Well your trusty PACC CX Team has emerged from the dust cloud created in the warm and still conditions and we seem to have results that even make sense for a change. Although we don't often get filthy conditions some riders were caked with sweaty mud and the Trott Park Fencing BBQ's patties were a bit gritty by the finale, having set the BBQ up at the dusty corner (still tasty though!).
The stairs were included in the fast and furious 1.71km course and we weren't going to waste them, sending the older Little Crossers up the staircase to Mulch Hell twice on a shortened course. Hope somebody got some pictures?
In Open the quick course lead to close racing, which is what we were hoping for. A group of six men including Kain 'Rageman' Gardner, Daniel Johns, Nick Stokoe, John Allison, Ollie Klein and Dean Gibson formed a a tight bunch which seemed to have mostly been lead by Ollie Klein. By two laps to go, they had whittled down to four -, Klein, Gibson, Johns and Gardner. Dean Gibson put in the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to finish 5secs clear of the sprint for second, with Klein besting Johns for the prize money Kain suprisingly not too enraged finishing 4th. A few women DNS'ed but the Open race saw the return of former track rider, now BMXer SueAnn Woodwiss to PACC racing, who finished about 2mins up on PACC's Amanda 'Bunz of' Steele who had flown back from PNG especially for this race. Of special note was Tom Bammann who not only rocked elf adornments on his helmet, but did a mono over the finish line on each lap to earn an prize, but even more epically he didn't hang around to collect this at the presentation. Tom there is a Brian Mangano CX Calendar waiting for you and 2013!
Port Adelaide CC scored a top-10 clean sweep of the placings in Combined C-Grade! Ben Wilson in his first race as a PACC member was pushed early by Robert 'Chewie' Rau as the two were locked together after the first lap. Chewie, who has previously won a prize for the most number of crashes, crashed on lap 2 which brought him back to battle with fast-improving Gus Kingston. Gus stalked Robert on each lap but wasn't good enough to lead him over the line on any lap. Finishing order was Ben Wilson (up a grade!), Robert Rau and Gus Kingston who had a pretty euro 'I have been defeated' expression on his face as he crossed the line for third. Practice that euro handlebar bash of disappointment Gus and you have really made it as a racer. The women of C-Grade were having a great battle. Tessa Manning was pushed all the way by younger Olivia Wheeler who must be due for a breakthrough victory soon. The two of them were only separated by about 4 secs the entire race with Virginia Riches breathing down their necks. Thanks to Adelaide Cyclists we were able to reward 4th Woman Sarah Buck for getting the crowd 'Oohing' on Mulch Hill as she had an altercation with a MTBer, and Olivia Wheeler for being a tough cookie, having epically binned her borrowed CX bike in the gravel in practice and racing with a leg missing a bit of skin.
B-grade mens had a few groups forming and at the front was Lea Holland, Kristian Didyk, Hadyn McLoughlin, Justin Bessell and Santa's elf David Miller mixing it up early. After a few laps David's legs has expired while McLoughlin and Holland cleared off the front with leading woman (and Australian professional rider) Tiff Cromwell mixing it up with the lead blokes in only her second cross race. The last lap times of McLoughlin and Holland have ensured that's the last time they'll start in B-Grade as they accelerated away from the field to sprint for the line, Holland just ahead of McLoughlin with Justin Bessell finishing 27secs down for a great 3rd Male placing. 3rd place overall and winning 1st A-Woman was Tiff Cromwell, too good for Terri Rhodes and Jackie Schapel who were having a terrific battle for 2nd, only a handful of seconds apart the whole race. Terri's last lap was too good and she took the money for 2nd. Carly Light had a bit of a lonely ride for 4th, while Gemma Kernich and Australian track rider Jess Mundy swapped positions until 3 laps to go when Jess couldn't hold the pace amymore, not enjoying the loose dusty conditions. Special mention to PACC's Prez Mark 'Sheepstations' Gregory who was in danger of having to race B-Grade in work trousers, having forgotten his knicks... so elected to wear a borrowed pair of significantly greater proportions which were flapping in the breeze.
A-Grade mens was a cracker of a race, with a big bunch of seven riders including Mark Chadwick, Jade Lean, Aron Huysmans, Cameron Bayly, Tom Chapman, Shaun Lewis and Jerry van de Pol swapping turns and getting a 20sec gap over the chasers. In his best ride for a while Mark Chadwick made his move on lap 5 getting a small gap, which despite the chasers' efforts was never headed, leading into the bell lap with 20secs up his skinsuit sleeves. Jade turned out the fastest lap of the day on his final lap to claim second, 9" on Chaddy on the line, and comfortably (well, a few seconds) ahead of Huysmans, Bayly and Chapman.
Thanks particularly go to the set-up crew, including PACC stalwart the King of Bling Chris Spence who must have been missing his bikes after an extended cruiseship holiday, the last minute people who don't race CX or were injured who were able to help out with the difficult job of timing and producing these results - Daniel 'Soyson' Searon, Carla Scragg and Sarah Allen, the unflappable Commissaire from South Coast Catherine Braithwaite, and all the peeps who hung around and help park up till dark, including Kel Hards shutting equipment on her pannier-equipped cross machine.
Thanks to Dennis for the first aid support, kept a little businer than usual with dusty grazes and the Trott Park Fencing club for catering.
The homeless people of the South Parklands have been getting a bad rep recently, kudos to the bloke who not only cheered riders on at 'his' corner, but also helped us pack up!
Event 1: Little Crossers Race Animation
Event 2: Open (non-CX) and C-Grade. Race Animation
Event 3: CX A-Women, CX-B Men. Race Animation
Event 4: CX-A Men. Race Animation