The first round of the Series took us to the familiar setting of Yarramundi, nestled at the base of the Blue Mountains in NSW. Sound recognisable? Well it was almost what I was reading word for word just the other day before our own Round 1 of the WSMTB XC Series. It continued, “the venue, which is now a familiar stop for the New South Welshmen amongst us, hosting its second national round in as many years”. Wait, hold on a minute, Yarramundi is a national series trail in past history?
We were flipping through a 2006 mountain bike magazine last week before our first round and stumbled across Aiden Lefmann’s (of RLC Sport and Cyclinic) words. A classic tale of persistence and adversity, quite easily re-invented for our most recent event. Take out the solid shredder names from yester-year, inset our newest bunch of shredders and you have yourself a race wrap-up.
After racing at WSMTB’s Yarramundi XC trails for over 8 years now, “it was no surprise to find myself lining up for yet another traditional Yarramundi race, this time”, (Lefmann added, with the added prestige of a national round) as round one of the 2018 Series. “A strong showing of competitors from all over…” Sydney ”… lined up for the series opener. With numbers up in all categories, it shows that there is still plenty of depth in the Olympic format style of XC racing”.
“The Yarramundi course treats you to some super fast, but dray and sandy racing, with very few opportunities to get the climbing legs out to play. The course follows several kilometres of fast but also twisty single-track with the odd section of fire road for the passing manoeuvres to take place”.
Lefmann goes on to call out the good depth of talent on the day, Flemming (formerly Clarence St Cyclery), Taberlay (formerly Avanti) and Cooper (formerly Scott/Ritchey), just to name a few. Like wise we could do the same, Gordon, Green, Brame and Dinham. Names, all becoming synonymous with some fast riding at National level.
We get underway, A Grade, and it wasn’t long before our regular front-runners start putting the hurt on anyone near the pointy end. We had managed to pull in behind BigDog and were attempting to hold the furious pace the guys were producing. Through the trees behind us were our team mates, Browny and Troy, it was going to be important to maintain this XC pace, not letting the endurance team specialists get one up on us.
WSMTB regulars Ludenia, Steve and Ian eventually catch me and there is no contest. Who does catch and we tussle for a couple of laps is Jamie Anderson. Eventually Jamie seems to succumb to his own pressure of pace, we gain a placing, dropping Jamie somewhere amongst the trees and holding it to the finish line.
It was a massive first round for all grades and we had seventeen riders registered for A Grade. WSMTB had altered the trail for the round, making it shorter and perhaps a little more fun. Our team mates Browny and Troy held steady to place further down the order.
We can only envisage the duelling pair of Dinham and Brame at the front of the race were having some form of showdown. In Lefmann’s write-up of 2006 it was Cooper V’s Flemming coming out of the single track for the 150m sprint to the line. Lefmann, digging deep in the last few kilometres had held on with Cooper making the attack to reel back Flemming. In a flurry of pedal strokes and a spray of stones, in that last 100m, Lefmann came from behind taking the win. In 2018 Brame takes it at our local clubby level from Dinham.
Full results from WSMTB here.