The Victorian Long Distance MTBO Championships were held at Saligari Safari near Newstead. This featured another new map with several opportunities to ride across farm paddocks adding to the route choice dilemmas. Rideability varied greatly from very eroded single tracks to fast 4WD roads and even about one kilometre of bitumen.
The men’s elite saw Steven Cusworth take out the trifecta of titles this weekend. Steven was one of the few who used a second paddock route choice late on the course. WA’s Ricky Thackray utilised his enduro fitness to good avail to hold off Victorian elder statesman Jim Russell for second. Jim has been training hard on the bike in lieu of running recently.
Melanie Simpson had a resounding 15 minute win in women’s elite but only 2 minutes separated Thor Egerton, Carolyn Jackson and Caitlin Wade in 2nd-4th.
It’s the last we will see of Melanie and Thor for the foreseeable future, as completely co-incidently both have won jobs in the same hospital in Trondheim, Norway! Jon Sutcliffe’s mapping skills will also be lost to Norway too.
Melanie was doing the same course as the men’s 20 and was amazed how quickly they rode. However Melanie and Heath Jamieson both lost 5-6 minutes by taking a longer route choice from 5-6. Chris Firman rode brilliantly to take the win in M20, ahead of Tom Goddard who was forced to run and coast the final downhill legs with a broken derailleur. Marc Gluskie had another strong ride for third. Emerging Queensland rider Karl Withers suffered a flat three quarters the way around and changed his tube.
It was heartening to see the improvement in the entire junior field over the last year. Also it was great to see a large contingent from Braemar College, including their teacher, competing in the long.
Many thanks to all the course setters, mappers, controllers and numerous volunteers from Eureka and Nillumbik Emus who did so much work to give all riders three tremendous events. Also to Judy, Peter and Shayne Hill who assisted the MTBO camp in so many vital ways. Photos are of Paulo jun Alvear Fujii and Steve Cusworth courtesy of Rob Jamieson.
The National Series continues on in Queensland and Taree.
The WOC and JWOC MTBO teams are being finalised and should be published by the end of the week.
Men’s Elite – 37.6 km
1 1:45:35 Steven Cusworth (VIC)
2 1:57:26 Ricky Thackray (WA)
3 1.57.50 Jim Russell (VIC)
4 1.58.44 Oscar Phillips (TAS)
Men’s 20 Elite – 31.3 km
1 1:24:59 Chris Firman (QLD)
2 1:30:51 Tom Goddard (TAS)
3 1:32:18 Marc Gluskie (TAS)
4 1.39.30 Heath Jamieson (VIC)
5 1.42.32 Angus Robinson (VIC)
Women’s 21 Elite – 31.3 km
1 1:43:48 Melanie Simpson (NSW)
2 1:58:06 Thorlene Egerton (QLD)
3 1:59:33 Carolyn Jackson (VIC)
4 2:00:52 Caitlin Wade (VIC)
Boy’s U14 Declan Dickson (VIC)
Men’s 40 Richard Eisner (VIC)
Men’s 50 Robert Prentice (NSW)
Men’s 60 Greg Bacon (NSW
Men’s 70 Graham Fowler (NSW)
Men’s 80 Graeme Cadman (VIC)
Girl’s U16 Lucy Fleming (VIC)
Women’s 40 Jeannie Douglass (ACT)
Women’s 50 Peta Whitford (VIC)
Women’s 60 Kathy Liley (VIC)
Women’s 70 Dale Ann Gordon (VIC)
Women’s 80 Joyce Rowlands (VIC)