A stalwart on the Western Australian Mountain Bike race calendar, the Dwellingup 100 is a favourite among elite and amateur alike. For the 7th edition of Western Australia’s premier mountain bike race, the Dwellingup 100 joined the Australian National XCM Series. Chatting to course director Tony Tucknott before the race, he was excited to be able to showcase the Dwellingup trails on a national level, and was confident that the interstate riders would enjoy the trails that WA has to offer.
Riders arrived to tackle either the 14km, 40km, 64km or 104km course routed, covering some well known trails including the Turner Hill and Marrinup XCO courses, and the infamous Hells Gate descent. As the race started, riders maintained a steady pace on the opening road, working together until the first climbs. From here it became clear how strong the elite riders were, powering up the initial 15km of fire road inclines towards the Turner Hill singletrack.
In the men’s race, a 5 man group of Andrew Blair, Mark Tupalski, Craig Cooke, Michael England and Jon Gregg led the race into Turner Hill, with Blair, Cooke and Tupalski creating a gap on the chasers throughout the 11km loop.
From here, the lead three riders worked together coming through the 64km lap 1 with a 20sec gap on hard chasing Gregg and a 4min lead over England. As the race heated up, the three started attacking each other for the race win, with Torq-Merida’s Tupalski gaining a lead into the Marrinup loop, fending off the inform Cooke of Giant-Bootleg Brewery to hold on for a solo race win. Specialized’s Andrew Blair came through a few minutes after Cooke showing consistent results ahead of the Flight Centre Epic this weekend.
The women’s event was a typically spread out affair with Jenny Blair taking the early lead ahead of Karen Hill, Briony Mattocks and Peta Mullens. An unfortunately timed flat tyre in the first 64km saw Blair come through well after a charging Hill leading onto the second loop. With Mattocks pushing hard, the chase was on for first place over the last 40km. Racing solo towards the finish, iRide Bikes Karen Hill was leading out of the final singletrack of the day, however Mattocks had timed her race to perfection, powering into first place with a few km to go. From here it was a drag race through to the finish, with Mattocks taking the win 20 secconds over Hill. After Jenny Blair pulled out of the race, Yeti-Sram rider Peta Mullens came through in third, finishing her first Australian race after a tough European XCO campaign.
After today’s results, Briony Mattocks now leads the National XCM series in the Elite Women, while Andrew Blair maintained his lead in the mens category.
In other distances, the 64km mens event was taken out by Perth local Ryan Wilmott, followed by Luke Banham and Paul Black while Steff Van Amerongen won the womens event. Young riders were once again leading the pack in the 40km race with Riley Jenkinson taking the win followed by Dwellingup local Calum Hunter and James West. U15 Jacob Wright showed class riding into 6th place overall while Kate Swain claimed the womens title.