SUMMER DIRT XCO’ing 16′

—– MT TAYLOR XCO 

The First round of the 2015/16 XCO National series at Mount Taylor turned on the sun and the dust and a great turn out of racers. Notable was the number of women, it is always great to see good numbers of women racing especially in all the other categories. We didn’t get a chance to ride the course pre race arriving at 12.30am the night/morning before, due to Ren having to do an Exam late Friday, this meant we missed the race practice, but with 6laps to race we were going to get a few laps to learn it anyway :)!  It wasn’t a big hill course however there was a lot of power climbing a lot of false flats, this combined with tight corners, and a lot dust resulted in a tough race. Possibly one of those courses that feels flat in practice but not so in the race! We had an up and down day, Bec having some mechanical resulting in her chain coming off twice and then snapping, She did though get back going and and rode strong to get herself back up to finish 8th. Ren had a solid ride and after a bad path in the middle came home and rode herself onto the podium in 5th. Jenni King Showed her class taking the win. Theres was some great racing all day one thing in common was everyone finishing up with a face full of dust and some good lung burn. A big thanks to the SRAM boys for finding the problem and fixing Bec’s Bike.

—– WA DOUBLE ROUND XCO

We were pretty excited to be heading west to WA for some racing, having not been there together before. Initially we thought we’d load up the race Van and drive over, but then we thought it through a bit and a late Thursday plane it was, its a long drive and getting the added time off work wasn’t going to work.

The rental car looked like a big one in the pictures online but was in fact a little one that did indeed just look like the bigger one at the front, the back well there really wasn’t one ! So then we played the old game of bikes and race gear Tetris, packing in everything like a 3d jigsaw, this continuing for the course of the trip every time we had to get stuff out.

We arrived in the cute little town of Pemberton, about 4 hour south of Perth, friday afternoon before the race, quickly setting out for some laps of the course mindful not to zap to much out of the legs, sometimes this is easier said than done. The courses for both days consisted of lots of punchy ups and downs, with probably more climbing than you thought, lots of really fun single track dusted in red dirt under some seriously large towering trees.

The racing for both days was fast, as it always is, the always on form young gun Bec Henderson showing her class. We had some good racing Ren just out side the Podium on both days.

We did though feel the travel in our pegs, this and meeting young Oliver Phillips and his Dad who had travelled from Far North QLD gave us a better insight to how hard it must be for people to get to some of the racing form all over our massive country!

—– BRIGHT NATIONALS XCO 

It was back to Beautiful Bright for the 3rd year and 3rd course for the XCO Nats …. and what a great one it was!

It never gets old driving into the beautiful alpine township and we always look forward to when there is an event on there.

We had heard there was more climbing and more techy sections on this years course and true was that. The day before our race there had been some pretty heavy rain, making the racing pretty slippery for those racing on that day. We ventured out just after a big down pour for a practice lap, probably wishing we hadn’t as we in counted lots of mud and clay, leaving us wondering a bit on how we’d fair in the race the following day.  On race day however we were greeted with sunshine and the trails prefect and tacky!

As every cross country race it went out fast, this one though there was a national jersey up for grabs! Bec Henderson was the favourite but then everyone wants a national jersey!  She showed her class though taking home the green and gold Jersey again in a fast race.

We had a mixed day Bec did a pretty spectacular over the bars on the first lap, so spectacular in fact that some of the riders behind her at the time decided not to ride that bit of trail for the race. Unfortunately it ended her day, but thankfully no major injures just some skin, oh and a cool photo moments after landing you’ll see below! Ren didn’t feel much love from the legs but told them to keep going anyway and crossed the line in 8th.

The High light of the weekend was seeing Scott Bowden take the win in the Under23 mens in a really strong ride.

Bright put on another awesome event and we must admit we are sad it wont be back there next year, but hey thats the way it rolls!

Number Pin on Time
The RAVENS keen for some XCO
Great turn out in the junior categories at Mt Taylor
Dusty Ren at Mt Taylor
More Dust
and more
The Womens podiam at Mt Taylor
The Focus Boys off to a good start at Mt Taylor
And Dusty at the end!
dusty and happy
The Focus crew all smiles – Bec, Shaun, Scotty, Ren and Dion
WA rental ( little ) car jigsaw packing
Pemberton trails
Above Pemberton trails
Raven Race ready ….err ok missing something
Bec on course at Pemberton. Pic Russ Baker
Ren stuffing her line up in Pemberton. Pic Russ Baker
Cooked legs
The pre red eye flight car park bike pack in WA
Back to Beautiful Bright and Yep to plenty of Bike Parking at Velo!
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Bright Start line. Pic Russ Baker
Bec and Ren line up in Bright. Pic by Park racing MTB team
Err Bec is that you down there …..err are you ok ??? Becs OTB at Bright! Pic Peter Henkel
Ren focused on the line at Brigh . Pic Russ Baker
Great to see Scotty Bowden take a very strong win in the under 23mens
Bright race village trails action
And some short track action.

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The Velo Brew stop a must in bright!
Wrapping up the weekend with a little pedal up Mt Buffalo … dont mind if we do!