Race Report. 2017 – Round 3, Golden Grove

Race Report. 2017 – Round 3, Golden Grove

Chain Reaction Cycles WA Gravity Enduro

2017 – Round 3, Golden Grove

Race Report

It was a very warm Autumn Day in the Perth Hills with temperatures hovering just shy of 30°C for Saturday’s practice sessions and Sunday’s Race in Perth’s northern hills of Chittering. With abundant sunshine are very low rainfall in recent months, we were in for another dusty and dry event but the tracks were anything but business as usual.

Golden Grove Citrus Orchard and Three Chillies Farm are a playground for serious descents, technical rock gardens, fast open fields, timbers features and off-cambers turns. In the leadup to this location, we take the precaution of ensuring our U13 WAGE Wippets remain unscathed by not being able to cater for them in this race due to the technical level of the course. As for the rest of the field, they were excited, nervous and pumped knowing 4 challenging stages were in store, including some pretty painful pushups!

To avoid congestion, we decided to send the elite and expert competitors to Stages 1 and 2 at Three Chillies Farm, to be followed by the females to help spread the field out. The remainder of the field were sent up the big hill of Golden Grove Citrus Orchard and thrown in the deep end to tackle some serious rock drops and off-camber turns.

Back at the Race Village, Wembley Cycles, Giant Bikes and Speedlite Cycles created some great interest with plenty of bikes and equipment on show for competitors and spectators to salivate over as they passed through the village.

With thanks to the bunting team, we set out bunting the course the week prior to the event and over 6 km’s of bunting tape later, we had designed some pretty challenging and exciting stages that caused plenty of chatter with some sneaky Instagram teasers released throughout the week. As a usual benefit of the bunting team, they are able to contribute, design and make decisions on flow and difficulty while highlighting some of the existing features already on site. This all adds up to some well-deserved knowledge of the track that is favourable to the bunters come race day.

Nicco Maggiorarni was one of the bunting team volunteers who is off to a flying start to his inaugural WA Gravity Enduro series and although he has spent a number of years in recovery from dirt bike injuries, he has begun training hard and the results are starting to prove fruitful with a 3rd place in Kalamunda and now reaching 1st place in Male Sport at Chittering on some very tough trails! We are very excited to watch him develop throughout the year.

Stage 1 – Three Chillies ‘off-camber amber!’

Once again, we tested out the Shared Zone concept with Stages 1 and 2 sharing the same piece of trails for a few hundred metres before parting ways. We always like to keep competitors strategising and thinking about their race run and this element certainly tests that concentration with a few riders losing their ways!

Stage 1 verred left after the Shared Zone and headed out to some very fast descents, plenty of off-camber turns, drops in and out of trees and over a timber roll-over. If this race finished in a road reserve, they’d all have speeding tickets!

Stage 2 – Three Chillies ‘jump-to-runway’

Jumps, rock gardens, jumps and rock gardens – did we mentioned jumps and rock gardens? This stage is a beauty. Once you have been violently thrown around like a rag-doll in the bush, a fence rollover calls your name and ask the question: roll or fly? Rolling could easily lose you valuable seconds and you take the safer option and you guessed it – roll down. Fly? This is the other option…at speed, decide whether clearning the road gap is the better option and carry that speed all the way through sweeping berms, another road gap, another ‘jump-to-runway’ before the tag-off.

Stage 3 – Golden Grove ‘Don’t forget your A. B’s and C’s!)

The most intimidating feature on course (fullstop). This stage was had it all from fast and flowy at the top to berms through trees to off-camber turns to a monster of a drop and one the spectators were lapping up! With a chainsaw raoring in the background, this is all that was needed to compel some competitors like Toby Webb to test out the ‘gravity’ in Gravity Enduro…

Who knows… the chainsaw massacre may make a return to Linga Longa…?

Stage 4 – Golden Grove ‘orange fly-by’

The top end of Stage 4 took in some more challenging rock gardens with a few A and B lines on offer, before bombing into the Orange Orchard, popping out on to the fireroad and keeping the brakes open before turned a hard left and tagging off. The smell of the Rock n Roll Sausage Sizzle was enough to get competitors to use the last percentage of energy to jump in line and grab themselves a hot dog coated in spicy chilly sauce – a salute to Three Chillies Farm and a great fundraiser for their Junior Race Development Team.

Congratulations to our Podium Placers and all competitors!

Male U15

1 DELLA VECCHIA Aaron

2 KYME Gus

3 RUBERY Thomas

Male U17

1 MORGAN Jesse

2 WESTRA Riley

3 DAVIE Timmy

Male U19

1 O’CONNOR Declan

2 SEOW Yuliang

3 STANLEY Greg

Female U19

1 ROUGHTON Jen

Female Sport

1 SHEEHAN Kate

2 THYGESEN Lani

3 SLOAN Catherine

Female Masters 40 – 49

1 DOYE Kelly

2 CONNOR Sandra

3 MUNRO Nicole

Male Sport

1 MAGGIORANI Nicco

2 TURNER Matt

3 GIBLETT Joel

Male Expert

1 BLACK Aaron

2 YOUNG Jason

3 ROGERS Wayne

Female Super Masters 50+

1 FITZGERALD Vilma

Male Masters 40 – 49

1 DAVIES Dean

2 JENAWAY Landon

3 MCGRATH Ben

Male Super Masters 50+

1 TWINE Rick

2 WALLER Robert

3 NEVE Paul

Female Elite

1 TUCKNOTT Sarah

2 ALSOP Katja

3 CAPEL Christa

Male Elite

1 PROCHYRA Jordan

2 MADSEN Todd

3 PEARCE Blake

Amy

Amy

Russ

Russ

Frank

Frank

Lynn

Lynn

Terry

Terry

Ricky

Ricky

Paul

Paul

Josh

Josh

Sarah

Sarah

Kim Wah

Kim Wah

Neil

Neil

Special thanks to our sponsors

Giant

WEMBLEY-CYCLES-logo-portrait

Thanks to the Shire of Chittering, Golden Grove Orange Orchard and Three Chillies Farm.

Report: Race Director, Steve Janiec. 15th May 2017

Next Event – Round 4, Linga Longa – June 11

Race Report. 2017 – Round 2, Pemberton

Race Report. 2017 – Round 2, Pemberton

Chain Reaction Cycles WA Gravity Enduro

2017 – Round 2, Pemberton

Race Report

Pemberton is one of our favourite destinations on the WA Gravity Enduro calendar. With cool air, towering karri trees and dirt that is as powdery as the slopes of Niseko, we knew we were in for an absolute treat. Rain hit the hillside a week out from the event which also helped keep the dust down as 300 competitors hits the trails and raced through a solid mix of trails including the rock garden of Wahoo, the dirty climb in Pirate Trail, the commitment needed for Relentless Blue and the flatout speed at the bottom of Bloody Mary just to name a few features. The single-track course was well defined which kept bunting to a (relative) minimum, although there were a few sneaky lines that needed to be shutdown and a huge thanks to Ryan D, West M, Robert C, Duncan B and Alan C for their bunting help on Saturday.

The event weekend was labelled a ‘Double Header’ with the Perth Mountain Bike Club holding their first event of the 2017 series on the Saturday and WA Gravity Enduro hosting round 2 of the Chain Reaction Cycles Series on Sunday. Due to the location of Pemberton being quite remote to the big smoke of the Perth Metro Area, Pemberton hit 80% accommodation occupancy 2 weeks out from the event so we knew quite early on we were in for something special.

To avoid congestion and make a safe an enjoyable race for all, we sent the WAGE Wippets U13 off first for a 2 stage race taking on Stage 5 (Drop Bear) and Stage 6 (Longshanks) at 9:30am. With a special thanks to Rock n Roll Mountain Biking , the Wippets were shuttled to their stage start location and also shuttled between their stage. The timing worked very well, with the Wippets nearing completion close to 10:30am when the main event was scheduled to begin.

The presentation stage was overflowing with WAGE Wippets (U13)! It is great to see the passion and skill that these youngsters showcase and a great friendly rivalry! Congratulations to CONNOR Portia for taking out the Female Wippets U13 and for the Male, 1st O’DONNELL Harper, 2nd DELLA VECCHIA Jacob and 3rd WEST Axel. We really look forward to more Wippets taking part and watching these group progress.

Race Director Steve Janiec dropped a little curveball as he likes to do to keep the competitors thinking about the race, not jump bombing down stages.

“Multiple attempts are permitted BUT……we will only record your last attempt’

Unlike events in Margaret River when the usual format is your fastest time will be recorded due to the shorter stages, a subtle but significant difference was a rider had to determine on-course during their race run if they felt it was their fastest attempt to record, otherwise, it should be aborted.

It kept riders thinking and strategising throughout their run and even between stages adding a new element to the race. With the course scheduled to close at 1pm, it kept the race format tight. However, we were forced to move close at 1:30pm with an incident on Stage 2 causing a delay and quite a number of riders using Stage 2 as their final run.

How the stages unfolded:

Stage 1 – Relentless Blue

Relentless Blue has one of the most unique and iconic features in the WA trail scene with the back-to-back sweeping berms catapulting riders at warp speed with incredible sound effects! Once these features have either swallowed you up or spat you out, riders were thrown across to Cool Runnings to finish off Stage 1.

Elite rider Sam RUBERY clocked the fastest time of the day with 1mins 55secs with Blake PEARCE only 1 second behind. Sarah TUCKNOTT posted a blistering 2min 20sec for Female Elite with Kerry MACPHEE only 3 seconds behind.

Stage 2 – Bloody Mary

Riders may clock the fastest speed on Bloody Many towards the bottom end of the trail with super-fast, hard and compact trails ripping riders along the edge of the ‘Swimming Pool’ area. You can literally hear tyres screaming as they are hanging on for dear life as centrifugal forces desperately try to separate tyre from rim.

Sam RUBERY and Deon BAKER locked horns completed the Stage in 2mins 31 with the closest followers 2 seconds back.

Stage 3 – Pirate Trail

The longest stage of the day…a climb on this stage has most competitors having an outer-body experience to distant themselves from legs and lungs crying out in pain. But once the hurt-locker is closed, its back to business with a fun, fast rocky section into some tight descending switchbacks, a sneaky drop and then flying down the fire-track for a nice ascending tag-off. Perhaps the most demanding stage of the day.

This stage played to the strengths of Male Elite Mark FRENDO clocking in at 3mins 28sec with Male U19 Roly KYME only 4 seconds behind. Male Masters 40-49 John CARNEY posted the fastest time for his category with a 3min 37sec and Sarah TUCKNOTT was only 1 second clear of Kerry MACPHEE with a 4min 10sec.

Stage 4 – Wahoo

We left this Stage out in 2016 but it made a triumphant return in 2017. With dirt fluffier than the Easter Bunny, Wahoo has really come of age and was a tight, technical stage suiting competitors who simply like to point the bike downhill, so it played to Blake PEACE and Sam RUBERY technical skills, both posting a 2min 18secs, with Mark FRENDO, Roly KYME and Jake BYRNE only 1 second behind – talk about tight racing! With Roly KYME the only U19 in this pack, we are very excited to see his riding evolve in the coming years. Jason YOUNG posted the fastest time for Male Expert with a 2min 24sec with Aaron BLACK only 2 seconds behind.

Stage 5 – Drop Bear

Now we move over to the eastern hill of the Pemberton Mountain Bike Park.

Drop Bear starts out very flat with plenty of little woops to interrupt your pedalling. It was a challenging start especially if your handlebars were too wide for the Karri Tree entrance – we know who will win that battle.

The gravity aspect starts further down the stage with challenging turns, technical descents and a descent drop at the end before the tag-off.

Male Elite Jake BYRNE posted the fastest time with 2min 38sec and 2016 Male Elite Champion Luke Ball was easily in reach only 1 second back.

Stage 6 – Longashanks

In 2017, we are trialing adding another stage for the Elite and Expert riders only, to ensure they are being challenged as best as possible. Stage 6 was only open to Elite and Expert riders (plus the Wippets) to be that final push for the top of the field. Longshanks has a few pinch climbs to keep competitors honest but also has some short steep descents to keep the riders on-guard.

Blake PEARCE posted the fastest time with a 2min 37secs with Sam RUBERY only 1 second back. Kristofor CLARKE and Yann BATHELEMY were neck-and-neck for Male Expert with a 2min 45sec time and again, Sarah TUCKNOTT in the lead for Female Elite with a 3min 6sec.

With the Race Village alongside the Pemberton Swimming Pool with views back up the Pemberton Mountain Bike Course, tired legs could finally relax as competitors chowed down on some delicious healthy nachos thanks to Rock n Roll Mountain Biking. With bikes, bodies and full bellies, it was time for presentations to get underway!

Once again, the community spirit was flying high with plenty of laughter, good times and friendly competition in-store at the Pemberton Mountain Bike Park. We really enjoy teaming up with the Perth Mountain Bike Club for this event as hopefully its a case of same-time same-place in 2018! We really want to thank each and every competitor for coming out and making this event a huge success! You all competed exceptionally well and it was great to see the comradery. The soon to be named ‘WAGE Trailer’ stood up to its first test and we look forward to continue rolling it onto its next adventure!

Congratulations to our Podium Placers and all competitors!

Male U15

1 DELLA VECCHIA Aaron

2 KYME Gus

3 MORGAN Cody

Male U17

1 MCBROOM Tate

2 FRASER Jayden

3 WESTRA Riley

Male U19

1 KYME Roly

2 BUCHANAN Sam

3 Riley JENKINSON (STANLEY Greg in picture)

Female U19

1 ROUGHTON Jen

2 WALDRON Jessica

Female Sport

1 BAZAN Magdalena

Female Masters 40 – 49

1 CONNOR Sandra

2 MUNRO Nicole

3 PACE Jody

Male Sport

1 HUGHES-ODGERS Matthew

2 JORDAN John

3 ALGATE Jake

Male Expert

1 YOUNG Jason

2 ROGERS Wayne

3 BLACK Aaron

Female Super Masters 50+

1 FITZGERALD Vilma

Male Masters 40 – 49

1 STEPHENS Dave

2 CARNEY John

3 WARD Glen

Male Super Masters 50+

1 RUBERY Mark

2 WALLER Robert

3 TWINE Rick

Female Elite

1 TUCKNOTT Sarah

2 MACPHEE Kerry

3 ALSOP Katja

Male Elite

1 RUBERY Sam

2 FRENDO Mark

3 BYRNE Jake (pictured and tied with PEARCE Blake)

Amy

Amy

Russ

Russ

Frank

Frank

Kimwah

Kimwah

Pete

Pete

Sarah

Sarah

Mark

Mark

Neil

Neil

Special thanks to our sponsors

Giant

WEMBLEY-CYCLES-logo-portrait

Thanks to Pemberton Mountain Bike Club, The Pemberton Visitor Centre, The Shire of Pemberton and Department of Lands.

Report: Race Director, Steve Janiec. 11th April 2017

Next Event – Round 3, Chittering – May 7

Race Report. 2017 – Round 1, Kalamunda

Race Report. 2017 – Round 1, Kalamunda

Chain Reaction Cycles WA Gravity Enduro

2017 – Round 1, Kalamunda

Race Report

There isn’t much we can do when Western Australia wants to turn up the heat so when the long range forecast came in at 37°C, we knew it would be a tough ask for competitors to compete at top level and for organisers  to keep sane. So, in the lead-up, we organised shuttle transfers from Mundaring Weir Hotel to the trails which are about 20minutes away to make it a easier and safer for competitors.

Getting closer to the event, Mother Nature said “let’s just round up to 40°C” so we rounded up as well! Transfer shuttles transitioned to a fully shuttled event, fan misting stations were setup, even more cold drinks stations and an additional bus was added to cater for the 250 strong competitors. With Mundaring Weir Hotel well catered, the misters were in full operation under covered areas which took some of the sting off the piercing sunrays.

We had always planned to hold the event late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day and that certainly helped. The bush-cover and gently breeze that soon shifted in quickly took the edge off and racing was underway.

To avoid congestion and make a safe an enjoyable race for all, we sent the WAGE Wippets U13 off first for a 2 stage race. We were once again proud and impressed by the caliber of the 19-strong field of WAGE Wippets (U13) competitors who were shuttled first from Mundaring Weir Hotel thanks to Rock n Roll Mountain Biking and soon after, our strong contingent of Hand-cyclists made the move to the top of the hill as well.

2017 1 Male Wippets U13

Thanks to Kalamunda Mountain Bike Collective, the handcyclists were out weeks before the event ensuring their wider trikes could negotiate through the single track, with some minor trimming tacking place to make the accommodation. The weeks of preparation paid off for the handcyclist with Break the Boundary handcyclist Andrew Liddawi recapping the day:

The handcyclists had an awesome time the whole day and into the night. After the first shuttle the team got into the swing of things and it was all about having fun. It was the first time we had the opportunity to compete with 3 different handcycles which turned into a friendly competition between us. The vibe was buzzing and everyone had plenty to talk and laugh about. If more trails were accessibly around the state, we’d definitely be taking part in more enduro rounds!

1 WELSHBILLIG Marcel 11min 21sec

2 LIDDAWI Andrew

3 SONTAG Chris

2017 1 1-WAGE R1 Kall17 [web-res]

Once the Wippets and Handcyclists were well underway with their racing, it was time for the main field to descend on Mt Gunjin to race 4 hot, dusty and dry stages with some of Kalamunda’s infamous ‘peagravel’ sprinkled in for good measure.

Stage 1 – Juddersbars to Alchemy

This stage offers fast and flowy single track towards the top end before flattening out a touch before the powerlines. In the powerlines area, the course detoured around two large jumps which were simply not suitable to hit at race pace, but the trail quickly dropped back in to Alchemy. Alchemy is always a punishing section of trail as it flattens things out and gets competitors hard on the gas for a small incline before descending again to the bottom of Mt Gunjin for the tag off.

Elite rider Todd MADSEN clocked the fastest time of the day with 5mins flat with U17 speed-demon Jesse MORGAN only 3 seconds behind.

Stage 2 – Lazarus

The shortest stage of the day but certainly packs a punch. The top end of Lazarus has been reworked with some really floaty jumps and sweeping berms – a lot of fun to be had in this top section! Then its back to business negotiating short rock gardens and hard turns before a quick tag off before the powerlines. The trail was stopped here to ensure no more speed was generated before the tag-off, trying to eliminate over-shoots!

Male U17 rider Jesse MORGAN clocked the fastest time on this short stage with 1min 4sec with Mark FRENDO, Blake PEARCE and Jarrad LAWRENCE all just 2 seconds behind.

Stage 3 – Loco En El Coco

Also known as ‘Crazy in the head,’ Loco En El Coco is a ladder-riders favourite – although not necessarily the fastest line on some occasions. Rated Black, this trail introduces some dusty off camber turns, rock gardens and a big timber berm (if you chose to hit it!) Once crossing the powerlines, a series of jumps reared their head and this area is always great fo spectators as competitors have some fun twisting and turning in the air before tagging off a short time later.

Elite Rider Todd MADSEN again posted the fastest time with 2min 55sec with Sam RUBERY just 1 second behind and Jesse MORGAN and Blake PEARCE within reach.

Stage 4 – Goldilocks to 3 Bears to Mercury Street.

The longest stage of the day for most. Goldilocks offers series of berms and rutted out sections of trail before running into some jumping fun at 3 Bears, then into a grueling flat pedal section including some little step ups. Once crossing the flat area of the powerllines, the fun returns as competitors bomb into Mercury Street trying had to pedal and carry speed through this long section of trail. Once the tag off was reached, competitors made their way to The Dell for shuttle collection.

Male Elite rider Mark FRENDO clocked in on this long stage at 7min 13sec with Todd MADSEN 2 seconds.

In 2017, we are challenging the Elite and Expert competitors harder than the main field for a few reasons:

  • Their skill level demands a more challenging course
  • Bigger cash prizes on offer
  • To make sure they don’t get back to the race village too soon twiddling their fingers
  • Give the main field and spectators more opportunity to watch and learn from skilled riders
  • Push our WA riders to perform which hopefully opens more nationally and internationally recognised events

So, we incorporated a 5th stage – Feral Groove to Katamoorda. This was a very challenging stage with steep descents, rutted-out firetracks and plenty of leaf litter! Unfortunately however, we were forced to make the call and remove it from the day’s racing. Why? Well, not too long into the day’s festivities, one of the shuttle buses decided it’s electrical system wasn’t up to the task so a minor fire and a call to the local fire brigade later, the bus was out of action. So with one less shuttle bus, we wouldn’t have been able to get everyone up to Mt Gunjin in a timely manner before dusk so the call was forced to close the stage to ensure all competitors completed 4 stages.

Nonetheless, the 4 stages were ample in hot and dusty conditions and most Elite and Expert competitors were quite relieved to see the additional stage dropped from their day!

Todd Madsen (Male Elite winner) recapped his experience:

I wanted to enjoy and compete in a renowned event with amazingly well laid out tracks and facilities. With the bonus of a win and great atmosphere, I’m proud to have entered this competition, and look forward to seeing what else WAGE have in store for 2017.

After the event (and everything else) was done and dusted, it was back to Mundaring Weir Hotel for some very welcome cold refreshments and free paella! Food and drinks were in abundance and it was a great way to celebrate the beginning of the WA Gravity Enduro season. The event stage was ready to rock kitted out in Chain Reaction Cycles colours and presentations soon began. If round 1 is any indication of the year ahead, we are in for some fantastic surprises as competitors have been training hard over the break and seeing some fantastic results already. We look forward to seeing the year unfold!

With tough conditions kicking off round 1, we really want to thank each and every competitor for their patience. You all competed exceptionally well and it was great to see the comradery back in 2017 with mates out enjoying mountain bike racing once again! Even though it was a challenging day for our volunteers as well, they too stood strong, communicated exceptionally well which led to another successful event to kick off 2017.

Congratulations to our Podium Placers and all competitors!

Male U15

1 DELLA VECCHIA Aaron

2 KYME Gus

3 MORGAN Cody

Male U17

1 MORGAN Jesse

2 MCBROOM Tate

3 FRASER Jayden

Male U19

1 KYME Roly

2 JENKINSON Riley

3 STANLEY Greg

Female U19

1 ROUGHTON Jen

2 MUSTICA Kadia

Female Sport

1 FRENCH Sarah

2 YOUNG Cathy

3 BAZAN Magdalena

Female Masters 40 – 49

1 CONNOR Sandra

2 MUNRO Nicole

3 PACE Jody

Male Sport

1 CLARKE Mitchel

2 SCURLOCK Tristan

3 MAGGIORANI Nicco

Male Expert

1 LEECH Dave

2 ROGERS Wayne

3 VAN DEN DOOL Cameron

Female Super Masters 50+

1 FITZGERALD Vilma

2 RYAN Cas

Male Masters 40 – 49

1 CARNEY John

2 STEPHENS Dave

3 MCGRATH Ben

Male Super Masters 50+

1 RUBERY Mark

2 TWINE Rick

3 WALLER Robert

WAGE Wippets U13

1 ELLIOTT Bailey

2 REGAN Nicholas

3 IRVING Joel

Female Elite

1 ALSOP Katja

2 DUNNAGE Sarah

3 BARNES Meredith

Male Elite

1 MADSEN Todd

2 FRENDO Mark

3 RUBERY Sam

Amy

Amy

Russ

Russ

Vanessa

Vanessa

Peter

Peter

Ben

Ben

Ryan

Ryan

Christa

Christa

Lynn

Lynn

Clem

Clem

Frank

Frank

Brydon

Brydon

Neil

Neil

…and of course, Rob!

Special thanks to our sponsors

Giant

WEMBLEY-CYCLES-logo-portrait

Thanks to Mundaring Weir Hotel, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Water and the Shire of Kalamunda.

Report: Race Director, Steve Janiec. 3rd March 2017

Next Event – Round 2, Pemberton – April 2