their skills bunny hopping the obstacles with apparent ease. Bothy seemed to find things easier on his cross bike and took the win over Gazza and Jake.
Onto the Prestige race and though Carl Fokema had the series sown up, there was a 3 way battle for 2nd between MWCC rider Dave Watkinson, Mick Hernan and Scott Wines. Watkinson had done his maths, and would never have expected team mate Johnny Miller to be the fly in the ointment, waking from his winter hibernation in the Wharf bar to show us why he is the current Highland Fling Cross Champion.
The start was as chaotic as ever, with shouts from Miller of ‘get off the brakes’ into the first corner, as Watkinson and Fokema battled shoulder to shoulder through the first series of bends, in pursuit of Nick Both and Brent Dawson.
The BMX section never fails to cause problems, Dawson dropped his chain and Hernan lost some pressure from his rear tyre as Scott Wines cleared off into the distance, with Both and Fokema chasing hard, while Miller and Watkinson paired up just behind.
Wines had previously showed his potential to win these events, but had punctured on 2 occasions, gaining few points. Today was going to be his day, claiming the win and 2nd place in the series. The fight for 3rd place was going to be close and with Hernan out of the top 6 Watkinson would need to place 4th. Unfortunately lady luck wasn’t shining on Watkinson today, and when he dropped his chain in the BMX track losing contact with Miller the writing was on the wall.
These events have been sponsored by Brent Dawson of HED wheels, and he has been a fantastic supporter of both the summer and winter series, not only donating wheels for both series, but riding most events aswell.
With a raffle based on points scored deciding the winner of the HED Ardennes wheels, anyone had a chance. Thankfully, after riding consistently well throughout Fokema’s 84 points in the hat were enough to give him the prize which was rightfully his.
And now onto the National Championships rounds on September 29th and 30th. The 3 race format will continue with an event for everyone, including an under 11’s kids race on Sunday.
After MTB riders took the prizes in the series, there is talk of a MTB versus Roadmans race based on participating numbers, so it’s time to get out there and show these mountain bikers we can beat them at their own game.