[cover picture – young lads taking a breather on the way up]

What an absolute ripper of a weekend! 9km’s of course bunting, 3 intense enduro stages, 180 competitors, a shed load of oranges, slope-style jumping, a magical Autumn’s day and fun, competitive mountain bike racing were the ingredients for a huge Round 3 of the CHAIN REACTION CYCLES WA Gravity Enduro Series 2015.

Jesse Morgan showing how to enduro with style

It took a scrum of volunteers to tackle the trails with work first beginning 4 days out from the race with the ‘godfather’ Paul Neve of Three Chillies Trail Design and Construction marking out the trails at Golden Grove Orchard in Chittering, about 1 hour out from Perth, Western Australia.

3 days out from the race, the trails were further dialled in and checked it adhered to the enduro format, ensuring 80% descent and 20% ascent/flat guidelineswere maintained.

Paul Neve slope jump master

Paul Neve adding some amazing features, crossing slopestyle with enduro

With 2 days to go, Stage 2 was the focus with the construction of a huge slope-style jump as a unique way to cross a fence boundary, which turned into a bit of a whip-fest on raceday. The rest of the day was filled with trail bunting which saw the team of Phil, Paul, Jimmy and Vlad work until sunset when the well-deserved lemonades were opened. With 1 day to go, all hands were on deck to bunt Stages 1 and 3, and a well-oiled team of Steve, Phil, Jimmy, Rich, Rikkie, Ryno, Ross and Paul finished off the 6km of course bunting. By 1pm, the course was open for inspection with strict rules on walking only and no course riding were in place. This allowed all riders to be on the same playing field come raceday, and this format was very well received. On Saturday afternoon, the race village was getting prepared for an early start on Sunday.

Rawness was a theme for the trails come raceday

Rawness was a theme for the trails come raceday

Raceday. With riders very keen to get their tyres dirty and test out their lines, it left most riders about 3 hours to get a feel for the trails and memorise as many things as possible. Come 11am, the race briefing began at the village, and then the field was split into 3 groups, with each group heading to a different Stage. This is WA Gravity Enduro’s usual format as it helps riders get through the stages in a timely manner which allows us to present results quickly after the race once all riders are accounted for.

Course volunteer Rikkie Zoutenbier dialling in his race run

Course volunteer Rikkie Zoutenbier dialling in his race run

Stage 1 saw the Male Elite riders first as they pedalled through the trees at the top of the hill, and then broke out in the open field filled with rock drops and jumps, before they disappeared into an orange orchard maze. The orchard was great to watch, as riders had to keep their eyes up to see the course bunting, but at the same time, keep their heads down as they received orange braches to the face. A little of 3 minutes of intense racing for the Elite racers, Stage 1 finished in the orchard and riders then transitioned up the hill on the other side of the valley to tackle Stage 2.

Choose your own adventure

Choose your own adventure

After a 30-40min climb for most, riders were understandably quite happy to have a rest and take in the rolling panoramic views from the top of the hill. Once riders tagged-on, a longer flat section at the top soon dropped away for riders to generate speed into the slope-style jump to clear a boundary fence which quickly flowed into some steeper switchback descending. As the riders exited the trees into another open field, the sheep in the paddock were very well behaved and kept clear of the course and didn’t eat any bunting, so big thanks to them. Riders then flew down another fast section, scrubbing a small mound in the terrain, blasting through a rocky section, and flying down a short fireroad buzzing orange trees, before a quick right to tag off in a little over 4 minutes for the elite riders.

Passing back through the race village on their way to Stage 3, riders replenished with some much needed HIGH5 SPORTS NUTRITION to give them the strength to push back up the same hill as Stage 1.

Tagging on at Stage 3, riders made short work dodging trees before heading back out into the open paddock where wide bunting allowed riders to choose their own adventure – either the quicker but more difficult A line or the slower but easier B line. These features were perfect for spectators to cheer on the competitors, which was heard all the way back down at the village! The riders had to negotiate some steep switchbacks, rock drops and pinch climbs before setting themselves up to drop into a mad 22% decline fireroad before flattening out over the 300m to really test the nerves and the brake fingers! A quick left to tag off at the race village saw riders exhausted but thrilled, before they headed over to their free lunch! Wooo!

Once all riders were accounted for, presentations shortly followed and with plenty of flat tyres, spills and new trails on offer, it saw an interesting change in the results.

In the Male Elite, we had a tie for third place and on a countback between Jimmy Pritchard and Carl Pickersgill, it saw Carl take the place.

Category
Raceplate
Last Name
First Name
CatPos1
CatPos2
CatPos3
OVERALL (HH:MM:SS)
OVERALL CAT POS
Difference
Male U19
73
CARRUTHERS
Bill
1
2
2
0:10:31
1
0:00:00
Male U19
61
PEARCE
Blake
1
3
3
0:10:45
2
0:00:14
Male U19
152
RUBERY
Samuel
9
1
1
0:10:57
3
0:00:26
Male U15
195
JENKINSON
Riley
1
2
1
0:11:54
1
0:00:00
Male U15
194
ROBSON
Kristopher
3
5
2
0:12:44
2
0:00:50
Male U15
198
STANLEY
Greg
2
4
3
0:12:56
3
0:01:02
Male Masters (50+)
176
NEVE
Paul
1
4
1
0:12:23
1
0:00:00
Male Masters (50+)
131
TWINE
Rick
5
2
2
0:12:28
2
0:00:05
Male Masters (50+)
50
JOYCE
Merv
2
1
4
0:12:35
3
0:00:12
Male Masters (40-49)
215
STAFFORD
Devin
1
1
2
0:11:06
1
0:00:00
Male Masters (40-49)
103
KERKLAAN
Michael
2
2
3
0:11:33
2
0:00:27
Male Masters (40-49)
122
ALSOP
Lindsay
7
4
1
0:11:45
3
0:00:39
Male (19-39) Sport
320
NATOLI
Luke
1
1
1
0:10:49
1
0:00:00
Male (19-39) Sport
341
WELLMAN
Garry
3
5
2
0:11:18
2
0:00:29
Male (19-39) Sport
39
STEPHENS
Dave
2
6
6
0:11:20
3
0:00:31
Male (19-39) Elite
16
BAKER
Deon
1
3
5
0:10:17
1
0:00:00
Male (19-39) Elite
180
PROCHYRA
Jordan
9
1
2
0:10:18
2
0:00:01
Male (19-39) Elite
144
PICKERSGILL
Carl
3
5
3
0:10:23
3
0:00:06
Female U15
285
EDDY
Nerys
1
1
1
0:22:04
1
0:00:00
Female Masters (40-49)
77
HOLMBERG
Penny
1
1
1
0:14:10
1
0:00:00
Female Masters (40-49)
342
EDWARDS
Nicole
2
2
2
0:15:57
2
0:01:47
Female Masters (40-49)
322
EDDY
Kyra
4
3
3
0:18:32
3
0:04:22
Female (19-39) Sport
337
YOUNG
Catherine
1
1
1
0:15:43
1
0:00:00
Female (19-39) Elite
164
GARCIA-WEBB
Claire
1
3
2
0:13:44
1
0:00:00
Female (19-39) Elite
93
BURFORD
Leonie
4
1
1
0:14:00
2
0:00:16
Female (19-39) Elite
148
ALSOP
Katja
2
2
3
0:14:15
3
0:00:31

 

Nerys Eddy scaring off the Female U15

Nerys Eddy scaring off the Female U15

Male Elite

Deon Baker winning the Male Elite

Bill Carruthers for Male U19.

Bill Carruthers for Male U19.

Luke Natoli winning the Male Sport and clear by 29 seconds

Luke Natoli winning the Male Sport and clear by 29 seconds

Devin Stafford controlling the Male 40-49 category by 27 seconds.

Devin Stafford controlling the Male 40-49 category by 27 seconds.

Penny Holmberg in a commanding 1st place for the Female Mssters 40-49 and clear of seconds place by 1min 47sec.

Penny Holmberg in a commanding 1st place for the Female Mssters 40-49 and clear of seconds place by 1min 47sec.

An ecstatic Paul Neve of 3 Chillies Trail Design and Construction taking our first place for Male Master 50+

An ecstatic Paul Neve of 3 Chillies Trail Design and Construction taking out first place for Male Master 50+

Male U15 winner Riley Jenkinson lead the field by 50 seconds

Male U15 winner Riley Jenkinson lead the field by 50 seconds

Catherine Young representing the Female 19-39 Sport Category

Catherine Young representing the Female 19-39 Sport Category

Female Elite

Terrific friendly competition with Claire Garcia-Webb winning the Female Elite 19-39 Category by a comfortable 16 seconds.

 

Congratulations to all competitors that took part in the fun, and special thanks to Paul Neve of Three Chillies Trail Design and Construction, Rocco and the team at Golden Grove Orchard, and to all the Mum’s who let their husbands, son’s and daughters take part on Mother’s Day and to the Mum’s who thought the best way to celebrate the day is to come out and race!

Huge thanks once again to the volunteers as this race would not happen, would not be safe or well organised without them – Phil, Paul, Vlad, Jimmy, Rich, Ryno, Ross, Rikkie, Amy, Russ, Trent, Terry, Peter, Stephan, Chall, Riley and Rene.

Orion Daley-Coers

1st time racer Orion Daley-Coers manualing through the rough after spending the Saturday bunting.

Rider Down

Some riders continued to inspect the off-camber trails during the race

Rob Waller

Rob Waller, a WA Gravity Enduro regular, enjoying the trails

Steve Manook

Steve Manook of Foothill Cycles in race-mode

Dan Okane

Dan OKane coming in a very respectable 18th Place in the Male Sport category on his orange rocket

Huge thanks also to our sponsors and supporters: CHAIN REACTION CYCLES, HIGH5 Sports Nutrition, Hybrid Linings (Quality Internal / External Ceilings and Walls), Common Ground Trail Planning Design Construction, Rock n Roll Mountain Biking, Foothills Cycles / Jet Cycles Kelmscott, EMR Suspension Specialist, Prodigy Painting, Three Chillies Trail Design and Construction, IGA Beeliar and Petal Parcels for organising the beautiful flowers and keeping the riders out of trouble with some WA Gravity Enduro special Mother’s Day Gift Packs!

Morgan Francis of EMR Suspension almost riding side-saddle coming in 9th for Male Elite

Morgan Francis of EMR Suspension almost riding side-saddle coming in 9th for Male Elite

Full results available here, and we look forward to compiling the course video in the coming weeks.

The next race in Round 4 on June 14th at the Goat Farm, Greenmount, which is also a part of the MTBA Enduro National Series. Head to www.wagravityenduro.org or find us on Facebook for further updates.

[All images courtesy www.aperature123.com]