[cover picture – CRC team member Mike Jones taking the inside line on stage 6 on his way to 7th place. Photo: Matthew Farrell]

 

Pemberton MTB Park played host to round 1 of the 2015 Chain Reaction Cycles WA Gravity Enduro series. Master trail builder and legend Paul Neve came up with a course that challenged everyone from downhillers to cross county riders to the weekend warriors, putting everyone in the hurt locker on sections and challenging riders on descents.

With 170+ racers registered the field got split into two, with 1 group doing stages 1 to 6 and the other group starting on the Pump Hill trails riding the stages from 3,4,5,1,2,6.

 

2015round1_Jordan Prochyra

Giant DH Aus rider Jordon Prochyra living up to his #EnduroLord title by blitzing the down sand smashing the ups. Photo: Mark Hudson

Stage 1 was down “Bloody Mary” a riders’ favourite and the one of the most challenging. With a lot of berms and jumps throughout. One of the best sections being after the fire road drop in, with Tom Anticich gapping into the third berm from the chute, unfortunately with it not paying off and him returning to stage 2 covered in dirt. After the bottom jump line riders had to carry their speed into a short speed into short pinch climb which linked into “Just Because” and then one more short pinch to the tag off.

Stage 2 ran down “Pirate Trail” a hand cut trail which showed wear and tear in parts from the national XC round from a few weeks ago. With a tight switchback pinch halfway down riders started to tire before descending into a series of rocks and logs and then onto a fast fire road section in to hip jump. Riders had to carry speed into a hard climb that had most riders cursing Nevesy’s track layout before the tag off. From here riders rode across the bridge and up the Rainbow trail to Pump Hill.

Stage 3 was a return of “Pump Hill Uphill” an up track in reverse, unlike last year the track was bedded in and running superfast.

Stage 4 was another new one this year “Longshanks” which is a favourite of Sam Hill, with loose leaf litter on track riders had hold their lines leading into corners that developed moto ruts as the wore one. This trail hard on the legs especially over the old rail sleepers section.

 

 

2015round1_sam hill

Sam Hill ready to start round 1 of the Chain Reaction Cycles WA Gravity Enduro

 

 

2015round1_Tom

Midland Cycles mechanic Tom about to bin after taking a line that would make Nathan Rennie proud. Photo: Kathy Carruthers

The next trail was the brand spanking new “Dropbear” which only opened on the Friday before the race, not 100% complete Nevesy signed off on it and riders rode it all Saturday to bed it in. with ruts in majority of corners it became a favourite of the racers.

The final stage saw riders make it up to the main hill to ride down a combo of trails. Starting of down “Relentless Blue” with its famous timber berms and then linking across “Cool Runnings” with its flowy goodness once riders got in to rhythm and loving life as the end was near they were sent across the hill to “Black’n’Blue” with its torturous undulating trail, riders had to dig deep as the end was in sight all they had to was fit the handle bars through the walking bridge and then tagging off right by the pool. Riders were given fruit and sandwich donated by IGA.

After the race riders enjoyed a swim in the pool and some hydration whilst the final riders concluded proceedings. With everyone smiling about the race and chatting to mates and riders who haven’t raced in recent years.

 

 

 

 

2015round1_Jimmy Pritchard

Showing the consistancy and style that got him a top 20 at Mt Buller Jimmy Pritchard on his way to 5th just behind good mate Jordy. Photo: Mark Hudson

Its also great to see so many from the local bike industry racing with Wembley Cycles, Kalamunda Cycles, Speedlite Cycles well represented and of course Foothills Cycles who had few lads race as well as supplying a pit area and selling stock. It must also be said that there were riders from all over the state – Karratha up North to Albany in the South and a strong contingent throughout the south west.

2015round1_Paul Neve

The man behind the trails Paul Neve putting his locally built Decendance bike with Avalache suspension to the test down Bloody Mary’s chute. Photo: Mark Hudson

2015round1_Pete Millard

The biggest kid out there Pete Millard. Loving life. Photo: Mark Hudson

2015round1_Sam Rubery

The Future. Sam Rubery rolling the dice and coming out on top. His decision to race his XC rocket paid off with getting the 2nd fastest overall time of the day just behind Sam Hill. Photo: Mark Hudson

2015round1_Matt Wilson

First time racer Matt ‘Willo’ Wilson tasted plenty of Pemberton dirt and still finished with a ear to ear grin. Photo: Mark Hudson

2015round1_Chris Kovarick

Chris Kovarik showed the trail who is boss tearing apart most corners. 3rd place in elite on the day. Photo: Matthew Farrell

2015round1_Tony Davis

Tony ‘Sparky’ Davies with eyes of the tiger. Photo: Mark Hudson

2015round1_Claire Garcia-Webb

Last Years Queen of Pemberton Claire Garcia Webb flying the Wembley Cycles flag on her way to 2nd in Elite Ladies. Photo: Mark Hudson

 

 

2015round1_Taylor Young

Taylor Young. Foot out flat out. Photo: Matthew Farrell

2015round1_Claire Buchar

After running clinics for two days before race, Clare Buchar steaming in to take the win in women’s elite.

2015round1_Mark Hudson

Local Pemberton legend Mark Hudson with the big cheque which was raised from the entry fees. Photo: Matthew Farrell

2015round1_Male Elite

Elite Men 1st Sam Hill 2nd Deon Baker 3rd Chris Kovarik. Photo: Matthew Farrell

2015round1_Female Elite

Elite Womens 1st Clare Buchar 2nd Clair Garcia Webb 3rd Elisabetta Canovi. Photo: Matthew Farrell

2015round1_male U19

Male U19 Winners. 1st Sam Rubery, 2nd Bill Carruthers, 3rd Blake Pearce. Photo: Mark Hudson.

2015round1_Male u15

Male U15 Winners. 1st Roly Kyme, 2nd Jesse Morgan, 3rd Cadel Adams. Photo: Matthew Farrell.

2015round1_male masters 40-49

Male Masters 40-49 Winners: 1st Michael Kerklaan, 2nd Chris Hisckson, 3rd Lindsay Alsop. Photo: Matthew Farrell.

2015round1_male masters 50+

Male Masters 50+ Winners: 1st Rick Twine, 2nd Peter Millard, 3rd Merv Joyce. Photo: Matthew Farrell.

2015round1_female sport

Female Sport (19-39) Winners: 1st Ingrid Fuhrmann, 2ndLeonie Burford, 3rd Natalie Pearson. Photo: Matthew Farrell.

2015round1_female masters 40-49

Female Masters (40-49) Winners: 1st Penny Holmberg, 2nd Carolyn Ryan. Photo: Matthew Farrell.

 

 

Report: Phil Wlison