Manly Warringah CC Subaru Active CX Series – Round 4
Posted by auscxmag
Posted in News
words: auscxmag photography: riding focus
The 2014 Manly Warringah Subaru Active Cyclocross series has by far been the most popular season of Cyclocross the club has seen. On Saturday fourth and final round went ahead after a month away from any NSW racing due to the cancelled Sydney rounds of the National Series in August.
A slight bit of drizzle in the morning gave way to an overcast afternoon perfect for racing. Rob Parbery set a course that was elusive in that it seemed like a fast open course on paper, but once riders encountered the tough off-camber corner at the far end of the BMX track, followed by the very slippery series of corners on the equestrian cross country course riders then faced three low horse jumps used as barriers before emerging near the start/finish area to be faced with four consecutive leg sapping barriers. All this was within a compact 1.5km course which sent the heart rate north and kept it there.
First up for the day were the kidz events and a new category of balance bikes was added along with the under seven and under thirteen categories. Racing was close, with a sprint finish for the under thirteen girls won by Lexi Watkinson.
The next race of the day was as per previous rounds the largest field of the day with Open bike, B Grade CX Men and CX/Open women’s going off in waves 30 seconds apart. In the Open men’s it was Joshua Cornish who got the fastest start with birthday boy Dave Watkinson close behind. Cornish extended his lead over the 35 minute race to win comfortably with a 1.50 lead over Dave Watkinson in second and Dave Gardner claimed third after working his way through the field with a strong effort.
The B Grade CX mens race was hotly contested with a few fast guys who underestimated their ability and should have been in A grade. There was fast racing at the front with Sam Burston and Robin Clancy riding together for most of the race continually swapping the lead. Sam Burston did enough in the end to claim the win over Robin Clancy with Gavin Burland claiming third with deep dish dura-ace wheels and pannier racks.
In the women’s race Oenone Wood again made the trip down from Newcastle, while Zoe King lined up for her first race since collarbone surgery. There again close racing in the women’s category as Wood, King and Genevieve McKew kept each other in site for the entire race. It was McKew who took the win fresh off racing the Enduro World Series in Canada, with second going to Zoe King and third place Oenone Wood.
The final race of the day was A grade men. With the usual favourites like Garry Millburn, Chris Aitken and a few others missing from the start line for various reasons (some little race called CrossVegas) the field was wide open, though slightly smaller than previous rounds with 17 starters. It was the usual very fast start with a lead group of three quickly forming consisting of junior riders Tom Green and Nick Smith along with recently relocated Port Adelaide CC member Jerry Van De Pol. For the first half of the race the three front runners were very close, but by lap 8 of the 13 lap race Van De Pol seemed to run out of gas, going backward to eventually finish sixth. It looked as if it would result in a sprint between Green and Smith for the win, but with 3 laps to go Nick smith opened a gap on Tom Green and continued to extend his advantage to take a well deserved win with Green finishing second. It was a sprint finish for third with Oliver Whalley taking the podium place on his single speed belt drive machine.
Great racing was had by all to finish off the 2014 cyclocross series for the club. A big thankyou must go to the Manly Warringah volunteers especially Rob Parbery, Jim Buda, Dave Watkinson and Johnny Miller. There are a host of others also, but it was these four selfless men along with myself (Sean Couley) who were there for every round to help out.
For more amazing photography check out Josh Nicholson’s ridingfocus blog