Round 2 of the Shimano Mountain Bike Grand Prix Series transformed the Rydal Showground into a vibrant cycling event centre. Riders from all over NSW and the ACT took part in the four and seven hour competitions that were held for the first time on the home tracks of the Central Tablelands MTB Club.
Trent Pons and Briony Mattocks won the 4-hour solo races and Rohan Geddes and Gwynn Le Maitre took out the 7-hour classifications. With Owen Gordon and Scott Reynolds two juniors from the JetBlack Racing Team claimed he overall line honours with 18 laps completed on the circuit that was an instant hit with Rocky Trail’s racers.
With 10 completed laps Trent Pons from Campbelltown was the winner of the popular 4-hour solo competition in Rydal on the weekend. In 4:08:11 he defeated race favourite from Wagga Wagga and winner of Round 1 at Glenrock, Daniel Beresford, who crossed the line just over a minute behind him. Michael Crummy from Richmond came in third. In the women’s Briony Mattocks backed up her win at Glenrock in dominant form – 9 laps in 4:10:56 was the winning result ahead of Natalie Anderson (+20 min) and Elise Buriss (-1 lap).
“I really liked this track”, said Briony Mattocks. “I am probably one of the few people who love climbs and I would have preferred a few more meters of elevation here, but the trail features and line choices were just so much fun and I had an awesome race – can’t wait to be back here soon!”
New venues to keep entertaining the riders
Mountain bike events promoter Martin Wisata from Rocky Trail Entertainment said that for the Shimano MTB Grand Prix he was constantly looking for new venues to take his racers to, “This events series has been running since 2009 and we want this series to have versatile and exciting trails – every year we look for new venues to add to the event locations so that our loyal rider base gets to experience new race tracks.”
He added that the facilities at Rydal had been ideal and the hosts from the Rydal Showground Trust as well as the local club so accommodating that plans were already in the making to hopefully return to the venue in 2018. “The location is right in the middle between Sydney and Canberra and with Lithgow City Council just minutes away, we can offer our riders a wide variety of accommodation options as well as ideas for exploring this beautiful region to make it a whole weekend away.”
Changing of the guards in the seven hour race
The Shimano MTB Grand Prix offers riders the options to race solo or in teams of two or three riders. One of the most exciting “races within the race” at Rydal was the battle for the overall line honours, which is awarded to the team with the most laps completed of all the riders in the event. Owen Gordon and Scott Reynolds from the JetBlack Racing Team completed 18 laps in 7:11:14 and defeated riders of the highest calibre, including Owen’s uncle Craig Gordon, former 24-hour Solo World Champion and a regular at Rocky Trail events who was competing in a pairs team as well.
Rohan Geddes from Canberra won the general classification of the solo competition in the 7-hour race with 16 completed laps in 7:17:45 ahead of Brian Price (+6:06 min) from Faulconbridge and Garry James from Farrer (ACT, -1 lap). In the women’s Gwynn Le Maitre from Duffy won with 13 laps in 6:51:39 ahead of Meredith Quinlan (-1 lap) and Claudia Fiess (- 1 lap) from Sydney.
The next series event of the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix will take place at Ourimbah MTB Park near Wyong on 8 July, supported by the Central Coast Council. Online registration is open now via the Rocky Trail website.