The 2 day NSW MTBO Championships were held on the tremendous Taree maps last weekend. This area features kilometres of fast flowing mtb specific single track as well as a good network of forest tracks.
However, the degree of difficulty for riders was increased markedly by heavy rain on the preceding days, making tracks muddy and slippery.
In women’s elite the super fit duo of Marquita Gelderman (NZ) and Carolyn Jackson (Vic) had two more close tussles but Marquita reigned supreme this time. NSW’s Jennifer Enderby rode well for 3rd in both events.
In Men’s elite NZ Orienteering Vice President Peter Swanson took out a surprise victory in the middle distance championship over Steven Todkill (NSW). However, Steven navigated brilliantly in the long to win by 12 minutes over Kiwi Patrick Higgins.
Eddy Prentice (m16), Peter Cusworth (M60), Graham Fowler (M70), Graeme Cadman (M80), Deb Bain (W50) and Yett Gelderman (W70) were successfull on both days.
Other victories went to:
W40 Carolyn Matthews, Kay Haarsma
W60 Toy Martin
M40 David West, Darren Gosse (NZ)
M50 David King (NZ), Andrew Power
Many thanks to Carolyn Matthews and Malcolm Roberts for their excellent course setting, and to Andrew Power for being the organiser.
There is a group of 25 keen New Zealand MTBO devotees who are on a 10 day MTB tour. They finish at Gympie (Queensland) this weekend, taking in the Australian MTBO Championships.
Women’s elite again looks like a match race between Marquita and Carolyn, although Kiwi Cath Hepplethwaite could surprise, having flow in just for the Australian Championships races.
Men’s elite is very open, with Australian elite representatives Ricky Thackray (WA) and Callum Fagg (Tas) getting final race practice before heading to the World Championships in Estonia next month. Kiwi young gun Patrick Higgins and local Queenslander Joel Young should be well in the mix too. In M20 MTBO JWOC rep Karl Withers will have strong competition from Victorian junior Tim Jackson. The elite men have 38 kilometres on the long day while the women and M20 have a 30 kilometre course.
From Kay Haarsma