With the two fastest race runs of the day Brad Kelly from Watanobbi took out the overall and Elite Male wins at the Rollercoaster Gravity Enduro NSW State Round/Powered by Flow Mountain Bike at Ourimbah MTB Park on the weekend.
A sell-out crowd saw Kelly dominate on his home track, winning ahead of Bradley Jolliffe from Erina and Jon Odams from Sans Souci. Sydney’s Genevieve McKew took home honours in the Women’s Elite category.
Almost 250 riders from all over NSW as well as Canberra and as far as Forbes, Kempsey and Port Macquarie kicked off Rocky Trail’s 2014 racing season at Ourimbah MTB Park near Wyong with Round 1 of the Rollercoaster Gravity Enduro State Series on the weekend. Two timed race tracks had to be completed with a combination of a neutral ride and shuttles to the starts. The big favourites delivered and Brad Kelly from the hosting Central Coast Ourimbah MTB Club clocked in the fastest race times of the day with 10:38 min in a gripping finish against fellow Central Coast rider, Bradley Jolliffe. The 20-year old from Erina had been set for a top position with a combined time of just over 11 minutes, but said that he had a near tumble in one of the race runs and was happy to have kept it up for a second place in the Elite Male category.
“The tracks both had quite a few sections to pedal it them and it was pretty hot as well, so a good challenge”, said Brad Kelly who handled the conditions on his home track well and who was awarded the 2014 series leader jersey. The reigning Rollercoaster State Series winner, Jon Odams from Sans Souci, took out third place with a gap of only seven seconds to Jolliffe.
Growing women’s and junior fields
Last year’s runner up in the women’s elite Rollercoaster series title, Genevieve McKew won with a time of 13:36 min ahead of Belinda Green from Port Macquarie and Jo Fox from Emu Heights and takes over the series lead and leader jersey. “We see more and more women race at gravity enduro events”, said event director Juliane Wisata. “There’s many skilled female endurance riders out there who like the challenge of the technical downhills and social aspects of riding to starts together and finishing in a lively pit, exchanging race stories with fellow riders – women and men alike.” She added that a strong junior field was emerging also with Newcastle’s Bryan Dunkin taking out the Junior U19 race win and series lead in 11:56 min.
Gravity enduro racing gains traction in NSW
Martin Wisata, race director at Rocky Trail Entertainment, said that this race format was growing strongly in NSW and Australia, “You need all the skills – you need to be fit and be able to sprint, but you also need to know how to ride a bike fast down a technical descent. Often a little mistake or hesitation can cost you valuable seconds.”
One of the dark horses who proofed himself outstandingly on the weekend, finished seventh, was the 24-hour MTB Solo World Champion Jason English from Port Macquarie for whom it was the first gravity enduro race. Used to long hours in the saddle he enjoyed the fast-paced racing and social aspect of riding and shuttling with fellow racers, “Normally you have to climb uphill to get the rewards of a downhill – this is all just about the reward of flying downhill. You get the free shuttle up to the top and a short neutral climb to the next start, basically the biggest smile wins!”
The next Rocky Trail event will be part of an all-new Australian Gravity Enduro Series, which will be held at a brand-new track at Glenworth Valley Adventure Park near Gosford on 9 March before the Rollercoaster NSW State Championships in Thredbo on 12 April. For more information and to register, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com
Top category results
1. Brad Kelly / #21 / Watanobbi NSW / Drift Bikes, Santa Cruz, Shimano, Lusty Industries, Troy Lee Designs / 10:38 min
2. Bradley Jolliffe / #20 / Erina NSW / Edge Cycles / 11:11 min / + 33 sec.
3. Jon Odams / #1 / Sans Souci NSW / Bikeculture | Whyte Racing / 11:18 min / +40 sec
4. Jarrad Connolly / #3 / Gosford NSW / Bikeworx / 11:34 min / +56 sec
5. Jack Lavis / #22 / Curtin ACT / Target Trek, Rubena / 11:42 min / +1:04 min
1. Genevieve McKew / #101 / Willoughby NSW / Knolly Bikes / 13:36 min
2. Belinda Green / #105 / Port Macquarie NSW / 14:09 min / +33 sec
3. Jo Fox / #102 / Emu Heights NSW / 14:26 min / +50 sec
4. Clare Ly / #104 / Thornleigh NSW / 15:53 min / +2:17 min
5. Lauren Mackertich / #103 / Castle Hill NSW / 16:53 min / +3:17
1. Bryan Dunkin / #702 / Wallsend NSW / 11:56 min
2. Michael Potter / #719 / Hornsby Heights NSW / 11:59 min / +3 sec
3. David Maggs / #720 / Artarmon NSW / 12:00 / +4sec
1. Riley Lowe / #909 / Engadine NSW / 13:41 min
2. Nicholas Gulaj / #905 / Stanwell Park NSW / 14:01 min / +20 sec
3. Patrick Butler / #901 / Brunkerville NSW / Deubel Bicycles, Rocky Trail Racing, SCV Imports / 14:04 min / +23 sec
1. Daniel Lyons / #304 / Wahroonga NSW / 12:12 min
2. Ben Benny / #336 / Dee Why NSW / 12:14 min / +2 sec
3. Chris Dowsett / #328 / Emu Heights NSW / 12:21 min / +9 sec