The Subaru Active MWCC Cyclocross season absolutely exploded onto the scene for its first round. There were two massive kids races and 2 highly competitive cyclocross races. We have a report from Australias newest magazine – Australian Cyclocross Magazine on the days events.
The cyclocross season in Sydney got off to an amazing start on Saturday with round one of the Manly-Warringah Subaru Active Cyclocross Series which was held at JJ Melbourne Hills Reserve, Terrey Hills (combine the park name with the series name and you have a mouthful!)
It was a warm day in Sydney with temperatures hitting 25 degrees by mid-afternoon. This made racing ‘cross tough, but it brought the crowds out to the event. Over the four events of the day roughly one hundred people pinned on a number and lined up to race, which was by far the biggest turn out for a club round to date.
The Manly-Warringah Cycling Club had set a varied course which featured two long paved sections which was the only rest due to the amount of flowing yet bumpy grass sections, a few fast corners, a tricky slow off camber corner, and a stair run which tested riders over a two kilometre course. The course tough, but all agreed it was a lot of fun to ride.
First up were the kids races with an under seven’s and a separate under 12’s race held on modified courses. Everything from two year olds on plastic trikes to twelve year olds with mountain bikes better than mine were seen racing. Lots of smiles on course and the placegetter’s received hats from HED Wheels.
Next race was the combined Open Category (non CX Bike), B Grade CX and Women’s CX/Open. It was the biggest race of the day with over fifty people entered, mostly in B grade CX. It was about this time, that local racers who had been attending in previous yeas realised that things were different this year. Over fifty people in one race are much more than was previously seen over a whole race event. The sun was shining, families were cheering and an injured Danny Hennessy could be heard commentating on the microphone.
The open category were given a one minute head start on the rest of the field and once all competitors were off and racing over the three categories many mini-battles ensued between racers on course. In the open category Chris Bowie lead 15 year old Matt Dinham for all but the last lap when Matt attacked to eventually take a comfortable lead. In B grade CX Rob Parbery had a strong start to take the holeshot, but it was Olivier Vallee who never once looked like getting challenged as he rode a strong race to take the win. If Olivier is reading this, expect to be bumped up to A grade next month buddy! In the women’s CX Oenone Wood rode a strong race in her second ever cross event to beat Lizanne Wilmot in to second with Debra Denis coming third.
The final race of the day was A grade CX and featured some well known riders including Australian representative Nick Both, NRS rider Tom Patton, an in form Garry Millburn and Scott Wines. There were 20 starters in a strong field. As the gun went off there were plenty of sharp elbows as people jostled for position. It is becoming local tradition that Garry Millburn takes the holeshot and he didn’t disappoint, leading Tom Patton and Scott Wines out of the first corner. There eventually was a tangle up in a tight section where Phil Gray and Nick Both lost valuable places within the first lap. Once the field sorted themselves out, a battle began at the head of the race between Patton, Wines and Millburn. Tom Patton found the manic pace a bit much and lost contact after fifteen minutes. Millburn and Wines continued to ride off the front of the race together until Garry Millburn eventually gapped Scott Wines to take a comfortable win. Scott Wines took second place and Tom Patton held on for third.
As was mentioned on our Facebook Page straight after the event, we thought the day was EPIC! It really showed how much cyclocross has grown in Australia in such a short space of time. The day was a success and could not have happened without the work of the Manly Warringah CX crew who tirelessly help set up, run rego, do timing, fit in a race, then finally pack up into the dark once everyone has left. A tip of my cap to these fine people!
Round two will be held on Saturday 14th of June and will be a great chance to hone skills being just one week before the first NCXS rounds in Melbourne.
The wonderful photography used in this report was again from Josh at www.ridingfocus.com be sure to check out more of his work on the linked photo blog.
This report has been provided by Australia’s Newest and Only Cyclocross dedicated magazine. To keep you up to date will all of the latest news from around Australia and the globe when it comes to CX – there is only one bible to turn to – Australian Cyclocross Magazine. Check out their website and get yourself a subscription today.
Open, B Grade CX, Women’s CX
A Grade CX