Young un Matt Vass dropping in with a smile!
Rockytrail Shimano Grand Prix Round 3 action, and this time the team took to the road for its annual pilgrimage to the nations capital, and the Observatory hill of Mt Stromlo. No observatory views this time though, with a break from the ‘norm’, with course Director, Martin Wisata from Rockytrail Entertainment setting a couple of pinchy and gnarly challenges for the masses.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the kangaroos were hopping! Thank you ACT, you certainly laid it on for us, and did not disappoint!
Race wraps from a couple?of the team below..Check ’em out and see what the buzz was all about!
Rockytrail Round 3 …. The Mighty Stromlo
Excitement always build in the approach to day that this round as this track always has the ability to throw in the unknown. With so many trail options Rockytrail again followed the theme for 2016 and threw in another cracker of a course.
The lack of rain was evident in the area approaching Stromlo and as soon as the race kit and gear was on it was clear that the track was very dry and dusted, meaning a loose and keep the rubber on the ground kind of day. The practise lap was the usual start through Fenceline / Cockatoo Switchbacks / Blue Gums and this is where it turned to the skies with an 800m climb up a steep fire road which brought riders under the luge bridge. From here smiles were on the dials during this section. Over to Blackberry Climb, Slant Six, Bluetongue and from this point a lot of Rockytrail racers may have never ridden Little Seymour, Breakout, Muck Raker, and then on an old favourite Duffy??s Decent. Around 10.6km per lap for most people (more on this later).
As teams and individuals readied for the start the Old Boys had decided to go with form and send Pickles out for the first lap after his flying times at Singleton. The Young Guns another of our team of three??s and rivals for the season made a change with David Ballard stepping up. Karl Rupp was back after his 1st lap hospital visit from Glenrock and determined to complete a first lap for the season ?? although he did without injury but not without incident with a flat front tyre. With the gun set off the riders faced a long grind up a fire road which would drop them straight into the big climb for the day. Candace and I were at this point guiding riders up the hill with the whistle blowing. Scott Reynolds was off to a flyer as was Jason Hewitt, Dave Pickles, Mark Bernardinis and Tim Skinner. The remainder of the team were settling into their groove for the first lap. As expected with the removal of all the single-track there was some VERY fast times. Ron Gorbould had come in on his first lap in an incredible 8 place (in front of Jason English, Cory Wallace and Scott Reynolds). It became evident that he had missed 2km of track at the end of Slant Six which shot him in amongst the Elite field through Breakout. We could all laugh about this later and Ron had his time adjusted accordingly with the timing tent.
As the riders streamed in and tagged their team mates attention turned to how brutal a day lay ahead in the back section of the course with Stromlo dishing out its well-known rocky, techy trails. Pickles with his great start set us up with a nice gap to the Young Guns and are other main competition of Grant Shaw, Spencer and Kevlar who had stepped up and had gears and joined the social side of racing in a team of three. With the race progressing our team kept opening the gap ever so slightly and finished the race a lap up on the other JB teams. As the standard has been set if there is time you will go out again policy was enforced with Pickles a broken man stepping up for 1 last lap of Stromlo with the sun setting in the background. A notable mention for a change it was nice to PASS one Jason Hewitt today as it has been other way round in the past 2 rounds…( We won’t mention he is solo racing though)
There was a lot of crashes, blood and unfortunately a hospital visit from the team during the day.
? Nathan Johnston bit the bitumen in transition with a dropped chain, Daniel Rupp had an off, Brodie had an off, Peter Robinson crashed (err, had an off), Dalene went to hospital but was cleared of any major injuries apart from some rib damage, Pickles crashed, Shad crashed. – (So. That’ll be most of the team had a crack at tasting dust then?! – Ed)
I am sure there were many more but these are the ones that I remembered. Below are the lap times from the day. The podiums was again full of JetBlack racers.
All clear given by the quaks for Dalene!
Lap times (Excluding 1st lap??s)
Fastest Lap to Slowest Lap
Scott Reynolds 31.01
Michael Brown 32.49
Nathan Johnston 33.15
Kurt Warn 34.18
Dave Collins 34.20
Michael Crummy 34.20
Dave Pickles 34.24
Tim Skinner 34.24
David Ballard 34.28
Jason Hewitt 34.52
Kevin Wynne-Smythe 35.14
Shad Haous 35.14
Grant Shaw 35.21
Mark Bernardinis 36.09
Josh Bell 36.27
Spencer Lee-Pither 36.30
Matt Vassilieff 36.56
David Leckie 37.47
Alberto Piexeiro 37.50
Peter Robinson 38.07
Ron Gorbould 38.26
Peter Rohr 38.42
Hani Megeed 39.23
Brodie Johnco 39.59
Karl Rupp 40.50
Catherine Moore 43.33
George Greig 45.03
Steve Burman 45.44
Nardeen Hayden 47.49
Susanna Mills 57.51
Lindy Turnball 58.23
Dalene Petorius 1.04.45
Iona Reynolds 1.08.07
Daniel Rupp 1.37.11
With a 6 week break we are heading into a local round for most ?? Ourimbah. A track that conjures up either excitement or fear for some riders.
Till then ?? See you all around the traps.
30-39 age Cat?Solo 7hr rider – Jason Hewitt’s report:
Shimano MTB GP #3 race report.
After being knocked back down to earth at round 2 I was really looking forward to racing at mt stromlo having never ridden there before. After a chat with coach chops after Singo we were in the same mindset that a top 10 in GC would be a good result and if I could get top 5 against the local Canberra guns it would be a great result. As race day got closer I was feeling more and more confident in myself as I didn’t miss a training session and I felt real good, that good that after my last training ride I was starting to think more of making the podium than a top 10.
I also went into this race with a plan on how I was going to ride and I also had my race hydration and nutrition written down for Tim and memorised to save any confusion. After a long drive, set up and a lap to check out the course it was back to the hotel for a feed and try to get a good night’s sleep.
Race day arrived and we were up early after a dodgy night’s sleep on a hard hotel mattress and a very painful lower back. We arrived at Stromlo about 7:30 and drove straight back out as I forgot to get ice. This, plus the massive line up to sign on put me out of whack with my schedule so after a very short warm up I was lined up a couple rows back behind one of my rivals for the series Alex Kooijman and in front of the winner of round 2, Brad Scarfe. Race start was straight into a fire road climb that got us all nice and warm very quickly. Alex took off like a rocket, Brad came last just behind Gary James and I knew Ed McDonald would be well on his way up ahead. I went with them for a bit but once the climb got a bit steeper I looked down at my power reading and saw I was over threshold so let them go as the plan was to just ride my own race and not get sucked into smashing each other early on.
By the end of lap 1 I had lost sight of them and decided at that point that I would get 6 laps out of the two bidons I had on the bike.
I’m not too sure when I got past Alex but I think it was the start of lap 3 then, on lap 4 my bike started making horrible noises like piece of carbon was flapping around. Thinking I had broken yet another frame I pulled over to find that thankfully it was only my bidon cage that had come loose. Unfortunately this let Alex past again but I was on his wheel so it didn’t really matter. It felt like he tried to get rid of me on the descent but we rolled through transition together with Alex stopping for a bidon and then catching me again before hitting the dirt where we caught up with Crummy. We rode together until the fire road climb where I had a quick chat to Crummy who then started talking to Alex so I upped the tempo a little and had a 10-15m gap by the top of the climb which kept growing through the rest of the lap.
On lap 6 I caught a glimpse of brad on the cockatoo switchbacks, he was looking down towards us as I was back riding with crummy and Josh bell in a jetblack wolfpack. At the top of the switchbacks we were making good ground and it looked like he had stopped as he pushed off one of the boulders with his hand heading into the fire trail. As we got the fire road I rode past crummy and past brad at the top to go into the singletrack leading to the big climb. As we hit the climb I turned and started talking to brad telling how he flew up the climb in the first lap and I had no hope of staying with him. His reply that he was feeling those efforts now was exactly what I wanted to hear. I let him go again up the climb and reeled him back in by the next short bit of fire road. Again it felt like he tried to get away again on the descent but I held on to follow just behind into transition, knowing I had to get new bidons, I thought he would be gone again but he stopped as well and I got past and once again ended up riding with crummy who I knew would be winding up the speed for the last hour of his race so I stayed on that wheel as long as I could to get a gap.
Apart from my power meter packing it in the next few laps went fairly quiet and I just concentrated on riding smooth and not going too hard. I started getting time gaps from here and I put 2 minutes into him then 5 minutes the next lap then the gap blew out to 14 minutes and I knew I had the age category win if I stayed on the bike. I wasn’t worried about Ed or Gary up ahead as I was never going to catch them. I had no idea where Alex was but knew he wouldn’t be far off, I figured if he caught me it would be a pretty slow process and i would see him coming. Lap 10 had me go down in little Seymour as fatigue started to set in and then on lap 11 I had a big stack with a front wheel washout and smacked my head pretty hard. This gave me blurry vision out of my left eye so I backed it right off on the last lap to come away with the win in 30-39 age category and 3rd in GC.
Ive got to give a massive thanks to all our team sponsors who without you I wouldn’t be racing. Also a huge thanks to my team mates Tim Skinner for help in transition and Michael Crummy who unknowingly played a huge part in my win with us using each other for pacing at a crucial time in my race.
The Hewitt Crew – Skinner and Crummy
Even though I won at glenrock, I feel Mt Stromlo has been my best race of the series. I stuck to my plan, there was only one change in my hydration plan grabbing electrolytes instead of water when cramps started and, as a quote I saw in the week leading into the race said “I never lose. I either win or I learn” and I learned a lot from Singleton.
Gil and Richard from Outer Image Collective were on hand for the official shots, along with independent David Blucher and Brodie’s misses, Cat, there is quite a collection of snaps to?be had!
We’ll post some up on the facebook page, so head on over there to check them out!
Thanks again to all of our sponsors. Without your support. We don’t race. Simples!
Jet Black Products. Lifestyle & Leisure. Rockytrail Entertainment. Platinum Electricians. Xavier Advertising. Hills Elite Physiotherapy. Nuts Galore. AAA Down Under Building Services and all the behind the scenes people who help get these races together.