Huge day at the beautiful Chateau Tanunda today with categories from J11 through to Masters 6 racing across a challenging course, plus support events for the Little Crossers, MTBers and permit holders. The event really started the day before, with a good group of volunteers making a weekend of it, spending the afternoon setting up the majority of the course at Chateau Tanunda with a wedding party as a back drop, followed by an excellent meal at Roaring40's in Angaston.
Race day dawned with heavy fog which had burnt off by the 9am final prep time. By the time practice began the skies were clear and blue resulting in some serious skinsuit tan lines for some winter skin! First event of the day was the Open & Permit race for those not eligible for the state title. Robert Tidswell on a CX bike pushed timetrial guru Marc Freemantle (PACC) on his MTB early, gaining about 10secs per lap on the big man. Craig Yates finished third on his MTB.
In the J11 Race over 1 lap, more experienced racer Willis Lienert was too good for Gabe Wilson (both PACC) who was racing a whole course for the first time. Both lads struggled over the barrier sections well but handled the rest of the course with ease.
In J13 Dan Tattersall (SHM) held off improving Oliver Wilson (PACC) for the gold medal.
In J15 due to a DNS, Daniel Di Censo (NCC) just had to finish the race to collect his gold medal - not as easy as it sounds as the J17 rider Lachlan Prider found out, crashing on the gravelly bitumen turn and DNFing with some skin missing. Meanwhile Che Thomas (SCC) blitzed the first lap and cruised to J17 Gold, ruining his handicap for later in the day in the process, finishing ahead of CrossFire Cup FOCUS BIKES CX Mares Frameset winner Connor Butterfield (SHM) and Nicholas Welch in his first race with PACC. Tessa Manning (PACC) mised it up with the boys as the sole female junior.
Masters Women and Masters Men 5+ lined up next, with Andrew Welch (PACC) inspired by his nephew's debut result going crazy off the start line to be the first to turn into the vineyard section. He quickly faded with Mark 'Marky G' Gregory and Chris 'Bling' Spence (PACC) overtaking, towing Gemma Kernich (PACC) and Sue Ann Woodwiss (SHM) through. Kernich gapped the blokes to finish first over the line to claim Masters 2 Women, with Marky G 2nd (1st Masters 5) and Bling Just behind (1st Masters 6). Woodwiss snagged second in Masters 2 Women, ahead of Paul Zalkauskas (PACC, 2nd Masters 5), and Mark Manning (PACC, 3rd Masters 5). Margaret Shanafield (PACC) overtook Kelly Robinson (SLCC) on the final lap to claim Bronze in Masters 2. Behind all this the younger Masters 1 women were mixing it up with experienced campaigner Vicki Birks (SLCC, winner Masters 5) with Michelle Crick too good up the hill for Kara Turner and Virginia Riches (all PACC).
The Masters 1-4 Mens race was the biggest field of the day. Jerry van de Pol (Masters 2, PACC), Evan James (Masters 4, AMTBC), Jason Tattersall (NCC) were clearly the strongest riders early, gapping a big group of younger Masters 1 men. Colin Maher (PACC, Masters 2) despite crashing on the 'Dam(n)' Corner on lap one looked comfortable in the second pack but suffered a split rear tubular, missing out on the 'rubbing's racing' Masters 1 PACC group of Ben Plush, Kristian Didyk and Tom Freeman who were three wide into the most technical part of the course over the barriers. Mat Franks started slowly, but his good road form moved him up to 4th overall ahead of his rivals in the Masters 1 Group. Jerry lead from start to finish, while Evan James suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap but a quick wheel change in the pits only cost him 20secs and he scraped in for 2nd overall in front of Tattersall. Luke Dingley (PACC) was first Masters 3 across the line in 8th overall.
Both the Elite Womens and Elite Mens races (combined with J19 and U23 riders) followed a similar story.
Terri Rhodes (PACC) returning to racing after a forced layoff since the NCXS Round in Sydney lead almost from start to finish, only pushed early by NCXS Best J19 rider Carla Franson (CDCC) and Lucy Barker (NCC) in a fast start, with Gemma Kernich and Sue Ann Woodwiss hanging on their wheels for half a lap. Barker faded while Rhodes reeled off quick times each lap, saving the best time till last to finish 1:37" ahead of Franson (1st J19 Woman) , Kernich another 40" back, then Woodwiss.
Shaun Lewis (PACC) who broke his collarbone while leading the NCXS Sydney Round also returned to racing with spectacular form, riding away from the field with teammate and best NCXS J19 rider Tom Chapman (SHM) together gaining a 10sec gap on the first lap alone, clearing out from the field to comfortably finish 1-2, earning the title in their respective categories. Tom Goddard (U23, Launceston MTBC) started slowly, but picked riders off one by one to finish a narrow third over the line to claim the U23 title, with Todd Lorenz 4th overall but earning Silver in the Elite Category. Josh Smith resplendant in his new Australian Masters 30+ Champion skinsuit snagged Elite Bronze.
No rest for the wicked (or makeshift handicappers calculating marks manually) as every senior rider was invited into the All-in 2-Lap-Handicap4Cash with great trophies, wine and cash from Regional Development Australia, Chateau Tanunda and Focus Bikes. While the riders were lining up in order of their marks, an extra $100 was thrown in for the first rider of the opposite gender who didn't win c/- Focus Bikes! With the front markers released a full 5 minutes ahead of a select scratch group the spectators were wary of the handicapping, thinking they had the cash in the bag, but the markes created an exciting race, with Michael Quist breaking free from the pack to take a clear win, while the female front markers were scrapping it out to claim the bonus $100. A grinning Terri Rhodes who before the race was excited to ride a handicap 'like a track junior' worked with her middle markers well to overhaul LA Fleming on the climb to the finish to cash in on the bonus $100. Thanks to Graeme from Focus Bikes for the bonus $ and we hope the riders enjoyed this event.
We will be holding another PACC Most Popular Event photo competition from the day, so if you have some great shots make them public in an album somewhere and send them through!
Event 2: Open (non-CX) and Permits. Race Animation
Event 3: Juniors. Race Animation
Event 4: Masters Women, Masters Men 5+. Race Animation
Event 5: Masters Men 1-4. Race Animation
Event 6: Elite & J19 Women. Race Animation
Event 7: Elite, J19 and U23 Men. Race Animation
Thanks to the Commissaires for stepping up to officiate a State Title: Will Lyons (Cheif), Paula Hollamby (Judge/Timing) and Chris and Debbie Sherman (course and pits) - all from PORT ADELAIDE CC!