The final round of the Subaru MTBA Mountain Bike Series ventured north for a C1 ranked race in Toowoomba this weekend. With the XCO racing on Saturday, and DHI on Sunday, there were hot and dusty riders all over the mountain.
With start times a little later than usual, the Elite women started at 10am, and Jenni King had the number 1 plate on her back. She needed to finish 4th or better to win the series. Bec Henderson has won the past three rounds, but it was Samara Shepard who came through the start straight first and into the singletrack in the lead.
While in the first lap it was close with Henderson, Shepard, King and Karen Hill – gaps started to increase. Jodie Willett moved up, but as did Anna Beck. Our team rider Imogen Smith, riding her first and only XCO in the series, found her legs and stride two laps in and also moved up.
With two to go King was comfortable in second but a broken chain ended her day, and her grip on the series. Shepard rode strongly into second and Beck passed Willett for 3rd and Smith finished 5th to round out the podium.
McConnell cleans up in Toowoomba
Having won the four rounds of the series he raced, McConnell came into the final round with little pressure but his own. That seemed to be enough though as he launched himself into the race, and with Cam Ivory they quickly put time into those chasing behind.
While the gap didn’t get too big at first, the pace did become a little too much for Ivory after 3 laps, as McConnell lifted the pace so he could ride alone.
Ivory stayed in second, with Brendan Johnston in 3rd. There was some carnage behind as Kyle Ward dropped out after a lightning start, and our own Sebastian Jayne dropped back after a great start, and two good races in the series. It was Reece Tucknott who was 5th with Andy Blair ahead.