Round 1 of the Shimano Queensland Enduro Series went down at Garapine on the weekend in some of the most trying conditions ever raced in South East Queensland. Grip was a luxury as the first round of the series graced the trails of the home of Enduro mountain bike racing in Australia, Garapine Mountain Bike Park. We strapped on a race plate and got downright dirty between the tape to bring you the inside info in our race report….
Written by Mike Branch
The week leading up to the race had its fair share of wet weather and had it been any other location the race may well have been called off. The trails at Garapine can handle some weather and the weather was expecting to abate to some degree for the race, full steam ahead over 200 racers strapped on a plate for a day in the mud. Practice day on the Saturday meant a moist day with greater than expected rainfall, but no shortage of smiles on the trails with trail conditions better than expected.
As Race day came around, the overcast conditions threatened to throw down more rain for the race, but for the most part only a few light showers fell from the clouds on the riders below. The trail conditions were not terrible at the start of the day with some trails faring better than others. By the end of the day though with over 200 riders hitting the trails, some of the trails were certainly playing the peanut butter game, making for no shortage of sliding, mud and a definite need for a bike wash after the race.
The stages for the day were the usual affair with Drop Bear, Short Notice, King Brown, Double Barrel, Dumb It Down and Bone Yard on the agenda. Unfortunately some timing issues occurred during the race meaning over 30% of riders times were affected on Drop Bear and Short Notice. EMS were faced with a dilemma and chose to exclude the timing on these two trails for all riders, the only fair decision to make given the circumstances.
The business end of the day saw Ryan Gilchrist takes the win by 5 secs over Ben Forbes and Tim Abbott in the Elite Men’s category; the Elite Women’s category saw Lisa Mathison take the win over Zoe Cuthbert and Elle De Nooyer. Teague Norbert won the Expert Male Class, Ellen Ward took the top step in Expert Female, Pete Smith won Veteran Men’s whilst Angela Williams won the Veteran Women’s category. The Masters categories saw Andrew Fellows and Cassie Abell takes the wins in their respective categories; the ebike category saw Lachlan Betts take the win.
The Junior showing was again an encouraging sight, with a total of 101 riders in all junior categories from U21 down to U13. With nearly half the riders racing being junior riders, it’s safe to say the sport of Enduro Mountain Biking is here to stay, with plenty more racing ahead in the future.
The U21 Men saw Will Hynes takes the win over Sam Butler and Bailey Meares; Sian Townsend took the win in U17 Women over Nia Townsend. Carter Sloan graced the top step in U17 Men, Oliver Colthup won U15 Men, Oceana Christoforidis took the win in U15 Women and Liam Montgomery won the U13 Men’s category. Overall an epic day on the bike in some tough conditions for all junior riders.
Round 1 of the series went off in awesome fashion with a great showing of riders there to fight the mud, get their slide on and chase the grip on the trails of Garapine. EMS Enduro have brought us another good series by the looks and it’s set to be an epic year between the tape here in Queensland. The next round of the series heads to Kooralbyn in May and you can enter here for the whole series or individual races.
As always, keep it pinned, rubber side down and we will see you on the trails…..