Van Der Ploeg sprints to Round 1 win

Paul Van Der Ploeg celebrates his Round 1 NCXS win at Nerang today. Sholto Douglas photo.

Paul Van Der Ploeg celebrates his Round 1 NCXS win at Nerang today. Sholto Douglas photo.

Paul Van Der Ploeg used his undeniable power in the sprint to take the win in Elite Men Round 1 of the 2015 National Cyclocross Series in Nerang today, in a race that many of those present described as the best CX race yet in Queensland.

Van Der Ploeg (Victoria) outsprinted national champion Chris Jongewaard (SA) and rising star Chris Aitken (NSW) after the trio fought a race-long battle.

In Elite Women, national champion Lisa Jacobs (Vic) was smoothness personified as she outlasted former national road champion and road World Cup winner Oenone Wood (NSW) in second, and national marathon mountain bike champion Melissa Anset (Vic) in third.

The Elite Mens race had the biggest and most competitive field of the day with 34 elite and two under-19s on the start line. Race organiser, Gold Coast local and three-time Tour De France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen took to the start line in Elite Men, despite only completing media commitments seconds before the gun went off.

McEwen took the holeshot off the line, but was quickly swallowed up by Jongewaard and Van Der Ploeg. Chris Aitken joined the two powerhouses at the front, and this group were clearly the strongest in the race.

Jongewaard and Van Der Ploeg had technical superiority over Aitken, as they bunnyhopped the barriers twice each lap, gaining a valuable second or two each time, but Aitken’s surging attacks in the leg-sapping grass sections kept the other two fully extended. A couple of times it seemed like Aitken might get the gap, but each time one of the other two was able to respond enough to close it down.

On the last lap, Jongewaard surged past Aitken at the barriers, and was first onto the Nerang velodrome to wind up for the sprint, but the power of Van Der Ploeg was too much.

The second group on the track comprised another veteran and former national champion in Allan Iacuone (Vic), Paul Redenbach (Vic), Garry Millburn (NSW) and Tom Chapman (SA). That group couldn’t be separated for most of the hour-long race, until finally Milburn and Redenbach were able to break away, and finish fourth and fifth.

In the support races, the outstanding ride was in the Masters mens race which was dominated by another top class Australian bike rider, former World Cup winning downhiller Michael Ronning. Ronning, from Queensland, still competes at the highest level in gravity enduro mountain biking events around Australia, despite racing in the 40-45 age group, and his bike-handling skills and his impressive fitness were both on display in a comfortable win.

Round 2 of the National Cyclocross Series stays in Queensland tomorrow, with the race to be held at Nundah criterium circuit. The Nerang circuit featured a “spiral of doom”, and a wall which only the very best could ride. The Nundah circuit will feature a creek crossing which will guarantee that every finishing line photo will be of a muddy rider.

Taking up half the mud! Briztreadley covers cyclocross, and women’s participation in cycling

… and indeed women in cyclocross.

Jordana Blackman rejoins Andrew Demack in the studio for a new episode of the Briztreadley podcast.

Thanks to special guest this week, Brad Norman (driving force behind cyclocross in SEQ), and Emma Best, founder of the Cyclocross Womens Collective, and the person behind the brand that is Bike Bestie.


Things we chat about this time:

As always, please let me know what you think! Email, or leave a comment on the Facebook page. Send your smoking hot news items to

A tour of Brookfield, a Welsh local legend, and a Dutch gentleman

Louise Jones ... a Welsh legend on the track and road, now living and coaching in Brisbane.

Louise Jones … a Welsh legend on the track and road, now living and coaching in Brisbane.

Plenty of variety in the Briztreadley podcast this week, with Chris Welsh (from Wales) and Andrew Demack (from Brisbane).

We speak to a local legend, Louise Jones (above).

We discover the link between the cobbled classics of Belgium and France, and the backroads of Brisbane, thanks to Ashley Everton and the Kangaroo Point Cycling Club.

And we chat to Martijn te Lintelo from Nijmegen, about what it is that Brisbane’s (and Australia’s) urban and transport planners can learn from The Netherlands.

Bike events mentioned this week

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S24O to Duck Creek Road

cup_brekky_viewThe best invitations have an element of mystery.

Flyboy Dave posted a grid reference to some of his mtb-riding friends (S 28 11 14.68 E 153 05 46.06) with the invitation to meet him there on Sunday night for a camp out, and ride back to whence one came, the next day.

I plugged the grid reference into Google Maps, and then into Ride With GPS. It was at the top of Duck Creek Road, which is a dirt road back way from Beaudesert to O’Reillys.

Even though I had never been on that road, the idea sounded pretty good to me.

There’s a difference, though, between the idea of a bike ride, and the ride itself.

I know this VERY well. And I also know that every time I plan an adventurous ride, there will be some moments on that ride where I hate it, and can’t imagine why on earth I ever thought it would be a good idea to do this particular thing.

To get to Duck Creek Road, I started at Beaudesert. After a busy (& fun) weekend of church, family and social engagements, I left home around 3.15pm, and started riding from Jubilee Park at Beauey a little after 4.30pm.

With the sun scheduled to cease providing illumination in our part of world a little before 6pm, I knew there was no way I would ride 35km to the rendezvous spot in daylight. But luckily for me, Dave was in the same situation.

Dave left home even later than me, parked his car at Beaudesert as well, and caught me just at the start of the big climb.

Have I mentioned that Dave is really fit at the moment, because he is training for the Tour Divide, one of the most gruelling off-road races IN THE WORLD.

The sun set. A half-moon provided enough light to walk the bike. At riding pace I had a headlight.

We rode & walked the climb together. That is, when it got too steep for me to ride, I got off and walked, and Dave waited for me at the next natural re-group point.

By this method we climbed about 540 metres of vertical in 7 km. That is one of the harder dirt-road climbs in SEQ. I had some bad moments, and some better moments.

We arrived at the best lookout on Duck Creek Road about 7.45 pm. By the half-moon’s light, we could see over the valleys to the south and west, back down to Kerry, and the headwaters of the Albert River, and down to Duck Creek.

It was a spectacular view even when I couldn’t see it. It was better still the next morning.

The view from Duck Creek Road.

The view from Duck Creek Road.

Only a short further climb was required to find our camping spot, which had a sensational view to the north.

Dave set up his swish new Tarptent, I rolled out my shelterless setup (groundsheet, air mattress, sleeping bag). I had a bivvy bag in reserve, but if it had rained, I would have been quite uncomfortable. And wet.

Fortunately for me, the weather stayed fine. There was some food, some chat, followed by some snoring. The next morning, some packing up, and then some more riding!

A great overnighter to finish off an excellent weekend.

Briztreadley Episode 9: Nothing but cheese

IMG_0261.JPG-1Andrew and Chris hanging out in the Briztreadley studio, and comparing tasting notes about Towri Sheep Cheese.

See some photos from our Towri ride on Facebook.

And also some other stuff, including the first of our Local Legends, in Gino Cornacchia, and also the Oceania MTB championships from Toowoomba.

Don’t forget, if you are enjoying the show, please tell a friend about the Briztreadley podcast. We really need your word of mouth to spread this far and wide.

Rolling along from Beaudesert to Towri on a sunny Saturday.

Rolling along from Beaudesert to Towri on a sunny Saturday.

Today’s plan: Ride your bike, have fun and encourage women to ride also


So here’s Episode 8 of the Briztreadley podcast for 2015. And just in time, because there’s some time-specific information in this edition.

On Saturday 28 Feb, 4pm, there’s a Chickspiration event that will help fund Janine Jungfels’ UCI Trials World Cup campaign this year. Listen to Jordy and Andrew talk it up, and of course you’re going to go, or at least donate!

She Rides is a great encouragement and skills program for women, organised nationally by Cycling Australia. We talk to Vickie Burr from Redlands about her experience with the pilot program, and why it’s a great way to get more women into this male-dominated activity. Registrations close Sunday 1 March for the current series of programs, so act now!

Mountain bike orienteering … there really can’t be anything more likely to lead to family fun on a bike than that! Ideal for father-son bonding, or mother-daughter, father-daughter, mother-son, sister-brother, or even people who aren’t related to each other. We talk to Craig Steffens about an event coming up on Saturday 14th March. Check it out, it’s FREE.

And lastly we talk to Mark Fenner about Today’s Plan, and Andrew no longer has any excuse for failing to score points in B-grade in the Queensland Cyclocross series this year. Affordable training plans tailored to your needs! How could it go wrong?

The Briztreadley podcast, hosted this week by Andrew Demack and Jordana Blackman, with guests Craig Steffens, Vickie Burr and Mark Fenner.




No more CarLand, let’s move to Velotopia!

Episode 6 of the Briztreadley podcast has interviews and our musing on just the one topic: Where or what is “Velotopia”?

Groningen in the Netherlands ... as close to Velotopia as we can find at the moment!

Groningen in the Netherlands … as close to Velotopia as we can find at the moment! Pic from Streetfilms.

Dr Steven Fleming has written about his idea of Velotopia on his blog, Behooving Moving. Dr Fleming and his collaborator Prof Angelina Russo held a workshop at the Queensland Museum in early February. Briztreadley’s Andrew Demack was there in his capacity as the Development Officer for Bicycle Queensland.

As more information becomes available from this workshop, I will post it here on the Briztreadley blog.

Let's workshop this idea.

Let’s workshop this idea.

Plus there’s a little bit of follow-up news from the Oceania road-racing championships as well.


How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice practice practice.

Dan's mere presence makes brazing easier! #whatwouldyoubuild #bikeschoolviews

A photo posted by United Bicycle Institute (@unitedbicycle) on

Nice work Bike Bestie! Keep it up!

And speaking of practicing, we’re recording the next podcast tonight, so it should be nestled in your iPhone (other smartphones are available) sometime late Thursday night.

In this episode:

  • NEWS! Follow-ups from previous episodes!
  • The Hour Record
  • The Herald Sun Tour
  • Interviews with cyclocrossers Lindsay Gorrell and Garry Milburn who paid their own way to race for Australia at the World CX Champs in Tabor, Czech Republic. Massive effort!

And so much more, we have big ideas and we’re not afraid to put them out there! Practice practice practice, and we’ll make a better podcast with more listeners. Practice practice practice for our good friend Emma, and as Brad Norman says “BIKES FOR EVERYONE!”

UPDATE: OK, it’s all gone a bit wrong tonight, so we won’t be posting a Briztreadley podcast by Thursday evening. Looks like we will record a weekend special!


From the Karri forests of WA to ankle-deep mud in Tabor

Full gas around the superb berms at the Pemberton mtb park, the WA rounds of the national cross-country mountain bike series.

Full gas around the superb berms at the Pemberton mtb park, the WA rounds of the national cross-country mountain bike series. Pic courtesy of Mike Blewitt, AMB.

And for Episode 4 of the Briztreadley podcast, we get some real expertise on board.

First we chat to the editor of Australian Mountain Bike magazine, Mike Blewitt, about the high standard of racing at the recent WA rounds of the national cross-country mountain bike series. With heaps of young talent coming through the ranks in both mens and womens fields, the future looks bright for cross-country in this country. And there’s a new stage race in WA as well, the 2 Oceans event.

And then we metaphorically jet off to Europe with the members of Australia’s team for the World Cyclocross Championships this coming weekend in Tabor, in the Czech Republic. Sean Couley, from Australian Cyclocross Magazine previews the Worlds, with a wide-open battle in the womens race, and the duel of the break-out youngsters in the mens.

With Andrew Demack, Chris Welsh and Jordana Blackman.



Sumer is icumen in*

In the forest, with some friends. At night!

In the forest, with some friends. At night!

And for the bike-riding population of SEQ, it poses a few problems …

When should I ride my bike? If I start at 4.30 am, when it is surely light enough, I have to go to bed at 8.30pm to get sufficient sleep. If I go to bed before 10pm so I can start at 6 am, I’m a stinking sweaty mess by 7.30.

The afternoons aren’t much better … if the storm doesn’t come then its still 30 degrees at 5pm.

Well, of course the answer is that you should ride your bike at night.

That was the reasoning behind last Friday night’s CX social ride from Stones Corner up to Toohey Forest and back. And we had nearly the perfect combination of post-storm drizzle and nicely damped-down forest trails. It was great fun, and nobody did any lasting damage to themselves or their bikes. The rain was a blessing in disguise, because the Facebook event had 31 people who said they were going. In the end we had less than half that number. Which was plenty to keep track of in the forest at night!

Night riding is such a fun thing to do in summer. And you can make it into a micro-adventure by including a camp-out at the end. Or you can finish as we did on Friday night at a bar or a cafe.

Or, you can just ride through the night somewhere away from the traffic and the city. I couldn’t fit the Midnight Century into my schedule this year, so I’m going to have to come up with my own version. Stay tuned for crazy ideas.


Road-riders, my advice is to pick up one of these at your local bike shop. It’s the best accessory for a rainy summer, other than having two pairs of shoes, so you can have one pair drying out in between rainy rides.

*“Summer is a-coming in”, the oldest known song in the English language, apparently.