Single Track Mind Round 4 – Welby

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Our results at this event
Rider Overall Category Pos. Time
Wayne, David 6 Masters Male Pairs 2 7:09:07
Gazza, Martine 25 Mixed Pairs 3 7:31:15

After postponement due to the current fire’s we were looking forward to the next round of the STM series. After taking out round 3 at Awaba in both the Mens Masters and Mixed categories the SXC team were keen to perform well again.

Having never been to Welby before, I did not know what to expect. Gary and Doc assured me that it was much more technical then the fast and flowy Awaba track, which generally suits me well. Well after a full day there, I would rate Welby as one of my favourites – not sure why we haven’t heard more about it. Fast sections followed by some tech descents / ascents keeps you on your toes, and requires you to be smooth to be fast.

Gary Harwood (Mixed Pairs) and myself (Mens Pairs) lined after for the start. The start shute was a narrow double track, about 6 riders wide which didn’t leave a lot of room for a clean start. Gazza used his cyclocross skills to run up the side and jump in front of the lead pack to get a good start – I used a couple of big blokes to do the barging for me !

The first lap was fast as usual, Gazza crossed in the top 10 and I was 11th through, and then settled in for my second lap. Competition was hot, in the mens Jason & Paul Morgan racing the series for the first time, and the mens series leaders not far behind. Each lap were we actually racing side by side 1st or 2nd place in both the mens and mixed categories.

The first 4.5 hours was solid racing, the track was fast, and the mens team were neck a neck with less than 10 secs separating them from the competition. Who would be the first to crack ? Doc was a machine running 6 laps all within 30 secs of each other – seriously a robot couldn’t be more consistent. On my 5th lap (lap 9 overall) , I finally cracked, and the Morgans extended a got about 1 min lead. Doc tried to pull in back on the next lap, but we were loosing 30 secs a lap after that, which gave the Morgan’s the win in the Masters pairs.

Gazza and Martine were also chasing all day, but a few mechanicals slowed them down. Harwood was up there with the fastest riders of the day, lapping consistently in the top 10 riders. With Martine again up there with some of the fastest female laps. Unfortunately a mechanical – broken crank bolt, lost them an entire lap. But this couple don’t give up, Martine borrowed a bike about 2 sizes too big, with pedals she couldn’t clip into and manage to finish the race, salvaging a 3rd place finish with over an hour lost to mechanicals.

Overall a very satisfying day for the team in both categories - hard racing, on the rivet all day with some great competition. Final results were:

2nd Masters Male Pairs, 6th Overall
3rd Mixed Pairs, 25th Overall