With the Convict 100, the final round of the 2014 Real Insurance XCM Series looming, we can cast our eyes over the current standings of the men’s and women’s elite, to ponder what the outcomes may be. The series has 5 rounds, and your best 3 results count. The National Championships had a bonus 10% weighting, so a good result there helps.
As usual, the men’s field is the deepest. with 44 riders ranked in Elite Men. Really though, only about four riders can win it, unless something unlikely happened like the top 5 all failing to finish. So starting at 4th overall, let’s take a look.
4th: Shaun Lewis – Swell-Specialized
Shaun knows how to win a marathon, and after 2nd place at the Giant Odyssey last weekend and 2nd at XCM Champs, he’s in good shape. Shaun has 136.5 points from 2 race starts. A win would take hime to 216.5 – and the lead, if no one else was to finish. While he’s a good bet for the race win, he’s an outside chance for the series.
3rd: Adrian Jackson – Lapierre
Adrian Jackson has made a switch to Lapierre from Merida for 2014, and it’s doing well for him. He won round 1, placed 3rd at XCM Champs, and came 3rd in the sprint at the Giant Odyssey to Shaun Lewis. Jackson has a healthy 173.5 points, from three races. He’s likely to finish in the top 5, so his Wombat result would be flicked. If he was to finish within the top 3, and Cory Wallace and Jason English didn’t manage to get inside the top 5, he would take the series. He’s a good bet for a top 5 finish, and an outside chance for the overall series.
2nd: Jason English – Merida
Jason has a habit of starting a race back where I manage to hold a wheel, and finishing on the podium. I’m yet to figure out how, besides having a huge engine. Jason has raced all the rounds so far, and as 3 count for the series win, he will want to get a 1st, 2nd or 3rd to make it worthwhile for points. And that is well within his ability. With a finish of 3rd or better, he could take the series, as long as Cory didn’t do better than 5th.
1st: Cory Wallace – Kona
Visiting Canadian National XCM Champion, Wallace has settled into Australian racing. He’s no stranger here, having race the Scott 24hr, the Crocodile Trophy, lots of Rocky Trail events, and round 2, 3 and 4 of the series. Wallace leads with 186.8 points, and needs a result better than 5th to increase his lead in points. But he will want to do better than that to create a buffer from AJ and English. He’s a very good bet for the series, and a good bet for the race win.
Of course, plenty of other riders in the series could take the race win, and fill the podium. With Andy Blair ‘fresh’ of the World Cup in Cairns, Dylan Cooper is also coming up from Canberra along with James Downing and Andrew Hall. These guys add another element to the series overall, as they could take points from the series leading racers.
The women’s series is actually a little more open, within a set amount of riders. Melissa Anset is currently leading the series, but isn’t coming to the Convict 100, so her points of 231.5 are set. With Sarah Riley (2nd) also not attending, her score of 185 is set. In 3rd we have Jenny Fay, one of the most competitive XCM racers in the world. With two wins from two starts, any points on Saturday count. Fay has won this race before, and looks set to again barring misfortune. A win would take her points to 248, leap-frogging Anset and Riley. Imogen Smith sits in 4th place, but unless she won the Convict 100 and Fay was unable to finish, is likely to remain in that position.
And what’s on for the winners? For the series, the winner pockets $2500, with 2nd place getting $1000 and 3rd receiving $500.
Stay tuned for our race report on Saturday, and good luck if you’re racing the 10th edition of the Convict 100.