Gravity is your friend and foe in the world of mountain biking….
A record ninety competitors had both 1250m of altitude and gravity working against them, but exceptional Autumn weather shined, making for the best conditions seen in years. Overall performances reflected this, with some very fast times and many new personal bests.
There were plenty of unknowns at the start line with previous winner Ben Mather in his first race in months after a horrific December crash, Tom Goddard improvement this last year, defending King of the Mountain Michael Smith and Victorian newcomer Brendan Adair all in with a shot.
The first section of the course climbs fire trails through pine plantation. It’s steep from the start, with the legs warming up quickly. The first time check at the Ragged Jack Rd quarry showed a hard working Brendan Adair with a 5 second gap to a chasing Tom Goddard and Ben Mather. By the time these riders reached the gravel road, Mather had made his move, Goddard second and Adair third. Mean while Michael Smith was slowly losing ground in his attempt to defend the crown.
The final pinch up the imposing Jacob Ladder is not for the faint hearted, with steep ramps all the way to the plateau. By this stage Mather had total control and cruised to the finish at the highest pub in Tassie in a time of 1.16.48. Brendan Adair rallied up the ladder, overtaking Goddard to the finish in 1.21.04. Adair has just moved to Tassie recently, from the Mornington Peninsula and will add to the depth of races this year, after posting the fastest laps at the recent Kellevie 6 hour. Goddard finishing time of 1.21.21 was close to 5 minutes quicker than his last year result.
The women had a very tight race with masters racer Traci Lonergan taking her first Queen of the Mountain title 1.47.58 from Alice Springs Jess Harries (1.48.59) and Hobart multisporter Emma Weitnauer (1.50.44).
Other notable performers were World Champion rower Ali Foot who completed the event on in a touch over 1h 30m purely on rowing conditioning and Roger Butorac who recently completed Ironman Melbourne, recovering enough to post a solid time.
Other catagory winners
U19 Boys – B.Lack (1.34.39)
Veteran Male – P.Leslie (1.32.49)
Masters Male - T.Elmer (1.25.45)
Super Masters Male – D.Cook (1.33)
For full results and upcoming events go to LMBC