WA Gravity Enduro 2014 Series
Greenmount National Park
The WA Gravity Enduro format is awesome, nothing better than smashing yourself on super fun trails and then chatting to your mates between stages! The trails at the Margaret River pines are flowy and fast, and made for a great Sunday out on the bike.
Nothing beats cruising around between stages with your mates, then pinning it for a few minutes like your life depends on it! I got into the groove of day and even extended it across Carters Rd to the National Park after stage 5. Hopefully one day we can race there too. Missed Gunjin due to a raging hangover that I was planning to have (and did). Might have to give the Goatie a go (definitely not on my hardtail).
If you have heard of Margaret River, images that flash to mind might include glasses of wine, craft beer, rolling hills and surf breaks. Margaret River is a peaceful town and it is a popular destination for tourists searching for a quiet weekend away from the big smoke… but on the quiet weekend of 16/17 August 2014, a circus of 4×4’s carrying bikes, swags, goggles and 150 mad enduro riders, descended on this quiet town to make some noise and experience the competition of gravity enduro racing at The Pines in Margaret River, Western Australia.
Saturday practice saw the sun shining with calm conditions, setting things up for a fast and flowy Sunday enduro… but we’ve come to learn that if things are going smoothly, Murphy’s law needs to balance things out. Sunday evening saw some rain but weather predictions turned from showers to a severe thunderstorm threatening the race. The dark clouds threatened, but mother nature was on our side, and some gentle rain was soaked up into the ‘hero dirt’ that The Pines is famous for, giving riders more grip than a roo in mating season.
The local trail custodians of the Margaret River Off Road Cycling Association (MRORCA) helped us create 5 challenging stages that were short but exhilarating. Each stage had its own unique features, such as a 10m+ log ride testing riders’ line choice, and double’s keeping competitors honest. The stages also kept the downhill orientated rider in-check with some short but painful pinch climbs, but also kept the endurance riders in line with plenty of fast off-camber turns and jumps. Unfortunately for Garry, the final gap jump of stage 3 bucked him harder than a raging bull, which saw him hit the dirt hard. All the best for a speedy recovery Garry!
But the race progressed once Garry was swept off the track, and riders got back into the swing of things very quickly, and the excitement was building to see how some big name riders faired coming from different racing disciplines. The likes of 2014 WA State XC 2914 Winner David Nairn (Wembley Cycles Racing), downhill demon Jordan Prochyra (Carine Cycles/Giant) and UCI Junior World Series XC Rider Reece Tucknott (Trek Racing Australia) gave our regular weekend warriors a lesson in enduro, but the majority of riders simply wanted to get back to the village and wrestle a free hotdog!
Congratulations to the following prize winners, with thanks to Chain Reaction Cycles ($150 CRC voucher for 1st, $100 CRC voucher for 2nd, and $80 CRC voucher for 3rd):
MALE UNDER 19 [1st – Samuel Rubery; 2nd – Reece Tucknott; 3rd – Roly Kyme]
MALE OPEN (19-39yrs) [1st – Dave Nairn; 2nd – Jordan Prochyra; 3rd – Ryan Norton]
MALE MASTERS (40+) [1st – Darren Joynes; 2nd – Graeme Hall; 3rd – Chris Dolley]
FEMALE OPEN (19-39yrs) [1st – Claire Garcia-Webb; 2nd – Rebecca Steele; 3rd – Stefanie Van Amerongen]
FEMALE MASTERS (40+) [1st – Catherine Bonnet; 2nd – Sandra Connor; 3rd – Carolyn Ryan]
The feedback received from competitors, local businesses and seasoned supporters was overwhelming, and a limited vocabulary limits our limited vocabulary to express our gratitude, but we certainly appreciate these kind folks: Margaret River Off-Road Cycling Association (and your valuable volunteers), Dirty Detours, Department of Parks and Wildlife, WA Plantation Resources, Jet Cycles Kelmscott, EMR Suspension and Apparel, roadanddirt.com.au, Drift Cameras, Prodigy Painting, Margaret River Cycles and Repairs, Amy and Russ, and of course, the amazing support from CHAIN REACTION CYCLES!
Great event guys.
So well organised. Big thanks to all the organisers and volunteers for giving up there time to make this happen.
Also a huge thanks to the trail builders that have put so much effort to make WA such an awesome place to ride. Luv ‘in’ Shovels is a work of art!!!
Today was great, a big thanks to the organisers and volunteers! The Wage race format is great its much more social with the relaxed transitions and the after event and of course the riding / racing. Cheering spectators adds to the atmosphere too. Cheers everyone!
great event all round guys, well done!
Great marshalling, adequate bunting, smooth scheduling and a licensed race village at such a beautiful location, what an awesome day
Another awesome event and even beer this time! Thanks to everyone who made it happen!
16 degrees celcius? That’s cold for us Aussies, but it didn’t stop over 180 competitors and 250 spectators flocking to Mt Gunjin, Kalamunda, for the Western Australian round of the Australian Gravity Enduro Series hosted by WA Gravity Enduro and fuelled by Chain Reaction Cycles.
Competitors from all over Australia flew to their most isolated capital city, looking to tame the loose pea gravel of ‘Lazarus,’ drop in on the hand-crafted ladders of ‘Luvin Shovels,’ pedal hard on the flats after ‘Goldilocks’ and the ‘3 bears,’ and link it all together with climbs up ‘Rocky Balboa’ and ‘Drago.’
The Mt Gunjin trails were officially opened in August last year by the WA Gravity Enduro team, with Sam Hill jumping through the ribbon to start the 3-stage enduro race. This year, the Gravity Enduro team built it, and they came. With a licensed area, food servery pumping out 12hour slow cooked pulled pork rolls and paninis – hosted by Murphy’s Irish Pub, Mandurah, mechanics on-course, 5 enduro stages and hundreds of spectators lining the trails, the atmosphere was a buzz!
The race village had picturesque views overlooking a valley of vineyards, where competitors started the day with their registration and race briefing, before warming up with their ride to the top of Mt Gunjin. Elite riders were offered first priority to power up the hill to lock-in some clean runs and record some fast times, where as other riding buddies chose to ‘train’ down the stages, tagging on without leaving a gap – which made for some interesting ‘tag off’ procedures, much to the spectators delight.
On the other side of the mountain, an unofficial ‘whip off’ contest was building down the bottom of the 7m jumps on ‘Luvin Shovels’, with the spectators cheering on ‘big whips!’ all morning. It caused some competitors to push outside their comfort zone, with adrenaline assuring their whips were bigger and off-balance than ever before.
The Gravity Enduro mountain biking race format again showed its flexibility to incorporate all ages and experience, with competitors ranging from 13yr old Lachlan Clarke from New South Wales who also placed 2nd in the Male Under 15 category, Rosemary Barnes of the Australian Capital Territory who placed 1st in the Female Elite Category, through to our Male Super Masters 50+ competitors including Kevin Stafford from Western Australia who placed 2nd, through to 3 x UCI World Champion Sam Hill and Male Under 19 1st place winner Samuel Rubery, who also came in 3rd place overall with a cumulative race time of 22mins 12 seconds.
WA Gravity Enduro raised $1,325 for the local Kalamunda Collective Mountain Bike Club, helping to maintain the trails after a big weekend of practise and racing, and ensured any money raised through parking collection will be directed to ‘master classes’ in descending techniques and training for women in mountain biking.
It was a huge weekend and successful day’s racing, and WA Gravity Enduro look forward to hosting the Australian Gravity Enduro Series next year.
Results from the race top 3 in each category are as below:
|Male Veteran 30+||WA||29||Kennedy, James||0:22:42||1||0:00:00|
|Male Veteran 30+||WA||21||Stafford, Devin||0:22:49||2||0:00:07|
|Male Veteran 30+||WA||188||Carney, John||0:23:06||3||0:00:24|
|Male U19||WA||96||Rubery, Samuel||0:22:12||1||0:00:00|
|Male U19||WA||195||Heae, Brendan||0:29:52||2||0:07:40|
|Male U19||WA||97||Hewitson, Jack||0:31:38||3||0:09:26|
|Male U17||VIC||41||Murphy, Jarrod||0:23:41||1||0:00:00|
|Male U17||WA||146||Oakes, Alex||0:24:16||2||0:00:35|
|Male U17||WA||217||Corte, Taylor||0:28:47||3||0:05:06|
|Male U15||WA||131||Morgan, Jesse||0:27:13||1||0:00:00|
|Male U15||NSW||156||Clark, Lachlan||0:28:53||2||0:01:40|
|Male U15||WA||112||de Saran, Louis||0:32:01||3||0:04:48|
|Male Super Masters 50+||WA||130||Millard, Peter||0:24:57||1||0:00:00|
|Male Super Masters 50+||WA||170||Stafford, Kevin||0:25:51||2||0:00:54|
|Male Super Masters 50+||WA||153||Joyce, Merv||0:26:54||3||0:01:57|
|Male Sport||WA||148||Clarke, Mitchel||0:24:17||1||0:00:00|
|Male Sport||WA||183||Minchin, Charlie||0:25:09||2||0:00:52|
|Male Sport||WA||152||Evans, Tom||0:25:17||3||0:01:00|
|Male Masters 40+||WA||7||Martin, Garry||0:24:00||1||0:00:00|
|Male Masters 40+||NSW||149||Lester, Joshua||0:24:15||2||0:00:15|
|Male Masters 40+||WA||159||Hall, Graeme||0:24:35||3||0:00:35|
|Male Expert||WA||193||Wolfe, Gerard||0:22:49||1||0:00:00|
|Male Expert||WA||47||Williamson, Mark||0:22:51||2||0:00:02|
|Male Expert||WA||168||Livingstone, Josh||0:23:04||3||0:00:15|
|Male Elite||WA||14||Norton, Ryan||0:21:09||1||0:00:00|
|Male Elite||WA||119||Hill, Sam||0:21:20||2||0:00:11|
|Male Elite||SA||186||Buzacott, Simon||0:22:17||3||0:01:08|
|Female Sport||WA||187||Joachim, Nathalie||0:27:23||1||0:00:00|
|Female Sport||WA||13||Bonnet, Catherine||0:28:17||2||0:00:54|
|Female Sport||WA||231||Hunter, Sarah||0:29:13||3||0:01:50|
|Female Elite||ACT||238||Barnes, Rosemary||0:25:13||1||0:00:00|
|Female Elite||SA||236||Schapel, Jaclyn||0:26:15||2||0:01:02|
|Female Elite||WA||19||Alsop, Katja||0:26:27||3||0:01:14|
This event could not have happened without the major support of Chain Reaction Cycles, and local support by Jet Cycles Kelmscott, EMR Suspension Servicing and Apparel, Kalamunda Cycles, Camelback, Sea to Summit, FreeWheel Bike Store, Giant Canning Vale, Drift Cameras, Midland Cycles, Kalamunda Mountain Bike Collective, Prodigy Painting and Murphys Irish Pub Mandurah.
Round 2 was great fun, never done an enduro style race before, really enjoyed it. Thanks!
Timber was the theme for the race, from riding through magnificent old Karri Trees, to riding wooden features ranging from berms to A-frames and ladder-drops.
After the gale force wind conditions experienced at round one, the weather couldn’t have been any better for round two – a mild and overcast 22 degrees were very favourable conditions for competitors and not a breath of wind. It hasn’t rained in Perth for over 100 days, so we were all left scratching our heads to the wet stuff that fell from the sky about a week before the race. Whatever it was, it made for some fast and flowy trails with more grip than a drop-bear landing on your head.
Over 250 people raced at the Pemberton Mountain Bike Park over the weekend, with both Cross-Country and Gravity Enduro formats on offer The town was alive with all things mountain biking, and the locals made everyone feel very welcome. Sunday morning saw many competitors head out to the trails to get their lines dialled in for the Gravity Enduro race. However, a few quiet beverages at the local watering hole between Aussie and Irish racing companions the night prior, meant re-hydration was key for some.
The trails at Pemberton saw WA Gravity Enduro present four timed stages, each with something very unique.
Stage 1 suited the cross-country style rider, with some punishing short pinch climbs as well as descending berms as the main theme. Strong acceleration was key for this stage.
Stage 2 named ‘Bloody Mary’ suited the riders with brass hardware, with an almost uncountable number of connecting jumps and berms, plus an A-frame structure that saw some riders sliding down backwards if they didn’t carry sufficient speed.
Then came Stage 3 – a fast steady descent, but if you weren’t paying attention, you’d end up in thicker bush than a video from the sixties.
Finally, Stage 4. If you thought you knew what a wooden berm looked like, then think again. A punishing 2 minute sprint saw riders railing timber berms on more than 50degree angles, giving everything they could to beat their mates down the final stage. The excitement and stories at the race village thereafter showed how much fun Gravity Enduro is as a mountain biking race format – bringing together the excitement of racing downhill against your mates, and talking about the fun afterwards.
WA Gravity Enduro, spectators and competitors were all excited to see Sam Hill representing Chain Reaction Cycles and WA mountain biking, taking part in racing at Pemberton on Saturday and Sunday. Sam took out first place in the Chain Reaction Cycles WA Gravity Enduro Male Open Category, with an overall cumulative time of 13:06 (that’s 13 minutes and 6 seconds for the downhill followers!), followed by Ryan Norton (13:48) and Rowan Brown (13:53).
The Female Open Category was won by Claire Garcia-Webb with an overall time of 16:23, followed in second place by Katja Alsop (16:56) and in third, Tamantha Weil (18:06). Catherine Bonnet riding for the Female Masters was enough to scare off any other competitors, with a recorded time of 19:24.
We saw a strong Male Under 19 category, with Samuel Rubery blitzing the field posting a cumulative time of 13:50, followed by Jonty Calder in second (15:20) and James Poh in third (15:24).
Round 3 will see WA Gravity Enduro host the Australian Gravity Enduro Series at Mt Gunjin, Kalamunda on June 29th. With a growing trail network of technical descents built and maintained by a passionate local club, the Kalamunda trails are located about 30 minutes east of Perth, and suit the Gravity Enduro race format perfectly.
Thanks to all that helped organize today had a great day out there.
Awesome event guys didn’t realise how much fun mtb racing could be…so much to learn and gear to change but I can’t wait to race again despite 3 stacks. Have to say all the guys racing today were awesome…thanks for supporting and cheering us girls as we rode! Big congrats to the organisers and helpers who made it happen…great mtb event!
Round one of the Chain Reaction Cycles Western Australia Gravity Enduro Series 2014 was launched on the weekend with over 200 riders descending on the Goat Farm like flies to a farmers back. With winds packing 65km/h, flags and bunting hit the ground harder than some riders’ faces but it didn’t stop a great day out!
Riders gave the thumbs up to challenging stages, that ranged from superfast fireroad descents, XC style flowing trails, demanding downhill drops, technical rock gardens and Western Australia’s infamous off-camber corners littered with pea-gravel! A challenging four stage course tested the riders ability to quickly adapt to varying terrain, strong winds and hot temperatures, with feedback ranging from ‘yep, that’s a broken collarbone’ to ‘a true weekend-warrior style event.’
As the name suggests, the Goat Farm is tough country, with exposed granite rock blowing out tyres, the bike race turned into a running race for some – much to the delight of some spectators. WA Gravity Enduro proudly donated $450 to the Goat Farm to assist with future trail development in the area, and offer 20% discount to females to get them involved in this social style of race.