Gippsland MTB 3 hour enduro


 Feature of the day was the impressive turnout of 35 riders from all over Gippsland; coming from as far afield as Orbost, Melbourne, Pakenham, Leongatha, pleanty from the Latrobe Valley, Sale & Bairnsdale.  Well done to all that made the effort to travel all the way to Lakes Entrance.  Even though GMTB is relatively new we can boast members from literally all over Gippsland. A special mention must go to Damien Kriek & Liam Giove who rode as a team, coming all they way from Orbost.  Not only did they put in some really good lap times, but they are both only 9 years old.  Great effort & great attitude. Well done.

Well done to Tony & Morgan Clark coming all the way from Leongatha.  Tony rode strongly all day to come in 3rd, but look out for Morgan who is only 14 years old and showing some form on the road bike as well, keep up the good work.

We expected the 5.7km course that featured no fire trail at all to be fast.  It was.  Brad Fisher’s first lap of just over 17 minutes was impressive only to be shaded by Steve Mcrae’s 9th lap of 16 minutes 18 seconds to average almost 21km/h.  An amazing effort to have such a fast lap after a couple of hours of racing.

The 6 or 7 or however-many-there-were amigos were out in force; obviously concerned about the effect of Operation Puerto was having on the image of mountain biking in Gippsland decided to take matters into their own hands & take random drug tests prior to the race.  Funnily enough it was only the amigos that failed the tests; illegal quantities of substances ranging from midstrength beer to vick’s vaporub to viagra being found in mostly middle aged men wearing ponchos.  Some were also seen with traces of lycra which may attract attention from the international amigo governing body ‘Corona’.

Excitement was at fever-pitch as the riders assembled in the Forestech carpark for a 10am kick-off.  What was to be story of the day?  Did Stratford bean-pole Simon Rothwell have enough McDonalds egg & bacon muffins on board to last the 3 hours?  Was Riviera Cycle’s mechanic Tom Hartley going to ride on his BMX monkey-bike, Kamakaze-style?  Was Steve McRae going to get lost….again?  But probably the most eagerly awaited match-up was the Team Arnup versus Team Blegg versus Team Riviera Cycles.  Battle of the titans.  Rumble in Jungle.  Well, Deanna Blegg is a gun and Dave Arnup rides an fancy-bike-bling Elsworth and the Riviera cycles team all ride bikes.  Sounds like a dramatic story.  Deanna brought along Colquhuon Forest ‘resident’ sister Sharon and father Howard.  Dave brought along little brothers Andrew & Duncan.  Matt from Riviera cycles brought along Tom the BMX rider but forgot to bring along Gary or Baden (the ones who can ride).

Turned out to be a bit of a non-event.  Deanna was more interested in trying to lap husband Andy; and although she wasn’t successful in doing that in the process she gave Dave Arnup a bit of a touch-up and as for the Riviera Cycles crew… well, where do we start.  Matt started well by turning up with the KHS 29e’r.  Very impressive machine.  Apparantely 29er’s don’t need front suspension but Matt went over the front at the first tree root.  With what Matt thought was only a dose of injured pride he soldiered on but gave up then called in sick on Monday with a broken arm.  Hope you get better soon Matt.  Tom looked like he was ready for a spill being kitted up with shin-pads, so he promptly did, then retired.  Team Blegg almost lives in the Colquhuon Forest.  Sharon beat brother-in-law Andy in the first race but couldn’t quite do it this time.  Howard charged around all day and if I told you how old he is you would all be utterly embarrassed.  Howard, you are a legend.  Team Arnup looked good.  A fancy European van to cart the fancy bling bikes around in.  That has got to count for something.  Word on the streets is that Team Arnup actually used Sunday’s race as a start of training for the Gravity 12 hour.  We understand that vast quantities of beer & rum were also involved.

Steve Mcrae, our winner, used a much better race strategy as opposed to the first race.  This time he actually followed somebody for 8 or so laps, made sure he knew where he was going, THEN decided to take the lead.  Clever thinking, Steve.  Kyle & Lance decided to do a bit of course-familiarisation prior to the start but obviously thought Lakes Entrance was in a different time zone to Drouin and missed the start.  Simon Rothwell was obviously a bit dirty on the 10am start because Bairnsdale Maccas is only doing breakfast menu at the time Simon & Liz were travelling through – quarter pounders are much better fuel, so expect races with an 11am or later start time for fast times from Simon.

Effort of the day must come from Dean Morris.  After taking a detour from the race course to ‘sniff the roses’, Dean & a few others come across what was obviously a particularly techincal section of rail trail; because do sooner did Dean deride the condition of the trail did an errant twig decide to separate Dean’s derailleur from Dean’s almost brand new bike.  Bad luck.

Many thanks to Gary Jackson from Riviera Cycles in Bairnsdale for very generously donating prizes, again.  Thankyou. Many thanks also to GMTB’s new assistant curator, Andy Brown for preparing the track. 

See you all at the next GMTB event. 

  Laps Time
Steve McRae 10 3.04.56
Brad Fisher 10 3.07.39
Tony Clark 10 3.11.43
Dee Blegg 10 3.17.17
Ashley Higman 10 3.15.45
David Arnup 10 3.25.28
Dino Giove 9 3.01.58
Andrew Brown 9 3.18.51
Sharon Dilly 8 2.59.25
Mark Baines 8 3.00.31
Deon Kriek 8 3.08.09
Howard Blegg 8 3.14.30
Morgan Clark 7 2.31.30
Simon Rothwell 7 2.46.22
Graeme Trewern 7 3.01.30
Liz Carlsson 7 3.08.48
Marcus Foley 6 2.30.26
Stephen Loft 6 3.11.20
Terry Trewern 6 3.24.37
Lenny Van Berkel 5 3.15.24
Mark Howard Jones 5 3.04.43
Jacinta Nelson 5 2.48.06
Alan McGuire 4 3.03.40
Glenn Brand 4 3.15.26
Dean Morris 3 2.40.00
Ian Johnston 3 3.03.24
Sam Chapman 2 2.33.40
Matt Tunne 2 1.05.00
Tom Hartley 1 29.13
Kyle Blackstock 10  
Lance Renshaw   3.14.28
Andrew Arnup 9  
Duncan Arnup   3.11.55
Damien Kriek 5  
Liam Giove   3.07.58

Click here to view the full results.

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