Mid way into the Victorian CX series the Australian National CX series got under way. The series consisted of Rnds 1 & 2 held in Morton Bay QLD, followed by 3 & 4 at Fields of Joy in Melbourne, and the final Rnd in Adelaide, the day after the National Champs. We couldn’t have been happier with how things went for us for the series, Bec coming away with 2 wins, and Ren coming away with 3 wins and the Overall series win. Below a little wrap ..
Rounds 1&2 QLD – After a 3 hour trip from the south up to the sunshine coast blew out to 9 we were very thankful we had a personal pickup waiting from our good friends at Finn and Dash bikes and Finn and Dash toys! They even had our dinner waiting on the table how goods that! With one day to acclimatize to the sunshine and heat (not kidding, it was almost 15 degrees hotter than Melbourne) we hit up the cafes, yes in shorts and t-shirt ( the locals thought we were a bit keen, but it was a heat wave for us ), ate some good food and drank coffee in preparation for the weekend.
Race one was held in Ferny Hills just out of Brisbane. An hour trip for us meant we needed to keep ourselves occupied & not thinking about the races ahead. A lot of people think we chat about racing all the time but to be honest it’s very rarely mentioned as we both get nervous and we prefer to let it play out on the day. So we tend to amuse ourselves as much as possible talking about other things or being a bit silly. This time round it was going through our hosts car cd stacker cranking up the 90’s 80’s and further back and getting the Hawaiian girl on our dash to dance, Which had us both in stitches.
Race start was at 1pm, it was warm and definitely not the Belgie weather which many of the interstaters had become accustomed too. The “D’Aguilar Range Cycling Club was responsible for running the series race 1 and 2, the first race a challenging technical course involving lots of corning, off camber sections covered in chip bark, few barrier jumps and a steep little climb that had a lot of people off the bike scrambling up the climb as traction was difficult on the chip bark. We both had a solid race happy to have Bec come away with the win and ren pick up second. The talk after race was how hot is it? 40 degrees? No just 25 but God it felt like more. After presentation, we headed straight to our accommodation for a quick shower then an early dinner at 5pm of burger and chips. Then to the supermarket by 630… No actually Qlds supermarkets close at 5 on a Saturday, who would have thought?!. Petrol station food shopping it is then … Nutri Grain, milk what else do you need!? Always happy to mix up our pre-race meal. Lucky we are both reasonably adaptable. As long as Ren gets her block of family size top deck chocolate for dessert all disasters are avoided.
Race 2 was being held at Pine Rivers Park, A warm windy day was in order and the course was mapped to contain a lot of corners with a few muddy sections and a ditch ride that if you miss judged the deep ruts that had formed could see you over the handle Bars. The group stayed together for first lap but spilt up after that with Ren and myself able to form a gap and swap off into a little bit of wind, sealing the same results as the day before.
Queensland brought warm weather, good fresh food, and ok coffee. Great company, sand some fun hard racing. Big Thanks to McDonald’s for having us, We totally felt at home and you guys spoilt both of us. We will be back soon.
Rounds 3&4 FOJ MELBOURNE –
Back to Fields of Joy, We, ready for all the great stuff you get there, The heckling the big crowds, the whoop de doos, the sand, the fun ….. the pain! We also go lots more, including snow, who would have thought? well they did, trucking a truck load in from the mountains to add a real touch of winter to the show.
There was an awsome turnout of racers and spectators from all over, with a packed program of racing over the 2 days. Also on Saturday a ride to send off Lisa Jacobs who had announced she was going to hang up the CX bike from Professional racing after serval years of wearing the Green and Gold.
The womens fields were packed, attracting the largest numbers yet, including the very talented Pro Peta Mullens lining up in the Elite womens races. This combined with the toughness of the FOJ courses was sure to make great racing. And that it did, many riders featured but by mid way through on both days Peta had taken the lead and made a good gap, from Ren in second and Bec in third. But the race isnt over till its over and Ren on both days found something in the tank and pegged Peta back. Surprising even herself, particularly in the second race as the gap had balloned right out. It certainly made for entertaining racing, with the crowd really getting into it, many starting the womens racing was the most exciting of the weekend, which for us as women racers is great, as how many times have you heard the words thrown around “womens racing is boaring to watch”.
As a whole it was an awesome weekend it was really cool to see such huge race numbers , and so many women racing. Pretty fitting for Lisa’s farewell race as she has certainly helped to paved the way.
Round 5 – ADELAIDE –
The final Round of the series was held the day after the National Champs in Adelaide. We were still on a high from Bec’s win the day before, and ok a little bit …. or a lot hung over to boot, like a few others also! The weather was a bit of a contrast from the day before, with the sun out in full force and the course become pretty tacky. After struggling to keep the bike upright at the Aussie Champs, and pretty disappointed to not feel like she’d left everything out there ( that’s all you can want as an athlete ) Ren came out firing. After an initial tassel with Nat Redmon riding strong in front of her home crowd, Ren found an extra gear getting a good gap on the field on the very fast course. Bec had moved herself into second with a good gap this giving us the opportunity for Ren to sit up so as to cross the line together in first and second and wrapping up the overall series! Needles to say we couldnt have been happier with the result.