With arguably perfect weather and track conditions at their best, the past weekend of SA racing left a smile on nearly everybody’s face. A fresh approach to the downhill track that was raced at National Championships the past three years sent riders into the existing features at warp speed. The consensus from the ACR camp, and many, many others, was that the track was the most fun it had been in a long time.
Bright blue skies on Saturday had the whole team itching to get on the course and one after the other the ACR boys filed on to the track and caught the very first bus back to the top. Having held a training and development day for the up-and-comers on the same track a week earlier, the lines were fresh in the brain and all that was left was to rail them over and over again!
Brake levers playing up (solved with rubber bands!), derailleur issues, chain device explosions and some big crashes couldn’t stand in the way of the weekend’s fun. There was something about struggling to keep the wheels on the ground and the way the back end seemed to find itself sideways over the new hip that made the team forget about the race and have a blast instead! By the time Sunday morning rolled around the thought of seeding just meant one more run with a big grin inside the helmet.
It was Darren’s turn to run the helmet cam and he nearly gave us some footage that could have gone viral! A tender moment with a tree on the entry to the rock garden left him with a larger than normal right love handle, and his 2:07.51 was good enough for fourteenth.
Tyson had a real crack at grabbing some seeding points and reported one of his best runs for the weekend. A time of 2:05.65 gave him ninth position, six points and a challenge to scrape some time off his “near perfect run.”
Up the pointy end, once again, was Steve Gebert who “held back on the pedals,” but still managed the more than respectable time of 2:04.21. “I would love to find four seconds but I don’t know how I’m going to do it,” Steve commented after seeding himself in fifth position.
The bus was abnormally quiet on the way to the top for the race runs and the reason is up for speculation. It may have been the fact that many riders were trying to figure out how to drop that little bit more time off their run or maybe they were just out of small talk, puns and bad humor!
The first ACR rider in the gate was Hobby. Even with a clean run he couldn’t quite manage to wipe any time off his seeding, despite the moment he had into the rock garden. Crossing the line 0.18 seconds slower than his seeding time, his 2:07.69 snuck him into the top half, thirteenth place. “The run was good and I’m happy. I would have liked to be top ten though,” Darren said.
Although doubting if he could take much off his seeding, Tyson managed to wipe exactly a second off to finish the course in 2:04.65. “I had absolutely nothing left, I was done,” Tyson remarked after his run landed him in eighth position.
Steve pulled together a great run and even styled it up for the crowd! 2.67 seconds faster than his seeding time left him with a 2:01.54 and secured him fourth place; less than two seconds behind the race winner Will Rischbieth. His consistent form this year has seen him on all four podiums and we hope this is to continue! No pressure buddy…
The club and track builders deserve a truck load of praise for their efforts delivering yet another brilliant round of racing on an old track with well designed changes. The Adelaide Commencal Racing Team need to thank Total Tools Thebarton, Cycleworx, Mavic, Jet Black, Finish Line, Crank Brothers and Pro Athlete Fitness- we wouldn’t exist without them!
The next race is at Fox Creek on August 4 & 5. See you there!
Words : Tyson
Photos : Dario Duno & Natarlie Hobby