The U23 Australian National 24H Solo Champion Mark Tupalski won round three of the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix endurance racing series at Ourimbah MTB Park near Wyong on the weekend. His fellow Canberran Ed McDonald claimed the second place after a tight race with a local club rider from the Central Coast. Max Richardson from Wamberal came in third after a sensational performance in the prestigious seven hour Solo Elite classification. Sarah Neumann from Newcastle dominated the women’s solo fields again and in the four hour racing categories Jon Odams from Sans Souci took out the Solo Elite title in the men’s and lap racing newcomer Nienke Oostra won the female category.
The name Max Richardson was on everyone’s lips as the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix seven-hour solo riders crossed the line – with 14 completed laps on the 8.5km course in just under seven hours, the 20-year old rider from the hosting Central Coast Ourimbah MTB Club secured himself a podium position at Saturday’s race in the GP7 hour Elite Men’s category. As the race unfolded spectators and supporters of the top three riders realised that Max Richardson was completely unaware of the calibre of riders that he was challenging, up until lap six even placing in second position in the progress results.
“This year my big focus is on cross-country events – I just love riding my bike and Bikeworx Erina has been supporting me to enter the entire SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix series. Racing is the best kind of training, they say, so to get such a big endurance race to the Central Coast is great!”, said the talented rider at the finish. With a previous ninth and this third place on his home track in the five-race series by Rocky Trail he will be racing for a top position overall and will be a rider to watch out for in the next few years.
Overall race win goes to Tupalski, series lead stays with Webster
Equally surprised were the Canberrans Mark Tupalski and Ed McDonald, who completed the most laps overall in the race with Tupalski winning by 7.33 minutes. “This is a great track and I gave it my best. It seems Richardson came out of nowhere, congratulations on a great performance!”, said Tupalski after the race and added that he was looking forward to the final two series races at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan in July and on his home track at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra in September.
After three events in the five-race series, Grant Webster from Tea Gardens (NSW) maintains his series lead in the GP7 hour Solo Elite category. With a fourth place at Ourimbah he increased his lead by 100 points over second Duncan Middleton from Dungog (NSW). Young Max Richardson is now ex aequo on third with last year’s series winner Andrew Lloyd from Newcastle.
Sarah Neumann from Newcastle was the fastest lady out on course, winning the GP7 Hour Elite Female classification. With her third consecutive win she also clearly leads the series.
Odams shows strong form, newcomer Oostra wows crowd
Jon Odams from Sans Souci took out the GP4 hour Elite Men’s race and offroad triathlete Nienke Oostra from Sydney claimed the women’s title in what was her first lap race. The female solo GP4 hour series lead, however, stays with Odam’s team rider Susanna Fasold from Bonnet Bay (NSW), who holds a gap of 23 points ahead of Emily Cunningham (Kirrawee NSW) and Laura Renshaw (Merewether NSW). In the men’s GP4 hour solo classification, Jorge Baron Morris from Kensington (NSW) holds onto his series lead with a fourth place at Ourimbah. Round 4 promises to be a tight race for him, as his gap dropped to 9 points over James Lamb from Bondi (NSW) and cross country state series champion Kyle Ward from Wollongong.
The next series event will be held at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan near Campbelltown on 13 July ahead of the final round in September at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra. For more information and detailed results, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com
7 hour race
Elite Men Solo
1. Mark Tupalski (Onya Bike Belconnen), Canberra ACT, 15 laps in 7:06.39
2. Ed McDonald (Target Trek Racing), Canberra ACT, 15 laps in 7:14.12
3. Max Richardson (Bikeworx Erina), Wamberal NSW, 14 laps in 6:47.
Elite Women Solo
1. Sarah Neumann (Cheeky Velosport), Newcastle NSW, 12 laps in 7:00.23
2. Liz Smith, Mt Ousley NSW, 12 laps in 7:12.41
4 hour race
Elite Men Solo
1. Jon Odams (Bike Culture), Sans Souci NSW, 9 laps in 4:13.55
2. James Lamb (SCV Imports / Rocky Trail), Erina/Bondi NSW, 9 laps in 4:25.28
3. Kyle Ward (Rockstar Racing), Wollongong NSW, 8 laps in 4:04.17
Elite Women Solo
1. Nienke Oostra (MarathonMTB.com), Sydney NSW, 7 laps in 4:08.41
2. Belinda Diprose, Drummoyne NSW, 7 laps in 4:28.48
3. Emily Cunningham (Sneaky Bacon Racing), Kirrawee NSW, 6 laps in 4:04.24