Adams & McInerney Win the 26th Mitta to Mt Beauty

Mountain biking’s come a long way since ’92! Gears have been added then divided, suspension and brakes now work and we’ve seen countless bottom bracket, headset and hub standards come and go. But two things remain, the Mitta to Mt Beauty MTB race and Rob Eva, who won it in 1993 and 1995. Local racer and all-round top bloke, Jarrod Quinn, shares his tales of the 2017 Mitta.


Back in ’08 riders started down the Mitta Mitta golf course.

‘The Mitta’, as its affectionately known, is a 55km point to point mountain bike event from the sleepy township of Mitta Mitta, up and over Trappers Gap and finishing in Mt Beauty, a place well known amongst the cycling community.

For some it’s a race as they try to get their names etched onto the winner’s list alongside the likes of Paul, Neil and Daniel Van Der Ploeg, Steele Von Hoff and Murray Spink. For others its the adventure, the challenge of finishing or trying to better the previous year’s time that draws them to the event.

Wes and Kylie Samson won the tandem category, a decade ago.
The lead group early on in the 2008 Mitta. Neil Van Der Ploeg won that year and Simon Flower (#49) held onto 4th.

This year saw the 26th running of ‘The Mitta’ and the event did not disappoint. After a quick race briefing for Liam Panozzo the field of around 100 riders were set to roll out of Mitta. A neutral start out of the township following the lead vehicle, driven by Joel Panozzo, meant for an organised and calm start to the race. However as the lead vehicle accelerated away it was game time, riders started to string out as the pace stayed steady and people started following wheels to get out of the wind as much a possible.

‘The Mitta’ is unique as there are very few mountain bike events with a whopping 10km climb in the middle, followed by an equally huge descent. The challenge of such a different style of mountain bike event keeps riders coming back year after year.

In 2017 the start is more controlled; a good chance to warm up and share some banter before things get serious.
Race winner Rohan Adams on the front as the lead pack pulls away at Scrubby Creek

As riders hit the first climb the groups started to split and it became a challenge of riding steady to the tops of the climbs and really letting it fly down the long descents, all the while ensuring that you left some energy reserves in the tank for the final tarmac section into Mt Beauty. It was also a challenge to avoid coming unstuck while distracted by the stunning surrounds with views up to Kosciuszko and the NSW Main Range, then Mt Bogong and the Alpine National Park.

The 2017 Mitta was taken out by Rohan Adams in a sprint finish while Kathryn McInerney claimed the women’s title.

Chris Panozzo hiding from the wind and Ken’s camera behind fellow local, Jarrod Quinn
The Mitta is a real Panozzo family affair. Last year Chris lost his lead-out man, so did what he does best.

Huge thanks must go to all of the Team Mount Beauty volunteers and local Mt Beauty Rotary group who give up their time to organise, marshal, set up and pack up such a logistically challenging event. Without their hard work, this event would not be as amazing as it is.

If you’re planning a trip to North East Victoria, perhaps include the last Sunday in October into your schedule and join the next running of the Mitta to Mt Beauty.

In ’08, Matthew Gray had some unexpected company!

See more from Team Mount Beauty at tmb.org.au.

2017 Mitta Results

Open Men

1. Rohan Adams 1.52.14
2. Tim Beardall 1.52.15
3. Jarrod Quinn 2.03.04

Open Women

1. Kathryn McInerney 2.10.36
2. Tory Thomas 2.14.12
3. Allison Lane 2.39.53

Full results can be found here.

Racing: Shimano MTB Grand Prix Singleton

The line up at the start of the Shimano MTB Grand Prix at Singleton was impressive – you had seven-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion Jason English rub shoulders with pro-road cyclist Daniel Bonello, as well as Olympic gold medalist Kevin Nichols. Then there was Peter Selkrig, former pro-road cyclist and multiple winner of numerous masters titles on the road and on the national as well as international mountain biking scene as well as Claudia Fiess, the reigning 24-hour Solo World Champion in her age group. Another regular name on the Rocky Trail start lists is Garry James, multiple category winner of the Crocodile Trophy stage race as well as Gina Ricardo, multiple Tour of Timor and Tour Down Under finisher.

The course was a fast but a deceiving one – hidden climbs put pressure on the riders legs and minds and the flat and corner sections demanded endurance and riding skills.

Bonello wins 4 hour race against Croc team mate

For Daniel Bonello and Alex Malone, the event was a training race in preparation for their upcoming Crocodile Trophy event, a nine-day stage race in Queensland. They dominated the 4 hour field from the beginning. Malone said that they could apply a lot of their road racing know-how out on track, “This was probably a very good race track for us, we ride together a lot so also today we took turns riding at the front.”

Dan Bonello, GC 4 Hour solo men’s winner with runner up, Alex Malone.

Finishing 11 laps in 4:15:24 just ahead of his team mate Daniel Bonello said that, “Someone had to cross the finish line first. Racing is training, especially when you go lap after lap with Alex Malone. I’m looking forward to the Crocodile Trophy, a bit more of mountain biking, which is a bit of a return to our roots – both of our backgrounds are in mountain biking.”

For Gina Ricardo it had also been a training race in preparation for the Tour of Timor later in the year, which will be her fourth appearance. “The race track here was quite flat, but still good training and I enjoyed today”, she said after 9 laps in 4:05:48.

Gina Ricardo, 4 hour women’s solo GC winner.

Jason English and Meredith Quinlan claim the 7-hour top steps

In the seven hour it was the expected result in the men’s with Jason English taking out not only the GC solo field with 18 laps in 7:12:29 ahead of Garry James (16 laps) and Jon Battle (16 laps), but also coming in second overall in the race among all participating teams.

English said that due to the cooler weather nutrition had been a key factor out on track and that it had been a peddlers course. “I had a great time racing out there, tried to keep up with the 4 hour guys for a little while, really enjoyed the track.”

Jason English – 7-time 24 Hour World Champion and winner of the GP7 hour GC men’s solo

“It was a hard day, even though it was a nice and smooth track, you really had to pedal hard all day”, said Garry James who added that he was proudly heading up the 50+ category at the event as well. “This course really suits an efficient rider.”

Women’s solo GC winner Meredith Quinlan agreed, “It was just a beautifully flowing course.” She did admit that the last lap was tough, going out on her 14th lap just before the 7-hour mark had “not been the plan”. Quinlan finished in 7:28:42 ahead of 24-hour 50+ Solo World Champion Claudia Fiess from Sydney and Diane Perry from Teagardens.

Meredith Quinlan – GP7 hour GC women’s solo winner.

Junior teams take out 4 and 7 hour line honours

The overall line honours of most laps completed in the two competitions were claimed by two junior teams.

In the 4-hour event, Matthew Dinham and Ben Metcalfe completed 12 laps in 4:21:09. Matthew Dinham was also the second across the line after lap one, just behind Luke Brame, a fellow junior racer. “It was great to have Luke Brame and some of the other fast young racers out there here today, even just to compare lap times.” Both also keen road cyclists, Matt and Ben admitted that their hearts were still beating for mountain biking. “It’s good to mix it up every now and again, but as they say, ‘once a mountain biker, always a mountain biker”, concluded Ben Metcalfe.

One of our young guns – Matthew Dinham racing with Ben Metcalfe as “Donkey Racing” takes out the line honours in the 4 hour event.

Owen Gordon, nephew of 24-hour Solo World Champion Craig Gordon and equally talented has been making his mark on the results list of Australia’s mountain bike events in recent years. A regular at Rocky Trail events, he has been competing with Scott Reynolds in a Blue Mountains-team for the JetBlack Racing squad. In Singleton they completed 19 laps in 7:22:59.

Owen Gordon – taking the overall line honours in the GP7 hour with Scott Reynolds for JetBlack Racing.

Next: Canberra Series Finale at Stromlo Forest Park on 26 August

Next up on the Shimano MTB GP calendar is the series finale at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra on 26 August.  Ben Fillingham and Natalie Anderson are the 4-hour GC solo leaders and John Harris and Meredith Quinlan will be defending their 7-hour leads. The event will be also hosting the launch of Rocky Trail’s latest event concept, the Elite Sprint Cup, which will be held at Stromlo Forest Park also on the Sunday, 27 August. The elite-focused race is to launch a platform for Australia’s top mountain biking athletes to perform and promote themselves in front of a very captive audience – the Rocky Trail racing crowd and visitors from near and far. The spectator-friendly sprint course will be short, feisty and the perfect opportunity to see some of the best mountain bike racers in Australia on show.

The series finale will be raced at Stromlo Forest Park

Online registration for both events is now open via www.rockytrailentertainment.com

For full results and series progress, click here!

Elite Sprint Cup Championships: Stromlo August 2017

Rocky Trail Entertainment will be launching a brand-new event in August. With the Elite Sprint Cup, the event’s promoter is adding another mission to their cross-country portfolio by offering a very specific sprint-race format to a very targeted group of mountain bikers: the Elites.

“We want to find the fastest female and the fastest male rider in a tough, rough and hard battle”, says Race Director Martin Wisata. He explains that the Elite Sprint Cup was created to build up a stage for Australian Elite racers to promote themselves and to give their sponsors exposure to an excited mountain biking audience – the Rocky Trail racers.

“The races will be staged on a weekend in combination with existing Rocky Trail events, which gives the elite level riders maximum exposure to a cycling-loving crowd the day before the big Cup-race”, explains Wisata, his vision of a weekend. “You’ll have one day where amateur and junior racers can rub shoulders at the start line and out on track with some of the best riders in the country and then on the next day see those riders from the top end of the field smash it out among each other in a short-course sprint race, which will be very spectator-friendly”, he adds.

Rocky Trail said that they would like this to become a highly-respected platform where the best riders in Australia – and potentially international guest racers – can measure themselves against each other and talk it up in the cycling industry. Everyone can enter the Elite Sprint Cup and there will be two categories – male and female – racing for a prize money pool with an extra bonus paid out to the fastest U23 male and female rider.

To start off, the inaugural Elite Sprint Cup Championships will be held at Stromlo Forest Park on 27 August 2017, which is on the Sunday after the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix Finale. For 2018 the plan is to develop the concept into a series across NSW and the ACT.

For more information, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com/events/RTEelitesprintcup.html – online registration for participants starts at the end of July.

Racing: The CamelBak Highland Fling Is Just a Stone’s Throw Away!

The 2013 CamelBak Highland Fling mountain bike event is just four weeks away. That’s still plenty of time to get your training on a roll and be ready to leave no stone unturned when you line up for the ninth edition of Australia’s largest mountain bike marathon.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

If you’ve noticed there seems to be a bit of a stone theme, you’re onto something. One of the many things that make the CamelBak Highland Fling unique is its annual theme; designed to ensure that serious racing is also serious fun!

2013 sees The CamelBak Highland Fling go stone-age with a Flingstones theme. And while there is an assurance that no actual stones will be flung (other than flung up by tyres), there could be a dinosaur or two taking to the trails (and we’re not talking about riders in the Grand Masters category).

Briars Highland Fling 2012

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November, the picturesque New South Wales Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon will a celebrate all things mountain biking with the CamelBak Highland Fling welcoming a large field of both Australian and international elite riders, category racers and weekend warriors, together with their support crews, families and friends.

Last year's podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.
Last year’s podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.

2012 men’s champion Adrian Jackson will be back to defend his title saying: ‘The Fling is one of my big targets for the second half and I hope to hit it in top form. It’s rated in the top tier of marathon races by all elites. To win one is an honour but to win back-to-back, is legend making.’

Making sure it’s not an easy win will be a stacked men’s elite field including 2012 2nd and 3rd place-getters Dylan Cooper and Brendan Johnston, Swell Specialized team mates Andy Blair and Shaun Lewis, along with Dan McConnell, keen to show his form locally after a stellar world championship season in which he placed 2nd overall in the World Cup Series.

The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.
The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.

Defending women’s champion Jenny Fay has just picked up the Irish National Marathon Jersey after a win in Italy too, but she will be back in Australia, and in top form, to ensure she makes it three in a row at The Fling. The likes of Australian XC champion Peta Mullens from VIC and Jo Bennet from WA will be keen to stop the hat trick.

Former Singlespeed World Champion Garth Weinberg from NZ, will be over to shake up the Full Fling SS category and no doubt will finish up toward the pointy end overall too.

In the 100 Mile Fling local elites including title holder Ed Macdonald will be battling it out with international riders including the UK’s Matt Page. 2012 Half Fling winner Kyle Ward is stepping up to the Full Fling in 2013. Can his 18 year old younger brother Jayden, recent victor in the Kowalski 50km event, hold onto the family honour by keeping out last year’s 2nd place rider Andrew Arthur, 50km specialist Brad Morton and evergreen old foxes like Matt Fleming?

The main racing takes place on Sunday 10th with riders selecting the 110km Full Fling, 55km Half Fling or 100Mile Fling, with routes winding through mixed terrain. Private farmland tracks cross into the beautiful forest and gully trails of Wingello State Forest. Open paddocks become rough 4WD trails and flowing single track. Challenging climbs are rewarded with sweet descents.

Leading into the main event are also a host of sideshow events across the weekend, including the Casual Fling to cater for those who prefer a more social ride and the Bundanoon Dash for those who like their racing fast and furious.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

The Battle of the Businesses, for locals only, provides stunning costumes for spectator entertainment, while those who like to race without having to put any power to the pedal can line-up for the second Rolloff World Championships.

For young racers, Saturday’s Kids Skills Clinic tips can be tried out in the hotly contested Todds Real Estate Kids Fling on Sunday.

 

Racing: The CamelBak Highland Fling Is Just a Stone's Throw Away!

The 2013 CamelBak Highland Fling mountain bike event is just four weeks away. That’s still plenty of time to get your training on a roll and be ready to leave no stone unturned when you line up for the ninth edition of Australia’s largest mountain bike marathon.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

If you’ve noticed there seems to be a bit of a stone theme, you’re onto something. One of the many things that make the CamelBak Highland Fling unique is its annual theme; designed to ensure that serious racing is also serious fun!

2013 sees The CamelBak Highland Fling go stone-age with a Flingstones theme. And while there is an assurance that no actual stones will be flung (other than flung up by tyres), there could be a dinosaur or two taking to the trails (and we’re not talking about riders in the Grand Masters category).

Briars Highland Fling 2012

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November, the picturesque New South Wales Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon will a celebrate all things mountain biking with the CamelBak Highland Fling welcoming a large field of both Australian and international elite riders, category racers and weekend warriors, together with their support crews, families and friends.

Last year's podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.
Last year’s podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.

2012 men’s champion Adrian Jackson will be back to defend his title saying: ‘The Fling is one of my big targets for the second half and I hope to hit it in top form. It’s rated in the top tier of marathon races by all elites. To win one is an honour but to win back-to-back, is legend making.’

Making sure it’s not an easy win will be a stacked men’s elite field including 2012 2nd and 3rd place-getters Dylan Cooper and Brendan Johnston, Swell Specialized team mates Andy Blair and Shaun Lewis, along with Dan McConnell, keen to show his form locally after a stellar world championship season in which he placed 2nd overall in the World Cup Series.

The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.
The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.

Defending women’s champion Jenny Fay has just picked up the Irish National Marathon Jersey after a win in Italy too, but she will be back in Australia, and in top form, to ensure she makes it three in a row at The Fling. The likes of Australian XC champion Peta Mullens from VIC and Jo Bennet from WA will be keen to stop the hat trick.

Former Singlespeed World Champion Garth Weinberg from NZ, will be over to shake up the Full Fling SS category and no doubt will finish up toward the pointy end overall too.

In the 100 Mile Fling local elites including title holder Ed Macdonald will be battling it out with international riders including the UK’s Matt Page. 2012 Half Fling winner Kyle Ward is stepping up to the Full Fling in 2013. Can his 18 year old younger brother Jayden, recent victor in the Kowalski 50km event, hold onto the family honour by keeping out last year’s 2nd place rider Andrew Arthur, 50km specialist Brad Morton and evergreen old foxes like Matt Fleming?

The main racing takes place on Sunday 10th with riders selecting the 110km Full Fling, 55km Half Fling or 100Mile Fling, with routes winding through mixed terrain. Private farmland tracks cross into the beautiful forest and gully trails of Wingello State Forest. Open paddocks become rough 4WD trails and flowing single track. Challenging climbs are rewarded with sweet descents.

Leading into the main event are also a host of sideshow events across the weekend, including the Casual Fling to cater for those who prefer a more social ride and the Bundanoon Dash for those who like their racing fast and furious.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

The Battle of the Businesses, for locals only, provides stunning costumes for spectator entertainment, while those who like to race without having to put any power to the pedal can line-up for the second Rolloff World Championships.

For young racers, Saturday’s Kids Skills Clinic tips can be tried out in the hotly contested Todds Real Estate Kids Fling on Sunday.

 

Flow’s First Bite: Storck Rebel Seven

Markus Storck – a man with a very good brain but a very bad haircut – is well regarded as one of the greatest design minds of the cycling industry. Interestingly, he’s also one of the founding fathers of Eurobike.

Storck Rebel Seven -7

His namesake company makes superb carbon and high-end aluminium bikes out of their facility in Germany. While the brand’s reputation is strongest on the road, they’re developing a healthy following in mountain biking too.

We’ve recently taken hold of the new Rebel Seven, Storck’s premium 27.5″-wheel cross country hardtail. It came to us as a bare frame, and we thought it look so good we’d shoot it naked, rather than dress it up with its build kit.

Storck Rebel Seven -8

The frame weight is a little under 1100g with a beautiful finish. All the features you’d expect at this level are present: press-fit bottom bracket, tapered head tube, 12mm rear dropouts, well presented cable guides.

Storck Rebel Seven -3

We’ll be building it up and hitting the trails soon. It’ll be our first experience on our home trails riding a 27.5″-wheeled hardtail (we’re usually on 29er if we’re riding a hardtail) so we’re intrigued about the performance the mid-sized wheel will offer.

Storck Rebel Seven -11