2016 National Mountain Bike Series Round 6 Toowoomba

Post date: Mar 6, 2016 11:09:38 AM

Photo; First national competition for all these podium getters in C Grade XCC; 1st David Cook, 2nd Angus Apps and 3rd Duncan Chalmers

The final round of the National Mountain Bike Series was held in Toowoomba’s Jubilee Park. The conditions were tough - very dry, dusty, temperature low thirties with high humidity. This was definitely going to test the southern riders.

Results Summary

Saturday Cross Country Olympic format (XCO) – Endurance long course format which is competed to Olympic Level

U15 Women – Isabella Hosking (1st) and 2nd in the Series.

U15 Men – Harry Wooster 5th and Sam Feltham (Walcha) 6th

U17 Women – Emily Wooster 2nd. First ever national round for Sarah Schalk 5th, Alison Billings 6th and Grace Ledingham (Walcha) 7th.

U17 Men – Fergus McQueen (Dorrigo) 5th. Also first national level race for David Cook 9th, Angus Apps 11th, Duncan Chalmers (13th), Tom Cannington (14th) and Jo Sewell (15th).

U19 Women – Katherine Hosking was racing up from U17 and came 1st and also took the series win.

U19 Men – Michael Harris 2nd and Jack Feltham (Walcha) 6th. Michael Harris finished 3rd in the Series Results.

Masters 5+ - Paul Billings 6th

Sunday Cross Country Criterion (XCC) – short course multi-lap race

C Grade Men – David Cook 1st, Angus Apps 2nd, Duncan Chalmers 3rd, Jo Sewell 4th, Sam Feltham 7th and Harry Wooster 8th.

B Grade Women – Isabella Hosking 1st, Emily Wooster 3rd and Sarah Schalk 6th. Isabella also came 2nd and Emily 3rd in the series.

B Grade Men – Fergus McQueen (Dorrigo) came 6th

A Grade Women – Katherine Hosking (U17) 3rd and out right winner of the series.

A Grade Men – Michael Harris (U19) 3rd and Jack Feltham in 8th.

Next will be National Championships in Bright Victoria in two weeks and then and Oceania Championship in Queenstown New Zealand in the following week.

Full Report

The final round of the National Mountain Bike Series was held in Toowoomba’s Jubilee Park. The conditions were tough - very dry, dusty, temperature low thirties with high humidity. This was definitely going to test the southern riders.

A large contingent of riders from NEMTB made the trip with 80% of the competitors being members of the NEMTB branch of the 2 Wheel Academy Race and Development Teams. For the Development Team this was going to be the first national level race they would compete in.

The 5.2 km course was well designed with two significant climbs. The first being more technical with tight rocky switch backs and containing about 2/3 of the laps vertical metres. In addition to this the hill was north facing and later racers would find this hill becoming more intense as the day warmed up. The second climb was less demanding and with a well-manicured flow section to carry the rider back to the base where a few high speed drops keep the riders on their toes.

Racing commenced with Cross Country Olympic format on the Saturday morning with the U15 and U17 men racing first. Harry Wooster and Sam Feltham had to complete 2 laps and managed to improve their previous rounds results with a 5th and 6th place respectively. In the U17 (3 laps) the additional four weeks of training saw Fergus McQueen (Dorrigo) move up to 5th place, up from 10th in the previous Thredbo round. The 2 Wheel Academy Development Team riders David Cook (9th), Angus Apps (11th), Duncan Chalmers (13th), Tom Cannington (14th) and Jo Sewell (15th) seemed to comfortably take on the new challenge of national level racing.

Isabella Hosking managed a very convincing win in the U15 2 lap race with a staggering 9 minute gap to second place, the volume of climbing and technical descents definitely suiting Hosking. Hosking also took the second place in the Series.

In the U17 (3 lap) event Emily Wooster bounced back nicely from her injury from round 4 in Western Australia and placed 2nd. The first National level event for the Development Team riders Sarah Schalk, Alison Billings and Grace Ledingham was also taken in their stride. Sarah Schalk managed to tame the rather technical and aggressive course to take 5th place while Billings and Ledingham finished in 6th and 7th place respectively.

Katherine Hosking from the Torq Merida Team (15 years old) continued to race up in Juniors (U19 - 4 lap race) to comfortably take the win and the overall series win.

Holly Harris was absent from the Elite Women field due to her racing the Oceania Road Cycling Championships in Bendigo where she performed very well achieving a 4th in the U23 and 20th including the elite women.

Junior Men (U19) saw some very intense racing in their 4 lap race. Both Michael Harris and Jack Feltham (Walcha) commenced with very explosive starts to ensure they secured good positions to lead into the race. Harris sat on second wheel while Feltham was in fourth position when they headed into the first section of single track to take on the first climb. Harris held a solid pace and by the finish of the first lap had taken the lead while Feltham settled the pace to be in sixth place. Harris was attacked on the last lap, and unable to match the increase in pace, finished in a season’s best in 2nd place while Feltham rode a consistent race finishing 6th. With his recent consistent performance Feltham is also expected to be selected for the National Junior Team to race at the World Championships later in the year.

John McQueen (Dorrigo) and Paul Billings raced in the Masters categories. This was the first National level race for Billings, in the Masters 5+ category, which required 3 laps to be completed. Billings settled into consistent lap times knowing that the late heat of the day was going to make this challenging. McQueen over committed with the pace in the stifling conditions and pulled himself from the race.

David Harris – NEMTB Chief Coach stated, “The Toowoomba last round of the 2015 - 16 series was by far the best result for the 2 Wheel Academy and the NEMTB Development program. We had riders on the elite Podiums as well as all of the junior podiums which means that the program is working well and the future is looking even more promising. A special mention to Katherine Hosking and Michael Harris who are riding well above our expectations and performing on the elite stage, their performance gives the rest of the team the path to get to the top. The Development Squad was all about exposure to the intensity of racing at this level and to see some of them on the podium really lifts the spirits of the whole team. A special thanks also goes out to the team managers Chris Feltham & David Leddingham and the squad Coaches Peter Hosking and Holly Harris. We also rely heavily on all of the parents who do all of the other jobs and keep the program running smoothly. National champs is the next major hit out for us and we are hopeful of a few podium finishes and even some green and gold if all goes to plan.”

Sunday saw the short course format racing commenced. This style of racing uses an 800m course with a good mix of hills and technical descents with competitors racing for 15 to 25 minutes plus two laps depending on their category. Rider that are expected to be lapped are removed from the race by the commissaires as the race unfolds.

C Grade Men commence first with a very strong performance from the local Development Team taking the first 4 places. David Cook had an incredibly explosive start attacking straight off the gun with no signs of the usual cyclist trains forming. He managed to hold this place for the 15 minute plus two lap race to take a convincing win. Angus Apps fought gallantly to hunt down Cook but after lap one the gap opened up a with Apps finishing 2nd. Duncan Chalmers took the final place on the podium (3rd) while Joe Sewell 4th, Sam Feltham 7th, Harry Wooster 8th, Tom Cannington crashed and was unable to finish the race.

In the B Grade Women, Isabella Hosking continued to show solid performance in this short course format taking the win with Emily Wooster finishing 3nd. Sarah Schalk came an impressive 6th place in her first run at this format at a National level.

B Grade Men saw Fergus McQueen (Dorrigo) working very hard to take 5th place.

A Grade Women was going to be an important race for Katherine Hosking who was holding the Series leader and would have to fight it out with the elite women. The race commenced with a very explosive start by an elite rider, with Hosking deciding to sit on the wheel with Rebecca Hendersons XCO Commonwealth medallist, sitting in third place. In the following lap Henderson took the lead and Hosking making a valent effort to chase. Hosking found the pace of the first two elite women too high and placed 3rd which was sufficient to hold onto the series win.

The A Grade Mens XCC was stacked with XCO elite men which was going to ensure that the pace was going to be excruciating for the Junior riders Michael Harris and Jack Feltham. Once again Harris and Feltham were able to put in their explosive starts and secure a good position moving into the single track. Harris was able to maintain the high pace lead by Danial McConnell (Elite Men World Cup Series round winner and 8th in UCI XCO World ranking) with Feltham managing to back up the previous day’s solid performance, placing 8th.

The strong performance by all the NEMTB riders has been well planned and sees them in the perfect position leading into the National Championships to be held in Bright, Victoria on 17th - 20th March, and the Oceania Championships being held in Queenstown New Zealand in the following week.

Peter Hosking, President of NEMTB, stated, “It is wonderful to see all the NEMTB athletes developing and putting themselves out at the highest level in Australia. It is not easy to train and compete at this level. These results are only possible because of all the hard work put in by the club’s volunteers that include trained coaches and trail pixies that maintain the trails just to name a few. We (Armidale) are very lucky to have such an inclusive mountain biking environment that allows us this to be a family sport, the great support from the Armidale Dumaresq Council, the community and local businesses, are all doing their bit to make this club tick.”