JetBlack 12 Hour: Straight Eight For Jason English

The team with the most laps completed included old-hand and former 24-hour World Champion Craig Gordon from Wollongong and Blue Mountain’s up and coming racer Scott Reynolds. The pair locked in 36 laps for the line honours.

Craig Gordon, former 24-hour solo World Champion, the old-hand still having fun.
Scott Reynolds, the young gun from the Blue Mountains.

In the solo classification, it was Newcastle’s Jason English who once again defended his JetBlack 12 Hour title, winning the solo male category outright for the eighth time in a row since 2010 with 28 laps in 10h35:36. Gwynn Le Maitre is the female champion clocking in 22 laps in 11h26:14 ahead of a strong U23 solo racer Rachel Cook – rounding off a great result for the Fizo Cycling team. Melissa Bates was third in the women’s overall. In the solo men’s Daniel Sammut came in second overall with one lap down on Jason English ahead of his fellow Central Coast rider and third overall, Benji Morris, who crossed the line half an hour later.

Gwynn Le Maitre, Solo Female Champion.
Jason English, Solo Male Elite Champion.

Jason English said that the warm weather had been tough to deal with, deciding to stop riding at the ten and a half hour mark with enough laps for the Solo Elite win. What followed was the sensation of the race: an e-Biker who had pleaded with the event organisers to “agree to let him participate” a week out from the race recorded 32 laps in 12h17:10 for the “unofficial overall solo line honours”.

E-Biker surprises everyone, including himself
The e-Biker was Steve Troughton from Barrack Point and being asked for a photo with Jason English and Daniel Sammut, who had both clocked in 28 and 27 laps respectively on standard mountain bikes, Steve was very reluctant to join them on the podium. “I wasn’t here to compete for glory but simply for the fun of being there and enjoying the atmosphere and the challenge”, he said. The challenge to ride his mountain bike had been getting harder and harder over the last few years the almost 60-year old admitted. “For me, these e-Bikes really do put the fun back into riding. I can now keep up with my younger riding buddies and whereas I was considering giving up riding I am now revitalised and thrilled every time I mount up”, he said.

E-Biker Steve Troughton surprised everyone, including himself.

Race Director Martin Wisata said that he hadn’t expected such a result by Troughton. “We are glad that we were able to have Steve at our event. He did surprise us all with the number of laps he completed and it needs to be acknowledged that his fellow solo riders did compete without e-Power. However, his ride was quite impressive and that he raced for the entire 12 hours”, Wisata said and that he was currently reviewing potential categories and general classification constellations to accommodate e-Bike riders in future events. The events promoter added that he was thankful and really glad that the field of racers really embraced the late-entrant with his e-Bike. “It just shows what a calibre of athletes we have at our events – a huge thanks to Jason English and Daniel Sammut for being such good sports and having their photo taken with Steve – we are so proud of all our Rocky Trail racers and that we can provide them with the playground to reach their goals and document their amazing achievements in this sport – and most of all, see them smile across the finish line, albeit in pain sometimes.”

Race Start at Mowbray Park Farm – Race Director Martin Wisata leads out the field with his toddler son Cosmo.

Diamond Anniversary for Rocky Trail in 2018
Next year the JetBlack 12 Hour will be held for the 10th time by events promoter Rocky Trail Entertainment together with its headline sponsor since 2009, JetBlack Cycling Australia. A jam-packed Rocky Trail calendar of events has already been released for its Diamond Anniversary year – superflow enduro, downhill, marathon and cross-country events spanning all across NSW and the ACT are promising new venues and popular favourites. “We will kick the year off with the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix Series at Glenrock on 3 February and the Fox Superflow Series sealed by Stan’s two weeks later”, said Martin Wisata, who founded the business with his wife Juliane in 2008 and announced that they had secured a new venue for their endurance flagship event, the JetBlack 24 Hour, which will be held at the Rydal Showgrounds near Lithgow (NSW) on the weekend of 4+5 March 2018! Online registration for all three events will open on 6 December 2017.

A race for all ages – Elton Judd from the JetBlack Racing Team with son Aidan and daughter Bre.

Find the full results here.

More photos are available from OuterImage.com.au

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!

Racing: Red Ass NSW State Downhill Championships, Greenvalleys

It’s always going to be a great weekend when you can grab the big bikes, a whole bunch of buddies, your finest heckling devices and road trip down to Greenvalleys. Last weekend it played host to Rocky Trail Entertainment’s biggest Downhill event of the year; the NSW Red Ass Downhill Enduro State Championships.

Ellie Smith stepped it up from U17’s to Elite womens’ for the weekend and didn’t disappoint. 1st place with a 2:20.343.
Ellie Smith stepped it up from U17’s to Elite womens’ for the weekend and didn’t disappoint. 1st place with a 2:20.343.

Greenvalleys, situated in the lush pastures of Tongarra and only 2 hours’ drive from Sydney city, has become one of NSW’s best mountain bike destinations. Boasting a hill full of trails and jumps as well as shuttle road, it is the perfect home for the rowdy crowds and racing of the State Champs.

The first year of the new ‘Downhill Enduro’ format, riders get the chance to take the best of two race runs as their final place. This allows for a far more friendly competition for all that have problems or crashes in their race run, keeping everyone stoked when they go home.DSC_0980

Joel Willis was on a blinder today, taking out the overall with a 1:58.048 – narrowly trumping Brent Smith by just under half a second.
Joel Willis was on a blinder on the day, taking out the overall with a 1:58.048 – narrowly trumping Brent Smith by just under half a second.

“Having Green Valleys close to home works out pretty well for me. It’s helped me to be more spot on with my riding – linking every section together and trying to push in spots where you never thought you would. It has also gave me the chance to meet the young local shredders that are aiming to keep getting better and better.”

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The dream of owning your own mountain bike park coming to life.
The dream of owning your own mountain bike park coming to life.
The final singletrack to chute across the creek into the finish line, where riders came hauling ass brakeless through the forest into a final sprint.
The final singletrack to chute across the creek into the finish line, where riders came hauling ass brakeless through the forest into a final sprint.
Event centre or cow pasture?
Event centre or cow pasture?
The classiest of overtaking strategies from Tyson Wise.
The classiest of overtaking strategies from Tyson Wise.

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Dialled shuttle system straight from the field to the summit in less than 5 minutes.
Dialled shuttle system straight from the field to the summit in less than 5 minutes.
The 4-pack halfway down the track was a huge treat.
The 4-pack halfway down the track was a huge treat.

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Being a freeride park, there is no shortage of jumps to style the hell out of every single run - making it a photographer’s dream.
Being a freeride park, there is no shortage of jumps to style the hell out of every single run – making it a photographer’s dream.
Lantana and loam.
Lantana and loam.

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“Ahh suuuuh dude!” Our favourite enduro wizard Keiran Volk is a very familiar face at every Greenvalleys event. A Woolongong local and GV trail builder, Kezza is no stranger to this trail. Nevertheless, his times were as on-point as his beard with a 5th overall on the day on his trusty Santa Cruz nomad – the quickest trail bike of the day.
“Ahh suuuuh dude!”
Our favourite enduro wizard Keiran Volk is a very familiar face at every Greenvalleys event. A Woolongong local and GV trail builder, Kezza is no stranger to this trail. Nevertheless, his times were as on-point as his beard with a 5th overall on the day on his trusty Santa Cruz nomad – the quickest trail bike of the day.

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What is a downhill track without a finish show jump? Duke Millington doesn’t let winning U19’s men get in the way of a nice whip.
What is a downhill track without a finish show jump?
Duke Millington doesn’t let winning U19’s men get in the way of a nice whip.
One of the biggest casualties of the day goes to Connor Mackne – after a whole season in whistler, a wild crash in heckler’s rock garden sees the demise of his steed just a week after coming home.
One of the biggest casualties of the day goes to Connor Mackne – after a whole season in whistler, a wild crash in heckler’s rock garden sees the demise of his steed just a week after coming home.
Paul “Kingy” King got in a bunch of shuttle runs with all the racers before residing in the MC’s chair for racing, calling the shots and keeping the crowd pumped. Cheers Kingy!
Paul “Kingy” King got in a bunch of shuttle runs with all the racers before residing in the MC’s chair for racing, calling the shots and keeping the crowd pumped. Cheers Kingy!
The hecklers were out in force today! Chainsaws, broken bike parts clanged together, air horns, a nightclub sound system and an air compressor-powered train horn! Though it may have thrown some off, the huge crowd of cheering spectators made race runs even more exhilarating.
The hecklers were out in force today! Chainsaws, broken bike parts clanged together, air horns, a nightclub sound system and an air compressor-powered train horn! Though it may have thrown some off, the huge crowd of cheering spectators made race runs even more exhilarating.
With one of, if not the quickest line through the rock garden, Pat Butler proves time and time again why he chooses to enter Elite instead of U17’s; 2.67 seconds off the top time of the day – sitting him rightly in 3rd place overall.
With one of, if not the quickest line through the rock garden, Pat Butler proves time and time again why he chooses to enter Elite instead of U17’s; 2.67 seconds off the top time of the day – sitting him rightly in 3rd place overall.

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The no. 1 plate, Brent Smith, taking home 2nd place overall.
The no. 1 plate, Brent Smith, taking home 2nd place overall.

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Theres always a super atmosphere of mates and banter at Rocky Trail events, we can’t wait till our next! Till next time lads!
Theres always a super atmosphere of mates and banter at Rocky Trail events, we can’t wait till our next! Till next time lads!
Your elite men's podium – 1. Joel Willis 2. Brent Smith 3. Pat Butler 4. Josh Lea 5. Keiran Volk.
Your elite men’s podium – 1. Joel Willis 2. Brent Smith 3. Pat Butler 4. Josh Lea 5. Keiran Volk.

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For full results, http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com/events/DH-results.html

Australian Gravity Enduro Series announces 2015 race dates

Alpine Gravity and Rocky Trail Entertainment have been working hard to piece together the follow up to the hugely successful inaugural Australian Gravity Enduro Series. Today they announced six events for 2015. 

More than 550 riders participated in the 2014 series, which included events in NSW, VIC, SA, WA, ACT and QLD, covering almost all states and territories, and this next series is set to explode with more rounds and growing rider numbers across Australia.
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Together with both clubs and promoters around the country we have created a truly epic series and one that will see riders visit many amazing and exciting new trails and locations for the first time, while mixing in some well known and loved old favourites in this very accessible racing format.
Most rounds will have racing on the Sunday, with some having practice on the Saturday for riders who can do both days.
We have also listened to the riders on what they want from this series and made many great changes including a more consistent, multiple stage ‘ride to the top’ format where ever possible, overall series winners prize money, extra female classes, better information leading into each round, and better trophies/prizes each round.
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After the success and growth of the first series we are excited at the new opportunities we now have to work with some amazing brands and sponsors and will have some exciting announcements very soon!
The series is:
  • Rd 1 / April 18+19 / Barjarg VIC / Alpine Gravity
  • Rd 2 / May 30+31 / Fox Creek SA / Inside Line
  • Rd 3 / June 14 / Goat Farm WA / WA Gravity Enduro
  • Rd 4 / July 4+5 / Kempsey NSW / Rocky Trail
  • Rd 5 / Aug 2 / Stromlo ACT / Rocky Trail
  • Rd 6 / Aug 22+23 / Smithfield QLD / Cairns MTB Club
  • Rd 7 / Sep 12+13 / Hobart TAS / Gravity Enduro Tasmania

 

Rollercoaster Gravity Enduro, Kempsey

The second round of the Flow Rollercoaster gravity enduro series was held last weekend at the Kempsey golf club’s purpose built enduro trails, located in the Kalatenee State Forest on the NSW north coast. The race incorporated two runs, with the trails being between five and seven minutes long.

The first trail, ‘Big daddy’, flowed the whole way down the mountain. At the top, washed out switchbacks forced riders to concentrate on their lines, in the middle section there was high speed berms and jumps, and towards the end pedalling was vital in ensuring a good time. Most riders came down somewhere between five and six minutes for this stage. Overall winner of elite mens Jon Odams won this stage, smashing the 2.5 km track in just five minutes and one second!

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Graeme Mudd had a couple of crashes but still managed to podium in elites.

After the descent of the first stage, riders again climbed to the top of the trails, this time to face the second trail of the day, Chewbacca.

Living up to its fearsome name, Chewbacca started with a very rocky pedal, which opened up into a steep and fast section with some jumps thrown in for the hell of it. This was an absolute handful after over 100 riders had ridden the trails to dust- as the previously meticulously placed rocks had scattered everywhere! Following this section, riders were treated to an insanely fun motorway section, with 4 doubles laid out over the space of around 200 metres. Whilst this was the A-line, a number of riders chose to pedal flat out through this section.

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24hr solo legend Jason English trying something different…and coming away with a sneaky podium. No dropper post for this bloke!

After these initial high speeds the pain began, with a couple of minutes of pedalling flat out through twisty singletrack. Despite this, the trails were awesome, very flowy and fast.

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Although he was riding in U19’s, Bryan Dunkin would have been on the elite podium with his time. Freaky stuff!

Chewbacca finished with a short uphill burst followed by a steep descent, where a couple of gap jumps gave the braver riders a big time advantage. Jon Odams again dominated this stage with a staggering time of 5 minutes and 40 seconds.

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Jon Odams. This is the man to beat, people!

 

The podiums for respective categories were as follows:

Elite Male:

1. Jon Odams / BikeCulture.com.au / Sans Souci, NSW / 10:41 min

2. Graeme Mudd / Newcastle, NSW / 10:54 min / + 13 sec

3. Jason English / JetBlack Cycling / Port Macquarie, NSW / 11:01 min / + 20 sec

4. Oliver Kristevic / Sydney, NSW / 11:03 min / + 22 sec

5. Max Richardson / Wamberal, NSW / 11:08 min / + 27 sec

Elite Female:

1. Genevieve McKew / Knolly Bikes / Sydney, NSW / 12:45 min

2. Belinda Green / Port Macquarie, NSW / 13:48 min / + 1:03 min

Expert Male:

1. Tim Wynan / Kempsey, NSW / 11:03 min

2. Nigel Rose / Collingwood Park, QLD / 11:07 min

3. Daniel Morgan / Ride bike scooter and skate / Kempsey, NSW / 11:17 min

Under 19’s Male:

1. Bryan Dunkin / Breakaway Cycles / Wallsend, NSW / 11:07 min

2. Will Shaw / Brookvale Bike factory / Narrabeen, NSW / 12:01 min

3. Cameron Smee / Sydney, NSW / 12:11 min

See you in November! The final round of the FLOW rollercoaster gravity enduro series will be held at Glenworth Valley on the 16th of November. We can’t wait!

Shimano MTB Grand Prix: Ourimbah race wrap

Merriman and English win race elite titles, Richardson takes over series lead at Ourimbah

Four-time World Enduro Motor Cross Champion Stefan Merriman took out the four-hour Elite Men’s race at the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix (MTB GP) near Wyong on the weekend, winning against series leader Paris Basson. With 14 completed laps Jason English won the seven-hour competition ahead of Andrew Lloyd and Max Richardson from Wamberal, who takes over the reigns as new series leader in that division. In the women’s competition, Lana Moy further increases her series lead in the four-hour event, whilst Kirby Knowles held onto her seven-hour series lead finishing second behind a dominant Laura Renshaw, the Elite Women’s winner of round three.

Paris Basson defends his series lead in the GP4 Hour elite men's competition.
Paris Basson defends his series lead in the GP4 Hour elite men’s competition.

The depth of field was impressive as almost 350 riders gathered at the start line at Ourimbah MTB Park for the third round of the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix Series. Multiple National Champions and the 24-Hour World Champion Jason English were at the start line, as well as one of Australia’s biggest names in motor cross racing: Stefan Merriman. After a win in the 40+ master category in round one with Rocky Trail earlier this year at Awaba, the 41-year old from Port Stephens showed that his talent for two-wheeled sports also extends into mountain biking and won in the elite male category with 8 laps completed in 4:01:13, putting none other than series leader Paris Basson in second ahead of Qantum racer Michal Kafka who came third.

Jason English was able to break away from his GP7 Hour solo elite competitors towards the end of the race.
Jason English was able to break away from his GP7 Hour solo elite competitors towards the end of the race.

The race track at Ourimbah MTB Park was just over 10 km long and regarded as the toughest one in the series yet. With its fast descents, tight corners and rocky climbs it is under the guard of the Central Coast Ourimbah MTB Club and one of Sydney’s oldest and most popular mountain bike trail networks.

Richardson new local series leader

The new SHIMANO MTB GP series leader in the seven hour competition is Max Richardson. With 13 laps in 7:09:27 the 21-year old from Wamberal claimed the third place behind Quantum Racer Andrew Lloyd from Newcastle and race winner Jason English, the multiple 24-Hour Solo World Champion from Port Macquarie and only solo racer who completed 14 laps on the day.

 Central Coast's Max Richardson is the new series leader of the GP7 Hour competition at the SHIMANO MTB GP.
Central Coast’s Max Richardson is the new series leader of the GP7 Hour competition at the SHIMANO MTB GP.

“This was a tough and long lap – with such a huge field the guys from Rocky Trail included a lot of sections we don’t normally race to increase the length to over 10km. That played with my legs and with my head – I wasn’t used to it,” said Max Richardson who was happy that his top-placing on his home track resulted in the series lead.

In second, by 26 points is Newcastle’s up and coming mountain bike marathon and endurance racer, Andrew Lloyd. Right from the start he was in for a tight battle with Jason English who was able to break away towards the end, taking on the challenge from his student Billy Sewell and team mate Tristan Ward for the overall race win and line-honours. “For English to hang onto us as a two-man team is just phenomenal”, said National World Cup team racer Ward, who secured the overall race win at Ourimbah for his team on the last lap.

Laura Renshaw again showed her great form, further establishing her name on the elite women's MTB endurance racing scene.
Laura Renshaw again showed her great form, further establishing her name on the elite women’s MTB endurance racing scene.

In the women’s seven hour race Laura Renshaw from Newcastle won the Elite category and the overall women’s line honours went to Meredith Quinlan from Sydney who completed 10 laps in 7:20:36 and won the master category.

 Lana Moy further increases her series lead in the GP4 Hour competition.
Lana Moy further increases her series lead in the GP4 Hour competition.

The SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix round will take the Rocky Trail racers to The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan near Campbelltown on 9 August 2014. The next cross-country endurance race by Rocky Trail will be held at James Estate Winery with the JetBlack 12 Hour race on 12 July in the Upper Hunter Valley.

For detailed results and more event information, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com

 

Top results SHIMANO MTB GP Round 3 at Ourimbah

 

GP4 Hour Male Solo Elite

1. Stefan Merriman / Corlette NSW / 8 laps in 4:01:13

2. Paris Basson / Magellan Racing / 8 laps in 4:05:34 / +4:21 min

3. Michal Kafka / Quantum Racing / Sydney NSW / 8 laps in 4:08:53 / +7:40 min

4. Trent Pons / Spring Farm NSW / 8 laps in 4:21:18 / +20:05 min

5. Daniel Watson / Bathurst NSW / 8 laps in 4:30:16 / +29:03 min

 

GP4 Hour Female Solo Elite

1. Lana Moy / Collaroy NSW / 7 laps in 4:17:59

2. Michelle Morris / Shelly Beach NSW / 7 laps in 4:31:38 / +13:39 min

3. Wendy Stevenson / Waverton NSW / 6 laps 4:03:16 / – 1 lap

4. Sarah Neumann / Kahibah NSW / 6 laps in 4:04:17 / – 1 lap

5. Leah Childs / Wingello NSW / 5 laps in 4:21:04 / – 2 laps

 

GP4 Hour Male Solo Junior

1. Bryan Dunkin / Breakaway Cycles / Wallsend NSW / 8 laps in 4:25:11

2. Aden Paterson / Adamstown NSW / 7 laps in 4:13:40 / – 1 lap

3. Jackson Frew / Gowrie ACT / 6 laps in 3:58:34 / -2 laps

 

GP7 Hour Male Solo Elite

1. Jason English / JetBlack Red Racer / Port Macquarie NSW / 14 laps in 7:05:57

2. Andrew Lloyd / Quantum Solo Racing / Barnsley NSW / 13 laps in 6:57:04 / – 1 lap

3. Max Richardson / Bikeworx Riot / Wamberal NSW / 13 laps in 7:09:27 / – 1 lap

4. Jason Pearce / Quantum Racing / Sydney NSW / 13 laps in 7:22:13 / – 1 lap

5. Roger Harrison / The Berm – Pushys / Hackett ACT / 13 laps in 7:27:03 / – 1 lap

 

GP7 Hour Female Solo Elite

1. Laura Renshaw / Drift Bikes / Hamilton NSW / 10 laps in 7:31:48

2. Kirby Knowles / Boolaroo NSW / 8  laps in 7:21:59 / – 2 laps

3. Alyssa Glyde / Forrest ACT / 7 laps in 6:59:15 / – 3 laps

 

Overall race winners:

Team Torq Performance Nutrition / Billy Sewell and Tristan Ward / Shoalhaven NSW / 14 laps in 7:03:31

 

Racing: First Centenary for Rocky Trail with JetBlack 24 Hour Race

For the third time the JetBlack 24 Hour mountain bike endurance race will be held at the iconic Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan this weekend.

It will be the 100th race hosted by Rocky Trail Entertainment since the cycling events company was founded in 2008. The organisers expect more than 500 solo and team racers at the popular 10 km trail near Campbelltown, including Australia’s Junior Mountain Biker of the year, Danielle Beecroft, and Canada’s National Marathon Champion, Cory Wallace.

Race start at the JetBlack 24 Hour race at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan.
Race start at the JetBlack 24 Hour race at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan.

At the JetBlack 24 Hour riders will participate in teams or challenge themselves to a solo 24-hour race around the Enduro Trail, one of Sydney’s most popular mountain bike tracks. The race track will be around 10 km in length per lap for the event. Race start is on Saturday at midday.

Team categories popular in 2013

One of the strongest contenders for this year’s JetBlack 24 Hour solo elite race win will be Singlespeed 24 Hour Solo World Champion Brett Bellchambers from Canberra. Multiple-JetBlack 24 Hour winner Jason English and Jessica Douglas, the reigning 24 Hour Solo MTB World Champions overall are noticeably absent, however, the race attracts some of the best endurance racers in the country and also international guests says event director Juliane Wisata. “Australia hosted the 24 Hour Solo Worlds in October and I think a lot of solo riders are still recovering. We have about 20 solo racers at the start and across the board our event has strong growth in the team categories – we actually have a lot of the new local 24 Hour World Champions’ names pop up among those teams.”

The event will host the launch of Australia’s largest amateur racing team. The JetBlack Racing Team includes over 45 male and female riders, ranging in age from 20 to over 60 these riders will compete in MTB races all over NSW in 2014. Another huge team will be the almost 30 riders and juniors who will be competing for the Indigenous MTB Team of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

JetBlack Racing Team: launch of Australia's biggest amateur racing team this weekend.
JetBlack Racing Team: launch of Australia’s biggest amateur racing team this weekend.

“We love that our races attract such big groups of riders – they’re exactly what our company is all about: racing competitively, but having fun doing so, being inclusive of all kinds of riders who set themselves a goal to race and be the best they can be.”

Local and international racing stars at the start line

A regular at Rocky Trail downhill events and showing her strong form across all racing disciplines is Danielle Beecroft. The 2013 Cycling Australia Junior Mountain Biker of the year will be at the start as a 6+6 hour team racer. More than one third of the field will compete in the 6+6 hour race. Riders have a break overnight after 6 hours of racing on Saturday, before racing for another 6 hours the next day until 12pm.

National Downhill Champion Danielle Beecroft, junior ambassador for mountain biking in Australia.
National Downhill Champion Danielle Beecroft, junior ambassador for mountain biking in Australia.
Crocodile Trophy runner up 2013 and Canadian National Marathon MTB Champion Cory Wallace to compete in JetBlack 6+6 Hour competition this weekend.
Crocodile Trophy runner up 2013 and Canadian National Marathon MTB Champion Cory Wallace to compete in JetBlack 6+6 Hour competition this weekend.

More than 30 solo riders will compete in it as well, including the Canadian National Marathon Champion and fourth at in the 24 Hour Solo World Championships 2013, Cory Wallace, who is excited to finish his trip Down Under with Rocky Trail. “I’ve known Juliane and Martin for years from racing at the Crocodile Trophy – I’m stoked that I finally get to race one of their events and the fact that it’s such a milestone makes it all the more special.”

 Brett Bellchambers, regular Rocky Trail racer and strong contender for the JetBlack 24 Hour elite solo win.
Brett Bellchambers, regular Rocky Trail racer and strong contender for the JetBlack 24 Hour elite solo win.

Online registration is open until 8pm tonight, Wednesday 27 November, at www.rockytrailentertainment.com

 

The Hard Road to Cooktown, Part 1.

The infamous Croc Trophy kicks off in just two days, departing Cairns and trucking north through some of the hottest, toughest country in Australia to Cooktown.

With 900km of racing over nine stages in brutal conditions, the Croc is widely regarded as one of the most gruelling mountain bike events on the planet. Despite the inevitable suffering, the Croc attracts an all-star cast, always with a healthy contingent of masochistic European hammerheads.

This year, Flow’s going to be taking a more personal look at the Croc, viewing it through the dust-filled eyes of the Il Pastaio Rocky Trail Racing Team. Over the next week and a bit, we’ll be relaying their experiences to you right here. Every cramp, saddle sore and callous in its agonising-yet-strangely-rewarding glory.


Introducing team Il Pastaio Rocky Trail Racing

Croc Trophy team
Phil and Peter, wondering what they’ve let Martin talk them into.

Martin Wisata: Big Martin is at the Crocodile Trophy for the fourth time this year and will race in the Master 1 category. He says that it is a personal challenge to complete this grueling race every year, something that motivates him to train all year.

Croc Trophy Phil Welsch

Phil Welch: Young Phil will race in the Master 2 category and will report for us from inside the Croc peloton. The experience endurance racer was very surprised at the fast pace of even the training rides in Cairns that the European racers have been setting.

Peter Selkrig Croc Trophy

Peter Selkrig: Old Pete is an Australian ex-pro road racer and one of the strongest contenders in the Master 3 category. Very strong-minded he will be ready to withstand the attacks of his international counterparts.

Stage Plan 2013:
Stage 1    Smithfield (5 laps) / 35 km/900 m
Stage 2    Cairns – Lake Tinaroo / 89 km/2500 m
Stage 3    Atherton – Irvinebank / 80 km/2500 m
Stage 4    Irvinebank – Mt. Mulligan / 118 km/1600 m
Stage 5    Mt. Mulligan – Granite Creek Dam / 163 km/3000 m
Stage 6    Granite Creek Dam – Laura / 116 km/1800 m
Stage 7    Laura – Laura / 50 km/150 m – Time Trial
Stage 8    Laura – Hope Vale / 113 km/1100 m
Stage 9    Hope Vale – Cooktown / 50 km/500 m

Racing: Rocky Trail Awards Blackman Bicycles 2013 JetBlack NSW/ACT Bike Shop Trophy

Blackmans Bicycles are the winning store in Rocky Trail’s JetBlack NSW/ACT Bike Shop Trophy.

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JetBlack NSW/ACT Bike Shop Trophy award ceremony at the Penrith Blackman Bicycles store (first row l-r): Team manager Michael Brown, Juliane and Martin Wisata from race organiser Rocky Trail Entertainment and store manager Graham Douglas with the trophy.

The store supported a racing team of more than 30 riders who participated in the cross-country endurance SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix Series this year and the “Men-In-Action Blackmans Race Team” collected almost 5,000 points, more than double the points of their runner up Ashfield Cycles.

Rocky Trail’s initiative to help promote the local bike shops was again a great success this year. Riders throughout the entire 2013 SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix series were able to nominate a bike shop and collect series points on their behalf. More than 30 bike store across NSW and ACT were nominated. Store manager Graham Douglas from Blackmans said, “We’d like to thank the entire MIA Blackmans Team for entrusting us with their mountain bikes and for helping promote our local businesses at the Rocky Trail races and in the cycling industry this year. From our customers we know that these events are getting more and more popular and we are looking forward to support the team in 2014.” Blackman Bicycles will also be the official bike shop supporting the JetBlack 24 Hour race in Sydney in November this year.

Rocky Trail Shimano GP, Stromlo, 2013
The MIA Blackmans Team had more than 30 riders compete in the five races of the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix series 2013, racing under the Blackman Bicycles store banner.

Event organisers from Rocky Trail held a function at the Penrith store last night and awarded the store with a trophy and treated staff and race team to a “Schnitzel Night”. “After all their racing efforts, these guys earned themselves some home-cooked Austrian-style Schnitzels”, said Juliane Wisata from Rocky Trail.

Runners up to the award were last year’s winner Ashfield Cycles in second and OnyaBike Canberra in third place. The JetBlack NSW/ACT Bike Shop Trophy will return at five events of the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix racing series in 2014. For more information visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com

Singletrack Amongst The Vineyards – James Estate

Bacchus is the god of wine, Keno and meat tray raffles. He never rode a mountain bike; his toga would’ve got caught up. Graeme Scott doesn’t have that problem – he prefers baggy Nzo shorts to togas – but he’s still a god of wine, and he’s crafting his own version of mountain bike heaven amongst the vines.

Way up the Hunter Valley, out past the tour buses of Pokolbin, past the impossibly cavernous, open-cut coalmines, you’ll find James Estate winery.

It’s tucked away in Baerami, in the Bylong Valley, and hemmed in by the Wollemi National Park, a impenetrable wall of native bush and sandstone cliffs. The lower Hunter can feel a bit like Sydney moved two hours up the road, but this is proper country. The neighbours are a long way off.

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You’ll find James Estate right up at the northern end of the Hunter Valley, where the wilderness kicks in. There’s nothing but untouched bush between here and Lithgow.

When I drop in on a Sunday, the smell of baking has me salivating. ‘I was never a baker until we moved here,’ laughs Graeme’s wife Christine as she hands me a warm choc brownie. I bite into it and it erupts in my mouth like a chocolate volcano. ‘You learn to do things yourself when the nearest shops are so far off,’ she tells me. This ‘do it yourself’ attitude is what has brought me out here.

I first caught wind of what Graeme Scott was up to about three years ago, when someone handed me a bottle of shiraz that had a crazed-looking warthog riding a mountain bike on the label: Jimmy Jack. The winemaker was a bloke called Graeme Scott, a mountain biker with a vision for sharing his patch of paradise. And the James Estate winery is paradise: on a late autumn afternoon, there can’t be many finer places to find yourself than standing on the balcony of the cellar door, wine in hand, watching the sun set over the Wollemi wilderness. But what this paradise was lacking was mountain bike trails.

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Graeme Scott.

‘I’ve been mountain biking for ten years,’ says Graeme, ‘I just bought a pretty basic Trek, initially, to commute to work. But then the kids got into it and did a couple of races through the Hunter club, and I thought I’d have a go.’ The mountain biking of the NSW Central Coast spoilt Graeme, and after moving inland, he began to get antsy, frustrated by the lack of trails in his new hometown area. ‘After six months of trying to find trails, I looked out the window at my own backyard,’ he laughs. So he picked up a rake, and he and Razz the dog headed into the bush on the fringes of the property, to begin scratching in the makings of a trail network. That was four years ago.

Wine Bike Collage 2
Making wine is apparently a fair bit more complicated than drinking it. Graeme was kind enough to show us around the lab and ageing casks too.

Before we head to the trails, we tour the winery and Graeme explains the wine making process, dumbing it down for this beer-drinking philistine. I’m soon lost as Graeme explains how different fruit harvested from different blocks must be picked and barrelled at just the right time, and how the life cycle of the barrels must be managed, and the barrels matched to the wine. ‘I still remember taking a four-litre cask to a BYO restaurant,’ laughs Graeme, making me feel a bit better about my vinicultural ignorance. The laboratory, a funky mix of low- and high-tech, feels more like a mountain biker space. ‘It’s a real mix of art and science,’ Graeme explains. ‘You do a lot of things by feel and instinct, within the realms of certain boundaries – go outside these and it all turns to custard pretty quickly.’ That, I understand. Trail building is pretty similar. There are certain rules – the optimum radius for a turn, the right gradient for a climb – but doing what looks or feels right generally is right.

Wine Bike CollageFeel and instinct is how Graeme got started. It wasn’t until he went to an IMBA Tracks and Trails Conference a couple of years ago that Graeme learnt the science of trail building technique. It was around then that he began to realise the scope of the potential he had in his backyard. Dafydd Davis was the conference’s keynote speaker – Dafydd’s the man behind some of the UK’s most legendary trail centres – and what he said struck a chord with Graeme. It got Graeme thinking big about the future of the trails. ‘A worldclass trail centre needs three things,’ Graeme tells me, recalling the key point he took away from Dafydd’s presentation. ‘A stunning natural environment – tick; a brilliant set of trails – we’re working on that; and a great visitor experience of the region as a whole. Our region is certainly special, and we can develop the infrastructure in terms of accommodation,’ Graeme says. ‘It still gives me goosebumps, that whole concept of building a worldclass destination.’

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It’s a sensational part of the world up at Baerami. The whole vineyard can be overlooked from a ridge walk high above the farmstead.

With that vision in mind, Graeme set to it, expanding his small network of tracks. Cutting in the trails has been a lonely task, especially since Graeme lost his dog Razz to a brown snake earlier this year. ‘Razz was an absolute legend,’ says Graeme, the emotion croaking up his voice. ‘He’d take bunches of riders out there. He knew the trails backwards.’ Unlike Razz, the winery staff just didn’t get it. ‘They thought I was nuts,’ he laughs. ‘I’d do a 12-hour day and then head into the bush with a shovel and rake for another few hours and come out covered in muck and all excited because I’d put in another 10 metres of trail!’ But Graeme stuck with it, convincing his boss, vineyard owner David Jones, that mountain bike trails would become a real drawcard for visitors.

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Our favourite part of the singletrack is where it swoops out of the gums and runs along the fence line next to the vines.

Things became a lot more real when Rocky Trail Entertainment approached Graeme about the idea of holding an event on the property in March this year, as part of its Grand Prix series. For a racing crowd generally accustomed to hanging about in a state forest carpark, having a cellar door and facilities on hand is like paradise. Word spread fast. Wives and families who’d normally avoid races like the plague came along in droves until there were over 200 people camped out at the vineyard the night before the race with another couple of hundred filling every available bed in town. For the vineyard owner and the town mayor, it was a real wake up call.

Wine Bike38

‘The mayor was here on race day and he was just blown away by the number of people and how nice they were,’ recalls Graeme. ‘These were people who’d never even been into the area before, and now the whole town was doing a roaring trade, the coffee shops were full the whole time, the cellar door was busier than it had ever been.’ It was the turnkey moment, Graeme says: ‘For my staff and the whole community to hear person after person talking about the trails – it was amazing. Suddenly we had the mayor championing the importance of mountain bike trails to the local region.’

DCIM100GOPRO

The task now is to carry that momentum forward. Just a week prior to my visit, Graeme and National Parks staff had surveyed a 300-metre-deep buffer of bushland surrounding the property. That is now the swathe of bush that Graeme has to work with. The terrain is awesome; big hunks of rock that have tumbled into the valley from ridges above, with sweeping S-bend turns weaving through. Graeme’s cut over 10 kilometres of singletrack already and there’s scope for at least another 20 kilometres – more than enough trail to work up a thirst for a glass or two. ‘You can only put in so much trail yourself,’ says Graeme, ‘so we’re looking to apply for tourism grants to employ a proper trail building company.’

Wine Bike41
Graeme and Christine are thinking big. They’re great folk.

The wine industry tends to be very ‘wine-like’ – you know, photos of bearded men in heavy knits swirling wine in a glass next to a barrel and using words like ‘herbaceous’ and ‘minerality’. But that’s certainly not Graeme. He’s got his head in the dirt, not the clouds. As I pack my now dusty bike back into the van, with a few of Christine’s brownies for the road (and a couple of bottles for later, too), I feel buoyed by Graeme’s vision and enthusiasm. It’s one thing to build trails for your own fun, it’s another to have the passion to push things further and to share your creations with others. There’s still a long trail ahead for Graeme, and it’s sure to be full of twists and challenges, but that’s the stuff that makes the best singletrack.

 

The Top Five: I Can’t Run an Event Without…

Martin Wisata is one half of the Rocky Trail Entertainment team. Each year he runs more than 20 different events, from 24hr races, to downhills and gravity enduros.

He needs to be prepared for any contingency, so what are five must-haves items in his event kit?

When preparing an event a lot of time is spent packing: tents, banners, tables, chairs, prizes, generators, fuel, water, star pickets, computers, number plates, certificates, bikes,… and the list goes on until the trailer and the car are full to the brim. But besides the things you see at an even here are 5 key ingredients that make a successful Rocky Trail event:

1. Duct tape and cable ties

No matter if you go for a ride or build a house – those 2 items should always be in your pocket. How anyone can run an event without them is beyond me.

2. Smart phone

It really is the swiss army knife for nerds. The main apps I use at events is the weather radar, fire radar in summer, the camera and tweeting race updates. Apparently you can even call people with those things… amazing.

3. Bottle opener

Once you have had a purple hand because you opened 450 Czech finisher beers with a wrench you will never leave home without it.

4. Hammers and long nails

While we always prepared for our own tents we started to think of other tents from sponsors and spectators too. Long nails are the cheapest replacement for tent pegs and we always bring an entire box full of them. Once it gets windy and tents start to fly we are ready to peg away.

5. Extra bunting

Usually the track gets prepared 1-2 days prior to an event but once the race starts riders find sneaky lines, also known as creative line choice or cheating, and we head out there to gently remind them where the track goes but double bunting the cheat lines.

Web_Feature_top_5_rocky_trail

 

The Top Five: I Can't Run an Event Without…

Martin Wisata is one half of the Rocky Trail Entertainment team. Each year he runs more than 20 different events, from 24hr races, to downhills and gravity enduros.

He needs to be prepared for any contingency, so what are five must-haves items in his event kit?

When preparing an event a lot of time is spent packing: tents, banners, tables, chairs, prizes, generators, fuel, water, star pickets, computers, number plates, certificates, bikes,… and the list goes on until the trailer and the car are full to the brim. But besides the things you see at an even here are 5 key ingredients that make a successful Rocky Trail event:

1. Duct tape and cable ties

No matter if you go for a ride or build a house – those 2 items should always be in your pocket. How anyone can run an event without them is beyond me.

2. Smart phone

It really is the swiss army knife for nerds. The main apps I use at events is the weather radar, fire radar in summer, the camera and tweeting race updates. Apparently you can even call people with those things… amazing.

3. Bottle opener

Once you have had a purple hand because you opened 450 Czech finisher beers with a wrench you will never leave home without it.

4. Hammers and long nails

While we always prepared for our own tents we started to think of other tents from sponsors and spectators too. Long nails are the cheapest replacement for tent pegs and we always bring an entire box full of them. Once it gets windy and tents start to fly we are ready to peg away.

5. Extra bunting

Usually the track gets prepared 1-2 days prior to an event but once the race starts riders find sneaky lines, also known as creative line choice or cheating, and we head out there to gently remind them where the track goes but double bunting the cheat lines.

Web_Feature_top_5_rocky_trail