Two Canberra mountain bike riders took out the men’s and women’s inaugural Real Bike InsuranceMTB Cruise 100 mile event at Mt Stomlo today. Brett Bellchambers raced the 8 laps of the 19 km circuit in 8 hr 5 min. Local and favourite, Shane Taylor, had mechanical problems in the first lap and was forced to withdraw after three.
Bec Parkes won the women’s event in a time of 9 hr 29 min.
Former 24 hours solo World Champion Craig Gordon from Wollongong was the favourite on the start line for the 80 km event. Gordon fell victim to three flat tyres during the race and was overtaken by teammate, Shaun Lewis from Canberra.
Amazingly after nearly three and a half hours, it came down to a final sprint. Lewis sprinted for the line just beating Sydney’s Peter Hatton by the width of a tyre. Lewis took the win, Hatton second and Gordon finished a creditable third.
Prita Jobling-Baker from Victoria won the women’s 80 km event.
A total of 300 riders participated in the 5 distances on offer; the. 100 mile, 80 km and 50 km with many first time riders taking on the 30 km and 10km. Organizers, Rocky Trail Entertainment were able to hold off the rain for the day’s event.
Stomlo Forest Park, will play host to the 24 hour solo World Championships on 9th October making it the first time the championships have been conducted outside of north America. Australia now can lay claim to three World Champions in this event with Gordon in 2006, James Williamson in 2008 and current champion, Jason English.
Photo: # 875 Peter Hatton sprints with eventual winner Shaun Lewis # 342 : Rocky Trail Entertainment