Having been one of the most popular rounds of the 2012 SRAM Singletrack Mind Series, promoter Chocolate Foot decided that the trails in Kinross State Forest near Orange would make the perfect finale to the 2013 series and they didn’t disappoint.
As weather events affected the series all year, it was of great relief to be gifted superb weather for racing while the coastal regions of the state were experiencing downpours. And with the trails in excellent condition after many hours of work by the hosting club, Central West Off Road Bicycle Club, all factors were in place for a stunning close to the Series.
The pace was on from the gun with Jack Lavis leading Lewis Cressy though the start loop followed super roadie Camo Peterson. Cressy of the Onya Bike team established a significant lead overall and in the Males Pairs category by the end of the first lap, Lavis in second and leading the Mixed Pairs with Brooke Rowlands.
With only 10 points separating the top teams in the Junior category and a 15 point difference for the win it was to be an epic battle for the Alltrack Juniors and Target Trek Racing Juniors. Alltrack got off to a great start with all three riders lapping around the 26 minute mark but Target Trek’s trio kept the pace on all day and with only 90 minutes to go finally passed Alltrack to win the round and win the series by a mere 5 points. The Junior Terrors of Holy Spirit College, Bellambi won the School Shredders category for the series.
There were many other great battles, the Masters Threes were only separated by 7 points and with many other teams in the mix for this round it would make it difficult for the category leaders, the Elderly Illegitimates. SXC Racing led from the opening lap with the Sad Angry Cooked Nuts in hot pursuit but further back the series battle raged, Hunters Rule 5 finishing one position ahead of the Illegitimates, but with not enough points to overtake their nemesis, resulting in the Elderly Illegitimates celebrating their second series win in a row. The Female Threes was dominated all year by the Powered by Cadbury team, winning four out of the five rounds, including Kinross. The Male Threes also saw domination by BMORC winning round 4 and the finale, finishing with more than double the points of their competition.
With the 24 hour solo world Championships in Canberra thrown into the mix this year, it’s been a tough year for the soloists. Two of the favourites for the series, Ed McDonald and Eliza Kwan, had been hit by fatigue and in the final round decided to team up in the Mixed Pairs category. This would take the pressure off Andrew Lloyd who had a significant lead in the series after winning the last two rounds. Callum McNamara and Duncan Middleton kept him on his toes however, with all three riders finishing on 15 laps but it was Lloyd who took his third win and the series overall. Liz Smith wrapped up the Open Female Solo with a second win and a comfortable overall win in the series. The Masters Female solo was again dominated by Wendy Stevenson, who won the round and took out the category overall for a third year in a row. Another repeat winner was the ageless Garry James. Fellow Canberran Paul Brodie again gave James a solid run for his money, but in the closing hours of the race James passed Brodie to finish the season on a high with the round win and a convincing repeat victory overall.
The special solo categories were hotly contested this year, the Clydesdales a particular highlight. Cory Dimmer was clearly looking to finish the series on a high and streaked to the lead early to record his third win in a row and easily win overall. Malcolm Bradley came second to Stephen Tomczyk in the finale but his consistency gave him the overall win in the Male Singlespeed category.
With at least five highly favoured teams entered in the Mixed Pairs, this was destined to be a great battle on the bike. Better known on the road, Camo Peterson has shown he’s adapting well to the dirt and his climbing prowess set him up well for the hilly nature of Kinross.
Camo has a history of a misspent youth not only cross country running, but also playing around at the BMX track and doing plenty of ‘free riding’ while we still used that term – plus he has the broken collarbones to back it up.
With race partner Lauren Pevy, they slipped into second place early on but would have a tough job ahead to catch Brooke Rowlands and her super-sub for this round, Jack Lavis of Target Trek, as well as fending off the super-soloists team of Kwan and McDonald. Danielle and Doug Pollock and series leaders Gary Harwood and Martine Robin were also in the mix as positions were traded busily throughout the day. Rowlands and Lavis never surrendered their lead with Kwan and McDonald also finishing on 16 laps in second and the Ride in Workshop pair of Peterson and Pevy eventually taking third. After consistent results all series and 5th place on the day, Gary Harwood and Martine Robin retained the series lead with Danielle and Doug Pollock second overall.
The other pairs categories were no less entertaining, after some well-humoured trash talk prior to the event the team of Benny & the Jet lived up to their hype, narrowly beating Ren & Stimpy but their podium positions were the reverse for the series presentation with Justin Millington and Steven Powis having the edge on them in the points score. The Female Pairs was well subscribed for the final round, 7 teams entering and series leaders the Short Circuit Chicks facing new competition in Lana Moy and Vanessa Boatwright. The Altitude Training Systems duo took control from the gun to win by a whole lap but with three wins across the series Erica Galea and Marisa Bertoia walked away with the gold medals for the series with Kelly Mapleston and Sophie Wood second overall. The Male Pairs has been hard fought all season, series leaders Altitude Training Systems had a significant lead but would need to finish in the top 10 to stave off the Onya Bike team of Aaron Bashford and Lewis Cressy. Onya Bike showed they meant business early taking the overall lead of the race and the pair recording the 8 fastest laps of the race. After 7 hours of racing they were the only team to score 17 laps, winning the category over Oliver Dharma-Ratne and Lucas Laxale, but Altitude had enough points in hand to claim the series honours from Onya Bike and the Cowpat Climbers.
Full results and 2014 dates are available at www.chocolatefoot.com.au