The Stevens Bikes Husky 100 heads to the coast
The 2012 Real Insurance XCM Series packs its board shorts this weekend with the running of the Stevens Bikes Husky 100
The 2012 Real Insurance XCM Series packs its board shorts this weekend with the running of the Stevens Bikes Husky 100. More used to surfers and holiday makers the sleepy, ever-so-relaxed township of Callala Beach on Jervis Bay will lull riders into a false sense of security before pounding them with a course profile that looks like a heart attack waiting to happen. When the gun goes off at 7:30 Sunday morning, riders will rock 100 kilometres of beach, bush, sand and mud through some of the areas finest singletrack throughout the Currambene and Nowra State Forests.
Powered by CycleNation this event is Round 4 of the series and when the dust settles Sunday night we will officially be past the half way point with a clearer view of the main contenders for the series titles. It already seems a lifetime ago that the big guns lined up at the Wombat in Victoria making no promises beyond the tightly packed first three rounds. The first month of racing, which saw three hundred kilometres of racing over three consecutive weeks, was an intense start to the series that has become the talk of the Australian mountain bike community for the past two years. Wise heads knew it was to be a season of two halves with the breather during May and June seeing riders either licking wounds or racing their way into form. How will it shake out over Coondoo, Superbowl and the Butterfly Track? Have bodies been healed or harmed in the two month break?
Series leader Andy Blair spent the break winning the Australian MTB Marathon Championships and backing up for his second Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro win. Is he getting tired or is he ready to continue what may well be his best season yet? After a blistering start to the series which saw him winning the first two rounds, Sean Lewis pulled out of the the Convict 100 at the halfway point. Apart from a 7th place in the Australian MTB Marathon Championships he has been laying low ever since. The Husky 100 this weekend will see Blair and Lewis go head to head in the series for the first time since late April. Has Lewis timed a break to perfection or is Blair on an unstoppable roll?
Perhaps Trenton Day is ready to make a late charge through the final three rounds of the 2012 Real Insurance XCM Series? He spent the break nailing 2nd the Australian MTB Marathon Championships and winning the Rock Wallaby.
And the ever irrepressible Jason English? He spent the break in Italy winning no less than his second 24hr WEMBO 24hr World Championships and by all reports is raring to make an impression on the XCM series leaderboard.
And will we see Peta Mullens give a tilt at Jenny Fay’s Real Insurance XCM Series crown after relegating her to 3rd at the Australian MTB Marathon Championships on June 10? No one toeing the start line will be more motivated than the ever smiling Beck Mates. If she makes the trip up from Bateman’s Bay she has every chance of breaking through for her first Real Insurance XCM Series win against a powerful women’s field. What a story that would be.
Or, as the poster child for consistency and its rewards, will Amanda Cleife continue her unprecedented run up the leader board giving some of Australia’s leading female pros a scare?
One thing we do know is that the elite of the Australian mountain biking field will come back together to duke it out at the Stevens Bikes Husky 100, the Wollombi Wild Ride and the Highland Fling. With well over $15,000 on prizes on offer for the series, the start line of every Real Insurance XCM race sees a stronger and stronger field assemble as those chase the ever increasing cash and glory of this series.
Don’t be fooled by the board shorts and surfboards though, half time is over.
For info on the weekend’s racing go to iAdventure’s website