The three event Australian MTBO Championships started today at Taree with the Sprint Championships. The map, “the Tipriders Afternoon Delight,” was based in Kiwarrak Forest just a few kilometres out of Taree. The area was composed of a very intricate track network of mt bike single track which actually provided quite fast riding. Thus the route choice decisions between the single track and wider 4WD tracks weren’t clear-cut.
NSW’s Steve Todkill had an impressive 2 minute win in men’s elite ahead of the canny Greg Barbour. WA’s WOC representative, Ricky Thackray was a further minute back.
A 16 person Kiwi group has been in Australia racing and training for 10 days and they were well represented at the prize-giving. This started with their 2 WOC represenatives this year, in Marquita Gelderman and Christine Browne taking the quinella ahead of Victoria’s Carolyn Jackson.
The M20 class was very competitive, with Queensland’s Chris Firman recording the fastest time on course 2 to have a 4 minute win ahead of Paulo Jun Alvear Fujii, followed closely by Tim Jackson. The W20 class was won by NSW’s Sally-Anne Henderson.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the detailed nature of the area and the well set courses, and it was viewed by some as Australia’s best ever sprint area to date.
Other “A” class winners were:
W14 Gabrielle Withers (Q)
W40 Nicole Haigh (NSW)
W50 Jacqui Sinclair (NZ)
W60 Peta Whitford (VIC)
W70 Yett Gelderman (NZ)
M14 Eddie Prentice (NSW)
M40 Peter Swanson (NZ)
M50 Andrew Power (NSW)
M60 Michael Wood (NZ)
M70 Keith Wade (NZ)
M80 Gordon Cadman (VIC)
The long distance championships will be held on Saturday and the middle on Sunday.