Tuesday, November 27, 2012

STM Awaba Event Wrap

The final round of Chocolate Foot's Singletrack Mind (STM) Series 2012 was hosted by the Hunter MTB Association on everyone’s favourite trail,Awaba. The Awaba MTB Park is well know for its smooth lines and flowing sections, attracting riders from around the state to experience its fun.

The STM Series draws a large following and this round was no different, with over 300 riders registered making up 177 teams, included the solo riders. A quick crunch of numbers proved that this Awaba round was the biggest STM round this year.

The event hub was tightly packed with event sponsors and team marquees, in some places they were two and three deep. The car park was even more packed with cars parked half way back to the park entrance gate.

It was again a battle between the Canberra locals, Ed McDonald and Andy Hall, in the Solo Male category, with Andy having the upper hand in the series points thus far. The Ed and Andy show began from the offset with Andrew Lloyd kept them company. It was on their 7th lap, in the 4th hour where Ed and Andy began to ride away from Lloyd. Late in the 6th hour Ed continued to push, breaking away from Andy and cementing well over a five minute lead for the remainder of the event.

While the morning’s temperature did start out at fairly comfortable it didn’t take long before it became a hard slog in +35 degree temperatures. But it was the coolness of the rainforest section that offered brief relief before being cooked on the Camel Back Climb.

In the Masters Solo category Radical Lights’ Gary James lead from GO, a little further back his team mate Jason McAvoy was plugging away with Phil Welch remaining consistent just few minutes further back. Jason started to have trouble in the 5th hour with the heat and began slipping time to Phil, who eventually moved into 2nd. This battle of attrition was evident across all the categories especially the solos with a bulk of riders calling it a day some where between three to seven laps.

There may have been wine tastings from Jimmy Jack but it was the local DHers with the smell of their bacon and egg BBQ sangers that would have most riders mouths watering, that and the sweet hammock setup would have been inviting. They also kept the cool friendly STM vibe going with their hoots and calls encouraging passing riders.

It was the steady efforts that reaped the rewards in the Female Solo category. Libby Adamson started the day sitting in around 5th and mid way through the day moved into the leading position, a well deserved win in the testing conditions. Janet Martin and Jess Simpson made the most of the morning’s cooler temperatures setting the fastest female solo laps and rounding out the podium.

Hunter MTB Club keep Awaba in great nick and over the course of the day the trail fairies continued to sweep and marshal sections of trail. There was no litter and defiantly no complaints about the brushed effect on sections of trail.
Wendy Stevenson, already the clear Female Masters Solo category series leader, was conscious of her placing against the Female Solo category but chose a conservative approach through the latter part of the day. Wendy went on to complete the eight hours while her direct competitor Nicole Lancaster called it a day early.

Even the St Johns guys were even getting into the swing of the STM vibe out on the trail. The trail conditions may have in some cases overwhelmed their pannier laden MTBs but they were seen to be giving it a go and hung out at the spectacle that is the bessa-block descent.

With the final round of the STM Series over for 2012, the full results from the round are available online, you can look forward to more excitement from the Chocolate Foot crew in 2013. It all kicks off at the end of April with Round 1 of STM 2013, visit the Chocolate Foot calendar for more details.

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