Challenge Tyres Cyclocross Series – Round One
Posted by auscxmag
Posted in News
words: Andrew Demack & Brad Norman photography: Adam Harrison
The Challenge Tyres Cyclocross Series (presented by Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club) kicked off in dry and dusty conditions in Brisbane yesterday.
The course at Murarrie Recreation Reserve featured plenty of off-camber sections and unexpected sand, which became less grippy as the racing wore on. Murarrie reserve is the home of Balmoral Cycling Club, and the course used a small section of the criterium circuit, which every Saturday sees big fields of roadies (literally) smashing each other up as they race for sheep stations.
Catering with frites and German sausages on the day came courtesy of a group of mothers of Balmoral club junior racers, fund-raising for an upcoming BCC juniors’ trip to New Zealand.
The kids got the racing underway, with Eden Cunnington, James Shelock and Eleanor Angus (the youngest and only competitor on a balance bike!) collecting the under 7’s prizes. In the under 11’s Lukas Geissler, Declan Tate and Leroy Buttler filled the podium places.
Opens and under 15’s raced together next and the under 15’s showed they were more then capable of handling the 30 minute race coming in first and second overall. There was plenty of action up front with Momo Frank and Hugo Greenhill setting a cracking pace. Momo eventually sprinted clear on the last straight to take the win, Olivia Nendrick picked up third. Nicole Frank, Corinne Trang, Louise Wilson took out the women’s race with Calvan Avison, Dean Phillips and Chris McClellan the men’s. What made Chris’s third place outstanding, was that he did it on a fat bike!
As Queensland Cyclocross travels to different parks around south-east Queensland, we are getting encouraging support from the cycling clubs whose venues we use. The B grade field, and indeed all other race fields, were bolstered by some Balmoral road-racing stalwarts having their first attempt at cyclocross.
It was no surprise that the largest field of the day was in B Grade – 33 racers in total. The youth wing of Queensland Cyclocross are clearly going to be major challengers at the pointy end of the field very soon, as another junior, 14-year-old Cameron Wright, won B grade. Mark McClure and Michael McMahon completed the podium for B grade. The 2013 QLD Cyclocross Champ Sharon Heap collected top honors in the A/B women’s followed by Megan Williams. At the start of the race the field plowed down the straight all trying to get the holeshot into the first bottleneck. Many riders opted to get off and run through the group as they slowed, proving to be the better option. After a few laps the field began spread leaving any errors in the technical sections on the individual’s skills (or lack of).
Our A grade fields keep getting stronger thanks to a few regulars moving up from B grade. Balmoral’s Lucas Nicoll decided to jump into CX at the deep end. He was one of a field of 12 starters. Also in the field was Andy Fellows, who only a couple of weeks earlier had blitzed a strong field to win his second consecutive Queensland Cyclocross Championship at Ipswich.
Fellows maintained his 100% record yesterday, in what we believe was his third CX race. He led from start to finish, and his lead was measured in minutes rather than metres. There was an enthralling battle behind Fellows for the other podium places. Early on it was Lucas Nicoll who held second, chased by Declan Kilkenny, Warren Jennings and Jon Giles. But after only a couple of laps, Shem Guthrie moved through the field after a slow start, and took second place. Jennings fell back, and Guthrie, Nicoll, Kilkenny and Giles were the main protagonists for much of the race, after Jennings fell out of contention.
And then suddenly Kilkenny blew up spectacularly falling to the back end of the field within a lap. Giles, despite being fastest over the barriers, couldn’t keep pace with Guthrie and Nicoll. Balmoral junior Yannick Frank, also having his first go at A grade, began challenging for a high placing. Eventually Lucas Nicoll’s fitness and speed were more important than his lack of finesse over the barriers, and he claimed second ahead of Shem Guthrie. Jon Giles held out Yannick Frank to finish fourth.
Thanks as always goes to the race sponsors who provide support to the organisers and fantastic prizes for the riders. Challenge Tyres, Focus Bikes Australia, Brisbane Outdoor Gear and Casa Flora.
The next Cyclocross race will be a Gold Coast Cyclocross event at Robert Neumann Park, Currumbin Creek Road on Sunday 27th July. The next round of the Challenge Tyres Cyclocross Series will be at Nundah Crit Track on Sunday 3rd August.