National Cyclocross Series Round 7 – ‘Mulch Hill’ Adelaide
Posted by auscxmag
Posted in News
words: Sean Couley photography: Sam Bruce
The final two rounds of the 2015 National Cyclocross Series visited Adelaide over the weekend, with Saturday seeing round seven being held at the now infamous Mulch Hill in the Adelaide Parklands off South Terrace.
The course designed for round 7 was a classic Adelaide cyclocross course. Long fast straights combined with technical corners where riders could easily make mistakes as well as the famous mulch hill with no less than three ascents and descents of the feature.
First race of the day was Masters Men 5+ along with all Masters Women. A notable mention must go to race director Gemma Kernich’s strong performance taking the win in her category on a course that suited her particular skillset.
Following on was the Men’s Masters 1- 4 and all the usual suspects had turned up meaning racing would be fierce. All grades had very close racing and even some displays of sharp elbows. The notable mention of this race was Carl Fokkema in Masters 2 for riding both a strong and tactical race to take the win in what was intense and close racing.
Onto the afternoon’s schedule of elite racing and first up was the Women’s event. Lisa Jacobs was present in her national champion skinsuit along with series leader Mel Anset and local favourite Terri Rhodes. The start was fast and it was Terri Rhodes who lead the field through the first corner. Rhodes and Lisa Jacobs created an immediate gap on the field riding the first two laps together off the front. From this moment Lisa Jacobs started to stretch her lead with her very smooth riding style making it look almost effortless and going on to take the win by over a minute ahead of Terri Rhodes in second, with Mel Anset emerging from a close race long battle with Jenny Macpherson to claim third.
Final race of the day was the Elite Men and unfortunately newly crowned national champion Paul Van der Ploeg was missing due to being at the Mountain Bike World Championships and also Chris Jongewaard who was racing at the UCI CX China race. Still on the start line was the current series leader Chris Aitken along with former national champion Allan Iacuone and plenty of other top riders. It was a furious start and local boy Tom Chapman took the lead through the first corner with team mates Shaun Lewis and Chris Aitken on his wheel. The three Focus Bikes team members along with Allan Iacuone formed an early lead group that stuck together for the first 2 laps before the three team mates stamped their authority on the race and rode away together. Shaun Lewis, Tom Chapman and Chris Aitken rode together at the front for the entire race consistently exchanging the lead, yet riding together. On the final lap it was Shaun Lewis who dared by hopping the barriers in traffic on mulch hill to gain enough of a lead enabling him to continue on for his first national series win of the year. Tom Chapman beat Chris Aitken in a sprint finish for second place only seconds behind the winner.
Port Adelaide Cycling Club put on a fantastic day that more experienced ‘cross racers have come to expect and they must be thanked for a wonderful day. The club would also have to back up and host the eighth and final round the following day.