Four cross rider Jared Graves (Toowoomba) and junior downhiller Troy Brosnan (Adelaide) will arrive at next week’s UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in ominous form, after officially claiming the respective World Cup titles at the final round in Italy on the weekend.
Graves, the 2009 world champion, entered the Val di Sole round with an unbeatable lead in the overall standings, to officially secure his third straight UCI World Cup four cross crown.
However Saturday’s race didn’t go quite according to plan for the 28-year-old, with reigning world champion Tomas Slavik defeating the Australian, to set up an enthralling showdown at the world championships in two weeks time.
Graves got off to his usual fast start, with Slavik trailing well back in fourth. However, at the bottom of the course, the Czech rider made the move of the day, cutting inside a corner to jump into the lead and steal the victory. Germany’s Johannes Fischbach took second after Graves crashed after a tangle with Kamil Tatarkovic (Cze) and finished fourth.
Graves finished on top of the standings with 485 points followed by Swiss rider Roger Rinderknecht with 300, and Slavik with 283 points.
Brosnan successfully defended his junior downhill World Cup title on Sunday and will arrive at Champery in Switzerland next week as the raging favourite to retain his rainbow jersey.
Competing against more senior and experienced riders, Brosnan ended his World Cup campaign with his highest placing of the season, finishing in fourth place in the men’s elite race, five seconds adrift of victor Aaron Gwin from the United States.
The 18-year-old comfortably claimed the overall junior downhill title with 625 points on the standings, with French rider Loic Bruni coming in second with 297 points.
More to come...... Read More
PRESS RELEASE: SRAM SINGLETRACK MIND MOUNTAIN BIKE ENDURO SERIES – Wingello State Forest, Southern Highlands
"Winning in the wet at Wingello"
With wet weather looming all week, Round 4 of the SRAM Singletrack Mind Series was looking to be another washed-out event with the clouds disobeying the weather forecast and continuing to drop their cargo well into the night before the race. The rain finally stopped just hours before the start, and with the fast draining trails and a change of event centre the race was cleared to go ahead.
Some who pre-registered for the seven hour enduro didn't front for race day, but with Series honours on the line, a highly competitive field signed on for a race that would feature challenging conditions in the opening laps with slippery trails, but riders’ persistence would pay dividends as the 10km course rapidly dried out making for tacky corners, fast racing and big grins! While there would be a bit of bike cleaning required post-race, riders who made it to the podium would clean up handsomely with over $10,000 worth of prizes and $2000 cash up for grabs!
From the outset names that regularly top the podium in the Singletrack Mind Series were out in front and daring everyone else to catch them ... with the notable exception of the solo female category which featured a name entirely new to not only the Series but to mountain biking entirely! For the first six and a half hours Vanessa Bennet led the category in what was her first ever mountain bike race. Even more extraordinary was the fact that she had only bought a mountain bike in the previous week! Despite trail conditions that would challenge very experienced mountain bikers, the Bathurst-based rider kept it mostly upright and only got overtaken by eventual winner Liz Smith in the final lap of the race, while Erin Zimmer took 3rd place and the solo singlespeed prize.
The male solo category was also an epic battle, with former track world champion Rod McGee versus the current Series leader Ed McDonald, both of whom chose their singlespeed rigs for reliability in the damp conditions. McGee took the early lead but with the course modified to include some flat fireroad sections, this played into the favour of Andrew Hall who sensibly had a full arsenal of gears. The singlespeeders wouldn't see Hall again until the podium presentation, but continued to battle it out, riding together for much of the race until McDonald's bike started throwing its chain. Experience and a more reliable rig paid off in the end for the local bike shop owner McGee, taking 2nd place and the solo singlespeed special category.
In the other solo categories, masters female Wendy Stevenson recorded her third Series win while in the masters male category Trent Moore recorded his first victory of the Series, holding the lead over Phil Welch throughout the seven hours of racing.
Close racing characterised the pairs categories with the mixed category podium positions changing all morning until the team of Jason McAvoy and Bree Webb established a slender lead on lap four and continued to build the margin up to 17 minutes over the team of Shane Taylor and Kath Bicknell, while Julien Wicks and Linda Cappello fought for 2nd place but came up 8 minutes short in the end. The female pairs pre-entries reached a Series record of nine teams, however on race day it was a one horse race with Monique Clark and Belinda Diprose leading from start to finish and winning by over a lap. The male pairs looks to be a battle that will last all season long, with Jason Morgan and Andrew Arthur of Stevens Bikes locking horns with the Ashfield Cycles crew while the Bike Culture/Gu team retreated, preferring to sip lattes than slip'n'slide their bikes. Stevens Bikes recorded a breakthrough category win to catapult them into the lead of the Series standings.
There was plenty of junior talent on show with six teams battling in the Juniors category. Winners of Round 3, CORC Juniors, were back to try and steal the Series lead from The Lads. CORC Juniors got off to a flying start while The Lads tried to reel them in right to the end, with 15 minutes separating the two teams after seven hours, with mixed Junior team EC&C Racing coming in third one lap down.
In the threes categories, the male threes saw Wallies of Pain take their first Series win with Ashfield Cycles in second, and the fifth place of PopStar Racing was enough for them to retain the Series lead with just two points now separating them and Ashfield Cycles. Stevens Bikes took out the mixed threes with a convincing three lap lead over second place. You Want Something Crazy got off to a cracking start but in the third lap were reeled in by Three Bum Steers who held second position until race end.
Despite the wet conditions at the start of the race, the great trails maintained by Highlands Trails and the Southern Highlands Cycle Club stood up remarkably well to the many thousands of laps recorded. The next round of the SRAM Singletrack Mind Series moves up the Hume Highway to the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan in Southern Sydney. The Gardens have built purpose-designed mountain bike trails, and by the event date of 18 September will have completed stage three of the design which will provide an expanded trail network on which to host Round 5 of the Series.
For more information and event entry go to: http://www.chocolatefoot.com.au/.... Read More