News has just come through that Hayden Fletcher has won round 5 of the National Series in Shepparton this afternoon!
My friend the wind.
On a windy Thursday 4 February evening, Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club's handicap road race started at the Botanic Park, headed out along the Whitfield Road to Sawpit Gully Road and back, turned left onto the Barwite Road, right onto Old Tolmie Road, over the 'Coombesberg' and finished on Graves Road, just short of the Buller Road - our longest Thursday race at 32km.
22 riders in all started, after a couple of late withdrawals. With the gusty south-westerly breeze it was likely to be a night for the back markers, even though there was a generous 18 minutes between the Limit 'group' ofTony Morris and the Scratch 'group' of Josh Hopwood.
The group which made the most impact was Block, made up of Tom Macmunn, Mauro Brega, Bruce Halket and Darren Bakker and they took advantage of the windy conditions. By the turn at Sawpit Gully they still had most of the 75 second advantage they'd started with over Hopwood. After the turn and and riding into the headwind, they put even more time into him. In fact, Hopwood's handicap proved that no-one has been so disadvantaged by 'My friend the wind' since Demis Roussos did his worst work back in the 70's!
Block proceeded to ride through the rest of the field by the top of the Coombesberg; the only other two to stay with them were Dave Moore from the 2.30 group and Tim Hall from the 10 minute group.
Tom Macmunn sprinted early into the wind and held off Moore for a strong win. Halket took third ahead of Brega, Bakker and Hall.
Rounding out the top ten a few seconds later were Rob Skinner, Steve Flew and Ian Conrick with Tony Morris tenth in an impressive performance off Limit.
The win by Macmunn sees him leapfrog Hopwood on the points table, 66 to 64 with Dave Moore's second place moving him up to third on 61 points.
Many thanks to all our officials and volunteers; Cherie, Margaretanne, Deb, Di, Jenni, Tony, Dave, Tony and John.
Next Thursday's race will be a Graded Scratch Race, held on Course 9, similar to last week but turning at Long Lane and only 22km long. Entries via SMS to 0428 503 437 by 8pm Wednesday please.
Results are here and some pics from Commissaire/Handicapper/Photographer John Eisner are here.
Sunday morning will see the longest MMBCC race of the summer, 42km around the Old Tolmie Road Loop. Starting at 8am, it's sure to provide interesting spectating. Come along and see us all wearing the pain face!
Dirt Maidens at Mt Buller
Get ready ladies - we've got a brand new mountain biking event just for you!
Mt Buller will welcome the Dirt Maidens Challenge for the first time on Saturday, 20 February.
The Dirt Maidens Challenge is a fun, all-women's cross-country and gravity mountain biking event, with a fluoro fancy dress theme just to add a bit of fun and flair to the mix.
All levels of mountain biker are catered for, with three levels of difficulty to choose from - beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Plus, with separate cross-country and gravity events you'll have the opportunity to enter into one or both disciplines over the weekend.
Ladies who choose to ride cross-country can take on a 7km short course, a 12.5km standard course or a gruelling 20km long course across a collection of trail favourites.
And those ladies who are keen to tackle the gravity trails will undertake a 2km course through multiple bermed corners, rock gardens and sneaky switchbacks down Mt Buller's flow down trail, Copperhead.
Enter online here.
The GravityOz Women's MTB Skills Clinic is on the same weekend. This weekend is the perfect way to get into mountain biking, instructed by the best female coaches in Australia. To book, head to the Gravity Oz website.
Big bunches on Saturday morning
The last two Saturday mornings have seen close to 40 riders roll out from the Botanic Park for the MMBCC bunch ride. There's definitely safety in numbers. The coffee shops probably don't mind either!
Cheating with an electric motor hidden within a bike has been in the news over the last week with a Belgian Under 23 Woman getting nabbed at the CycloCross World Championships in Belgium.
Now that it's been proven that riders really are cheating this way, it's a timely reminder that this isn't the first time there have been rumours of this kind of cheating.
Here's Ryder Hesjedal at the Vuelta in 2014 with his bike behaving a little strangely after he crashes.
And this video shows Fabian Cancellara simply riding away from Tom Boonen at the Tour of Flanders in 2010. And this one includes the same footage but goes into a bit more detail of what 'they' suspect may have happened.
It's all a bit 'conspiracy theory' but interesting nonetheless.
Letter to the club from Mt Buller RMB CEO John Huber
News from last Monday's Dirt Crits as soon as there is some!