In the lead up to one of the biggest events in Australian Cyclocross (CX) history, the inaugural National CX Championships, various rumours were flying around about the course and its degree of toughness and muddiness. As well as predictions on how kind or not the weather gods were going to be on the day. With many hoping for wet, muddy conditions for added rider enjoyment and spectator value!
Heading out to Cranwell Park, Braybrook, the nerves were building as too were the anticipation levels of pain about to be inflicted on the 130 odd riders who had entered across the junior, elite and masters (30+, 40+ & 50+) categories. Representing Stay True Racing in the Master’s categories were Malachi Moxon and myself, and we were pumped to be having the opportunity to race for a National title in our own backyard and add a couple bands of green and gold to the team kit.
The course definitely lived up to its difficult expectations, and appeared to restrict the MTB’ers with less opportunities to take advantage in any technical, dirt, rocky or log sections. With the course favouring my abilities and the sun shining brightly, my confidence levels grew and before I knew it, my Giant TCX and I were out in front leading the way in the masters 30+ category.
The next 40mins consisted of zig-zagging up and down the side of the hill in front of a growing crowd and trying to keep my heart rate from going through the roof every time I approached a particularly muddy section, barrier or set of stairs. I continued with this form for the entire race, and soaked up the cheers and support during the last lap as I crossed the line to win my first national title in cycling (only took 15 years!).
Malachi and long-time MTB nemesis Craig Peacock, were in a league of their own and lapped the entire 50+ field of riders! Coming back from recent illness resulting in lack of training and racing, Malachi wasn’t able to match it with Craig on the day and finished in 2nd place. Thus fuelling the fire to return next year fitter and stronger than ever before – I’m looking forward to that victory salute already!
The following day, the crew from Dirty Deeds hosted the National CX Series Round 5 at Darebin Parklands. This course blew everyone’s minds! You have to see the photos and videos to believe how truly awesome it was… no words can describe what an amazing day/event it was. So it’s best you check out Brew CX’s review to get a sense of how and why CX is booming in Melbourne!
Congrat’s to local riders Lisa Jacobs and Allan Iacuone for taking out the elite National titles, and also to Paul van de Ploeg (yep, VIC aswell) and Rowena Fry (TAS) as National CX Series winners and the 400+ riders and their fans who turned up in support of CX on the weekend to ensure Melbourne IS the CX capital of Australia!