For the fourth round and series finale of their SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix, organisers Rocky Trail Entertainment summoned about 200 riders to Ourimbah State Forest last weekend. Perfect weather and track conditions meant that riders had travelled from as far as Canberra, Dubbo and Newcastle to collect valuable series points and for podium getters to pick up trophies and prizes. Now it it’s third year, naming rights sponsor SHIMANO and the MTB Grand Prix endurance series promise to return to some of the most popular mountain bike venues in NSW and ACT with five racing events in 2013.
The start line of the final round of the SHIMANO MTB GP was seeded with potential series winners in various categories ranging from Elite to age groups with Masters and SuperMasters as well as an impressive field of junior riders. Competitors also had the choice to ride in relay teams of up to three riders in either four or seven hour events.
“Fast” four hour categories booming
The solo categories were particularly popular in the four hour “fast” events, as organisers Rocky Trail called it and in the Elite Men’s it was no other than Tour of Timor King of the Mountain winner and third overall, Jarrod Hughes from Newcastle who had just returned from the overseas stage race to compete on the popular Ourimbah trails close to home. Completing nine laps in 4:12:08 on the technical 8.5 km course he finished ahead of James Lamb from Erina, another acclaimed stage racer having finished the Crocodile Trophy in Far North Queensland in 2010. Lamb completed also nine laps in 4:21:16 and third was Jorge Baron from Kensington, finishing on equal laps and a gap of about 7 minutes.
Brian Price finished seventh at Ourimbah, however, accumulated enough points to take out the series winner title with 453 points.
Elite Female series winner is fellow Blue Mountains racer Wendy Walker. Walker won the race at Ourimbah with 7 laps ahead of Vanessa Boatwright from the Northern Beaches and Eliza Eldridge Basset from Fisher (ACT).
Canberra’s Mark Tupalski shows endurance in the “furious” seven hour event
With 15 laps in just over seven hours, Mark Tupalski from Canberra took out the Elite Male race. The successful endurance mountain bike racer showed an impressive performance and won ahead of Novocastrian Andrew Lloyd who crossed the finish line less than 30 minutes behind Tupalski and Callum McNamara from Canberra who came in third with 13 laps.
Andrew Lloyd was also crowned the GP 7 hour series winner for 2012 – accumulating most points out of any SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix competitor, he received a brand new Fox Racing mountain bike suspension fork, valued at more than $1,300.
In the Elite Female field, fellow Newcastle racer Sarah Neumann was the clear winner of the day and the series.
Top Results SHIMANO MTB GP Round 4, Ourimbah State Forest:
GP7 hour Elite Male
1. Mark Tupalski Giant/Onya Bike Belconnen Fisher, ACT 15 laps/7:00:14
2. Andrew Lloyd Barnsley, NSW 15 laps/7:28:40
3. Callum McNamara Workshop Factory Racing Yarralumla, ACT 13 laps/6:46:12
GP7 hour Elite Female
1. Sarah Neumann I like Chocolate Kahibah, NSW 12 laps/7:04:10
2. Joanne Fox Cell Bikes Penrith, NSW 2 laps / 3:50:59
GP4 hour Elite Male
1. Jarrod Hughes Team JarHuuz Newcastle, NSW 9 laps/4:12:08
2. James Lamb Chops Erina, NSW 9 laps/4:21:16
3. Jorge Baron Workshop Factory Racing Kensington, NSW 9 laps/4:28:33
GP4 hour Elite Female
1. Wendy Walker Faulconbridge, NSW 7 laps/4:06:50
2. Vanessa Boatwright Collaroy, NSW 7 laps/4:25:38
3. Eliza Eldridge Bassett Fisher, ACT 7 laps/4:31:26
SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix Series winners 2012
GP 4 hour Solo
Elite Male – Brian Price, Faulconbridge, NSW
Elite Female – Wendy Walker, Faulconbridge, NSW
Male Master – Simon Kane, Turramurra, NSW
Female Master – Wendy Stevenson, Waverton, NSW
Male SuperMaster – Stephen Knight, Beecroft, NSW
Male Junior – Guy Frail, Paterson, NSW
Male SingleSpeed – Callum McNamara, Yarralumla, ACT
GP7 hour Solo
Elite Male – Andrew Lloyd, Barnsley, NSW
Elite Female – Sarah Neumann, Kahibah, NSW
Male Master – Cory Dimmer, Longbeach, NSW
Female Master – Catherine Wood, Dubbo, NSW
Male SuperMaster – Phil Mathewson, Northbridge, NSW