More than 300 riders competed at the fifth and final round of the 2013 SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra on the weekend. The endurance event crowned series winners with Kyle Ward and Susanna Fasold, who took out the elite categories in the four hour competition and Grant Webster and Sarah Neumann claimed the seven hour titles. The big sensation of the day, however, was Australian Supersport Champion Troy Herfoss from Goulburn who won his first mountain bike race with a bang ahead of renowned Canberra riders Andrew Hall and Ed McDonald.
Goulburn’s Troy Herfoss has been one of Australia’s most talented and awarded motorcycle racers for the past five years, racing in the European-based IDM Superbike Championships in 2012. The Australian Supersport Champion from 2010 only recently decided to apply his racing talent to mountain biking, after coming in second in this year’s Mountain Bike National Eliminator competition behind none other than World Champion Paul Van Der Ploeg. …View More
Rolling into the Ourimbah Mountain bike area and it is busy, wall to wall team tents and bikes going every which way. There is a large line-up at registration, this isn’t unfamiliar though, Rocky Trail Entertainment have built on their Grand Prix Series since 2009 and it is now one of the most popular events on the mountain bike calendar. I reach the rego table and Juliane from RTE confirms the big number of rider entries, it is around 300.
There is the usual scurry around to get prepared for the next four hours of racing, finding a clear patch of dirt beside the trail I place my bottles next to other riders from WSMTB. I pull out the chosen bike for the day and now that I’m here I second guess the choice of a hard-tail. While the Ourimbah trail has plenty of flow, it is technically demanding with rocks and roots to bounce off, hopefully the 29er wheels can just do their thing. I scuff the dirt with my shoe, it looks pretty dry up in the transition area, there were a few questions leading up to the weekend, re the weather but it looks the goods for at least the top sections of trail. …View More
The country seems to be gripped by finals fever, football here, football there, thank goodness Rocky Trail could focus us on our favourite sport and the Series Final of the Shimano Gran Prix. But what a controversial week it had been leading up to the Finals weekend, with mountainbikers literally being thrown out of the Appin trails, the location that had been locked-in for the Series Final. In true premiership style Rocky Trail swiftly negotiated a new location at the famed Ourimbah trails. In fact it must have been a special moment for a lot of solo riders when they were informed they wouldn’t have to face the tough and treacherous trails of Appin.
The sun came up to be a cracking Saturday out the back of the Central Coast, with a light shower overnight, the trails were in superb conditions, coming up dry and mostly hard-packed. Having recently moved to the area Rocky Trail had scoped out some of their new favourite routes around Ourimbah for us to have fun on during the Grand Prix. There was the amazing Jurassic Park and suitably named Rollercoaster before the Graveyard, racing through the flatlands and the Meadow Trails before climbing back towards the transition area.
In the GP4 Central Coast local James Lamb, who had most recently seen his King of Kincumba title slip through his fingers only a weekend prior, was keen to produce a good result. James was pushed all the way by Jorge Baron who placed third in the Male Solo Elite Category. Out in front though was Jarrod Hughes, the 2012 Tour de Timor KOM (King of the Mountain) jersey winner gained a commanding lead from the first lap and steadily gained time through the first three hours, finishing with close to a ten minute lead on James.
The dominance continued for Wendy Walker in the Female Solo Elite Category for the GP4. Wendy has been duelling with Vanessa Boatwright throughout the series and the GP at Ourimbah was no different. Vanessa didn’t have the pace of Wendy and the podium was rounded out by Eliza Eldridge Bassett. …View More