The first round of the 2017 Shimano Mountain Bike Grand Prix Series took place at Glenrock State Conservation Reserve on the weekend. In the seven hour solo competition, the multiple 24 Hour Solo World Champion Jason English claimed the first win on his new home track in Newcastle. Claudia Fiess was victorious in the women’s and in the four hour race Daniel Beresford from Wagga Wagga took out the race with Sydney’s Briony Mattocks winning in the women’s division. Four more series races will put Rocky Trail racers to the test across mountain bike trails in NSW and the ACT in the coming months. Mountain bike events promoter Rocky Trail Entertainment launched the eighth of the popular Shimano MTB GP series on the weekend at Newcastle’s trail network by the beach: Glenrock. Since 2010 under the patronage of Shimano Cycling Australia, the series has established itself as one of the longest-standing endurance racing series in NSW and the ACT.
Participants of the series include a huge variety of mountain bikers from amateur racers and teams to juniors to competitive riders who like to travel to different locations with the series. “This series has evolved a lot in recent years to fill a gap in the market that was yearning for a fun and inclusive series and we’re really proud that we are able to provide an event platform that offers a positive and exciting racing atmosphere”, said Race Director Martin Wisata.
Beresford takes series lead to Wagga Wagga
In the four hour competition it was the active amateur racer, Daniel Beresford who took the General Classification (GC) win in the solo men’s division. “This was definitely worth the seven-hour drive”, he said and that he was really impressed with the track. “After a very poor start to my 2017 race season I finally broke the drought and came away with the overall win in Glenrock. Fantastic race!”, he added.
Beresford won with 9 completed laps in 4:25:17 on a challenging 9km Glenrock course. The decider had been his second-last lap, when he managed to overtake the local favourite, Andrew Lloyd who had been leading all morning. “Today was tough, I was cramping and struggled with some mechanicals towards the end”, recounted Lloyd. With one lap down in just over 4 hours he claimed second ahead of Ben Fillingham from Sydney who came third with 8 laps in 4:02:51.
In the women’s, Briony Mattocks completed 7 laps in 4:04:16 and won ahead of Natalie Anderson from Barden Ridge (+22:25 min) and Catherine Ballantyne from Waterloo (6 laps in 4:04:28).
“It’s always fun to race Glenrock”, said Briony Mattocks and that she liked the race track put together by Rocky Trail. “My favourite part was the first bit of singletrail, it’s nice and flowy and you can get a bit of speed”, the 32-year old said, who also clocked in the fastest female lap time in 33:13 minutes.
Jason English wins Shimano MTB GP seven-hour race
The 24-hour mountain bike racing specialist Jason English just recently moved to Newcastle to live closer to family, he said. “I’m in Rocky Trail country now, I’ll be racing through their calendar this year, doing as many of their events as I can”, English confirmed, admitting that the seven-hour race had been a tough one at Glenrock. “I didn’t really know how I’d go for 7 hours, so I just gave it everything I could. I paid for it in the last 2-3 hours, but hey, go fast if you can and it worked out for me”, the PE school teacher said.
English took out the GC title in the seven-hour men’s competition with 15 laps in 7:11:00, which meant the second place in the overall line-honours, which was taken out by the Team of Two with Andrew Fell and Craig Gordon, who claimed also the fastest male lap time of the day in 25:58min.
Second in the seven hour solo GC was Teagarden’s Grant Webster (13 laps in 7:14:59) and John Harris from Mudgee came in third with 12 laps in 7:09:30.
In the women’s division, Claudia Fiess from Sydney’s Northern Beaches locked in her victory with 8 laps in 7:18:33, despite recounting at the finish that she’d had a tough day in the saddle. “I’m not sure what was wrong today, but I just didn’t feel strong on the bike at all, but I’m happy that I didn’t give up and finished the race”, she said. Dalene Pretorius from Dubbo was second and said that Fiess had motivated her to keep going. She finished on equal eight laps with a gap of 29:06 minutes. Third was Meredith Quinlan from Normanhurst was third with 7 laps in 5:07:27.
The second round of the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix will take riders to a brand-new series venue in Rydal near Lithgow on 8 April 2017. Online registration is open now via www.rockytrailentertainment.com
All photos thanks to Outerimage.com.au