When the calendar was released last year and Rydal popped up for Round 2 it certainly brought a lot of excitement.  Not many people knew there was a MTB trail in this region, not many people knew where this was but what everyone was excited about was that again Rockytrail was taking a round to another new venue and listening to rider’s feedback about providing variety.

As the weekend approached lot’s of views of the trail and research as to elevation, terrain and type of day we would be in for was undertaken (outside of work time of course).  It would seem that post the elevation fest at Glenrock riders would be in for a 100m vertical per lap.  Now a lot of people always think great.  Me on the other hand have ridden enough trails to know that this means 8 – 10 km of peddling constantly with little breaks on decents.  As it turned out I was correct.

A beautiful morning greeted all the riders and with some who chose to camp in these fantastic facilities at the Rydal Showground.  Set-up of the now famous JetBlack rolling MTB team was complete it was time to see what the trails had in store for the day.  Dry conditions and a track that would reward focussed cornering technique and skills but also a track that suited all abilities which was good as the JB team had a juniors racing for some the first time.

The pits filled up and it was time for the riders brief where a now shaved head Crafty had the microphone stuck firmly to his mouth.  As the riders lined up it would be a quick 500m sprint into the singletrack around 2 massive puddles which proved no drama for the remainder of the race but with +100 riders all aiming for a small piece of real estate some would be winners and some muddy.

With the race underway all riders enjoyed the corners, surface and variety that this track had.  The JetBlack Team had a wide mix of categories that covered 4hrs & 7hrs.  It was great to see some familiar faces that had returned for this round and a lot of new faces that make up our team roster.  The juniors riding in their first event saw Candace & Sienna taking on the junior boys of Aidan and Judah for the glory of fastest junior VERY under 18’s pair of the day.  The boys took the honours but the girls certainly showed that more time on the bike will see this battle draw closer as the season goes on.

The thing that I get blown away with about being involved with such a diverse group of people is the support and guidance across the board from the Elite of Scott Reynolds, Andrew Fell, Craig Gordon and others that filter through to the other riders.  I guess this is why I put my hand up each year alongside other committee members to see this unfold.


battles of the day:

  • Mens Pairs
    • The young guns (Scott & Owen) vs The old Boys (Gordo & Felly).  This battle was on all day and saw the young boys kick butt thanks to the super fast times and a great start from Scotty & Owen throughout the day.
    • Dave Collins and Malachi pumped out super consistent laps throughout the day and spent the race swapping places with the Masters Team of 3 of ours with a huge amount of banter being swapped each lap as places changed throughout the race several times.
  • Junior Boys & Girls
    • Candace and Sienna lined up against Judah and Aidan for the bragging rights.  This was the first race that all had competed in the 4hr series.  After their warm up laps they were all comfortable with what lay ahead and had arranged the start riders.  Candace and Aidan would go over first with the handover to the Covington Sister and Brother duo. 
    • Fergus stepped up to solo an finished solid on the podium with some super consistent times throughout his 4hr race.
  • The Solo Crew
    • This season has seen a lot of the JB team venture into the Solo side of Rockytrail racing.  Lap after lap then turn the pedals and I’m sure get to enjoy so many aspects of the trails we ride on.
    • Dalene managed 9 laps of the 8km course and finished 2nd place in category but the biggest story of the day post race was the Peter Rohr had finished 4th place and rode the last lap with his competitor chatting and thinking that they were battling for 4th / 5th not 3rd & 4th…. Lesson learnt !!!!
  • Team of 3’s
    • The battle was on once we had to find a rider to replace Pickles and Elton who was planning on doing a 4hr took the opportunity to step into the Masters Team of ours who would battle against Nathan, Simon and Troy.  On the day the young guns took the choccies and smashed out super fast laps all day to finish 4th outright for the day. 
    • The podium in the Masters Cat was an all JetBlack affair with Ron, Peter & Steve in 3rd place on 14 laps just behind Mark, Andrew & Ezra on 14 laps as well. 

All in all another great race day with Rockytrail and the JetBlack team.  We have kicked off our Golden Ticket raffle to Gruppetto in Italy for 2018 where for $100 you get a 1 in 200 chance to win.

A break now till round 3 which will see the team head to Ourimbah.  Always a favourite on the racing calendar.