Are you looking for something to do on the Canberra Day Long Weekend? Why not head up to the Southern Highlands and race the James Williamson Enduro Challenge, we would love to see you there.
The race remembers a true champion and gentleman of the sport and supports some amazing junior riders.
I arrived at Thredbo on Thursday afternoon. I soon went out and had a practice lap of the XCO course. The course included a lot of climbing which really suits my riding style and also had some sort of rocky downhills but nothing overly technical. On the Friday morning I completed another practice lap to ensure I had the course nailed. The XCE was held on the Friday afternoon, this is always a fun event ! I posted a reasonably fast time trial time but nothing too exciting, after a few fast races I moved into the Semi Final round. In this round I held second place riding up the hill; unfortunately I got caught up in the moment and the other two riders got around me. Although I didn’t make it to the main Women’s Final, I did make it to the Women’s B final where I put in a fast start and pulled off a win which I was very happy about, placing me 5th overall in the elite women for the XCE.
On the Saturday morning I battled a bit with pre race nerves, so to get my mind off things I started my warm up early and rolled my legs over trying to focus for the day ahead. Before I knew it I was sitting on the start line for the XCO start. I was able to get a good start and put myself in a good position for the rest of the race. I was really enjoying the track on the first lap until I came to the end of a bridge with a tight down ramp. I had nailed this section in my practice laps, but with the added pressure from the race I found myself in a muddled heap down the bottom of the ramp. I soon recovered from this misadventure and hopped back on unscathed and still in the lead! Thinking that I had my crash out of the way for that race I was soon surprised when I came into the feed zone, took a new bottle then some how got tangled up and found myself in a muddled heap on the ground …. again, with everyone in the feed zone watching. After my mishap I refocused and kept the rest of my race clean, and managed to win my category which I was very pleased about.
Finally it was the point to point. I was more relaxed coming into the point to point and excited for the racing ahead! After my race start I put in a clean first lap of the course, with a good lead on my main competitor Em Parkes. With this lead I started to relax and really enjoy the course which in hindsight was not the way to handle the situation. On the final lap I heard someone coming up behind me, thinking it was a rider from a different category I asked if they wanted to go past …. only to realise it was Em. She had put in a massive effort and snuck up on me which she manages to do a fair bit !! After I suffered a mini heart attack I put my foot down to try and drop her, but I was unsuccessful and we were closing in on the end straight. It then came down to a sprint finish where I put in everything I had left and managed to win by .4 of a second !!
Photo: Sprint finish for the Point to Point – Russ Baker
Overall I had a great weekend. Thanks to my team Target Trek racing for all their support !!
Photo: Final podium for the weekend – Russ Baker
I arrived in Thredbo on Friday morning and was greeted with blue skies and warm weather. I quickly went out on to the XCO course to get some practice in before the Eliminator later that afternoon. The course was very dry and not overly technical. There was a long climb which wound its way up the ski slope which I knew was going to be tough in the race. I think the course suited climbers well and the downhill sections weren’t technical or long enough to give skilled riders a big advantage. After a few laps I was comfortable with the course, knew my lines and was feeling confident. The Eliminator was staged in the village which made it entertaining to watch and take part in. I didn’t make it through to the rounds of 16 but I wasn’t too disappointed. The Eliminator has never really been my strong point.
Saturday was another spectacular day in the mountains. There had been some light rain over night but not enough to make any difference to the course conditions. I was feeling good on my pre race roll and had had a good night’s sleep. My warm up was good and I came to the line feeling well prepared. I had a dream start in the race getting the hole shot and holding the lead for the first half of the lap. I dropped back a bit after that as I didn’t want to blow up too early. It was a hard race and at the end of it didn’t feel like I had raced my best. I was a little disappointed with the result but tried not to dwell on it. I had an early night on Saturday night as I was quite tired from today’s effort.
Sunday was the Point to Point race to be held at Lake Crackenback. I was feeling tired on the ride to the race with yesterday taking its toll on the legs. The race was similar to yesterdays except without the excellent start for me. I tried to enjoy the race but I felt as if I couldn’t give it 100%. Although it was not the best weekend of racing for me I learnt some new things and got some good training out of it. It is experiences like that that make you stronger and better prepared for the next race. You also learn that as elite athletes you cannot perform your best in every race you compete in and you will have disappointing results every now and then. But the person who benefits the most from these disappointments is the person who simply takes them in their stride, remembers them, learns from them and improves because of the experience, which is what I hope to do with this experience.
Thank you to Chris Clarke for driving me to Thredbo. Thanks Janelle and Hamish Prosser for letting me stay with them. And thanks to my sponsors: SCOTT Bikes and TLC Cycles.
It is that time of the year again, with entries now open for the 2013 race.. The 2013 race will be held on Sunday March 10th. Mark this in your diaries. Entries are made via the MTBA site at https://www.registernow.com.au/mtba/ERegister.aspx?E=1232
The format for the 2013 race will be similar to 2012, with 13KM, 25KM, 50KM & 75KM loops to race. There will be minor changes made to the format, (eg start procedure), and this year we have added Super Master categories to 50KM & 75KM categories, for all those young riders on the other side of 50.
There are fifty riders who transferred their race entry from the 2012 to the 2013 race – all these riders will receive confirmation from MTBA regarding your 2013 entry during October. Once you receive this confirmation, check the category, and if you need to make any changes contact us here – contact us. If there are no changes to be made, you are confirmed, and in. You don’t need to do anything else.
We look forward to seeing everyone again, for the third James Williamson Enduro Challenge, and we hope, better weather for 2013!
To focus not only on riding & training but also to assist each participant with life skills and self-improvement. To stay true to our aim to commemorate James Williamson and to keep alive the love and passion James held for mountain biking.
Friday 16th, Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th November 2012 (2 nights)
Southern Highlands Cycling Club and Canberra Off Road Cyclists are invited to nominate a range of riders, both male and female, who would benefit from attending the James Williamson Junior Development Camp. From these nominations 16-20 riders will be selected to attend.
The participants should:
Funding will include the following:
These sessions will include a range of activities such as:
For further information and if you know anyone who you feel would benefit from this camp please contact your Junior Development Officer at CORC or SHCC www.corc.asn.au or www.southernhighlandscc.com.au
This is a race report on the 3-race weekend on Feb 10-12 at Stromlo by Harry Herne:
The 3rd round of the 2012 Australian All Mountain Cup took place at the iconic Mt Stromlo in Canberra. The weekend kicked off on Friday with a Super D race, which took in some awesome trails. But with the awesome trails came hail and a massive storm to settle the dust for the race. My run was not the best as I decided to stay upright and try not to make any mistakes.
Saturday came around quickly and I was kitted up with my new team kit, which boosted my esteem. The Cross Country race was going to be tough, and I was hoping for a top 10 finish. The first three laps were awesome, sitting in 11th chasing my team mate Cameron Prosser, but by the end of lap four I had slipped back into 14th and my legs were running out of gas quickly. Lap five was my last and I was in the hurt box. At the end of the race I had time to hang out with my new team mates and watch John Henderson and Richard Peil race their races.
The last day of racing was Sunday with the Point to Point. At the start I felt as though I had better legs than the day before, this helped my confidence. When the gun went off, there was a crash 100m into the race. I helped the fallen rider (Chris Aitken) get back to the bunch and we settled into the rhythm of the bunch. I entered the first single track in around 8th and moved up to 7th by the top of the mountain. I was feeling super strong but found that I was falling back in places fast on the decent. At the feed zone I was about 10th and had Cameron chasing me. Cam had reached the gap by the last single track leading up to Skyline, and we were chasing the other riders. I had a crash on a rocky corner and twisted my chain link which caused me to roll down the hill to the finish.
I would like to thank everyone on the Anytime Fitness Trek team for welcoming me into the team and all of the sponsors for hooking me up with awesome equipment.
by Karuna Henderson
For me there were numerous highlights throughout the James Williamson Junior development camp. Firstly, I loved the challenge of keeping up with faster riders and the endurance gained after riding a lot within the camp. My riding skills definitely improved, especially my cornering technique and bunny hopping obstacles on the track. This was made possible by the awesome coaching that the coaches provided. Secondly, I enjoyed making new friends from the Southern Highlands region, catching up with my friends from CORC, and being in an atmosphere where everyone shares a passion for mountain biking. Thankyou for a great experience!
By Harry Herne
The inaugural James Williamson Junior Development MTB Camp took place in Canberra on the 25th November- 27th November. The camp was in honor of James who wanted to help young riders reach their best potential in mountain biking.
The camp was with Southern Highland riders and CORC riders aged from 15-18 and with different skill levels. There were around 22 riders at the camp with 4 coaches. On the Friday we arrived at the Bush Capital Lodge in Canberra and helped to get things organized and introduced ourselves to the other riders. We had dinner and then the coaches talked to us about what we would learn about on the camp. The coaches Dylan Cooper, Niki Fisher, Shaun Lewis and Jenni King made everyone feel welcome and answered any questions we had.
6 am on the Saturday morning we all rose from our beds to attend an amazing breakfast and then the camp was underway with a core and stretching session conducted by Jenni King who put us through some pain. After the stretching we all got kitted up and learnt how to set our position on the bike. This was an interesting exercise as many riders’ positions were wrong. Then the riding got underway. Shaun and Dylan took care of the boys and Niki and Jenni looked after the girls. We went around Lake Burley Griffin and practiced drops and riding up ledges.
We all then met back at the lodge and had a 5 star lunch before we headed out again to Bruce Ridge where we split into groups and took off for the rest of the day. We practiced switchback climbs, descending, cornering, climbing, jumping and how to choose the right line. When I was watching Dylan and Lewie I thought how Jimi would have loved to be able to have helped out.
When we got back to the hotel, we had another amazing dinner followed up by a talk by Jenni about nutrition and training. We also had a chance to learn about bike maintenance and how to change a tube. After that, everyone was tired and so we chilled out watching movies.
Sunday came around quick and we all wanted to know what we would be doing today. It started off much the same as Saturday with breakfast and then a quick core and stretch session. After that we kitted up into our new amazing ‘Willo’ jersey and rode to Majura Pines where we split up into the boys and girls group. The boys had a tough day ahead as we were told we had to climb nearly to the top of Mt Majura. The coaches told us the best way to climb. Most of us made the summit without stopping and had the awesome downhill to look forward to. The decent was a technical single-track with some tight corners, drops, rock gardens and roots. And we learnt the best way to attack the trail. We were able to attempt it a number of times and improved each run. We then rode some flowing trails to another section of track, splashing each other with the puddles. At the trailhead, we were told not to pedal and to stay OFF the brakes the whole time which was interesting. Once we got back to the road the race was on to the lodge to have lunch and to then go back out to Bruce Ridge for a final ride.
I would like to thank Meg, Leanne, John and Mark for providing us with an awesome weekend, and Dylan, Lewie, Niki and Jenni for the help they provided us with over the weekend. It’s a shame that James was not there but he was in our hearts the whole time. It was a pleasure to be part of his legacy and to be able to ride with his name on our jerseys.
Welcome to the second James Williamson Enduro Challenge, to be held on Sunday March 11th 2012.
Following the success of the inaugural event, the organisers were overwhelmed by riders’ positive comments and enthusiasm for this event. With this in mind, we are keeping the format of the race more or less the same as 2011, with a few minor changes to be introduced, to keep the trails flowing, and the riders pumped!
The James Williamson Enduro Challenge is a non-profit event, with all proceeds going to the James Williamson Fund. Proceeds will be used in a range of ways to develop young riders and promote the sport of mountain biking
Entries are now open for the James Williamson Enduro Challenge for 2012. To keep the friendly and James vibe to this race, entries are capped at 600. So register now, don’t wait. Registrations open through MTBA. Go to https://www.registernow.com.au/mtba/ERegister.aspx?E=815
The date for the First Annual James Williamson Junior Development Camp has been announced. It will be held on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th of November 2011. The Southern Highlands Cycling Club and the Canberra Off-Road Cyclists were invited to forward their nominations to the James Williamson Enduro Fund (JWEF) according to a set criteria. The final participants will be selected from these nominations and notified shortly.
This Junior Development Camp is an initiative of the JWEF, fully funded from the profits of the James Williamson Enduro Challenge 2011.