Open / C grade ready to race. That’s why the RAIN started. Emma and I (far right and next) were finding it quite funny. Photo (c) ESi Sports Photography, used with permission.
So we had the Bike Week Cyclocross and it was pretty damn good.
I did a piece for the online mag Australian Cyclocross.
The more background blur you get, the faster I look. (Spoiler: I’m not that fast really). Photo (c) ESi Sports Photography, used with permission.
Getting faster and faster … smiling or gritting my teeth? Pic by Sholto Douglas.
Here’s the article:
So if we count one of the kids twice, Queensland Cyclocross hit a new milestone at the second annual Bike Week cyclocross event at Wests Rugby Union Club in Toowong, with 60 competitors racing on the day.
And that day, which was decidedly steamy as the set-up crew laboured at noon, turned wonderfully CX-like with aå nice shower of rain just after the Junior race, as Open / C grade were getting ready to go.
Combined A and B grade then took over the course, and with nearly 40 people lapping a course that must have been slightly less than a kilometre, the lap counters were earning their (iminaginary) pay.
All of this occurred in the atmospheric surrounds of Toowong Memorial Park, and with the assistance of the Wests Rugby club’s fields co-ordinator Dean Marsh, who stayed behind after rugby matches were finally over for the day, to supply the cyclocross crowd with beer and other refreshments.
The course included a very tricky off-camber corner on a steep hill, and a short but fast downhill section, some plain flat bits around the footy field, and a small flight of stairs beside the dressing sheds.
Patrick Flood (under 11) and Haddon Kilmartin (under 15) are both CX veterans, and they won their categories with some ease in the Junior race.
The Open / C grade was notable for the strong performance of the women in the field. Mountain bike blokes Chris Lusty and Doug Mitchell took the top two spots, but were followed by first-timer Jaine Mongston, who had too much speed for Qld CX stalwart Emma Best, who may have been slightly worn out by a busy schedule of volunteering at two events on the first weekend of Bike Week. Tracy Williams in 7th place rounded out the ladies’ podium.
The A and B grade races were boosted by a much stronger than usual contingent of the denizens of the fixed gear forum (fixed.org.au), who all seem to have bought the brightest coloured Specializeds or the latest disc-equipped Giants.
But it was business as usual at the front end of A grade for most of the race, as Matt Williams, who is possibly the most consistent winner in Qld CX history, was comfortably in control. He was pursued by bike messenger / fixie wild child Declan Kilkenny, and English gent Jason Smith, but it was only on the last lap that Williams crashed on a slippery grassy corner and let his two pursuers past.
Kilkenny took the surprise win, and the coveted ‘Take Me Home Sylvan Road’ t-shirt, donated by Wests Rugby Club.
Declan chases Shem in A grade, early doors. Pic by Sholto Douglas.
In B grade, Darren Flood overcame his embarrassment that he still has yet to acquire a CX bike, and raced on his 29er mountain bike wearing Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club kit. He was in a road/CX sandwich with Chris Muller and Jonathon Hobson for the whole race. Muller eventually came out on top.
Floody on the 29er and Jon Hobson in pursuit. Another Sholto pic.
Next up is Bowl-o-cross, a fun day out run by the team from Pushies Galore. It will be held at Holland Park Bowls Club on Sunday 11 May.
Last year’s Bowl-o-cross was very memorable. It was the day that Robbie McEwen turned up to race with us.
As member of the organising crew said: “Imagine you are having a game of cricket in the park with some mates, and Steve Waugh rocks up and says, can I have a bat?”
Who knows who will turn up to Bowl-o-cross this year? Sven Nys maybe?