Manly Warringah CC Subaru Active CC Series – Round 3
Posted by auscxmag
Posted in News
words: auscxmag photography: Riding Focus
Round Three of the Manly Warringah Cycling Club Subaru Active Cyclocross Series took place on Saturday with a threat of rain that didn’t quite appear, though the ice cold wind and grey skies meant that winter riding kit was on display and those with long-sleeved skinsuits would be best prepared for the conditions. For everybody else Nomadic Café were pumping out coffee to warm the insides.
Course conditions were completely dry to the point that the ground was as hard as concrete in sections. Combined with this, the pony club had placed crushed shale over many of the trails that the cycling club use for cyclocross duties making some sections a little slippery. The course set for Round Three used many of the features well known at JJ Melbourne Hills reserve including the stairs, the left/right uphill pinch climb, and for the first time in 2014 the BMX track was included much to the delight is racers and spectators.
To begin the day’s racing ‘king of the kiddies’ Dave Watkinson rallied approximately forty children at the start line ready to race with the under seven’s first having a ten minute race followed by the under thirteen’s. Racing is always close in these two grades where fun is the main goal. I think the secondary goal is ensuring parents get their exercise by chasing children around the course and this was also achieved.
Again the combined race of B Grade CX, Open/MTB Grade and women’s CX/Open was the largest field of the day with a total of 56 starters. Riders went off in waves with Open/MTB first, then B Grade CX, before the club’s best ever field of 12 ladies took to the line for the final wave of starters.
In the Open/MTB race Gary Harwood and Jindra Knot immediately took to the front of the race distancing themselves from the rest of the field. The two riders battled for most of the race with Jindra gaining a gap on Garry on the last lap to take the win. Dave Gardner looked certain for third place on the first lap, but folded his front wheel in half on a loose corner leaving Dave Rubin to power through the field for the final podium position.
B Grade CX saw the return of Manly Warringah Cycling Club CX original Duncan Markham on the start line. Questions were asked just what was he doing in B Grade and he answered by completely burglarising the field to take a comfortable win that would have seen his lap times place him top ten in A Grade. It was a closer battle for the minor placing with five riders finishing within 45 seconds of each other. Simon Kane took second place and Michael Dodd was third. Unfortunately in this race Jim Terrie had a fall on a loose gravel corner breaking his tibia. Jim put on a very brave face, but we never like seeing race (and season) ending injuries. Everyone wishes Jim a speedy recovery!
Among the twelve women lining up were winner of Rounds One and Two Oenone Wood, Genevieve McKew returning on a new ‘cross bike and in her first race of the season current NSW state champion Lindsay Gorrell. There were lots of new faces on the start line along with some more experienced ‘cross riders which was good to see. Lindsay lead the race from the start taking the holeshot and never gave up her lead. Oenone chased hard for the first three laps but paid for her efforts by fading slightly mid race to take second place. Third place was a close battle between Genevieve McKew and Sarina Tomchin with the pair swapping places many times during the race, but it was Sarina who eventually claimed third place.
The final race of the day was A Grade Mens CX and it was another strong turnout with 32 competitors taking to the start line including Rounds One and Two winner Garry Millburn, second place in the previous round Chris Aitken, young guns Nick Smith and Michael Potter and the welcome addition of Ben Henderson who had travelled up from Canberra.
Off the start line it was no surprise to see Garry Millburn (Mr. Holeshot) lead the field into the first corner with Chris Aitken and Paris Basson close behind. As the ten lap race progressed spectators were again witness to a two man duel between Millburn and Aitken as they stuck very close together for most of the race. It was not until lap seven that Millburn broke free to slightly ride away from Aitken. This was a gap that would not be closed leaving Millburn to take three wins from three starts in the series also meaning Aitken had to settle for second as he also did in round two. Ben Henderson rode a strong race to move through the field and claim third place, and special mention going to Michael Potter and Nick smith in fourth and fifth respectively for beating the rest of the field of competitors much older and more experienced than their junior years.
A big thankyou as always must go to the small crew of Manly Warringah club volunteers who put in a long day setting up, doing rego, timing, racing and finally packing up into the darkness to create what is a fine cyclocross series. The next cyclocross event for the club will be round six of the National Cyclocross Series on the 23 August at the same Terrey Hills location. See you there.