Race track briefing – Stromlo Round

Australian Gravity Enduro ACT Round at Stromlo –
2 race tracks, neutral rides to starts, combined times count
Thanks to some awesome input from some of the local Stromlo riders, we’ve put together two race tracks for Stromlo, including some of our favourites – you ride to the starts in neutral and combined race times count. We’re pretty lucky that Stromlo has such a versatile trail network and a good hill too. So the plan is that we will mark the neutral climbs in the week leading up to the event, so come Saturday you can explore the trails and race tracks – unofficial practice day. We’ll also mark the timing points so you know where to expect them on Sunday during the race.

Link to track map: http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com/events/GravityEnduro-location.html
How will timing work –
Check out this video that we made earlier in the year: http://youtu.be/YW3cajMGGp8
We are using a card-based timing system; it stores your start and finish times on the card you have on you and you need to have it read out at the timing stations (located right after the finish points). Before every race run you need to “clear” the cards, so it’s ready to store the new start and finish times. Those clearing devices are located at each start – plus, we’ll have marshalls all over the place to help you. No worries.

 

Race categories –
Whilst we’re proud to have had many elite men racing with us at the Australian Gravity Enduro Series from all over the country including Dan McMunn, Simon Buzzacott, Alpine Gravity’s Ben Watkins as well as Troy Brosnan in SA and Sam Hill at the recent WA round, Rocky Trail’s gravity enduro races have been really popular with juniors and female riders! Some of Australia’s top female gravity enduro races are expected to race at Stromlo with us, including Canberra’s Rosemary Barnes, 4X and DH old-hand Vanessa Thompson as well as Genevieve McKew, who has been competing overseas at Crankworx recently.

Genevieve McKew very focused out on track. - Photo: Outerimage.com.au
Genevieve McKew very focused out on track. – Photo: Outerimage.com.au

 

What bike to use –
A dual-suspension bike is definitely the go; you won’t need a full-on downhill bike, actually around 4-6 in travel is ideal. Juliane has been riding and racing a Pivot 5.7 Carbon – it’s a 26-in bike; Martin’s Pivot 429er performs really well too, both are dual suspension bikes. There are new 27.5 in bikes in the range too.

Check the range out here: http://www.jetblackproducts.com/categories/P

The "wings are out" - Rocky Trail's Juliane dashing down Luge on her Pivot machine. Photo: Sportograf
The “wings are out” – Rocky Trail’s Juliane dashing down Luge on her Pivot machine. Photo: Sportograf

 

What tires to use –
Stromlo is a rocky and dusty place, but we’re told that the trails are in prime condition right now. We can recommend some tires from the Rubena range, which we ourselves are running –

  • Front: Rubena Kratos – we found that this tire really comes into its own when the trails get ugly. Roots, rocks and ruts – this tyre is built to tackle whatever you can throw at it.
  • Back: Rubena Scylla – great for speed and awesome grip, very predictable in corners.

Here’s the link to a detailed product specification – we recommend choosing tires similar to those: http://pciaustralia.com.au/products-page/cross-country/

 

What will the tracks be like –
Check out the race track map we’ve put together for Stromlo: http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com/events/GravityEnduro-location.html

First things first – come and see us at the main Stromlo car park to pick up your number plate and timing chip card. **Important** – please give us the chip card back after your race runs on Sunday!! Registration will be open on Saturday from 3pm – 5pm and then on Sunday from 7.30am. Here’s the detailed schedule: http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com/events/GravityEnduro-schedule.html

You can then explore Stromlo and give the race tracks a practice run. Both starts are located in the same spot, so from the car park the quickest way to get to them is via the main Stromlo climb, we called it “Neutral climb 1” on our map.

 

Neutral climb 1:
From the car park you basically need to get to the top of the Stromlo Observatory and the race starts are up the top near the offical Stromlo Downhill track starts. You can use the general Blue Gums-Switchback-climb, which is used in pretty much most of the cross-country races run at Stromlo. It’s fun, keeps you entertained and will get your heart-rate up. It will take you about 20 (Martin) to 30 (Juliane) minutes 😉
However, what we’ll mark out and what’s probably a bit quicker is the main fire road access to the top. It will have some short and steep sections and take you about 20-30 minutes.

Neutral Climb 1. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com
Neutral Climb 1. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com

Now you have two options –
1. Rubena Track 1 – takes you back to the car park (and you can do the Neutral Climb 1 all over again) or
2. SHIMANO Track 2 – takes you to the back of Stromlo and you come back to the start via a fire road.

 

Rubena Track 1:
We’ll take you down the “new downhill” section, the “Vapour” trail. Jarred Rando and Ben Cory were among the initiators of this “flow-trail”. It has big berms and fast corners (prepare for an awesome stomach-feeling as you hit some of the compressions the right way, Juliane loves it!), which are all rideable and then it takes you down a rocky descent towards the main bridge (the big one that has “Canberra” written on it – you can see it from many trail sections of Stromlo). From there the fun continues – you get to ride the infamous “LUGE” trail, nothing too hard, but if you get to take your speed out of the many berms and across some of those camel-back roll-overs, you’ll clock in a very fast time.
The you chuck a hard right and have a quick climb ahead of you on a fireroad that takes you onto a section of the actual Stromlo Downhill track, which was also used during a recent 24H event at Stromlo, so all ride-able but a lot of fun.
Then we come to a section that’s called “The Playground”, which has a huge wall-ride, which you can or don’t have to do, there’s B- and C-lines around it all.
We then race towards the 4X-hill, chuck a right towards “Rascal” and fun singletrail section in the bush before coming towards the main event centre again. You go through the underpass and the finish will be on your right. Head straight to the timing tent to get your time read out.

Section on Luge - big berms await you. Photo: Deubel Bicycles
Section on Luge – big berms await you. Photo: Deubel Bicycles
Luge. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Luge. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Fireroad section towards the "Playground". Photo: The Roost
Fireroad section towards the “Playground”. Photo: The Roost
Entry into "Playground". Photo: The Roost
Entry into “Playground”. Photo: The Roost
"Playground" jumps towards the wall-ride. Photo: The Roost
“Playground” jumps towards the wall-ride. Photo: The Roost
Or choose the B-/C-Lines, you'll get less speed and can race past the wall-ride. Photo: The Roost
Or choose the B-/C-Lines, you’ll get less speed and can race past the wall-ride. Photo: The Roost
Event centre at Stromlo with under-pass. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Rocky Trail event centre at Stromlo with under-pass. Photo: OuterImage.com.au

 

SHIMANO Track 2:
Back at the start. A fast descent gets you to the “Western Wedgetail” section and to the “back of Stromlo”. A bit rocky – you can find some good lines going in between some of the rocks or if you’re keen just go straight over most of them. All roll-able.
“Pork Barrell” is next, which often is a bit dusty, it has a couple of wicked camel-back roll-overs that some of the keen beans will clear, it’s all about keeping the momentum and speed.
Then there is a fast descent towards “Double Dissolution” – the finish is at the end of that one. A lot of riders clear most of the table-tops and jumps, but at the same time they’re all roll-able as well. This one’s a good one to practice to find your ideal line – the first part of the Neutral Climb 2 goes parallel to it and you can session it.
We’ll mark a fire-road climb that’s the fastest way to get back to the start and there’s a fun singletrail ride if you want to get back to the car park.

Squeeze through Echidna Gap - right after the SHIMANO Track 2 start. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Squeeze through Echidna Gap – right after the SHIMANO Track 2 start. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Western Wedgetail intersection - a fast descent awaits you towards Pork Barrell! Photo: The Roost
Western Wedgetail intersection – a fast descent awaits you towards Pork Barrell! Photo: The Roost
Pork Barrell can be a bit dusty. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Pork Barrell can be a bit dusty. Photo: OuterImage.com.au
Descent on Pork Barrell/Duffy's. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com
Descent on Pork Barrell/Duffy’s. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com
Double Dissolution. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com
Double Dissolution. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com
Getting some air on Double Dissolution. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com
Getting some air on Double Dissolution. Photo: GiRoPhoto.com

 

Neutral Climb 2:
Fire-road climb, about 20 minutes, one good pinch in it.

Magnificent views at Stromlo - don't forget to look up and enjoy it! Photo: GiRoPhoto.com
Magnificent views at Stromlo – don’t forget to look up and enjoy it! Photo: GiRoPhoto.com

 

Looking forward to seeing you all at Stromlo!

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