2014 - GNaTPACK - Race 5 and NIXC Race 4 - Armidale - Attitude @ Altitude - 31/8/14

Post date: Aug 31, 2014 6:16:29 AM

2014 Attitude @ Altitude

XCO racing at its finest, the team of eager volunteers that make up a New England Mountain Bike club have put together a race that everyone will remember for all the right reasons. This year's race combined the GNaTPAC (mid north coast clubs) and NIXC (Northern inland clubs) series into one event at Armidale's "Piney" and the combination proved to be a fantastic success. Weeks of preparation and a couple of inches of rain setup the track to be the best it has ever been. The track was designed to incorporate as much of the fun sections as possible but to get the fun riders had to do the climbs and since most of the riders had travelled a long way to get here they also had to deal with the change in altitude which works to locals advantage especially on the climbs. The technical nature of the terrain in the Piney made the riders work to maximum capacity and less than 10% of them could ride the whole track including the all of the A lines. This left them all having to chose between risking the A line and a possible crash or taking the B line and the time penalty. The course wound its way along the creek under the bridge and into a spectacular water crossing causing some serious smiles and fun. The riders then trekked into the forest for some technical work followed by the jumps, 2 more tough climbs and then back down under the bridge to "the rock" before finishing back at Charleston Willows.

The mass start saw 130 riders flying across the clearing and into the single track and it did not take long for the elite riders to get away with Michael Harris racing away from Sam Kent and Peter Horwood and it was catch up from then on. The young 15 year old was riding further ahead for the first 4 laps and looked like he had it in the bag until his young legs gave out on the final lap and Sam managed to get the overall win followed by Pete with young Mick limping in 3rd. The open women was a little different with local Jo Benham racing off the line and keeping Jemma Burtonwood and Jodi Mayled at bay. A full summary of the results can be found at www.nemtb.com.au.

The masters categories are always hotly contested and masters females fought tooth and nail to the very end with Alyssa Rogan just getting in ahead of Jaqui Munday and Ruth Strapp. In the Men it was the Coastal Boys lead by Mark Drury and Jai Cooper who managed to get the points.

The junior categories were a little more cut and dry with Fergus McQueen, Emily Wooster and Katherine Hosking from the NIAS team dominating in their age groups. The U/17 Boys were a little tougher with Tom Fletcher coming home ahead of NIAS Athlete Hugh Munday and Blake Tipper.

It was great to see a big field in the Super Masters (over 50) with Mick Hoynes finally conquering the Piney and make the transition from the road. The Ultra Masters also saw some great results with Lionel Campbell just edging out Richard Wilkinson who also does most of his training on the road.

Fastest times for the Day - Michael Harris did a breathtaking 16.49 which was nearly a minute faster than the next fastest riders. In the Women Kath Hosking managed a 19.58 which was very fast considering she ran the last 1km with 2 flat tyres.

This style of event makes the riders race hard for the whole time and this combined with the technical nature of the course tested the athletes to their limits both physically and mentally. There were a couple of good stacks and couple of busted bikes and some emotional moments for a few riders but overall vibe was fantastic and riders must be congratulated. The club really appreciates the support of the community and that of all the riders who travel to share the great atmosphere we have here in Armidale.