One of Australia’s most loved and iconic trail hubs played host to round 2 of the 2017 MTBA Gravity Enduro National Series.
We are of course talking about Stromlo Forest, nestled in the nations capital. It’s a venue with incredible mountain bike history which has held multiple World Cup and World Championship events, arguably the most famous being the 2009 DH world champs where Steve Peat finally clinched the rainbow stripes.
This weekend’s event was held in conjunction with the excellent team at CORC club (Canberra Off-Road Cycles) and its safe to say that the entire weekend was run like a well-oiled machine! Sunday’s race was made up of 5 timed stages and 5 liaison stages.
It was a super diverse mix of stages of technical rock gardens, steep dusty rabbit trails and the iconic fast and flow of World Trail. All up the athletes would ride about 28km with 900m of climbing and descending.
One of the most challenging aspects of the day was the ‘well oiled’ time schedule which left little room for error. Each stage and following liaison climb was to be completed in 40 minutes and left many riders sweating and out of breath at the start of the next timed stage, it became a true test of fitness and made for super close racing in all categories.
Many riders who were well placed would suffer mechanicals or heavy crashes and would plummet down the leaderboard or DNF, consistency became key and it would be reigning Australian champion Chris Panozzo and local Canberra legend Claire Whiteman who rode consistently faster than all others to take the top spots on the podium.
From the sidelines it was clear that everyone really enjoyed the mix of stages, fluid organization and stunning blue bird weather. It’s a perfect balance of fitness, technical skills and the socializing with mates. It is fantastic to see this level of Enduro racing currently exploding across Australia.
Full results (including stage times, and all the other classes) can be found here:
Round 3 of the 2017 MTBA Gravity Enduro National Series is set to take place over in Balingup, Western Australia on June 10th-11th where riders can expect another fantastic weekend of racing. Entries are currently open online and filling up fast so get in quick and secure your part of the action over in WA!
All photos // Matt Rousu