Monday, September 4, 2017

Stolling on Stromlo

There is no doubt we have a thing for Stromlo, it probably all kicked off ten years ago with our first attempt at 24hrs solo. Over the last ten years the mountain has taken shape, from bare dust bowl to an all inclusive cycling hotspot. We still visit Stromlo on a regular basis, albeit once or twice a year, for an event or two.

It is our first outing to Stromlo this year and much has changed, the houses and units are now verging in the parks fence-line, and the hillside shrubbery seems more dense. Again we are back for another round of the Rocky Trail Entertainment Grand Prix Series, the final round for 2017.

With so many kilometres of trails and a variety of ways to gat around there had been much talk of the chosen route. No matter what, our experience told us there were gong to be rocks and the standard hard-pack of Stromlo dirt. This time Rocky Trail had setup a different event centre, in the carpark and transition from the trails was via the path to the jump-park. We then exited back out onto the trails by going through the tunnel under the DH track.

It has been another massive year with the JetBlack MTB Racing team and like all the Grand Prix's previous this year, we were going to litter the hillside with our bright stripes. Things were heating up too in the GC and Age Group/Team stakes for many, as this was the last chance to gather valuable points before the afternoons presentation. We were all excited to get out on the trails!

Rocky Trail continue to move forward from lessons learnt, and this year they had thrown in some significant fire-trail climbs. This allowed plenty of passing opportunities, nutrition ingestion and particularly open the field up off the start, reducing the first lap or two of conga lines during the single track sections. 

It was a heck of a line-up this round, the JetBlack MTB racing team had brought our own guns but what ever the lure, there were a number of national representatives present. And as such the start was pretty fast, we managed a number of snappy laps before settling into a comfortable pace.

Super happy to continue to ride our Pivot 429 Alloy, it has been dependable baring our poor maintenance routine prior to the Singleton round. Our change last year to Shimano's XT 11 speed with a 30t Hope N/W cog has been the the perfect drivetrain for just about every event we have ridden this bike. (We'll talk about our CX steed another time.) We are also touting Ascent Cycling Enterprises wheels, switching from Stan's alloy rims to Nextie carbon wrapped in Mitas tyres. With Ascent Cycling Enterprises now being based out of the greater Canberra region.

There were no surprises on the day that the 30-39 age category was the most competitive in the 4hr. This amass of speed-freaks has been a constant for every round of the Grand Prix this year, and this round we were pretty happy to place 7th. The particularly good news was that we had sufficient points in the series to take both 2nd in our Age Group AND 2nd for the General Classification. A definite step-up from both results in both 2016 and 2015. 

Rocky Trail Entertainment delivered a diverse repertoire of course for the Grand Prix this year. Many thanks to JetBlack MTB Racing team for the friendly atmosphere, on-trail support and transition expertise. JetBlack MTB Racing has partnered with The Odd Spoke, Natural Balance and Rocky Trail Entertainment, to allow us to ride how we like. The team was well represented across all categories and delivered some top results for this event and the series. You'll see us at another event shortly!

Full results for this Round here.

Our previous event wraps.

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