Rockytrail Entertainment continues to deliver races at new locations, the South Coast of Nowra was next on the agenda for Round 3 of the Shimano GP Series. The sweet trails of Coondoo State Forest was the venue for over 290 competitors, including some of Australia’s elite MTB’ers who were taking advantage of a sweet course alongside Kiwi National Champion – Samara Sheppard. The women’s 4hrs elites saw some fierce racing with Samara narrowly fending off Briony Mattocks, whilst in the men’s Kyle Ward and Mitch Lozinski put on a epic showdown with Mitch taking line honours.
The JetBlack team had 40 riders at this round, and with new faces joining the team for the first time it was going to be, as usual a fun filled day. The weather gods delivered with a 12degree morning full of sunshine with rain predicted at 6pm.
There are certain benefits (but not many!) to rising bright and breezy for a 4.30am road trip, as along with many other early risers, we got to witness the slightly cloud covered Blood Moon!
Team site established, recci lap complete and smiles on the dials after what could be described as a perfectly groomed race trail incorporating lots of fast flowy sections and limited climbing meant unreal single track. This race was definitely going to be ‘one for the roadies’ and everyone would be coming in a different colour, as with the lack of rain lately, dust was at a premium!
Riders were in the starters hands ready to power up the fire-road before hooking left in to the single track, where the lap 1 conga line would begin. The first lap saw all JetBlack riders come through without incident, ready to continue their solo pursuit or tag their team mate to pedal away. El Presidente, Kevlar suffered a mechanical with a slipping crank arm on lap 1 which saw him either running or one leg peddling the 3kms back to transition, get re-tightened and head out at the rear of the field for lap 2, swiftly picking through the back markers. Unfortunately it happened again, but with a terminal result and stripping the engagement teeth – Let’s just say he’s not a fan of torque wrenches now! And looks like it will be a trip to The Odd Spoke for a new crankset!
The JetBlack juniors were ploughing through their laps with Cooper and Candace sitting in 3rdplace behind some of Australia’s Under 18 National Champions, Iona with her usual smiles on the dial and completing 5 laps of the course, Aiden shot around the conga line on lap 1 and managed to cover off 5 laps of the Coondoo trails.
The solo field consisted of Dane Anderson (4thfrom 14 cat starters), Natalie Anderson (4thplace behind a hot female contingent consisting of Briony Mattocks, Elise Buriss and Meg Gilmore. Chris Anderson and Southy in a huge Masters field both finishing 12 & 20 respectively, Cam finished 6th. Peter ‘Diesel’ Rohr in 4thin the Super Masters 7hr, despite a couple of lie downs in the dust and a mechanical (if you can call a broken Di2 cable a ‘mechanical’) and the ever smiling Dalene in coming home in 3rd.
Pairs categories results saw; Peter Robinson & Matthew finished 1st, The new pairing of Matt & Karen took out Mixed Masters Pairs with Matt smoking out some VERY fast times, In the team of 2 Super Masters we had 3 pairings with Stuart & Wesley (new comers) taking out 2nd, Ron & Andrew coming in for 4thand John Reynolds and Glen taking out 5th. Great to see the guys getting out and hammering some laps around the circuits.
Now to the team of threes, where there were many battle’s waging throughout the day, and all in the 7hr format. The young guns of Lucas, Michael & Jayden came out in 2ndplace, Jason, Tama & Hani finished 3rdin category.
All year, the banter between the teams Troy, Steve & Tom and Nathan, Elton and Michael has been on point. With the elite boys taking out all rounds so far Nowra, this round was to prove no different. With our master’s team lapping at an ultra-consistent 27 min laps, they managed to sneak in 16 laps. As I needed to leave early to get back to Sydney it meant I had to put in some extra laps early on and as the day progressed the GC was the one to watch. The Masters team were pulling away but the battle for 2nd– 4thwere very tight. Most of the day there were only as little as 2 minutes separating to our team and Snail Trails, but the team of Grant, Ian and Adrian had been chipping away all day with some consistent laps. The call was made from one Dave Leckie from Canada (his former team) to Ian during the week to advise that I was leaving early and make sure the boys come home strong. His words of wisdom rang true and the last 3 laps from Grant, Ian and Adrian were smoking hot. Nathan managed to hold out the boys by some 21 seconds. This will be another great battle to watch in Stromlo. Time to start training!
Race results can be found at: https://my6.raceresult.com/103773/?lang=en
All in all, everyone had an awesome day. The next race see’s our Enduro riders travel to Jolly Nose in Port Macquarie for Round 4 of the Fox Superflow. Whilst our XC rivers will be heading to the Magic PBM 6hr in Taree, a fully subsidised team race, so lookout for a strong contingent out on the trails.