Freezing temps and boiling hot racing, the recipe for another tasty round of the SRAM Singletrack Mind Series.
The second of three new venues for the SRAM Singletrack Mind Series, East Kowen Forest near Queanbeyan has become a singletrack mecca for ACT and NSW mountain bikers. With an ever-expanding network of high quality trails built by the mysterious Kowalski Brothers as well as a legion of volunteers, it was a natural choice for inclusion in the series.
With a little rain earlier in the week and moisture in the soil, trail conditions were perfect, the freezing overnight temperatures however saw riders debating how many layers to put on. Another tough decision was when to eat the yummy Chocolate Foot they received at registration, the legendary treat making a comeback at Round 2!
With a frenetic uphill start, the heat was soon turned up and Jet Racing’s Kyle Ward showed he’s the form rider as he came in over a minute ahead of Brad Morton from Onya Bike after the first lap. The cold conditions made a few of the favorites suffer including Jason McAvoy and Andrew Hall. After slower than anticipated starts in the solo Masters and Open categories respectively, McAvoy clawed his way back through the field during the 7 hour event, overtaking team mate Garry James to clock up his a great win in his home town. Andrew Hall also staged a great late race comeback in the Open Men solo category as he did in Round 1, but Ed McDonald ‘s great form continues and he maintained a 4 minute gap to the end. It was an all-Canberra podium with Mark Tupalski in 3rd.
The women’s solo categories were just as exciting with Round 1 winner Janet Martin leading from the gun but she was hunted down and eventually passed by National 24 hour solo champion Liz Smith. The Masters was taken out by Libby Adamson who outpaced 2011 Series champion Wendy Stevenson.
The 340 strong field also featured a big contingent of junior riders, the ACT a major breeding ground for fast young mountain bikers. The Young Guns showed they were exactly that by winning the category by 20 minutes over Ashfield Cycles juniors and All Track Bicycles juniors. In the other 3 rider categories the BG Three improved on their 2nd place in Round 1, winning the Mixed Threes, HORCC Vs the Chocolate Footed Monster racked up another win in the Masters Threes, Powered by Cadbury literally powered to a win in the Female Threes and and Jet Racing built upon the lead that Kyle Ward had developed in the starting laps, going on to win the Male Threes and the event overall by 20 minutes.
The Pairs categories always feature tight and competitive racing. The Masters Pairs saw a new team upset the usual clear run of Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk as they edged out the formerly dominant team by just 31 seconds after 7 hours of racing! The Female Pairs saw On Safari return to the podium while the Male Pairs featured a high quality field but it was Round 1 winners BikeCulture-Whyte Racing who again showed they’re still on fire, winning by a lap. In the Mixed Pairs, with all the podium getters from Round 1 in attendance a grudge match was guaranteed! Brent Miller and Brooke Rowlands had 1st place stitched up early but the battle for the rest of the podium would be more intriguing as 3 teams were all on 10 laps and finished with only 19 minutes between them. In the end the Strava Whores took 2nd, with Sebria in 3rd.
The Series continues to receive fantastic support from sponsors and this round featured displays and demos from SRAM, Giant, Hammer Nutrition, Zerofive Custom Sportswear, Mountain Biking Australia magazine, Muc-Off, Jimmy Jack Wines, Frameskin and Cycology.
The Series takes a short break (so as not to interrupt Tour de France viewing!) and will return on August 19 at the perennial favourite for singletrack fans – the Coondoo Rd track at Nowra.
For more information and full results see: www.chocolatefoot.com.au