With the recent national championship round in Melbourne, it was back to Sydney for the 5th round of the MWCC/MWMTB Cyclo cross winter series on Saturday and volunteers setting up the track were a buzz with talk of huge fields in Melbourne.

However cross isn’t just about Elite riders and this was demonstrated brilliantly this week, when a dad and his teenage daughter and son arrived at 8am to ride the MTB race. At the start resplendent in baseball cap under his helmet, dad took the hole shot and briefly held the lead on the tarmac. However the biggest cheers of the day were for his daughter who was only 20 metres behind dad for most of the race! Despite all this, national series MTB racers Rob Booker and Troy Glenann fought for the win with Rob taking line honours.

It is commonly accepted that Cyclo Cross is a hard mans sport so it was all the more surprising that Mike Wood could emerge victorious in the Open CX race, beating Chris Thompson into 2nd place. Mark ‘The Weatherman’ Hardy(MWCC) broke out of his post Cape Epic slumber and realised that short course racing is harder than it looks, coming in on his MTB for 3rd. More and more people are having a go at his type of racing, and Dave Gardner (MWCC) again had a crack on a borrowed MTB, as well as Gabrielle Denoury turning up to watch, threatening to return next time with nobbly tyres.

Cyclo Cross is a discipline which has had many a seasoned road man on his knees and endurance mountain bikers never seem get it all there own way. And so it was in the Prestige class this week with young Mitch Codnor returning from Melbourne to give a master class in cross riding (ref sequence of barrier hopping). Seasoned criterium rider and connoisseur of Belgian Beer Brett Dawson took a flyer out of the blocks, with another tarmac lover Dave Watkinson(MWCC) chasing him trying to stay ahead of the first corner chaos. Onto the first grass section and Codnor who started at the back of the field hit the front never to be seen again. A solid battle for 3rd between Duncan and Gazz ended when Duncan caught a chain at the top of the BMX ramp and fell backwards letting Gazz roll home.
The rest of the field where fairly close and the lower placings were decided by an eventful race of punctures and crashes, leaving Troy Glennan in 2nd and Gary Harwood 3rd.

The series will go down to the wire as leader Carl Fokema punctured scoring minimum points and with the series decided over 5 races out of 6 he is not as sure of victory as he would hope, with Dave Watkinson(MWCC), Mick Hernan and Gary Harwood chasing him hard.

If you haven’t yet tried cross, preferring to keep that white Pinerello clean on the dry roads of Akuna Bay, then its time to join in. There are a good number of MTB’s throughout Manly rusting away in the man cave, and if you would like to have ago just contact Jim or Alexis and there’ll be a bike your size lying around somewhere.

The national cross championship weekend is the 29/30th of September and there will races for all levels of rider and the carnival atmosphere is guaranteed with some great sponsors and prizes lined up,see you there.

Next race and last of the winter club series 25.08.12.