For the first time we had a twilight event at 'Zombie Park' (Park 23). With the neighbours extremely quiet, and very little bike commuter traffic to get enraged that their ride home was slightly inconvenienced by a bike race we had the whole park to ourselves, other than the mother duck and 8 ducklings wandering on the course (cute!). For summer we're running a modified, shorter course which on paper was supposed to be easier, but as usual each set-up crew seems to have concocted trickiness that shouldn't have been there on paper!
Testing the dusty conditions out first were the Little Crossers ranging in age from not very old to about 8 for two laps of a modified course that used all of the flat grassy zigzags on the central arena. No tears, so all was well in the world of beginner cyclocrossing and we hope a lot of the kids will be back next time for another go.
One of the reasons why these results are a little more delayed than usual is because of the extraordinarily poor number pinning of many riders, particularly newer riders and Open/MTB. We don't run a transponder system and we time each and every one of you every lap to produce those lap-time results you all wait for. But for some of you we couldn't see your number AT ALL for any lap whatsoever and had to rely on other people (like your mum!) to tell us who you were. If you are going to ride with a camelback, it is a good idea to put it over your race number? Since you pass the line with the finish line tent on your right, is the left side the best place to pin your number? Do the timers stand on their heads to read your upsidedown number? Err, no, DUH. Please take the time to 'double pin' your numbers carefully, safety pins should be pushed through the number and jersey together, then back out through the jersey and number before closing the pin. Don't just lazily pin from the corner of the number into your jersey so if the pin opens your number flaps straight down and if you're a skinsuit wearer, you won't get holes in your suit. Try reading this blog as to good number placement and pictures of HOW TO PIN YOUR NUMBER ON. We want one number visible from the back, and one from the side please!
Since CX-B and C had become one of the largest fields this winter, and Open (MTB) the smallest we shook up the program and wave-started C-Grade Combined (slowest CX and MTB) behind the fast MTBers in Open. In Open it was a cracker of a race with PACC stalwart Kain 'Rageman' Gardner mixing it up with Nick Stokoe, Dean Gibson and Daniel Johns, with John Allison not far behind. Stokoe lead across the line each lap with Gibson glued to his wheel with Johns and Rageman just staying in touch. Stokoe and Gibson did the fastest laps of the race on the last lap with Stokoe holding out for the win. In the Womens Open due to some scratchings Anna Puckridge was able to cruise around to take the cash for women.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch C-Grade were having some epic battles over their three laps. Except for first place overall which was an absolute slaughtering - finishing 36" up was Robert 'Clothesline' Cannon, who must not only have given himself another head injury (which seems to make him go faster) but he was riding a new carbon fibre, disk-braked CX bike in C-Grade. He cleared off from the field never to be seen again in C-Grade (Up to B-Grade now!). Behind was Robert Rau on a skinny tyred vintage road bike, who despite a fast start then got a case of 'epicness' and crashed and crashed to the point he didn't know when asked how many times he had crashed. This held up a few other riders, but Angus Kingston improved every lap, picking his way through the field to get 2nd overall across the line. PACC Junior women Tess Manning (MTB) and Olivia Wheeler (CX Bike) were having a ding-dong battle with the lead for fastest woman changing each lap. Tessa being the older of the pair had some speed in reserve for a last lap effort to get ahead, and they were 3rd and 4th overall. Hugo 'Huge' Murray, a relative newcomer to racing snagged third male with a solid performance with Kara Turner not far behind. Epic for women was Virginia 'V' Riches with a pretty good mechanical affecting her race but she finished anyway. Epicness in C-Grade was rewarded with some Adelaide Cyclists merchandise.
B-grade mens had another great field lined up and the racing was close through the entire grade, we don't think many people were lonely on the dusty course. Junior Zack Gilmore in his final local race until moving back to Tassie blitzed it, hanging on to the wheel of fast starter David 'Sheppo' Miller and Lea Holland who had both demoted themselves from A-Grade. Sheppo exploded his rear tyre doing an overenthusiastic remount on lap 3 and Holland also DNFed from a mechanical on Lap 3 leaving Zack some clear air for the win, 23" over PACC's Justin Bessell, while Bryce Dolman, Iain Jones and Chris Leung sprinted for 3rd only a couple of second back. Epicness was awarded to Tom Ryan who punctured a lap in, who elected to then have a go in A-Grade, and then... he punctured a lap in. Not so epic but you have to feel sorry for him, so he picked up a 2013 CX Calendar thanks to Brian Mangano .
In the A-Grade womens another gun MTBer in Sarah Holmes lined up for her first CX race on borrowed CX bike - and despite the brakes being on the wrong side for her she cleaned up. Jackie Schapel took off with her usual fast start but was having a rare off day, her legs telling her to 'F-off' mid race letting Holmes ride steady laps to the win. Carly 'Barky' Light and Anna Meares had a great battle for third, Barky not being silly enough to wait for a sprint finally cracked Meares with two laps to go and nailed the last lap to finish over 30" on Meares. Gemma 'G-Train' after crashing early held on for 5th. Epicness for Nicole Chaffey for mixing it with the best.
In the Mens A-Grade it was a suprise for many to see Ryan Johnson leading well into the race, sharing the lead with international rider Jerry Van De Pol and Cameron Bayly. Bayly managed to crash in a straight line after a bit of showboating and minus a derailleur soon afterwards, DNFed. We were worried the zombies had got Van De Pol as he was seen having an extended lie-down near the cemetery and spectators reported moaning noises, but it turns out he had crashed on the off-camber corner and all the zombies got from him was his left shifter - another DNF. Aron Huysmans and usual suspects Jade 'El Leanio' Lean and Mark 'that is a filthy mo' Chadwick were steady all race and it all came down to the last two laps. Lean won, crossing the finish line with a triumphant salute just over Chadwick, Johnson third, Huysmans 4th and an amazing performance from Tom Chapman for 5th, who worked his way up from about 17th at the end of the first lap to the prizemoney. Epic went to Adam Didyk. First race but had to ride in A-Grade as he was sharing a bike with another rider in B. And he did OK!
Squillions of photos as usual are coming through. There's again a great photo set from Jason Milligan here, Kerryn Holmesby here and here, Smudge Monkeys here, and check out Tim Loft's video of the 1st climb of Open and CX-C here . All are Facebook sets, that's where it's at these days - don't forget to LIKE PACC ON FACEBOOK
Event 2: Open & CX-C. Race Animation
Event 3: CX A-Women & CX-B Men Race Animation
Event 4: CX-A Men. Race Animation
Thanks go to Renee & Paula for commissairing/timing, Sarah & David for Sign-on/timing, Chris for getting the trailer at short notice and the great guys and gals who all braved the heat from 4pm to set up the course - too many to mention but we know who you are! Next race 18 Dec.