Our very first CX race together was at one of Ballarat Sebastopol club races held up at Creswick. We had a great time. Here we also realized very quickly despite there being things that did cross over from Road and MTB to Cross, we had a lot of new things to learn also, appropriate tire pressure, for instance, was one of them. On this day we both bounced around the course bouncing our bits off with way too much air in the wheels. As the months went on with more races under our belts and a lot of experimenting, we at times ended up with half the tire pressure from this first race!
From this first race, we headed into the Victorian CX series and Champs where we had some great results and ended up taking out the series and Champs double. Here’s some brief observations, fav moments, and snaps from the series ….
RACE 1. Field of Joy. Our first Victorian series race at was at the famous Fields of Joy, last year’s Nationals venue. Bec had raced this as a one off CX race last year. There’s no shortage of fun at this place thats for sure, and no shortage of red line pain also. It’s fair to say the heckling up the hill had us in stitches, just to add to the real stitches we already had. The whoop-de-doos and berms all fav’s and couldnt help but get a little air time. The sand pit not sure if it was fun or not … ok yes it was! It was really great to see large numbers for the first VCXS including in all the womens grades. A Strong Mel Anset took the win, we really were pleased to finishes on the podium with Ren in second and Bec in third.
RACE 2. MT BEAUTY – There had been a fair amount of rain in the lead into round 2 of the VCXS and word on the day from some of Australia’s more experienced CX’ers was these were real CX conditions, as close as they had seen to Europe in in Australia. We awoke to fresh foggy mountain air but relatively clear and beautiful morning. With a stack of racing before us, looking on we thought they were all going a bit slow, it wasn’t till we got out there we really understood why. It was a case of mostly sliding around mixed with running and riding. A test of skill or luck, or both. Not sure but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t slide around on their butt at some point that day. Ren Had some great luck and rode strong to get her first win on the CX over Mel Second, Bec spent a lot of time sliding around the place but still managed third.
RACE 3. BRIGHT – The crowd favorite had to be the creek crossing, ‘Ride it Ride it Ride it’ chants echoed across the race course and on the approach to the thick muddy crossing you couldn’t help feel the pressure to try and ride it. Some did a lot didn’t. The results varied there was a lot of OTB’s (over the bars ), some broken forks and wheels, as well as some awsome displays of crossing it, it fair to say the crowd didn’t leave this little muddy corner of the Bright CX course disappointed. Ren backed up with good legs from Mt Beauty and took the win, Bec came home very fast in second.
RACE 4. DDCX – The famous Dirty Deeds CX brought a Huge turnout in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fairfield, There was no dog walking today for the normal park go’ers with all these hundred of crazed dirt loving, mud loving, bike loving, heckling loving people in the park. There were though stacks of pit CX dogs dressed their best for the day. No doubt about it, such a fun day of CX with No shortage of hand outs, hand ups, Heckling, Dress ups, Riders of all shapes sizes and abilities, and great racing. Unfortunately Bec had to work for this one. Ren finished up in second, behind the always smiling Mel Anset.
RACE 5 – MCL CARRIBEAN Gardens – The question still remains, is it ever not windy out here? Fair to say it was a bit slog into the wind, and the Road tactics definitely played a roll, Ren wacked a gutter on the first lap and then nursed her front tire going down for 6 laps or so, till our trusty mechanic Pete could find us a wheel ( being new to CX we still didn’t have any spares etc ) Bec stomped home showing her strength ( with a lot of B grade men sucking her wheel ) to take the win, Ren managed to hold on to 2nd. Was also really great to see some of the ladies who came to our CX ride giving it a go in the wind!
RACE 6 – SAM MIRANDA – The Vineyards and Vats of the Sam Miranda winery made a perfect back drop for the final round of the series, It was a case of riders zipping in and out and around the whole place, a mix of the Vineyards and neighbouring paddocks creating a relatively flat but tough course, and again due to recent rain there was some decent boggy sections that really did test the legs, we felt it that’s for sure. Mel Anset rode strong to take the win from Ren and Bec home in 3rd, and with that Ren sealed the overall VIC Series win.
VIC CHAMPS – With Bec Backing up from the day before, Ren sitting out this one, the Vic Champs become a Focus 3 way battle up front, Between a South Aussie Nat Redmond, all round Champ Bendigos Peta Mullen’s and Bec. With less vineyards and more paddock as well as multiple added water muddy boggy crossing points it was a hard fought and entertaining race. In the end, though Bec showed her strength and rode away to take the win, and the Victorian Championship ahead of Peta in 2nd and Nat in 3rd.