Two equal series leaders after four rounds: McNamara and Richardson

Paris Basson and Brooke Rowlands are the GP4-hour elite winners of the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix Round 4 at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan. In the GP7-hour competition turned out to be a nail-biter: Canberra’s EdMcDonald persisted on the challenging track and won ahead of Quantum racers Michal Kafka and Ondrej Slezak. But it was Callum McNamara that attacked Max Richardson’s series lead early on and with a fourth place ahead of the final series event on his home track at Stromlo Forest Park on 13 September, McNamara now draws level with Richardson taking over the series lead ex aequo with the newcomer from the Central Coast.

Organisers Rocky Trail Entertainment summoned a record field of riders to the SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix race at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan. Almost 350 riders competed in the four and seven hour competitions and with his second victory Paris Basson further increased his series lead in the GP4-hour elite men’s category. Dominating a tight race among a field of more than 100 solo racers he managed to squeeze in 9 laps in 3:59:23 for yet another successful race with the birth of his first child imminent. Mike Cameron from Maroubra came in second with a gap of 6  minutes ahead of last year’s winner Daniel McDonald from Campbelltown.

Brooke Rowlands from Canberra won the women’s division by half a lap ahead of new series leader Wendy Stevenson from Sydney with Belinda Althaus from Bomaderry coming in third. In the series overall, Wendy Stevenson has a 25 point gap in the elite women’s category.

Briony Mattocks catches racing bug with Rocky Trail
Briony Mattocks from Turramurra took out the victory in what was her first seven-hour race and said she caught the endurance racing bug. “I was really struggling the last couple of laps, but something kicked in on the last lap that kept me going – this was a great event”, said Briony Mattocks in the finish, adding that one of the biggest motivational goals was to stay ahead of master rider and close friend Meredith Quinlan. “It was like riding away from a shark, I knew she was there and that she is a very strong rider”, said 29-year old Product Manager who caimed the overall women’s title with Quinlan winning the masters’ division.

McNamara attacks Richardson’s series lead early
Callum McNamara started riding an aggressive race, getting away from the solo field and Ed McDonald early on. However, some severe gastro problems caused him to slow down half-way through the day, enough for McDonald and the Quantum racers Kafka and Slezak to overtake.

“As soon as I got past Callum, I found my rhythm quickly”, said Ed Mcdonald who added that he used the event as a training race for the upcoming Australian 24 Hour Solo National Championships, which Rocky Trail Entertainment will host together with their JetBlack 24 Hour event at Mt Annan on the 29+30 November weekend.

McNamara still managed to hold onto a fourth place and Max Richardson, who had gone into the event as the series leader came in sixth. In an exciting turn of events this means that both racers will be at the start of the final series round as ex-aequo leaders.

Tough battle for elite series win ahead
The final series event will be held at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra on 13 September and organisers have just confirmed that Callum McNamara and Max Richardson are equally on 426 points in the GP7-hour elite men’s competition, promising a tight deciding race. The two riders had been racing strongly throughout the entire series, with Callum McNamara having slightly more experience in the endurance racing scene. Competing for the final round on his home track gives him another advantage, however, up and coming Max Richardson is sure to put up a fight for the series win. Kirby Knowles is in a more comfortable position in the GP7 Hour elite women’s category, leading ahead of fellow Novocastrian Laura Renshaw and Canberra’s Alyssa Glyde.

Detailed results from the Mount Annan event and online registration for Round 5 are now live on www.rockytrailentertainment.com

A confident Max Richardson (middle) among his Bikeworx Erina team mates at Mt Annan. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
A confident Max Richardson (middle) among his Bikeworx Erina team mates at Mt Annan. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Callum McNamara - one of the two GP7 elite men's series leaders. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Callum McNamara – one of the two GP7 elite men’s series leaders. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Paris Basson, comfortable GP4-hour elite men's lead after Round 4. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Paris Basson, comfortable GP4-hour elite men’s lead after Round 4. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Record-field at Round 4 of the SHIMANO MTB GP at Mt Annan. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Record-field at Round 4 of the SHIMANO MTB GP at Mt Annan. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Ed McDonald persists on the challenging track at Mount Annan in the lead up to the Australian 24H Solo National Championships with Rocky Trail in November.  Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Ed McDonald persists on the challenging track at Mount Annan in the lead up to the Australian 24H Solo National Championships with Rocky Trail in November. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Brooke Rowlands, GP4-hour elite women's winner at Mount Annan. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Brooke Rowlands, GP4-hour elite women’s winner at Mount Annan. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Briony Mattocks catches the endurance racing bug with Rocky Trail and wins the GP7 elite women's division. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Briony Mattocks catches the endurance racing bug with Rocky Trail and wins the GP7 elite women’s division. Photo: OuterImage.com.au

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