When an event is created specifically to be a Championship race, the course and event itself will be up for a lot of scrutiny. The Australian XCM Championships were run today in the Nation’s capital, at the Mt Stromlo Forest Park – site of the 2009 MTB World Champsionships, and 2010 24hr World Championships. Despite cold temperatures, the sun was out, the air was still and conditions were perfect for the days race.
As profiled previously, the course for the Open Men’s and Open Women’s categories would take in two fairly brutal laps of the Mt Stromlo Forest Park, as designed by prolific Australian Mountain Bike racer Andrew Blair (Swell-Redshift). There was lots of climbing in store, plenty of single track, and enough fire trail to make sure things got thinned out.
The Women’s races started at 9:30am, and there were a number of strong contenders, with Jenny Fay (Rockstar Racing) gunning for the win, having made course inspection a big part of preparation. But with Peta Mullens, Jodie Willett, Tory Thomas, Theresa Rhodes and quite a few more very impressive athlete’s it would be a great race. A group of three developed as there was a crash by Ruth Corset. Mullens, Willet and Fay forged ahead. With Fay and Mullens trading attacks, it was Mullens who ended up staying clear. Willett rode as she could, and it was Mullens who was victorious ahead of Willet and Fay. Results can be seen on durt.com.au
In the men’s event, the start was a steady affair, with no big signs of aggression except for a small dig off the from from Dylan Cooper. A front group of about 20 riders developed as we hit the single track, and this caused to split the group up a little. By the time I was on the first main climb, I could only see solo riders ahead. Pete Hatton had a good attack, which saw him clear of the field. Andy Blair ended up getting past him, as did Trenton day. This relegated Hatton to 3rd when he crossed the line. Full times and results for open men can be viewed on durt.com.au.
There was a whole range of age categories being raced, and half distance events. Results can be seen here.
Unfortunately, there was a fatality at the event, with a male competitor suffering what appears to be a heart attack on course. Many other racers attempted resuscitation while the ambulance arrived, but he wasn’t able to be revived. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.