The Shimano MTB GP headed to Ourimbah - and here's the JetBlack MTB Team's report from their day on the trails.
With a long break in racing for the Rockytrail Shimano MTB GP Series, Saturday 23rd June saw masses of people attend the race with 300+ riders in the fields to tackling the Mighty Ourimbah. The Central Coast region had been hit with a huge amount of rain in the 2 weeks leading up but Ourimbah had been spared a lot of it which meant hero dirt was on offer for the 9km loop that had been set by Race Director Martin Wisata.
The JetBlack Family consisted of 43 riders which welcomed some new faces and the regulars. After a quick recce lap it was down to business with the hill climb start seeing the usual congo line into the singletrack. Matt Vass, Elton Judd & Kevlar were the 1st of 3 riders through in the top 12 riders for the team. A little crash at the start held up some of the usual suspects.
Gordo again was super-fast but with Matt Vass succumbing to a meeting with a tree, Gordo was left to enjoy the remainder of the day and as he would say ‘punch out some fast laps’. The Masters Team of 3 consisting of Troy, Steve & Tom were again the ones to beat and with lap times ranging from 31 to 33 minutes all day they lead the way and took GC and category honours over the other teams. The GC Team of 3s podium was ALL JB Racing with the return of Mr Grant Shaw joining Ian Charles and Adrian Azzopardi.
I got the pleasure of completing my 1st lap with one Mr Michael Crummy who was chasing hard after being caught up in the earlier start crash and was on some flyers. The 3rd lap was spent with Jason English or as people have come to know him ‘Mr Have a Chat’. We passed the time discussing how great the track was, his upcoming surgery and his next World Title campaign in Scotland. To sum up the conditions of the trail they could not get any better.
A new recruit to the team was a young Brad Weston who has progressed from club racing at WSMTB and joining the JetBlack family with Clyde Nolan and Aidan Judd. These boys early on were sitting in 3rd in GC for team of 3s which was an amazing effort. They did take out their category and looked to all be enjoying the conditions at Ourimbah.
As the team has started a fundraising campaign David Leckie was left in charge of distributing the chocolate boxes to the team during the day. He was quite often found out in the wilderness watching the race and heckling but a quick call from our treasurer Rachelle (his partner) sternly advising to make sure his 1 task was completed and he was back into it. But in true injured Leckie fashion he completed his task and the running joke became we should be sponsored by Cadburys.
As everyone’s day wrapped up there were smiles all round and podiums full of our famous colours. Well done to all that tackles and conquered Ourimbah. The Team skills sessions certainly paid dividends and one report from Candace was ‘I passed some of the juniors walking in a section we practised last weekend’. More time on the bikes and skills sessions really pay off.