RACE THREE REPORT - RON MILBANKE
A tough weekend concluded at Jentree this morning with what seemed like a MTB family Christmas party. Justin and Tori hosted forty riders, some backing up from yesterday's Enduro, and presented a course to test all. It was a great spectacle with the grandstand view of the switch-back climb and the water splash and the competition did not disappoint.
A few old faces turned up to watch some very gifted young riders, and they would have been heartened to see that the future of the club is in good hands with the talented juniors giving their all.
The under 14 category had Muffin and Finn in a great close fought contest finishing just 8 seconds apart after four tough laps. They also showed great sportsmanship and friendship with sincere handshakes on the finish line.
Up front, overall, there was another great scrap with young Jack chasing the gnarly well performed Jeremy. This contest looked as though it could have gone either way for the best part of five laps. From the grandstand we could see Jack gaining on the climbs and it seemed that it was a matter of when not if, he would take the lead. A series of small mishaps were the undoing of the young gun and Jeremy's superior experience and strength were the deciding factors. Jack put in a great effort and would have learnt plenty from today. He is a great prospect and will give anyone a run as he gets stronger.
Not too far behind this pair young Cam rode hard to complete the podium overall, so with two under 18's in the top three and the quality of our under 14's on show the club is in good heart.
Justin K. was the sole open class rider. He finished fourth overall and was suffering from hay-fever. It is a bit of a mystery as to where all this age-group have deployed to, maybe they are busy bringing up families. It was pleasing to see the many family groups riding here today, so maybe in future these missing seniors will return.
Jeremy headed the biggest age category, 36-49's, with Abe next and the returning Pioneer rider Craig, in third. He was headed early on by an ambitious club president. Frazer surprised many by showing that he can actually ride uphill. This was after a busy Saturday and an early start today helping with the course set-up.
In the over 50's, Mondo followed up a successful Saturday with a win in this class. Peter was a close second until his chain gave up at the start of lap 4.
Alana was the quickest lady, holding out great friend Kathryn visiting from Nelson, and Ceridwen drew claret on lap 1 and withdrew. Her other half Stephen suffered a mechanical prior to the start, and Tim Burfoot donned a shoulder sling very early on to leave young Jonty to uphold the family honour.
Christine took out the mature ladies class and alighted elegantly from the podium with the spoils.
Thanks again to Justin and Tori, and also to Craig and the LaCruz team for their generous sponsorship of the series.
So 2018 has been farewelled in great style. It was a fun event for young and old and some memorable performances on the track. If we can carry this enthusiasm into 2019, we will be in for another great year. The club is in good health with an enthusiastic hardworking committee and a number of eager volunteers. Look forward to the resumption of activity in 2019 with Thursday evening rides starting on 17th January. Come along and show off your sparkling new Christmas gifts.
If anyone noticed where I left my tripod cover, it is a soft black zipped sheath like case, I will be forever grateful for clues leading to its recovery. Thanks.
RACE TWO REPORT - RON MILBANKE
Great day though with a short sharp technical course with something for most everyone. This was a real cross country test of skill and fitness. Most riders loved it, some fell foul of it and a couple decided it was not for them, which is fair enough, another day and another course may be a better fit for them.
There was a fantastic race going on here, Tom from Nelson made a statement as he used the event as part of his come back from a break from the sport. He was way ahead of the field. Next though, came the scrap of the year. Jack showed out ahead of Justin with Jeremy joining the fray after Simon dismounted unceremoniously on lap one. Simon spent the next seven laps chasing down the front guys and got pretty close at one stage, before falling back on the final lap. A great effort by Jack to stay ahead of a hungry pack for eight very quick laps. Justin was close at the end with Simon and Jeremy fading on the last lap.
Susie from Nelson completed eight laps at a reasonable clip to head the ladies with Alana and Melanie in her wake. The under 14 category was headed by Liam with Angus and Lachlan completing the podium.
Our friends from Nelson remarked on a great friendly atmosphere and it was a credit to those involved in course set-up, registration etc. Thanks to Andrew on radio, Peter, Justin, Fraser and Lowri. Lots of prizes and great sponsorship from La Cruz. These guys really get involved and they even provided help with the time keeping, which was much appreciated when things turned to custard.
Look forward to seeing everyone back for the Jentree event on 16th December, this should be another cracker with a tight race for series points on the line.
RACE ONE REPORT - RON MILBANKE
This was a promising start to a good old fashioned cross country race with 42 riders testing their skill and stamina on a testing course. A good climb on lap 1 slowly became a grind on the later laps and muscles would have been screaming by laps 3 and 4.
On show we had some exciting young talent mixing it with the established stars and it will be interesting to see what lessons were learnt for the coming rounds. Some of those struggling for their old fitness and form could possibly mix things up in the next two rounds when they shed the winter coat.
As well as the stars up front, some old names came out of hiding to relive old glories, hope reality wasn't too hard on these guys.
A couple of great scraps developed up front with Simon coming out of the woodwork to give young gun Jack an honest morning's work. Simon's fastest lap was his fourth. Not far behind this pair Justin was showing our visitor from Nelson Hamish, around the traps in a tight contest for third and fourth. Cam C. was next with Bailey looking good early on but finding his lack of Km's telling towards the end.
Among the age group contests the under 14 lads were having a great scrap with Cam A. Finn McK. and Liam wheel to wheel. Cam went off track on the third lap and missed a section. He very sportingly put his hand up straight away after crossing the finish line ahead of his rivals. This was a great example of what our sport is about. Another warm fuzzy was felt when Finn McN collided with a cattle grid and Nick Webby rendered assistance. Well done guys.
Neve did her absent dad proud by completing three tough laps in the under 14 girls class
In the older 50+ class, Jut kept the family name on the honours board with some aggressive riding to head off Simon and Todd. Todd is another who emerges occasionally and surprises everyone with a solid show. He confused the officials when his number began flapping in the breeze. He stuck it down his jersey and yelled out his number as he crossed the line at the end of each lap. Thing was he yelled out the wrong number so Matt was credited with six laps until the error was noted.
In the 36 - 49 men's category, Simon Abe and Phil headed off some old familiar names. Apologies to Simon Richard and Logan who's fourth laps was not recorded, but noted.
We had a good contingent of 36 - 49 ladies and Alana had to settle for second behind Bronwen with Ange third. Bek was on escort duty encouraging Neve to great things.
Lowri was responsible for the very collectible trophies and she had quite a few left over in case 20 or 30 errant ladies turned up. Unfortunately this was not the case but we can only hope that next time !!
Big thanks to Craig Sheridan and La Cruz for the sponsorship and support at the event. Will look forward to race two and remind you of the advantages of becoming a club member. No series trophies to non-members.