A pleasant twilight evening greeted the field of eager contestants in the opening round of the 2016/17 Dirt Crits series. As usual Round One commenced with an Individual Time Trial to provide a benchmark for the first half of the series. With a revised course for this season and some new faces to Dirt Crits, riders were keen to see who would set the early pace. The 2016/17 course retains some of the best features (including the rock garden) from last season but adds some fast, flowing corners to test all of the skills.
In the Junior Divison nine riders lined up for the start with Lachlan Warren setting the early pace and completing 12 laps in the 20 minute race window at an average lap time of 1:46. Kane Bassett and Marcel Russell both managed 11 laps, while Sam Williams and Dillon Ferguson tussled all the way to the finish of 10 laps each. Sam eventually secured fourth place with a margin of just one second.
A field of twenty two riders kicked off the Senior event with young gun Dylan McKenna showing a clean pair of heels on his fat bike to set up an early break over the field. Dylan reeled off four consistent laps in 45 minutes 26 seconds.
Tony Russell, Ben Bailey and Luke Stevens provided the real contest with each of them completing four laps within the 47 minute bracket. Behind them there was some close racing between Brad Blackmore, Steve Warren and Michael Scott, all completing four laps in the 50 minute bracket. Further down the field, Lachlan Warren backed up from a strong ride in the Junior event to complete three laps of the senior circuit in a respectable average lap time of 14:46.
Fortunately everyone in the field managed to outpace the mosquitoes ... which is probably more than can be said for the race coordinator and timekeeper!
For our October social ride (Sunday 23 October) we will be staying close to home and re-discovering some of the trail goodness to be found in our own backyard. Andy Bos will lead us on a journey through the forest to the east of Woodbrook Road in an exploration of the legendary Ken's Trails ... plus a few local favourites.
The ride will take 2-3 hours at a 'social' pace. There will be plenty of stops to regroup. Afterwards there will be an opportunity to stop in at the Tap Room for a pizza for those seeking some further sustenance.
Intermediate skill and fitness levels are required. The ride will include some technical sections, some with B-lines and others that can easily be walked.
As this ride begins and ends in Castlemaine we will also be offering an introductory mountain bike ride over a shorter distance and on beginner trails for people who are new to the sport or keen to sample some of the singletrack choices within easy reach of the town centre. So if you are keen to see what is on offer out in the forest but have limited experience and/or time this will be an ideal introduction.
Riders must be self sufficient with food, water, spares, pump and basic first aid items. Note day licenses for non-MTBA members are now optional, but can be purchased on the day for $10.
Both rides will depart at 9am from Das Kaffeehaus, Walker Street, Castlemaine. Turn up a bit earlier to get your pre-ride coffee fix.
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