With a three-second victory at Stromlo Forest Park, Canberra’s Rosemary Barnes secured herself the Elite Women’s series title on the weekend’s fifth round of the Australian Gravity Enduro Mountain Bike Series. Local favourite Ben Cory took out the Elite Men’s win ahead of Dan MacMunn from Victoria, who defended his series lead and will have to go up against his closest contender for the overall win, Simon Buzacott from South Australia, in the final series event at in Cairns this October.
The fifth round of the Australian Gravity Enduro Series was held in Canberra on the weekend. Hosted by Rocky Trail Entertainment, almost 200 riders from all over the country competed in the popular new racing style of neutral up-hills and timed cross-country and downhill race runs at Stromlo Forest Park. With Ben Cory and Rosemary Barnes both elite male and female category wins were claimed by local riders who took full advantage of racing on their home track.
Rosemary Barnes scores top points
Admitting that she went into the race quite nervously, Rosemary Barnes finished in 13:33 minutes, confidently clocking in the fastest race times on both timed track sections. “I knew that I had some strong competition, not only from Claire [Whiteman], but also from the interstate girls”, said a relieved Barnes at the end of the day, revealing the secret to her three-second win ahead of fellow Canberran Whiteman. “I raced with my full-face helmet today, it sort of gives me more confidence I think on the fast descents and gets my head into the right space for gravity enduro.”
“It was just great competing in such a strong field of women today”, agreed second-placed Whiteman. “The fact that the top finishers’ times are so close together shows how strong our female talent pool is in Australia!”
With two race wins and three third places, Rosemary Barnes now has virtually secured herself the first Australian Elite Women’s Gravity Enduro Series title ahead of Vanessa Thompson from Yanderra who came in fourth at Stromlo. Third in the series is Jaclyn Schapel from South Australia ahead of Sydney’s Genevieve McKew and Kath Bicknell.
Elite Men’s series wide open
Last year’s Alpine Gravity series winner Dan MacMunn was one of the favourites at Stromlo, however, he couldn’t beat local Ben Cory’s 11:35 min time, finishing in second place with a gap of ten seconds. Cross-country whippet Dylan Cooper claimed the third place ahead of Tim Eaton and Ryan Walsh whose total race times put them in equal fourth place.
With over 2000 points the 32-year old fire fighter MacMunn still leads the Elite Men’s series ahead of Simon Buzacott who finished in eighth place at Stromlo. With Ryan De La Rue and Ben Randall two Victorians hold an ex aequo third place with Ben Cory slipping into fifth place.
The deciding race will take place at Smithfield MTB Park in Cairns on 11+12 October together with the Cairns MTB Club who will put together six stages over the two-day event.
Top Results ACT Round
1. Rosemary Barnes / Onyabike, Swell Design Group / Lyneham ACT / 13:33 min
2 . Claire Whiteman / LIV, Onya Bike Canberra, Dharco / Kambah ACT / 13:36 min / + 3 sec.
3. Jaclyn Schapel / LivAustralia:4Shaw:Adidas Eyewear:Torq Nutrition / Adelaide SA / 13:42 min / + 9 sec.
4. Vanessa Thompson / Yanderra NSW / 14:24 min / + 51 sec.
5. Kath Bicknell / FLOW MTB / Sydney NSW / 14:36 min / + 1:03 min
1. Ben Cory / Giant Bicycles, SRAM, RockShox, OnyaBike, Vans / Kambah ACT / 11:35 min
2. Dan MacMunn / Yetioz, ShimanoAus, Schwalbe / Spring Gully VIC / 11:45 min / + 10 sec.
3. Dylan Cooper / Trek Racing Australia / Canberra ACT / 11:54 min / +19 sec.
= 4. Tim Eaton / Giant, Sram, Oakley, Thredbo, Onya bike Canberra, swift supplements / Issacs ACT / 11:56 min / + 21 sec.
= 4. Ryan Walsch / Trek Bikes Australia / Scullin ACT / 11:56 min / + 21 sec.
Top Series Progress Results after Round 5
1. Rosemary Barnes / Onyabike, Swell Design Group / Lyneham ACT / 2460 pts
2. Vanessa Thompson / Yanderra NSW / 1820 pts
3. Jaclyn Schapel / LivAustralia:4Shaw:Adidas Eyewear:Torq Nutrition / Adelaide SA / 1520 pts
4. Genevieve McKew / Knolly Bikes, Endless Flow Cycles / Sydney NSW / 1100 pts
5. Kath Bicknell / FLOW MTB / Sydney NSW / 860 pts
1. Dan MacMunn / Yetioz, ShimanoAus, Schwalbe / Spring Gully VIC / 2120 pts
2. Simon Buzacott / Focus Bikes, Ion, Dissent Labs / Somerton Park SA / 1800 pts
= 3. Ben Randall / Dharco, My Mountain / Hurstbridge VIC / 1130 pts
= 3. Ryan De La Rue / Specialized AU, Lusty, TLD, Go Pro, 5.10, World Trail / Colac VIC / 1130 pts
5. Ben Cory / Giant Bicycles, SRAM, RockShox, OnyaBike, Vans / Kambah ACT / 1100 pts