Words by Flow | Images by Flow

“Have you seen the crazy fast elite field this year, and the whole event sold out, too? Is the beach rideable? The weather forecast looks mint!”

Last year we started our Cape to Cape coverage by discussing the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, and its role making sure the 28 wrecks off the Cape don’t become 29. Today, you wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on the sea over the swathe of over 1300 mountain bikers forming a long, snaking line across the Leeuwin peninsula.

Good morning, Western Australia!

Good morning, Western Australia!

_low0683

A birds eye view of the biggest field in the nine years of Cape to Cape.

flow8129

Adult bikes on top, kids out the back.

_low0648

WA’s strong man, Reece Tucknott with a pensive pause before the stage gets underway.

If you chat to riders at the Cape to Cape, from elite racers to families riding this magnificent event for the first time, you’ll likely hear about ‘the beach’. For the elites, the unpredictable Deepdene Beach threatens to derail long, hard hours of training. For other riders, the thought of potentially running across a two-kilometre beach incites less enthusiasm than a sales meeting at Samsung.

With the strong red sea from Trek Australia and the orange army of Team Torq Australia we were expecting huge battles out on course.

With the strong red sea from Trek Australia and the orange army of Team Torq Australia we were expecting huge battles out on course.

_low0597

No footprints, crazy greens and blues, the myriad of uninhibited beaches around this place is incredible.

_low0707

“Are you coming for a warm up?” Said Andy Blair, “This is my warm up nowadays…” Jenny Blair and young Remi.

_low0695

Cheers to these flat pedal warriors.

flow8424

Open Google Maps on your phone and type in Cape Leeuwin… Yep, it’s way, way down the bottom right of the continent. Amazing experience number 1!

 

_low0698

Always a great family vibe at this event, especially when the sun comes out to play.

In the elite male category, the race began with a vicious attack up the first climb from Torq’s Chris Hamilton, who recently signed with World Tour road-cycling team Giant-Alpecin.

flow8541

Bets were on, who would enter the descent first? The winner of this climb would give us a very clear indication on who’s in for the best shot at a win overall.

flow8549

And it was the 60kg motor, Chris Hamilton cresting the lung burner in pole position.

_low0709

And it was National XC Marathon Champ, Brendan Johnston keeping everyone in check on the crazy fast descent.

_low0734

The low flying A380 of mountain biking, Paul Van Der Ploeg leads out masters category hammer, Jon Gregg.

flow8606

One of the smoothest riders out there today, Jon Odams having a great time in his first Cape.

_low0982

Jenny Blair showing everyone she’s always in for a strong showing through the singletrack.

 

_low1052

Old mate popped a wheelie, then nearly lost his head on a low obstacle, we’re looking forward to seeing this guy do more reckless stunts tomorrow.

_low1098

We’ve never seen so many spectators all over the whole course. The event provides super clear spectator access and the best viewing locations, and they were out in droves today.

_low1069

This spectator had the cheering power of a maximum capacity discotheque on ACDC covers night.

 

flow8629

The strong lead quartet of Tas Nankervis, Brendan Johsnton, Cam Ivory and Chris Hamilton.

Following Hamilton’s attack, the Torq team continued to apply the pressure. A group consisting of Torq’s Tasman Nankervis and Hamilton, Swell-Specialized’s Cam Ivory and Trek’s Brendan Johnston flew down the first high speed descent of the day, having broken away from a stacked elite field.

Nankervis and Ivory broke away from the group of four during the much anticipated traverse of Deepdene Beach, attacking with such pace that the pair beat the media vehicle arriving to photograph the lead riders. Close behind the pair were last year’s winner Kyle Ward, wily veteran Andy Blair and Hamilton.

flow8640

The first chase group lost touch but never lost pace.

_low1152

The event organisers were really scraping the barrel for volunteer help this week, but this guy had riders heading in the right direction.

_low1160

The massive team behind the Cape to Cape was in full swing, it’s a monumental task to pull off and hats off to them all for a flawless day.

 

_low1169

Chasing Peta was Samara Sheppard, with the Port to Port win in the bag for her this year, she’s hungry for more podiums.

 

_low1361

Tail winds across the paddock today, thank Huey for that one!

_low1376

Dags in the fence.

_low1394

It’s called Hamstring Hill, not Cheery Crest, get pedalling mate!

 

_low1440

Andrew Liddawi in the hand cycle category, always charging hard through the trails and loving it.

 

_low1427

Faces lit up when we yelled “all downhill from here, folks!”

_low1468

Cheers, buddy! Sorry for taking photos of you crashing earlier…

 

flow8832

Jenny, Peta and Samara take to the podium on day one.

In the elite women’s race, which also hosted a bevy of talented riders, Samara Sheppard led for most of the race. In the closing kilometres, last year’s winner Peta Mullens overtook Sheppard after chasing her for most of the race, demonstrating the power she’s become renowned for across many disciplines. An ever-consistent Jenny Blair rounded out the women’s podium, despite claiming not to be in great form coming into the race. We expect her to be a threat over the next few days considering her record, and the fact the grandparents have come down to babysit little Remi.

flow8858

Tas, Cam and Hamo stamp their authority on the 2016 event with a strong performance on the hard day one.

The elite men’s race was won on ‘Hamstring Hill’, the final climb of the day. Ivory attacked Nankervis and Hamilton, maintaining a short lead to the finish. Tomorrow’s stage will be interesting, with the strong Torq team looking to put a rider in the leader’s jersey, as well as Trek Factory Racing Australia, who will be supporting Brendan Johnston.

In the mens master’s field, Jon Gregg once again proved his Cape-to-Cape dominance, winning his category by nearly ten minutes and finishing ninth overall!

In the womens master’s field, Marie Claude-Baars took the win with a strong ride.

_low1527

Here for their 60th birthday from NZ, these two happy ladies were blown away by the scenes at Hamelin Bay, it’s a breathtaking part of the world.

_low1584

Warmer and sunnier forecast for day two, bring it!

_low1556

Flow’s FROTHING for what day two may have in store.

flow8911

Cheers, Margs! We’re stoked to be here.

_low1540

Tomorrow the riders have 57 kilometres of racing, from Hamelin Bay to the excellent Xanadu Winery just outside Margaret River. The spectacular scenery will continue, with the stage winding through the Boranup forest and some of the many vineyards that inhabit this stunning region. We’ll be bringing you all the action, so stay tuned!


RESULTS

 

FEMALE OPEN

1. Peta Mullens – 01:52:43

2. Samara Sheppard – 01:52:48

3. Jenny Blair – 01:57:56

4. Jessica Simpson – 02:00:42

5. Briony Mattocks – 02:01:06

MALE OPEN

1. Cameron Ivory – 01:32:38

2. Tasman Nankervis – 01:32:46

3. Chris Hamilton – 01:34:29

4. Brendan Johnston – 01:34:29

5. Kyle Ward – 01:34:45

For a full list of results, click here!

 


Two of Western Australia’s fastest take on Sam Hill Downhill ahead of the race on day two.

Once the day one’s race had wrapped up, we scored an amazing opportunity to watch Jonny Waddell and Sam Hill shred some loamy turns on the Sam Hill Downhill, which riders will tear down at the beginning of the second stage.

_low1504 _low1473 _low1495 _low1476 _low1471 _low1501 _low1509
close