If there was a trophy for consistency at the long weekend’s Bike Buller MTB Festival presented by Giant, Adrian Jackson would be the shoe-in. The Team Merdia Flightcentre rider rode consistently fast while others around him dropped in and out of competition due to injury concerns and missing out on stages due to late entry.
Jackson, who won the Stage One 50km XC race, recorded the fastest cumulative time across the three Premier Category races, to claim his first Bike Buller Mountain Bike Festival crown today.
As the weekend’s racing played out, the battle for Premier Category men’s was on paper between ‘AJ’, Josh Carlson, Robbie Hucker and Murray Spink. However, after aggravating a collarbone injury in yesterday’s Brakeburner Enduro, Carlson took the decision to not line up for this morning’s Stage Three 25km XC, eliminating himself from contention, saying he wanted to rest up before heading to Canada to compete in SuperD titles there in three weeks’ time.
Reigning U/23 XC National Champion, Hucker would likely have been on the overall podium had he been able to race in the Brakeburner, his late sign up meaning the event was sold out and thus he was excluded from Premier Category.
2009 Bike Buller champion, Murray Spink, battled valiantly in all three stages but never quite matched the steady speed and control of Adrian Jackson whose cumulative times put him a good 21 minutes ahead of his closest rival by the end of the festival’s racing. In the cumulative time stakes, Jackson was never headed throughout the weekend, the MTB orienteering world champion riding strategically to extend his lead at every stage.
Today’s Stage Three 25km XC was in the end won by Robbie Hucker on a 1:13:20 flier, with Adrian Jackson coming second over the line not much more than a minute in arrears. Peter Kutschera snatched his first stage podium for the long weekend coming third. Spink rolled in just under four minutes later in fifth, a placing and time that was enough to secure second on the podium for overall Bike Buller honours.
While consistency in the saddle by both AJ and Spink characterised their Premier Category first and second placings, third place was more of an unknown once Carlson and Hucker dropped out of frame. In the end, third place overall went to Fitzroy Revolution Cycles rider Duncan Murray who took a fifth placing in Stage One, registered consistent laps in the 19min range plus a 40min 29sec Super D flier on Stage Two’s Brakeburner, and then came tenth in today’s 25km XC.
In the women’s racing, it was noted after Stage One that Melisa Anset was one to watch. Anyone who backed her at the bookie would be a happy punter now, the Victorian winning Stage Three today by less than a minute to wrap up the Women’s Bike Buller 2012 crown. Like Jackson, she recorded super consistent (and fast) times, taking two firsts and a second across all three stages. Special mention in the women’s goes to today’s second female over the line, Amity McSwan. Racing in Veteran category on Stages One and Three, she was technical podium in both, having been third over the line in Stage One.
In third place in the 25km XC was Jess Douglas who seemed to get stronger as the weekend progressed. The Giant rider’s efforts enough to secure second place overall in the women’s Premier Category for the festival.
With McSwan out of contention having not ridden Brakeburner, Giant Real Rider, Louise Cook, rises to third place overall with a fourth Premier Category placing (fifth over the line) in Stage One 50km XC and a third placing in Stage Two Brakeburner.
MEN’S STAGE 3 RESULTS
1. Robbie HUCKER 1:13:20
2. Adrian JACKSON 1:14:41
3. Peter KUTSCHERA 1:14:41
OVERALL BIKE BULLER MEN’S PREMIER PLACINGS:
1. Adrian Jackson 5:22:55
2. Murray Spink 5:45:21
3. Duncan Murray 5:52:07
WOMEN’S STAGE 3 RESULTS
1. Melissa ANSET 1:29:09
2. Amity MCSWAN 1:30:05
3. Jessica DOUGLAS 1:34:25
OVERALL BIKE BULLER WOMEN’S PREMIER PLACINGS:
1. Melissa Anset 6:34:55
2. Jess Douglas 6:48:31
3. Louise Cook 7:26:55