The final race in the Australian MTBO titles saw riders return to Kiwarrak state forest for the middle distance championships. Again there was a maze of single track to challenge the navigational skills of even the best riders.
New Zealand’s Marquita Gelderman again reigned supreme in women’s elite to take out a trifecta of wins. However fellow Kiwi Christine Browne, a relative newcomer to MTBO rode well to finish just 4 minutes behind, with Carolyn Jackson holding onto third narrowly from the rapidly improving Jenny Enderby.
Men’s elite saw an exciting race with veteran Aussie rep Alex Randall having a narrow 50 second win over NSW’s Steven Todkill, who is better known for his foot o exploits. Steven had an impressive carnival winning the sprint and finishing 2nd behind Alex in the other 2 races. WA’s Ricky Thackray again had to be content with third, but that result secured him the M21 National League title for the secong year running.
There were four other riders who won all three titles on offer over the weekend. These were: Gabrielle Withers (W14), Chris Firman (M20), Peter Swanson (M40) and Graeme Cadman (M80).
Chris Firman perhaps was the most dominant rider of the carnival, excelling in all the variable terrain. It was a Queensland trifecta in the junior boys in the middle with Chris winning by 8 minutes from Karl withers and Paulo Jun Alvear Fujii. In the junior girls Sally-Anne Hendersen (NSW) took her second win of the carnival.
Other age group winners were: Georgie Withers (W14); Tasmin Barnes (W40); Jacqui Sinclair (W50); Peta Whitford (W60); Yett Gelderman (W70); Eddie Prentice (M14); Peter Swanson (M40); Robert Prentice (M50); Bruce Meder (M60); Keith Wade (M70); Graeme Cadman (M80)
Many thanks to David West for his amazing co-ordination of this 3 day carnival of races, and to the Mountain Devils members and other volunteers who made the events run smoothly. The large Kiwi contingent of 17 riders had plenty of praise for the races and like every rider, thought that the single tracks in Kiwarrak Forest produced one of the finest maps they had ridden on.
Results are available on the event website at: ausmtbochamps. Route Gadget showing the great areas and courses are also now available on that website.
The National League elite winners for 2013 were Ricky Thackray (WA) and Jenny Enderby (NSW) with NSW winning the state title. Age group winners will be announced shortly.
There will be two MTBO events in conjunction with the Christmas 5 Days, in the Beechworth area. There also will be a MTBO training camp during this time – interested people should contact Kay Haarsma on kayhaarsma@hotmail for more details.
In 2013 the JWOC/ WOC selection trials will be in Victoria in April and the National titles will be in Queensland in July. The Kiwis have also announced that they will host another week long carnival in January 2014, based on the North Island.