With a victory in the GP7-hour competition, Callum McNamara from Canberra is the new elite solo men’s series leader of the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix. More than 250 racers participated at Round 2, which was held at the James Estate Winery in the Upper Hunter Valley. Max Richardson from the Central Coast came in second and Jason Pearce from Sydney was in third. In the women’s solo elite category, Laura Renshaw won her first GP7 Hour event ahead of new series leader and fellow Novocastrian Kirby Knowles and Deb Davies from Weston near Cessnock. In the popular GP4 Hour race, Paris Basson from Narrabeen took out first place in the elite men’s and Brook Rowlands from Canberra won the women’s category.
It was the second mountain bike event to be held at the James Estate Winery after the inaugural SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix race there last year. The efforts of the winery’s General Manager and trail builder Graeme Scott and the team didn’t get unnoticed as riders from all over NSW and the ACT praised the 10km race track, which led them through more than 5km of fast and flowy bush single tracks and then straight through the vineyards and the actual winery, past the cellar door and across beautiful meadows with scenic views of the Upper Hunter Valley.
More than two-thirds of the field stayed in the region and also camped on-site, including the new series leader Callum McNamara, one of the many event participants who came all the way from Canberra and was in strong form clocking in the fastest male lap time in 29:02 min. “This was a fantastic event – such a good mix of single track and fire trails, plus such a convenient event centre set up. I had a great race, can’t wait for the next one”, he said.
Second place-getter Max Richardson and runner up in the series currently agreed, “You notice right away that the single track has had over 5 years of blood sweat and tears poured into it, so it’s well thought out and keeps you wanting more. And the fire road sections are through the winery itself so it’s very picturesque riding. The race was great – everyone out there was all smiles.”
Impressive junior solo fields and complete women’s podiums
Race director Juliane Wisata from Rocky Trail was happy to see full podiums in the female solo categories and awarded GP4 Hour elite solo winner Brooke Rowlands with the honorary “Tracey Robinson Trophy” for the fastest female lap time of the day (33:11 min) in memory of the former Rocky Trail racer. She also said that almost 30 Junior racers were at the start at James Estate. “We see such talented riders especially at these SHIMANO Mountain Bike GP races – Bryan Dunkin completed as many laps as our elite winner in the GP4 hour event; we’re proud that we can provide these young guns with the ideal race conditions to further grow in the sport”, Wisata added.
Bryan Dunkin from Newcastle now clearly leads in the Junior solo series ranking ahead of Tom Daniher from Braidwood and Max Carter from Bolwarra Heights.
With Brooke Rowlands’ race win the GP4 Hour elite female solo series ranking is wide open. Wendy Stevenson from Waverton took out the second place at James Estate ahead of Michelle Morris from Shelly Beach.
James Estate to host Rocky Trail’s JetBlack 12 Hour in July
“We like taking our events and racers to tracks that are fun and challenging and to venues, where we can provide an exciting event atmosphere for racers and spectators alike. James Estate ticks all those boxes and we’re already in the middle of the event preparations for our JetBlack 12 Hour event there in July”, said Rocky Trail’s Managing Director, Martin Wisata.
More than 400 racers are expected to participate at the iconic JetBlack 12 Hour event on 12 July, including many interstate competitors. The overwhelming feedback from mountain bikers who raced James Estate on the weekend proves that the trails at James Estate are fit for such an iconic event. After a work-related break from racing, the 24 Hour Solo World Champion Craig Gordon was back in the GP4 Hour teams event, taking out the overall line honours.
Craig Gordon promised to be back in July, saying, “After racing at James Estate Winery for the first time with Rocky Trail, I’m really looking forward to racing there again in their JetBlack 12 Hour because the course was killer! Heaps of single track, which was fast flowing and fun, with plenty of fire road to pass people and an awesome event centre setting right in the middle of the vineyards. I doesn’t get better than that!”
For results and detailed event information about the upcoming Round 3 of the SHIMANO MTB GP at Ourimbah MTB Park near Wyong on 21 June and the JetBlack 12 Hour event at James Estate on 12 July, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com