Big field tackles trail

Albany Advertiser

The Albany Mountain Bike Club’s first cross-country race of the year attracted 76 competitors who took in part of the soon-to-be-opened section of a new MTB-specific trail on Mt Clarence.

The course set was fun but challenging, with one hard climb up a long fire trail.

The reward at the top was to ride down to finish on the new section of trail.

The course was 3km long, with A-grade men completing six laps and other grades between three and five laps.

The under-13 boys and girls competed on a shorter version which also included the new section.

The A-grade attracted a field of 16, with State No.2 Nav Coole leading from the gun to win by more than eight minutes. The battle for second was fought by Keiron Benson and 14-year-old Lachlan Waldron, with Benson prevailing.

Lachlan chose not to race in the junior division as he is preparing to compete at the National Championships in Queensland next month as part of the State team.

In the A-grade women’s race, it was 13-year-old Jessica Waldron who rode strongly to win ahead of Louisa Bell by 48 seconds, with fast-improving Corinne Stoner not far behind Bell.

Like her brother, Jessica moved up to A-grade to prepare for the national titles.

In another big field, the B-grade men’s race was dominated by Mitchell Poet, who was a convincing winner by four minutes from Lee Griffiths and Bryn Westerberg in third spot. In the B-grade women’s race, it was much closer, with Florence Monro winning ahead of Dora Adeline and Di Fry in third.

The juniors nearly outnumbered the adult riders.

In the under-17 boys’ race, Lachlan Puls was a convincing winner by two minutes from Jack Day and Jeremy Staude.

In the hotly contested under-13 boys’ race, Harper O’Donnell showed his class, taking out the win by more than two minutes from Declan Poett with Tyla Anderson, hot on his wheel for third.

In the under-13 girls’ race, Chelsea Sobik dominated, winning by five minutes ahead of Abbey O’Donnell and Zoe Bascombe in third. The Albany Mountain Bike Club’s next event is on March 11 at the Marron Farm at Two Peoples Bay.

See the club’s website for details.

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