2016 National Cyclocross Series – Round 2
Posted by auscxmag
Posted in News
words: Sean Couley photography: Simon ‘Esjay’ James
Round Two of the 2016 National Cyclocross Series was again held under the perfect blue sky of Queensland’s Moreton Bay region just north of Brisbane where temperatures were set to be in the mid 20’s creating a challenge for riders visiting from the southern states. D’Aguilar Range Cycling Club were again hosting the day’s events this time in the Moreton Bay suburb of Strathpine.
The round two course prepared by DRCC MTB was held in Pine Rivers Park which had a much more open area than the previous day, featuring a faster, more flowing course but not without some technical cornering. The course also featured a few small sections of mud and a shallow creek crossing, the ‘FoJ’ logs and double barrier that was well positioned in front of the beer tent which attracted a large vocal and some would say musical crowd.
The first two races of the day featured the Open categories where locals could try cyclocross as well as Junior Series Categories, Expert Men and the Men’s Masters Categories. In the second race featuring Men’s Masters 1 – 4 the competition again was fast at the front of the race. Making amends for their previous day’s mistakes both Jade Lean (Focus-Attaquer) and Stu Adams had runaway victories in their categories.
The Elite Women along with Junior and Masters Category Women were next to race and after a very fast start the elite women were still altogether over the barriers on the first lap. The bunch kept a solid pace until midway through the second lap when the front group was whittled down to three riders including Rebecca Locke and Naomi Williams (Team WillyLocke) along with April McDonough (Flanders-Nemisis). The three women rode away from the rest of the field, but as the race progressed it looked like a repeat of the previous day when McDonough would lose touch with the group leaving the team mates Locke and Williams riding together at the front for the remainder of the race. A sprint finish again decided the win and again it was Rebecca Locke who claimed the victory with Naomi Williams second and April McDonough finishing in third over a minute behind.
The final race of the day featured the Elite Men. Current national champion Paul Van der Ploeg (Giant Australia) was the day’s addition to the start grid showing off his national champion skinsuit. Another blistering start by the elite men with Chris Jongewaard (Flanders-Nemisis) leading the field through the first corners and after the first half lap was completed Jongewaard was in a lead group with Garry Millburn (MAAP x Speedvagen), Chris Aitken (Focus-Attaquer), Van der Ploeg and Tom Chapman (Focus-Attaquer) not far behind. Jongewaard decided to stretch his legs early and was alone on the front for a lap, but a mishap going through a mud section had the front three all together again after four laps. By mid-race Chris Jongewaard had again ridden off the front solo, while Chris Aitken gave chase leaving Garry Millburn to continue to suffer in third on his own. Jongewaard again rode brilliantly out front to take his second win of the series, but Aitken was clearly digging deep and on the last few laps was gaining to finish in second just 3 seconds behind. Garry Millburn crossed the line to take third another one minute and 19 seconds behind.