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GRINTA RoAD C Y C L I N G / CX / GR AvEL / A Dv ENT uRE

THE CYCLOcROSS takeover edition


CURVE CYCLING

BIKES OF TITANIUM, HOOPS OF CARBON, LEGS OF STEEL. www.curvecycling.com.au sales@curvecycling.com Ph 03 8373 9360

THE BELGIE SPIRIT


With so many incredible images to choose from for the front cover of grinta issue #2 we decided to run 4 different front covers - to celebrate the achievements of a very talented group of athletes - all covers by jeff curtes


CHRIS JONGEWAARD. NATIONAL CYCLOCROSS CHAMPION

ZONYK PRO TOUGH, STREAMLINED DESIGN GIVES YOU A CLEAR VIEW AHEAD AND MAKES IT EASY TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE RIDERS BEHIND YOU. ULTRA-QUICK CLEAR-TO-DARK PHOTOCHROMATIC LENS ADAPTS TO ANY LIGHT CONDITION FOR A PERFECT VISION.

PICTURE BY TIM LOFT: FACEBOOK.COM/TIM.LOFT1

ZONYK SERIES - ALSO AVAIL ABLE IN PRESCRIPTION

ADIDASSPORTEYEWEAR.COM

ADIDAS SPORT EYEWEAR CYCLING SUNGLASSES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING RETAILERS: AUSTRALIA WIDE - COSTCO WHOLESALE: costco.com.au ACT - EVANS & McMAHON OPTOM.: 35 London Circuit, Canberra NSW - CYCLE STATION: 480 Young St, Albury NSW - INDIVIDUAL EYE WEAR: 13-15 Kingsway, Cronulla QLD - CHRISTENSEN HARBISON OPTOM.: 7 Barolin St, Bundaberg QLD - ALLEZ SPORT: 34 Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba QLD - HERON EYECARE: 147 Russell St, Toowoomba

AUSTRALIA WIDE - FLORENTINE EYEWEAR: florentineeyewear.com.au SA - THE GOGGLEMAN: 1/495 Brighton Rd, Brighton TAS - SPORTSPOWER LAUNCESTON: 63 John St VIC - SPORTSPOWER BALLARAT: 333 Gillies St VIC - YARRA VALLEY CYCLES: 108 main St, Lilydale VIC - LORENZ EYEWEAR: Riverside Plaza, Shepparton NT - BILL ROBERTSON OPTOM.: 36-38 Hartley St, Alice Springs


CELEBRATING COLOUR For 2018, we at FOCUS are not only relying on our tech wizards and their bag of tricks, but also dipping into the paint bucket. Our FREESTYLE DESIGN edition is a real eye-catcher with matching fashion items and accessories that will turn all heads when you hit the road. focus-bikes.com/au_en/cyclocross/mares


Stacey Riedel leading Naomi Williams through the whoops at Fields of Joy #melpgcx | Jeff Curtes


PURE CYCLING

TAKE FLITE FROM WHAT YOU RIDE, TO HOW YOU RIDE IT, TAKING A FRESH APPROACH IS ESSENTIAL IF YOU WANT TO PROGRESS. TO ACHIEVE OUR GOAL OF BUILDING THE FASTEST BIKE ON THE CROSS COURSE, THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT WE DID. INTRODUCING THE INFLITE CF SLX, THE VERY DEFINITION OF MODERN CYCLOCROSS PROGRESSION. DISCOVER MORE AT CANYON.COM/TAKEFLITE


GRINTA

Photo | Jerzy Lau

Welcome to Issue #2 our CX Special There’s just something about CX. It’s tough, it’s unforgiving, it’s brutal, it’s beautiful and it’s magical. One minute you’re bumping elbows and swapping paint out of the starting blocks, and before you know it, you are settling yourself into the pain cave, interrogating the performance of your lungs and your legs to find that knife-edge of physical output that you can maintain right through to the chequered flag. In between that chorus of pedals clicking in right through to the merciful sight of that chequered flag, a multitude of battles are played out. To the fans that heckle, hand-up beers and ring

cowbells, the battles are between riders. To the riders, there are other battles, that are often more fiercely fought: those of the mind. The most intense battles inside the riders’ minds are those of pushing the body to its limits and that of rider against the course. One of the great things about cyclocross is that it’s so tough and short that to win you usually need to take risks and, as a result, the best in the world regularly come unstuck, as they push their bodies, bikes and tyres to the limits over the ever-changing course. Every lap, that dodgy off-camber corner is different to the last lap, the fast line through the sandpit isn’t as fast anymore, a new line has popped up above the single-track

before the berm and now an overtaking opportunity has presented itself… All of these battles are shared alike by Peta, Ren, Garry and Chris as they battle for the podium as they are by those working their way up through the ranks and those riding borrowed bikes trying cyclocross for the first time. We hope you enjoy our CX special, which could not have happened without the extraordinary efforts of two people in particular and whose work is featured heavily in this feature, our CX photo legends Jeff Curtes and Andy Rogers.

Mikkeli Godfree - Editor


INSIDE THIS ISSuE OF GRINTA MAGAZINE NATIONAL CROSS SERIES THE FLYING Doctor. KIM HURST GRINTAVIEW

THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CROSS SERIES A FOUR STOP TOUR, CULMINATING IN OUR FIRST UCI C2 CATEGORY RACE. 4 RACE VENUES MT. BEAUTY NCXS 1 - BRISBANE NCXS 2 & 3 - ADELAIDE CXNC17 & NCXS4 - FOJCX_MELGPCX NCXS 5 & 6 RACE REPORTS AND ALL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE SEASON'S COVERAGE BY JEFF CURTES AND ANDY ROGERS

By Brett Kennedy Chainslapmag.com Photos Digby Shaw

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JBlood leads Millburn and Aitken on the first round of the NCXS, Bright, VIC.

QUICKLOOK LED INDICATOR LIGHTS

DISTRIBUTED BY: FE Sports 1300 790 212 info@fesports.com.au fesports.com.au I loved shooting this section of the track, the color and the leaves were just so perfect

PRELOADED MAPS

DUAL TECHNOLOGY

STRAVA LIVE SEGMENTS AND MORE

#inmyelemnt

When cyclocross first gained it’s unsteady, slippery foothold in New Zealand, races were held in places that more resembled mountain bike courses than the up and down off-camber fare most of us had seen on grainy Youtube videos of the euro pros in action. Which was probably more help than hinderance for most riders, largely coming from the fat-tyred discipline (and many riding the same bikes they lined up for xc on). One of the first races held in Wellington - the de facto home of NZ CX - was on a twisty singletrack course not far from Makara Peak, the home of mtb in the capital. As the ‘elite’ riders started stringing themselves out through the thick bush, I noticed that running in the top 5 or 6 was a woman who looked so strong she was putting a lot of urgency into the guys in front of (and behind) her. Over the ensuing years, as the sport has grown and curated its own band of specialists with proper equipment and who can actually run, the same woman has taken to the hardest discipline of

cycling and stamped her name all over it. That name is Kim Hurst. Hailing from the UK, Kim has made Wellington her home and cyclocross her forte. Not that she’s any slouch on other bikes, currently holding the women’s course record for the legendary Karapoti Classic, a 50km slog through some of the steepest and crappiest terrain that has been running for nearly 30 years. When you consider some of the previous holders were Olympic medallists and full-time Pro riders, a full-time GP who trains outside of her long ‘real job’ hours taking minutes off their times is even more impressive. The skills gained on the mtb have certainly helped with the handling required for cross, and Kim’s huge engine just keeps pumping out the watts for the 45 minutes required of it at the redline. Add in the perfectly dire weather that Wellington turns on for the racing season and her British heritage, and you start to realise that she was made for this sport.

themselves to find out what they are really capable of. Kim says that her future plans will definitely be more ‘cross focused. “Despite the big 4.0. looming on the horizon I still feel that I can compete at a high level and push the limits of what I can do” she says. “At 38, I’m still setting new PB’s so it seems a little premature to hang the wheels up just yet. Of course, the desire to pull on a black skinsuit with a fern on it at Worlds is still hugely strong.” Taking small steps isn’t the way Kim does things, and the journey to the Worlds in Valkenburg in January has been a crash-course (literally, after her first lap biff in Rochester) in taking it up several notches. “The two US World Cups will give me a strong sense (or

Dominant at the NZ Nationals, Kim welcomes the extra motivation of racing against new and stronger opponents, and the World Cup and World Championships is the pinnacle for an athlete who is hungry to push

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NEW!

THE GODFATHERS OF FOJCX

20.-23.09.2017

3 DAYS CROC

more likely violent punch in the face) of where I’m at. Plus, the atmosphere at World Cups is kinda insane and while the racing is incredibly hard both emotionally and physically, it is an immensely satisfying thing to say you have been part of after the dirt and sweat is washed off. So, ask me again in a few weeks about Europe. It may we’ll be on the cards.” One thing’s for sure, if Kim’s on the line and suited up, there will be no half measures of pain being administered. Kim would like to thank Niner Bikes NZ, Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels, Capital Cycles, Shimano NZ, Trifour Technics, Biomaxa, Cowbell Coaching, Seight Custom Clothing

TEAM PROFILE BOMBTRACK TREADLY RACING TEAM

Dream it – Live it – Share it

With such a small crew at Sunbury CC, how does this all happen? It’s easy to under-estimate how much work goes into putting on good CX events. We are a small crew and have always had to rely on the generosity of others – both within our own club but also from the broader CX community. It is quite amazing how many people are prepared to sacrifice time and effort for the benefit of the sport. It has been a truly humbling experience at times, with many examples of amazing contributions from a wide range of people. Bottom line is you have to learn to ask for help, and learn that you can do big things without necessarily being in total control all the time. We see the good side of people all the time, it’s a nice community to be part of. There has been talk about the globalization of cyclocross, do you feel that FOJCX hosting UCI sanctioned events is a step in the right direction? Globalisation of Cyclocross is something that we talk about a lot and believe Australia can definitely play a role in. ‘Cross has traditionally been very Euro-centric, having originated there over 100 years ago. The growth outside of Europe, particularly in the USA has been phenomenal. It makes sense that that growth should be encouraged in other nations, particularly in countries that already have an appetite for CX. Australia punches well above it’s weight in cycling in general, so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be developing local talent, and to do that we need quality local racing. CX gets great support in Australia because so many people are passionate about it. It would be great to see Aussies doing well on the world stage one day. How did you get the approval of the UCI to hold a UCI C2 category 52

race in Melbourne at the end of our season? Is it a multi-year commitment? Without speaking for the UCI, it is my belief that once we had Governing Body support within Australia, UCI approval was relatively easy. The UCI are keen to grow cyclocross outside of Europe and have been very supportive in discussions we’ve had. The pre-European tour of Australia, China, USA makes a lot of sense for riders heading to Europe because of the UCI points on offer. As you’d know, the start is everything in a CX race so UCI points and a riders grid position is really important for anyone with ambitions to do well. Did having Lisa Jacobs as the Fields of Joy ambassador help to secure the UCI approval? She’s definitely well connected in Europe and elsewhere, and I am sure played a role in spreading the word that good things were happening in Australia. Securing UCI approval was on the back of having MTBA & CA support, race hosting experience, a credible race series and a good venue. We have been building towards this for over 3 years so it’s hard to put it down to any one thing. Both of us went to the Bieles World Championship in January. A friend of the club, Eric Leyder, was the President of the organising committee - his first CX race was the World Championship! Having friends like this open doors. We attended the Official UCI Dinner, slummed it with Andy Schleck and 6 times World BMX Flatland Champion Viki Gomez, and chatted with Brian Cookson, President

The quality of the obstacles and the course terrain are a step up from many other Australian courses, is this made possible by FOJCX being a year round dedicated course? FOJCX is somewhat unique as a CX venue globally. Even well established courses in Europe are built just for the race weekend and then dismantled. Essendon Fields have let us have the luxury of being able to build permanent features. We also benefit from having elevation change which allows for lots of off-camber sections and physically demanding courses. Much of the racing is visible from the main viewing area, meaning that spectators can generally see 85% of the race from the one spot. This results in good crowd participation and an atmosphere which we love. Who are the major sponsors that make this all happen? Essendon Fields, owners of the land, have obviously been there from the beginning, as have Giant South Yarra. Stepping up to an International level race has only been able to happen through the support of Airport Toyota – who took on the headline sponsorship spot and backed us the whole way, even before we had UCI approval.

Being able to confidently say we are funded was an important part of getting the necessary approvals. Airport Toyota understand cycling and community events and have been the dream partner in all of this. Hyatt Place only opened recently at Essendon Fields but were keen to get on board and have also been great. This is a great partnership and we’re exploring ways to enhance it for next year. Our 2 local state members, Mr Ben Carroll and Mr Danny Pearson, have lobbied on our behalf the State Government for funding. Hon John Eren, Minister of Sport, has through the Significant Sports Grants program provided financial support for the past 2 years. To

World's oldest and most iconic mountain bike stage race

THE CROCODILE TROPHY is Australia‘s and the World‘s oldest and most iconic mountain bike stage race. It calls the

Hopefully in 2020 we’ll see World holiday paradise that is tropical North Queensland home and Cups in Melbourne, followeditsby stage plan from Cairns to Port Douglas is unique - every day is different! Beijing before heading off to The eight days include lush rainforest trails, awesome single tracks in the so the U.S and Canada. typical bushland surrounds; you‘ll ride through river crossings and the iconic

Australian Outback and you‘ll finish on the breath-takingly beautiful Four Mile Beach. You can rely on a support crew that has decades of stage race experibecome a World Cup venue this support will be essential. ence, including mechanics, a chef, doctors and physio therapists, photograActive Utilises, the Essendon Fields Internet Service Provider, also phers and local experts setting up the daily feed zones out on track. Ride have installed fibre internet and power to the track. This with year over we 100 cyclists from all over the world and Australia and for were in the early days of providing live streaming. We learnt a lot this many this race is the challenge of a lifetime year and we’ll improve it for next year. and for everyone it is an experience that they will never forget. How was the feedback from the international riders who came WWW.CROC.AT out and raced, were they impressed with the course? The feedback from the internationals was great, basically saying INFO@CROC.AT both days were amongst the best courses they have ever ridden, anywhere. We go to a lot of effort to put lots of corners in - fast, slow, PACKAGES FOR PARTICIPANTS opening and closing, double apex, hairpins and hammerheads, and Daily accommodation in hotels and try to group them to provide continuity - and design courses that motels inclusive shuttle service. generate interesting racing, so it is great to get that feedback. Our courses are hard and to a degree they have to be when the aim is to attract international riders and get our riders ready to race overseas. Going to the Worlds earlier this year demonstrated to us that we shouldn’t be afraid to set hard courses because the courses

PORT DOUGLAS

08_WETHERBY

01_SMITHFIELD

06/07_SYKBURY COFFEE

The BombTrack Treadly Race Team has been a regular fixture on the national cx scene, we recently caught up with Expert level racer and Team Manager, Jake Thomas and Elite racer, Lana Adams to have a chat about the team. Jake can you tell us how the team came about this year and who are the sponsors of the team? Last year we had a really great group of people all riding under the #TreadlyCX banner in MAAP kit as a bit of fun and a way to increase the shop’s visibility in the evergrowing cyclocross scene here in Adelaide. This year I decided to branch out to a few brands that are close to the shop here, that we have good relationships with, and see if they wanted to all come together to help

us get the Bombtrack Treadly Racing team together for the National Series. Those partners have been Bombtrack Bicycle Co (our bike sponsor) and by extension, the Australian distributor Link Sports, Treadly Bike Shop (an invaluable resource for parts, workshop time, and bankrolling some of the team paraphernalia), MAAP Apparel (custom team-issue skinsuits and caps), Praxis Works/ Dawson Sports Group (cranks, chainrings and bottom brackets), Chrome Industries (off-the-bike clothing & waterproof shoes - a necessity), Tony Tomatoes (a local pizza shop who got us over the line with some start-up expenses), Schwalbe/Bike Box (tubular and tubeless tyres to keep us rubber side down), and Nuun Hydration/Zen. Who’s on the team and do you race as well as manage the team?

Racing in Elite at the national level we have Lana Adams and Max Hardy, our Expert racers are Caz Whitehead, Camille Bishop, Harry Waugh and Patrick Galloway (who unfortunately has been out all season due to injury), in Masters 1 we have Seal Yates, Masters 2 Becca Gross and Paul Black, and I race Expert, too. Harry actually won the National Championship Expert Men’s race and then proceeded to take the National Series lead off me by a handful of points in the last race of the series at Fields Of Joy! Seal held the lead in the WMAS2 Series until the last race as well and took second, while Becca was the only one of us to take her series lead all the way to the end of the series and win, having also won the National Championship WMAS2 Race but being ineligible to hold the National Champion title without Australian citizenship. I was putting together a proposal

02_CAIRNS

03/04/05_ATHERTON

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GODFATHERS OF THE FIELDS OF JOY

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A GRINTAVIEW WITH FOCUS BIKES FOUNDER - MIKE KLUGE

MIDDLE EAST

PEACE

for a new brand for 2018 the other day and actually realised that in the national Series alone we managed 18 podiums including 4 race wins - all in our first real year as a team! With working at Treadly and shop life how do you find the time to manage the team? It’s difficult, absolutely. This season has been totally different to the last, with so much extra travel and a handful more races than I managed to get to last year, it certainly feels like it hasn’t stopped for a few months now. I wouldn’t be able to do any of it without such a supportive team - we’ve all had some pretty bad headspace at times through this season and we certainly wouldn’t have all made it to the end of the season with such stellar results without the rest of the team to get us there.

of our local series here in Adelaide that’s put on by Port Adelaide Cycling Club. Since the National Series ended we’ve actually already had another State round, with one more to go in late September. Most of us raced the State Championships in July as well, where we took out wins in WMAS 1 and WMAS 2, nabbed 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th place in the Women’s Elite race, and got as high as 6th place in Men’s Elite. The team bike colour looks rad, is this colour scheme available to the public? The bike in team colours was actually painted by Max himself to match the MAAPdesigned team kit! He took the colours and the multi-dot motif and transferred it to his frame, with pretty damn good results if you ask me. Depending on time-frames with next year’s Winter season, you might see more of us on custom painted bikes, but I don’t think that Bombtrack will be offering that paint as standard on a CX bike in the near future. Who knows though, right? The team kit is definitely available to the public, though stocks are getting seriously limited - I only

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BOMBTRACK TREADLY RACING TEAM WHEN DEPTHS ARE UNCHARTED, IT’S BEST TO SKIRT THE BOGHOLES

OL’ DIRTY 2017

CX racing adopted disc brakes a few years ago and this changed the race scene and significantly opened the market for gravel/adventure bikes. Is it a positive step for Focus that 58

I snorted out another chuckle in a series that had started a few hours earlier. Here was Nonie, rolling past the jumping castle and laughing clowns at the mid-ride feed stop, covered literally from the tip of her helmet to the bottom of her shoes in sticky red mud. “I did a bit of a superman” she laughed as she re-enacted her graceful flight over the handlebars. Looking around, the carnage and the carnies combined, as rider after rider rolled into the bush-equivalent of Coney Island complete with popcorn, cotton candy, and crazy mirrors.

1992 Cyclo-cross Worlds victory, Leeds. UK

Was the first bike that you built a ‘cross bike? Yes it was a CX bike. I knew I would benefit from it if I wanted to become world champion again.

In what year did you move across to mountain bikes and racing MTB World Cups? Was it for the racing or the Californian lifestyle? It was in late 1989. At that time I was taking a break in California. I received a call from a race promoter from the Grundig World Cup organization asking if I would be interested in taking part in a Mountain bike race in my home town Berlin. At that time I had no clue about mountain bikes, so I had to make a pit stop to a bike shop to check them out.

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“ What the actual hell? ”

Looking back at your palmarés the early ‘90s was a pretty hectic time for you; racing ‘cross World Cups as well as MTB World Cups. With such a full hectic schedule of racing what made you decide to launch your own bike brand, Focus Bikes? I was disappointed in the bikes that I was riding at that time. They were geometrically incorrect. I didn’t like the design or the parts they were using. In 1990 I almost lost the Mountain Bike World Cup and the unofficial World Championship as the result of this.

What were the features that you introduced to your first cx bikes to make them stand out from the competition. I used wider race handlebars, self-custom made Magura hydraulic brakes and a Suntour shifter from the trekking bikes, to bring shifting up on to the bars.

With the national cx series rolling to its conclusion, what’s next for you and the rest of the team? I’m currently ‘taking a break’ from the team by running around trying to organise a Summer season of events for the shop. I have big plans for the team in 2018, and if they all come to fruition I think we’ll see more of the same great results and more of the same growth in cyclocross here (especially the women’s racing) that’s so important to the core of the team. Ideally, I’ll learn from this season’s lessons and have every conceivable part of the team logistics organised by December(ish) to launch in May - but for at least a couple of weeks after our last race for the season, I think I’ll put the biggest tyres I can fit on my Hook AL and try to get lost in the endless gravel of the Adelaide Hills for a bit to recharge between that and watching the US/Euro season that’s already underway, ‘cross never really gets far from the front of my mind!

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Mike Kluge is a cycling lifer. An ex professional on the road, mountain bike, track and cyclo-cross, he enjoyed most success on a CX bike, winning the amateur world championship (twice) and then the elite world championship in 1992 (not that his mountain bike world cup overall win in 1990 was anything to sneeze at). 1992 was a big year for Mike, as he also started Focus Bikes that year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first Focus was a CX bike, and was produced out of a garage with a couple of partners. 25 years on and the brand, the bikes and Mike have come a long way. We caught up with Mike recently when he was in Adelaide for the 2018 Focus Bikes launch to find out more.

Do you feel that coming from a racer’s background gives you an edge in designing bikes? Definitely! My experience in cyclo cross, road, track and mountainbike racing all helped me develop the bikes.

have a handful left.

TOUR

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It’s actually all the bikes. It would be too boring to choose only one because I enjoy riding all of them. the Australian Federation have now given the green light to disc brakes for road racing in Australia? It is a great step forward for Australia and needs to happen worldwide. It is long OVERDUE and the UCI should really make a move as well. With Disc brakes you can stop on point in all weather conditions. For me it’s much more fun, smarter and much safer to use Disc brakes.

Looking ahead 5 years what do you predict will be the next big leap/innovation for cyclists? Raising up the speed limit for E-Bikes would help generate the opportunity to get more people on bikes and out of cars, the speed increase would increase the appeal of longer distance commuting.

Will you be back to Australia in January for TDU? Yes I will, because I like the passionate Australian cyclists and I want to see more German-engineered Focus bikes in Australia.

This was standard Ol’Dirty, an annual event run by Hells 500 that has been taking in the goat trails, groad, singletrack and scrubby trails of the Upper Yarra for the past half-dozen years. While the course is different every year, the format is the same - an irreverent mix of hip-hop, batch brews, a solid crew, and shit-eating grins all round. It’s an opportunity to show people what Hells 500 is all about, and that primarily is pushing boundaries without getting all self-righteous about it. After all, it is just riding bikes. Sure, maybe not where they are not designed to go, probably halving the drivetrain life,

Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to chat then at greater length. But for that we need some beers...

Do you still have a hand in the R&D and testing of the bikes? We have a very good team behind Focus and I’m there for the fine tuning and I love testing our new bikes a lot. HELLS 500 | KEEPERS OF THE CLOUD | MAKERS OF THE EVERESTING

I have heard that you are very fond of your e-Bike, as an elite rider is this the point in your life where you throw your hands up and admit you’re only human… Or is there a fundamental appeal in riding electric bikes? Yes many reasons! Because of the E-Bikes I’m riding much more again. I’m riding technical trails, that I haven’t ridden in the past 25 years because they were just too difficult. The E-Bikes help leverage the various riding levels of riders, overcoming gaps in fitness and strength which creates a good group riding experience. Given your cx pedigree are the cyclo-cross bikes your favourites at Focus?

Photos by Riley Wolff Words by Andy van Bergen 1993 World Cup - CX Italy

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At the 2017 Cape Epic www.grinta.com.au

IN FOCUS - MIKE KLUGE

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QIASEN TROPHY A MECHANIC’S TALE... #mechaniclyf

The Qiansen Trophy has been running for four years now and this year consisted of two races. First one based in Fengtai and the second in Yanqing, both approximately 2 hours out of Beijing. Events like the Qiansen Trophy in China are where I am in my element. I love helping those I care about achieve their very best and the teams we take to these places are filled with some of the best. This year I was wrenching for the JBlood Adventures team consisting of Naomi Williams, Bec Locke, Michael Howson, The Real Shaun Lewis, Tom Chapman, Nick Norden, Jo Easson and Angus Dickson. On top of that wonderful mob I was helping the Australian Cyclocross Magazine team of Stacey Riedel, Nick ‘No Shoes’ Smith and Ben Walkerden. With most other team mechanics assisting maybe one or two riders, I knew I could have my work cut out for me with eleven riders, but I love it! Race day is a relatively busy day, for me anyway, especially if I decide to try and race the support race in the morning. It just makes for a very long day in the sun and the heat. It is fairly cold and wintery home in Australia this time of year, not so for Beijing, being consistently around 28-30 degrees. My job pre race is to make sure all the riders have what they need, their bikes are running schmicko and tyre pressures are how they like them. Once everyone is happy, I more or less leave them to warm up and prepare themselves to race. In this time I am organising spare wheels, spare bikes and my tools and running to and from the pits. With so many riders, it’s important to keep on top of who has what wheels or bike and where they are located in the cluttered confines of the pit zone. Then in the hopefully unlikely event of a mishap for one of the riders, I am able to assist them at superhuman speeds – that’s how it goes in my head anyway… 60

This year both races went rather smoothly for the team and myself. No major incidents to really cause anyone to lose too much time. A wheel change and some air for Howie and a couple of silky smooth bike swaps for Tom and that was pretty much it. However, the whole time during the race you are keeping an eye out, remembering what order each rider will come by, grabbing

The phrase “Pete, I might need your help, I think I’m too drunk for a wheel change” may have possibly been uttered by another mechanic, but who’s to know, we would definitely not be drinking in the pits. the next bike, being ready to grab the next set of wheels, knowing when someone has made a pass and the order changes again. And remember, its about 30 degrees in China this time of year and the pits are of course in the full sun, it’s rather full on. But again, I love it! It was super helpful having Sean Couley from Australian Cyclocross Magazine and Shaun Lewis’ dad Mark in the pits to help out, we were literally juggling bikes and wheels as I threw bikes at them to scoop up the next. A major highlight of travelling with a team and visiting other countries for racing is the people you meet from all around the world, all there for the same reason. This year was my second year at the Qiansen Trophy and it was fantastic to see so many familiar faces. I guess somewhat different to a racers point of view, where during the race everyone around you are direct competitors, from a mechanics point of view the pits can actually be a really friendly vibe. Mechanics from different teams and countries helping each other if need be,

lending tools or assisting to catch riders bikes as they come in for a bike change. The phrase “Pete, I might need your help, I think I’m too drunk for a wheel change” may have possibly been uttered by another mechanic, but who’s to know, we would definitely not be drinking in the pits. I was only too happy to offer my services. It’s a happening little area in the pits and we are all in it together. We are also fairly good at heckling and cheering each other’s riders. A rider came up to me and said, “I heard an Australian cheering my name, it must have been you”. Friendly competition from my end while the riders do all the real work! From the builder, Mark Hester:

After the races there is a fair bit of pack up, load spares on the bus and ride back to the hotel, wash a couple of bikes and then make sure everyone has everything from the day. Post race is really about the beers and tales of the days racing. I do like a good party.

The latest Prova is a very sharp road bike with wafer thin beefy steel tubes, classic caliper brakes and the crème de la crème Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset and AX Lightness wheels. The steel frame is paired with a Curve Cycling carbon fork with a beefy shoulder that better suits the tapered and reinforced headtube and Chris King headset.

A challenge for everyone in China I would pretty safely say is food. Endless buffets of fried rice, odd bread, very bad coffee, and dishes that you can’t tell what they are. And it really doesn’t help when the tags on the food make very little sense, an example was a strange looking dish just labelled ‘Aftertaste groping’, mmm yummy! But really there is enough on offer to make a meal of something each time. And if the food is one of the only slight drawbacks, then you’re in for a good time.

Rob wanted to replace a high end carbon bike and was ‘steelcurious’. Being a regular racer of the skinny tyre type the brief was for a fast and responsive bike. To achieve the target of high torsional and pedalling stiffness it uses the lovely Columbus Spirit HSS down tube which

is drawn to a crazy .45mm through the centre. The use of the Reynolds 853 oval top tube also adds to the torsional stiffness while still allowing longitudinal movement of the front axle on square edge impacts by being able to flex more vertically.

compliance at the saddle showed how much of an impact seat post exposure and size makes to this metric. The use of the Columbus Life triple butted seat tube, a 27.2 post and the careful balance of exposed seat tube and the angle of the top tube means that long days in the saddle will be a breeze.

The bench testing I have performed on

I am proud of the whole team and their efforts in China and throughout our whole season. I am honoured to be able to join in the adventures and hopefully make trips like these easier for everyone. A massive thanks to the man JBlood himself for making this trip possible for us all. Looking forward to the next!

Peter Arch

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A MECHANICS TALE... 14 www.grinta.com.au

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complexity

performan and X-HOR

taut and si

you need, i

How has the formation of this team affected your racing cx? Last year I raced on the team predating our current team, we simply called ourselves Treadly CX, wore the same skinsuit and hung out at the races having a really great time. This year it’s felt a little more “serious”, without it really being too serious at all, but with custom kit thanks to MAAP & some actual sponsorship behind us, notably Bombtrack helping out with our bikes. Honestly the team marquee was the best thing ever this season, it saved us from getting hypothermia at most of the races. Having a highly supportive team of people around me has helped on every level; from making sure my bike is running, to pinning on numbers, to hearing their voices on the sidelines, to the supportive shoulders when I have a bad time & beat myself up over it. It hasn’t changed a tonne, we’re still mostly the same crew just trying to have a lot of fun.

Along with competing in the national cx series, what other races have the team been to this season and how have the results been? We raced at Mt Beauty, because we were already there for the Bright season opener, and before that we actually had two rounds

NEW

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IN FOCUS

CROCODILE TROPHY

AUSTRALIA 16.-23.09.2017 AUSTRALIA of the UCI, about the globalisation of CX and what our plans were. We also had a meeting with Peter Van den Abeele, UCI Head of the Off-road. Does the timing of this event work for international riders? We believe so and it’s quite deliberate. The window of opportunity for us was very narrow, and we are most definitely tied to China if we want to make it easy for Internationals to come race in Australia. The idea is quite simple - start the season in Melbourne, fly direct to Beijing and then head to the US for the C2s, C1s and then the World Cup rounds. If we can encourage another event promoter to hold a C2 the weekend before ours we’ll see a large international contingent. This might take another couple of years as the budget to put on a C2 is considerable, as it the quality of the course and event. Hopefully in 2020 we’ll see World Cups in Melbourne, followed by Beijing before heading off to the US and Canada.

what’s in weight an

Elite racer - Lana Adams:

The FOJCX double-header was one of the most highlyacclaimed weekends of CX racing of this year’s calendar. The course was mint, as always, but perhaps what few expected (other than the godfathers of FOJCX) was how good the racing would be. We sat down with Col and Peter to find out more.

How did all of this come to pass, the creation of this venue that is Fields of Joy, Essendon? FOJCX was a happy accident that started with a conversation in 2014. Six weeks later we had built some features and were having our first race. We discussed whether we should take our time and leave it to the following year, but decided that you are never really ready so jumped into running a season straight up.

SRAM’s bra

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A GRINTAVIEW WITH COL BELL & PETER McINULTY

Col and Peter do the 2 of you have a background in cross racing? Yes and no. We’ve both raced cyclocross, mountain bike, road & crits for the last 10 years. We both have a passion for dirt. We are race organisers – both CX and Road racing. FOJCX and ‘Cross was a natural extension for us & the Club from a race organisation perspective, and also something we are passion about. There was definitely a natural fit.

DON’T LET COMPLEXITY clutter your experience.

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THE FLYING DOCTOR

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BRIGHT / BRISBANE / ADELAIDE / MELBOURNE

“The two U.S World Cups will give me a strong sense (or more likely violent punch in the face) of where I’m at.” Plus, the atmosphere at World Cups is kinda insane

No stranger to the Aussie cx scene, Kim recently raced the FOJCX doubleheader in Melbourne and also took home the National series title from the West Island as part of her build-up for a crack at some US racing, including the two opening World Cup rounds. “I really didn’t expect to come away with the Aussie title but I was stoked to not only grab the title but be part of an exciting women’s CX racing scene happening there” she told us from Rochester, where she’d just done her first weekend of US racing. After a turbulent lead-up including a stolen bike, recovered bike, replaced bike on top of 36 hours of travelling, just getting to race her bike against the best in the world was a feat in itself.

Photo: Adrian Marcoux © 2017 SRAM LLC

NATIONAL CX SERIES

PROVA CYCLES - RAZZO ROAD

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How have you found the competition in the Women’s Elite field this year compared to years past? This is only my second year racing CX, as last year I dove straight into racing the National Series after only just bumping up to A grade in Adelaide. This year felt a lot stronger. The depth is really growing. The women who raced last year have stepped up the level A LOT. It’s really, really awesome to see. Especially three of my favourite Adelaide locals, Nat Redmond, Stacey Riedel & Jo Easson, have taken their strengths to the next level and it’s really heartening to see teams/sponsors picking them up and taking supporting them seriously. How do you find time on race day to prepare for your race, warm up, race, and then manage to get photos from nearly every race - and then back it up on the second day of these National Series double headers? When it’s put like that, I don’t really know. Luckily for me, I may race Elite CX but I’m not competitive in the standings so it doesn’t really matter to me if I don’t fit in a proper warm up. This year I found juggling my commitment to race day and my desire to take photos really difficult, and halfway through the season I made the decision to (mostly) stop photographing at the races. So that’s helped. I experience a lot of pre race

anxiety (even if it is meant to be all fun & games) and I couldn’t really balance the two. I’m a pretty slow/deliberate shooter and the nerves from the anxiety doesn’t really work with that. The proliferation of CX is booming, and the proliferation of race imagery has grown alongside it, so I don’t feel the need to contribute so heavily to it anymore now there are so many fantastic photographers shooting on the sidelines. Also, my race day nutrition is AWFUL & I never end up eating until 3 hours post race because I instantly rush to the sidelines of the next race to heckle, and then there’s pack down, bike clean up etc. I’m useless the night after a race, and barely a person the night after a double header, but with the added ability to eat forever.

W co re Th al w Bu si C un m to An Ad to Su a

Ph


Sitting inside a cosy old pub on an archipelago somewhere in the North Atlantic, I’m beginning to realise that we’ve just arrived in one of the most bizarre places left on the planet. Outside the window a row of brightly coloured Viking-style huts line the street, with their distinctive grass–clad roofs catching the last rays of the day. Inside the pub, locals chatter excitedly in their strong Nordic accents and the scent of freeflowing all-malt lager fills the air. If it wasn’t for our brand new road bikes lying seemingly abandoned on the opposite side of the road you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a scene from a recent Vikings episode.

Anywhere else in the world and a couple of unlocked bikes on the side of the road would be gone within a matter of minutes but the dishevelled looking character behind the bar assures us that crime doesn’t exist in this part of the world. “You can even leave your keys in the car here in the Faroes”, he tells us, struggling to hide the pride in his voice. “But if you’re still worried, you can take them down the road to the hotel”. Having just made the 51-kilometre trip from the airport hauling a kayak, kite board and film gear on our bikes, our bodies have decided that they’re not moving any further until they’ve been properly nourished – and the foreign smells coming from the kitchen are too good to refuse Created by volcanic eruptions some 55 million years ago, the Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 spectacularly crafted igneous rocks that rise high above the ocean somewhere between Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic. Originally settled by the Vikings in the 9th century, there are now roughly 50,000 of their descendants living on the islands along with 100,000 sheep and one of the most diverse bird populations in the world. Due to its geographical

The Vuelta’s opening stage was the team TT which passed through the centre of the Arena of Nîmes, one of southern France's oldest arenas, built by the Romans around AD 70.

BEARDY’S VUELTA ESPAGNA

How do you deal with traveling with your equipment? Travelling with my equipment. I think what I learnt on the IPWR is that organisation is the most important aspect of work and travel. You have to keep on top of it. Do you still race? Races, well I don’t race much. I don’t race too much because I tend to put too much pressure on myself and want to enter a race as fit as I possibly can be, which due to work and life commitments is hard to obtain a level of fitness that I would be satisfied with. The other thing that always stopped me was that I always had bills and to afford these bikes and gear I had obtained initially, I would always have to work on weekends to cover the new helmet or shoes I had purchased ha. Would you swap your life for that of a pro rider? I don’t think so. The decisions I have made throughout my life have been to set myself up for later in life. I guess sometimes we wish we could all have lead some sort of other life, or multiple lives but I have a beautiful wife and a kid on the way and couldn’t be happier with my current prospects. I have been involved in elite sporting teams at a junior level and cycling for me was more of an escape tool than something I would have pursued. The reality is there are a lot of very talented athletes that spend 20 - 30 hours a week trying to make it as a pro and hats off to them. I still personally view elite sport as entertainment, not always fair sporting accomplishments. That is what I loved so much about the IPWR! Anyone could enter, any age, any ability! Everyone had the same chance. Which other photographers do you admire? Cycling and other…

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Roll Out - Later than intended & in the sweltering 36º heat, we departed Gloucester headed for Moonan Flat. We took the scenic route, heading around the Bucketts Mountains and out via Mud Hut Road searching for some extra gravel before climbing for the ‘Tops.

Water raid - Bottles empty, and with all the river beds dry, we decided in desperation to raid a water tank attached to a modest house along Scone Road. With no way to know if this was our last water opportunity before the climb, we had little choice. We hopped the fence hoping no-one was home...

What was your best cycling related moment from the year? I think lining up at the Nationals, although I didn’t last too long. I spent four months training very hard and when I looked back at it maybe too hard. I guess for me you don’t know till you try and I

Good Samaritan - Meet Rob – owner of the water tank, and allaround top bloke. He also once raced road bikes for Hunter Districts, on a custom, Aussie-built Demonda (running full Super Record & Nissi Rims he recalled). Perhaps that is why we was so forgiving, nay, welcoming of 6 strangers caught red-handed stealing his water.

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PHOTOGRAPHER FEATURE - GENE KEHOE

Riding into the capital city, Torshavn, on what was apparently one of the more unremarkable roads, it was impossible not to become completely overwhelmed by the huge moss-green landscapes that surrounded us. Emerging from the sea of low-lying mist that seems to perpetually engulf the Faroes, a series of dramatic treeless precipices soared towards the sky and filled us with excitement for the next 14 days that we were going to spend exploring them. Deep ocean tunnels connect some of the 18 islands that make up the Faroes but many of them can only be reached by ferry or helicopter, making a cycling trip around the islands a logistical nightmare. To solve this problem we decided to bring along a kayak and kite-board that we could use to make the crossings between the islands where and when it suited us – weather dependent of course. Up until the 20th century, the Faroese people could only move around on foot and in small wooden rowboats so

NORTHSOUTH - FAROE ISLANDS

Which other photographers do I admire. Hmm I would say JR Artist, who is a French photographer. He does a lot of political based photography, very daring stuff. I love his work and at University I studied one of the projects he did called “Women Are Heroes” look it up, it’s amazing.

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isolation and relatively small population, the Faroe Islands are arguably one of the most unspoiled landscapes left in the world. For me, it is undoubtedly the most moodily beautiful place I have ever laid eyes on.

Swimmin’ Ol - As luck would have it, only a few hundred meters past Rob’s place, The Dilgry River was flowing. This would have made for a perfect water stop, as at the foot of the climb you’re crossing the river before its had a chance to get any cow crap in it – fresh straight off the hills (the water, that is). Not needing a drink, we instead opted for a dip before tackling the gravel climb up Barrington Tops Forest Road.

Cap’n Thuderbolt - Frederick Wordsworth Ward (aka Captain Thunderbolt) was a bushranger renowned for escaping from the Cockatoo Island penal establish-

ment and for his lengthy bush-ranging career - the longest roaming bushranger in Australian history. Over six-and-a-half years, Ward robbed everybody and everything across much of northern New South Wales - from the Hunter Region north to Queensland and from Tamworth nearly as far west as Bourke. Thunderbolts Lookout is just one of many areas of geological interest that bears this rather successful outlaw’s name.

Sunset Boulevarde - With the light fading, and a red sun poking through the trees up on the plateau, we knew something special was about to happen. Con-

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cerned we may exit the trees too late to see it, we hustled for glory - getting there just in time. A bushfire in the surrounding area had coloured the sky and the low cloud cover left just enough of a gap on the horizon for the sun to come blasting through. An amazing sunset (and tidy little descent) to round out the first day.

Death by dinner - In an effort to put back in what had already been expended on a big first day (plus add a layer on top for the next day’s efforts) Lachlan ate three dinners to himself, plus a few beers in rapid succession. Cue hot sweats followed by a complete full body shutdown. RIP Lachlan.

OVER YONDER - BARRINGTON TOPS

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THE 4 DIFFERENT FRONT COVERS OF THIS EDITION - ALL SHOT BY JEFF CURTES Riders on the cover For this issue of Grinta Jeff Curtes has been the busiest man on course; he’s raced the national ‘cross season and also shot a very large proportion of the ‘cross coverage within our CX Special. He shot the four front covers as well. With so much happening throughout the season there were just too many bangers to choose from Jeff’s selection, so we split the cover choice into four front covers. 1/ JBlood in the Green & Gold, Fields of Joy CX

3/ Peta Mullens in a moody black & white shot, Fields of Joy CX

2/ Garry Millburn heading for the win, Day 2 Fields of Joy CX

4/ ‘The Kiss’ - A very muddy shot - April McDonough and Peta Mullens

PUBLISHER Freewheel Media Adam Macleod EDITOR Mikkeli Godfree mikkeligodfree@gmail.com DESIGNER Adam MacLeod adam@enduromag.com.au CONTRIBUTORS Andy Rogers, Jeff Curtes, Brett Kennedy, Frank Strack, Evan Jeffrey, Peter Knight, Mikkeli Godfree, Kirsty Baxter, Marcus Enno, Simon James Andy White, Adam MacLeod, Pat Fitzpatrick, Peter Arch, Naomi Williams, David Fletcher

PHOTOGRAPHERS Beardy McBeard, Fame & Spear - Andy Rogers, FYXO - Andy White, Jeff Curtes, Riley Wolff, Evan Jeffrey, Brett Kennedy, Mikkeli Godfree, Jerzy Lau, Adam MacLeod, Lana Adams, Simon James, Ben Cirulis, Cam MacKenzie, Paul Spurling, Ryan Moody, Digby Shaw, Jason Stirling, POST CORRESPONDENCE TO 85 OLD WARRANDYTE ROAD, DONVALE 3111 Articles printed in this publication are the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editors or publishers of GRINTA ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL mob: 0438 292 006 email: adam@enduromag.com.au Print Post Approved PP320258/0114

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BEAUTY-BRIGHT NCXS1

BRISBANE

ADELAIDE (R)

NCXS 2 & 3

FOJCX

CXNC17 & NCXS4

UCI C2_MELGPCX NCXS 5 & 6


NATIONAL CX SERIES


THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CROSS SERIES A FOUR STOP TOUR, CULMINATING IN OUR FIRST UCI C2 CATEGORY RACE. 4 RACE VENUES MT. BEAUTY NCXS 1 - BRISBANE NCXS 2 & 3 - ADELAIDE CXNC17 & NCXS4 - FOJCX_MELGPCX NCXS 5 & 6 RACE REPORTS AND ALL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE SEASON'S COVERAGE BY JEFF CURTES AND ANDY ROGERS

JBlood leads Millburn and Aitken on the first round of the NCXS, Bright, VIC. I loved shooting this section of the track, the color and the leaves were just so perfect


Naomi ‘Ren’ Williams, Bright NCXS1


Top Tom Chapman on the rails | Bottom Left ‘ The Champ’, Jblood | Right Dan Bonello getting familiar with the dirt of CROSS, RCC 2017 | Jeff Curtes 22 www.grinta.com.au


#1 BEAUTY-BRIGHT NCXS1 With a car packed to the brim with bikes, spare wheels, tools and bags, we began our first of many pilgrimages across the country for the National Cyclocross Series. Just like last year, our season would begin in the mountain town of Bright. At our alpine accommodation at the foot of the hills, our excitement for the beginning of the season brewed. After a muddy, Belgian-esque start to the season last year we couldn’t wait to see what awaits us. After a hard slung day up and down the side of Big Hill MTB Park for the VICCXS Round, it became apparent we weren’t in store for the same mudfest that we had last year. Whilst the course wasn’t quite as muddy as last year, the autumnal leaves covering the ground were hiding a slip-

pery, icy surface below that would keep us all on our toes for the day’s races. After the Open, Support and Masters Grades had had their time in the mud, lines had started to form and the excitement of the Elite Women and Men was rising. The Elite Women lined up for the first time this season, all with looks of anticipation and excitement - ready to get their season underway. The usual faces were there - plus a fresh face from across the Tasman Sea that would prove to gift us some of the best racing we would get all year. A technical, flat course suited April McDonough and she came out flying. With Kim Hurst (NZ) hot off the plane and ready to rumble hot on her toes in second and Naomi Williams keen to continue her solid form from last year, we were in for a good race. April managed to

After a muddy, Belgian-esque start to the season last year we couldn’t wait to see what awaits us this YEAR

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take her solid start and carry it the whole way to the finish line to secure the first win for the season, with Kim holding on for second and Naomi rounding out the top three. With the Elite Women treating us to a stellar race, anticipation was high to see if the Elite Men could provide us with more of the same. The depth of the Men’s field was as strong as ever with a few new teams joining the fray along with the usual front runner suspects in attendance. Could 24 www.grinta.com.au

Chris Jongewaard repeat his domination of the series like last season? Could Garry Millburn finally break through or would one of the ever consistent Focus/ Attaquer riders bring some surprises?

out to an early lead, the chasing group had no luck in bringing him back leaving Chris to take the first win of the season. Garry managed to hold off a storming Tom Chapman for second. Would we

COULD Jongewaard repeat his domination of the series like last season? Arguably to no one’s surprise, Chris was here to provide us with another masterclass in cross and he did just that. Getting

see a repeat of last year’s dominance? We’d have to wait until our trip north to the Sunshine State to find out.


Clockwise from left page | Racing Ink’s Nick Smith finding the only mud of the day #lightbro | 30 seconds to start, Millburn looks cool and ready | Nat Redmond, head down and on the gas, | Jules Spiller flying the OverYonder giddy up | JBlood, legend of the dirt | Paul Van Der Ploeg getting used to the skinnies of CX | Adelaide’s finest Max Hardy flying the flag for Tready Bombshell | Aus CX legend Lisa Jacobs with a nice cameo on the cross this year | Jeff Curtes


The People’s Champ, Allan Alby Iaucone unzipped in the Queensland sunshine, Baden Powell Park | Jeff Curtes


Clockwise from above | Dylan Newell on the crowd favorite Run Up on the Day 2 track, one of the best crosses I’ve seen in Australia | OYR’s Jules drifting along the dry flowy turns, so camo it hurts | 2016 National Champ Bec Locke being reminded of Belgium on the legit run up, Day 2, Right page | Mud in Queensland? Millburn leading JBlood through the thickening and drying slop | Jeff Curtes

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#2 BRISBANE NCXS 2 & 3 Again the car was packed and we began our second trip of the season - this time, a two day drive from Adelaide to Queensland awaited us as we began the long haul to Samford for rounds 2 & 3 of the National Series. After its first involvement last year, the National Series was returning to Queensland for some very unseasonal conditions to keep everyone on their toes. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it wasn’t Winter at all that weekend with temperatures in the mid 20s all weekend which would undoubtedly play a part in how the races progressed for the weekend. Dry, dusty and hilly would be the best way to describe the course in Samford. Not the usual descriptors for us and it definitely was a bit of shock for some riders.

Day 1 saw a stacked Elite Women’s field take to the start line, all hoping that the travel time would pay off in some valuable series points. While a few riders from the pointy end of Bright had a good race, a few others suffered in the heat, leading to a few different names earning themselves a spot in the money. Kim Hurst and Nat Redmond took the opportunity to start their rivalry for the season here as Nat got a flying start, hoping to distance the rest of the field from the get-go. After tussling for most of the race, Kim managed to distance Nat slightly and hold off for the win. Nat managed to maintain her position for second, and Tessa Fabry relished in the hot, fast conditions and rolled through for third. With water bottles being poured over their backs on the start line and ice packs

With water bottles being poured over their backs on the start line and ice packs stuffed down their skinsuits, the Elite Men lined up to see who would suffer the least in the high temps.

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stuffed down their skinsuits, the Elite Men lined up to see who would suffer the least in the high temps. Unsurprisingly, the men’s race suffered the same fate

relished in the conditions and managed to ride off from the whistle and hold the field off until the line. Chris Aitken felt at home in the heat and finished a solid

Unsurprisingly, the men’s race suffered the same fate as the Women’s and the heat got to the field and made life tough for a few of the regular front runners. as the Women’s and the heat got to the field and made life tough for a few of the regular front runners. Chris Jongewaard 30 www.grinta.com.au

second and Shaun Lewis poked his head into the top 3 for the first time this season. Both Garry and Tom struggled

in the heat a bit finishing a few places down in 5th and 7th. After a tropical dumping of rain and an addition of a mighty run up for day two, everyone was excited to see what the changes would bring. The belting sun made short work of any leftover dampness from the overnight rain, and the dusty conditions of day 1 returned, and with it, very similar final results. Nat and Kim again battled for most of the race with Kim again, managing to just


distance a determined Redmond to take her second win and Nat again holding on for second. April McDonough had a more successful race and finished third with Tessa just holding onto 4th. The familiar conditions would provide the men with a similar turn of events as the women. Chris again lead from the start - a seemingly comfortable race tactic but this time with Garry Millburn keen to hold on. The heat again played

its role and the same survivors from day one again raised their heads. Chris again managed to ride away from his competitors and comfortably solo for victory. Garry excelled in the conditions on the second day and held on for second with Chris Aitken not far off. With some very different conditions, the points got a bit of a shake up.

Left page | NZ’s finest Kim Hurst with a dominant weekend in Brisbane, will be nice to see her mix it with the the International crew in the USA this September. Clockwise from above | Nat Redmond, pushing, never stop pushing | This is the REAL Shaun Lewis on the REAL run up, leading teammate Chris Aitken for Focus Attaquer | Crowd favorite The People’s Champ - Allan Iacuone | Mud glorious mud... | Jeff Curtes www.grinta.com.au

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Two Time National Champ Christopher JBLOOD Jongewaard, always pushing the envelope‌.#cantstopwontstop If the mag had a horizontal format, this would be a cover IMHO| Jeff Curtes


Flander’s Paul Redenbach, looking the part through the S-bends…real Belgian conditions this weekend really put Australia CX on the International ‘legit’ list


Amazing Peta Mullens, always full of the spirit of cross…with April McDonagh post win.

#3 ADELAIDE CXNC17 & NCXS4 (R)

After the sweltering heat of Queensland, the season was coming back to the cold of Adelaide for Round 4 of the National Series but also the National Championships. We were elated for a round in Adelaide as it meant no driving for us and we would get to see our country’s best athletes blazing around our local courses. The National Champs was the first on the cards for the weekend and there was definitely an air of nervousness around. Peta Mullens was fresh from a fiery crit’ season in the US, Nat Redmond was all fired up, ready for one of her main goals for the season and Rebecca Locke was strong after some good results in Queensland, ready to defend her

title. With some rain during the week, Zombie Park was a picture-perfect tacky playground. Straight from the gun, Nat had only one goal in mind - winning. After an explosive start, she had a very solid lead on the rest of the field, with

the race further but ultimately, Peta was able to get a small gap on Nat and kept the pressure on to take the title. Nat held on for a hard fought second with Naomi Williams rolling through for third. Nat and Peta managed to give us one of the

"There are many people in my life, but not many that I'm inspired by. I try not to have role models because I don't like to put people on pedestals, but this woman deserves one! I love that April and I can race hard and leave it all out on the battlefield." P eta M ullens a small bunch behind her trying to recoup and salvage the race. While Nat lead for most of the race, eventually Peta Mullens was able to bridge. A few missed pedals by Peta followed by a few counter-attacks by Nat animated

most nail biting races of the season thus far. Could the men back it up? Would Chris Jongewaard be able to defend his title? His usual calm, cool, collected demeanor on the start line www.grinta.com.au

35


suggested so, but the fiery looks of Garry Millburn, Chris Aitken and Tom Chapman said otherwise. As he had all season, Chris took to the lead from the gun and put himself in a comfortable position, with a home ground advantage in his pocket, he took to the course with no hesitation and made quick work of distancing himself from the field. While Garry and Chris would try, they were unable to bring Chris back as he sealed the title for another year. Garry and Chris battled right until the line with Garry 36 www.grinta.com.au

just securing second. With our National Champs for 2018 decided, it was time to return to the National Series. It turned out that Sunday would be an entirely different affair weather wise from the favourable conditions of the day before - cold, wet and windy. Adelaide had brought out every bit of Belgium it had to really push the riders and test their skills. Rain on and off all day had kept the course slick but the heavens really opened up just in time for

the Elite Women’s race. Nat Redmond employed her familiar tactic of blasting off the start line to try and distance the field as she has been doing all season. Try as she might, Peta Mullens again retaliated by pulling Nat back a few laps later and then dropping the hammer. All the while, the weather was really doing everything in its power to make life hard for the field with heavy rain, blustering winds and even lightning and hail certainly some of the most extreme weather I’ve ever seen at a cyclocross


race. Peta managed to push through the conditions and secure her second win for the weekend, with Nat again holding onto second only a few seconds ahead of April. The finishing area was full of the Elite Women, covered head to toe in mud, faces barely recognisable beneath all of the filth, all the while grins from ear to ear. This is what they’d all signed up for! The weather didn’t improve for the men’s race. Rain starting to fall again on

the start line. Chris Jongewaard would continue his dominant form of the season getting out to an early lead in the horrible conditions. The rain continued to fall and parts of the course had begun to flood. The race had broken into single riders fighting their way through the weather. As he had all season, Chris came across the line alone, drenched in mud with Tom Chapman and Chris Aitken finishing not long after. Adelaide had treated us all to some

truly horrendous conditions and some equally exciting racing. With only one stop left for the National Series, we couldn’t wait to see what Fields Of Joy was going to produce for Australia’s first ever UCI sanctioned C2 category Cyclocross race.

Clockwise from left page | Peta Mullens, on

the front and on the pedals, proudly rocking her new National Champ Attaquer skinny, | April, so CROSS. | Alby, recovery done right | Gazza, leaving it all on the track, Tom Chapman, a river runs through it | Jeff Curtes www.grinta.com.au

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Clockwise from left page | Chris Aitken, limited visibility stomping through the slush | Nick Smith looking skeletal | and the ladies of Cross, Adelaide | Jeff Curtes


I knew I wanted this shot, so i waited a bit, and when I saw the stacked up clouds I knew tipping the camera towards the sky was the right call. Lead group, two to go FOJCX


Peta Mullens, dropping in


Squid World Tour begins in Australia, Emily Kachorek kicking off a great International campaign

#4 FOJCX_MELGPCX_NCXS 5 & 6 T hi s was t h e u ltimat e f inal e to a fantas tic s e as on. The final two rounds of ou r N atio n a l Se r i e s an d m o r e impor tantly, our f irs t eve r C 2 C X rac e s in Aus tralia - all to be o r ga n is e d by t h e cyc l o c r oss super pow er th at is Fie lds Of Joy. I c ouldn’t think of a better te a m to u nd e r ta k e s u c h an involved ev ent an d the te am at FOJ le t no one down. Not only was this our first UCI C2 race, but as a result, it brought in a handful of international hitters to come over and see how they stacked up against the Australian field. Kim Hurst returned to our shores after a brief break whilst we both raced our National Title, we also had the team from Squid Bikes in the US bring two of the Elite Women’s riders and one of their Elite Men’s riders over to kick off their CX season. For Australia

to be at the start of the international cyclocross calendar was a huge deal and we weren’t going to disappoint. As the international contingency started landing late in the week and even began to suss out the venue, the anticipation for the biggest weekend in Australian cyclocross history was hard to ignore. With the addition of a few new faces to the scene, we were about to be treated

to some of the best cyclocross racing we’ve ever seen. In true Fields Of Joy style, the course for day one was packed full of technical features to test the best and really bring the hurt. The ground was dry and tacky and the wind was cold - perfect conditions for some quality racing. As the Elite Women lined up, all eyes were on Kim, Emily Kachroek and Sammi Runnels to see what they could do. It www.grinta.com.au

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Clockwise - Top this spread | Elite Women’s drop in first lap | GO! GO! | Emily Kachorek on the rails, classic FOJ | Stacey Riedel all smiles, all time. 46 www.grinta.com.au


would seem that they didn’t fly all this way to leave us hanging at the wayside. Emily and Sammi both jumped out to a flying start with Peta Mullens hot on their heels. Nat Redmond followed to try and hold onto the lead group. After distancing themselves from Redmond, Sammi began to drop off the back. Emily and Peta continued to battle it out, dragging themselves up the steep hill to the thunderous cheers of the crowd. Eventually, Peta managed to gap herself from Emily and took the win. For Peta, the recently crowned Elite Women’s National Champ, to take the win in the first C2 race in Australia, was almost a fairytale. It would seem this fairytale feeling would continue into the afternoon. With Anthony Clark (Squid Bikes) lining up in the Elite Men along with our best field to date, there was sure to be a good show. As the whistle went, Chris Jongewaard took his familiar role at the helm of the field with Adrian Jackson, Anthony Clark and Garry Millburn

clawing for his wheel. As Chris upped the pace and shed a few rivals (Clark and Millburn), it was Adrian Jackson who surprised everyone by sticking with Jongewaard to give him a battle. Unfortunately for Adrian, Chris was

forced to slide their way to the bottom rather than ride. As the day rolled on, rain continued to fall changing the conditions from slippery to tacky more than a few times. As the Elite Women lined up for the second time, the course

the team from squid bikes were a huge hit in melbourne, hitting up local trails, cafes and bike shops - on the first stop of their CX world tour yet again too strong and managed to ride away for the victory, continuing the theme of the Australian National Champions rising to the occasion and really showing the world what we have to offer. The action returned on Sunday to a reverse and slightly altered course and significantly different conditions to switch things up. While Saturday was cold but dry, a lot of overnight rain had turned the course to sludge. The long, steep climb from day one had turned into a mud slide, from the top of the course to the bottom, with many riders in the early races of the day being

had begun to dry out with only a few slippery corners remaining, and the daunting hill comfortably rideable - little did we all know that this hill was exactly where we would bare witness to some truly exceptional cyclocross riding from one of Australia’s youngest hopefuls. As the whistle blew, Sammi Runnels and Naomi Williams took to the front with Emily Kachorek not far behind. As they made their way to hill, an early lead was looking to form until young gun Stacey Riedel flew down the hill, overtaking both riders on the outside to shoot herself into the lead. The front of an Elite Women’s field was a new position for

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Ride of the day basically came down to this, the descent of the day‌Stacey‌Drops are for descending..so #svenness

Kimmy Hurst making the most of the jump over the pond


young gun Stacey Riedel flew down the hill, overtaking both riders on the outside to shoot herself into the lead. The front of an Elite Women’s field was a new position for Stacey but one she seemed comfortable with. We were all blown away by this move - we’d all come to expect from World Cup rac es such as Zolder, but nothing we’d ever expect to see here.

My SVxMAAP teammate Fiona Morris battling it out with Jo Easson, race within a race at it’s best

Peta doing the jersey proud, timeless shot on the Jacob’s steps


THIS IS Cross, and this is Fields of Joy at it best‌Millburn stringing out the pointy end of the race as they near the berm drop, Blood keeping close watch


Clockwise from above | Blood | Squid inker Anthony Clark, | CrossWatch legend Scotty Rettino having a day | Jeff Curtes

52 www.grinta.com.au


After gaining an early lead, the two rivals held strong with Garry leading Chris for the whole race, with only one lap left, Chris made a misjudged overtaking effort and came down, leaving Garry to capitalise and ride away for the victory Stacey but one she seemed comfortable with. We were all blown away by this move we’d all come to expect from World Cup stages such as Zolder, but nothing we’d ever expect to see here. Stacey quickly became the crowd favourite and the cries from the crowd spurred her on for a few laps to come. As the race progressed, Stacey began

to drop off and the more experienced riders held their places at the front of the race. Sammi and Naomi continued to battle for the lead, all the while Peta Mullens was working her way through the field after a less-than-ideal start. In the end, Sammi Runnels was able to walk away with the victory after a long battle with Naomi, Peta fought her way back to third and Stacey finished the day in 4th - truly a race far beyond her years and a race I will never forget. After such an intense race, it was hard to think how the Elite Men could top it. With the course now mostly dried out, it was going to be a battle of power. As the field shot away from the start line, we were all expecting to see Chris emerging at the front of the pack but surprisingly, Garry Millburn had opted for a change in tactic and had beaten Chris to the punch. All season, Garry had been fighting with Chris at almost every race only to distanced toward the end. Perhaps this change in tactics would hand him the result he longed. After gaining an early lead, the two rivals held strong with Garry leading Chris for the whole race, with only one lap left, Chris made a misjudged overtaking effort and came down, leaving Garry to capitalise

That tape ‘tho….Millburn and Blood, the battle of the season

and ride away for the victory - a result he had clearly been chasing all season. Chris recovered and held on for second with Chris Aitken soldering through for third. As tents were packed up and the sun began to fall behind the low clouds, Melbourne had produced easily the most exciting weekend in Australia’s young ‘cross history. Not only exciting in the sense of providing some of the most tantalising racing action we’ve had, but also exciting in the prospect it held for the future of the sport in Australia. With the sport growing more and more each year, it’s fantastic to see the local communities getting behind cyclocross to make it accessible to the international field, and encourage them to make the trip to Australia, to start the season on a strong footing and get their hands on some early UCI points. ‘Cross is truly one of most beautiful little communities and I can’t wait to see where it goes.


Chappy leading Clark as the near the uphill berm‌changing conditions throughout the day made the unridable not always the case.


Clockwise from above | Millburn, always full gas…today was his day | Adrian Jackson & Blood, hot on Millburn’s heels on Jacobs Ladder | Clark…Belgian conditions in

Victoria, thank you Mother Nature Right | Elite men’s podium - Garry Millburn, Chris Jongewaard, Chris Aitken, Anthony Clark and Adrian Jackson | Jeff Curtes

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Millburn, the win he longed for all season long, a beautiful and well deserved win


THE GODFATHERS OF FOJCX A GRINTAVIEW WITH COL BELL & PETER McINULTY

The FOJCX double-header was one of the most highlyacclaimed weekends of CX racing of this year’s calendar. The course was mint, as always, but perhaps what few expected (other than the godfathers of FOJCX) was how good the racing would be. We sat down with Col and Peter to find out more. Col and Peter do the 2 of you have a background in cross racing? Yes and no. We’ve both raced cyclocross, mountain bike, road & crits for the last 10 years. We both have a passion for dirt. We are race organisers – both CX and Road racing. FOJCX and ‘Cross was a natural extension for us & the Club from a race organisation perspective, and also something we are passion about. There was definitely a natural fit. How did all of this come to pass, the creation of this venue that is Fields of Joy, Essendon? FOJCX was a happy accident that started with a conversation in 2014. Six weeks later we had built some features and were having our first race. We discussed whether we should take our time and leave it to the following year, but decided that you are never really ready so jumped into running a season straight up. With such a small crew at Sunbury CC, how does this all happen? It’s easy to under-estimate how much work goes into putting on good CX events. We are a small crew and have always had to rely on the generosity of others – both within our own club but also from the broader CX community. It is quite amazing how many people are prepared to sacrifice time and effort for the benefit of the sport. It has been a truly humbling experience at times, with many examples of amazing contributions from a wide range of people. Bottom line is you have to learn to ask for help, and learn that you can do big things without necessarily being in total control all the time. We see the good side of people all the time, it’s a nice community to be part of. There has been talk about the globalization of cyclocross, do you feel that FOJCX hosting UCI sanctioned events is a step in the right direction? Globalisation of Cyclocross is something that we talk about a lot and believe Australia can definitely play a role in. ‘Cross has traditionally been very Euro-centric, having originated there over 100 years ago. The growth outside of Europe, particularly in the USA has been phenomenal. It makes sense that that growth should be encouraged in other nations, particularly in countries that already have an appetite for CX. Australia punches well above it’s weight in cycling in general, so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be developing local talent, and to do that we need quality local racing. CX gets great support in Australia because so many people are passionate about it. It would be great to see Aussies doing well on the world stage one day. How did you get the approval of the UCI to hold a UCI C2 category 58 www.grinta.com.au

race in Melbourne at the end of our season? Is it a multi-year commitment? Without speaking for the UCI, it is my belief that once we had Governing Body support within Australia, UCI approval was relatively easy. The UCI are keen to grow cyclocross outside of Europe and have been very supportive in discussions we’ve had. The pre-European tour of Australia, China, USA makes a lot of sense for riders heading to Europe because of the UCI points on offer. As you’d know, the start is everything in a CX race so UCI points and a riders grid position is really important for anyone with ambitions to do well. Did having Lisa Jacobs as the Fields of Joy ambassador help to secure the UCI approval? She’s definitely well connected in Europe and elsewhere, and I am sure played a role in spreading the word that good things were happening in Australia. Securing UCI approval was on the back of having MTBA & CA support, race hosting experience, a credible race series and a good venue. We have been building towards this for over 3 years so it’s hard to put it down to any one thing. Both of us went to the Bieles World Championship in January. A friend of the club, Eric Leyder, was the President of the organising committee - his first CX race was the World Championship! Having friends like this open doors. We attended the Official UCI Dinner, slummed it with Andy Schleck and 6 times World BMX Flatland Champion Viki Gomez, and chatted with Brian Cookson, President


of the UCI, about the globalisation of CX and what our plans were. We also had a meeting with Peter Van den Abeele, UCI Head of the Off-road. Does the timing of this event work for international riders? We believe so and it’s quite deliberate. The window of opportunity for us was very narrow, and we are most definitely tied to China if we want to make it easy for Internationals to come race in Australia. The idea is quite simple - start the season in Melbourne, fly direct to Beijing and then head to the US for the C2s, C1s and then the World Cup rounds. If we can encourage another event promoter to hold a C2 the weekend before ours we’ll see a large international contingent. This might take another couple of years as the budget to put on a C2 is considerable, as it the quality of the course and event. Hopefully in 2020 we’ll see World Cups in Melbourne, followed by Beijing before heading off to the US and Canada. The quality of the obstacles and the course terrain are a step up from many other Australian courses, is this made possible by FOJCX being a year round dedicated course? FOJCX is somewhat unique as a CX venue globally. Even well established courses in Europe are built just for the race weekend and then dismantled. Essendon Fields have let us have the luxury of being able to build permanent features. We also benefit from having elevation change which allows for lots of off-camber sections and physically demanding courses. Much of the racing is visible from the main viewing area, meaning that spectators can generally see 85% of the race from the one spot. This results in good crowd participation and an atmosphere which we love. Who are the major sponsors that make this all happen? Essendon Fields, owners of the land, have obviously been there from the beginning, as have Giant South Yarra. Stepping up to an International level race has only been able to happen through the support of Airport Toyota – who took on the headline sponsorship spot and backed us the whole way, even before we had UCI approval.

Being able to confidently say we are funded was an important part of getting the necessary approvals. Airport Toyota understand cycling and community events and have been the dream partner in all of this. Hyatt Place only opened recently at Essendon Fields but were keen to get on board and have also been great. This is a great partnership and we’re exploring ways to enhance it for next year. Our 2 local state members, Mr Ben Carroll and Mr Danny Pearson, have lobbied on our behalf the State Government for funding. Hon John Eren, Minister of Sport, has through the Significant Sports Grants program provided financial support for the past 2 years. To

Hopefully in 2020 we’ll see World Cups in Melbourne, followed by Beijing before heading off to the U.S and Canada. become a World Cup venue this support will be essential. Active Utilises, the Essendon Fields Internet Service Provider, also have installed fibre internet and power to the track. This year we were in the early days of providing live streaming. We learnt a lot this year and we’ll improve it for next year. How was the feedback from the international riders who came out and raced, were they impressed with the course? The feedback from the internationals was great, basically saying both days were amongst the best courses they have ever ridden, anywhere. We go to a lot of effort to put lots of corners in - fast, slow, opening and closing, double apex, hairpins and hammerheads, and try to group them to provide continuity - and design courses that generate interesting racing, so it is great to get that feedback. Our courses are hard and to a degree they have to be when the aim is to attract international riders and get our riders ready to race overseas. Going to the Worlds earlier this year demonstrated to us that we shouldn’t be afraid to set hard courses because the courses www.grinta.com.au

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in Europe are next-level. We also had very positive feedback about the level of competition here in Australia, and are happy to see the Australian riders held up quite well to international competition, making for good racing both days. The level of Australian CX is definitely up there, which further points to why we should have more points opportunities for Australian riders who want to race overseas. What’s on the cards for next year? We could potentially take it to a C1 if funding was available [prize money alone is about $28,000 for the four UCI races], although we’re more than happy to run another C2 double header and grow it as more international riders come. Either way, we expect more international athletes as the word spreads. Putting on a good first race, particularly with co-operation from the weather on Sunday, was the best thing that could have happened for us. We definitely got amazing feedback and plenty of social media reach so expect we might now feature in people’s plans for next year. We want to attract a big name Euro. Let’s see what Sven thinks... We’re in early days of thinking of introducing a “friendly” team’s race between Australia and New Zealand, and hopefully the US or any other country. Either similar to a format we used when we held the National Championship a couple of years ago or use the UCI points awarded

during the Elites race. We definitely need to tweak a few things mainly involving more volunteers and live stream the event. For the track another couple of features is on the cards plus work on the sand section [not sure who mentioned it needs to be longer and deeper!]. Ultimately our dream is to see a World Cup in Melbourne – a full-blown annual CX festival – a major tourist drawcard along the lines of a mini-Tour Down Under.

Similarly, Kim Hurst said to expect a lot more Kiwi’s next year. Our own sense is that now we are up & pedalling on the world stage so we’ll see a lot more internationals and the racing will just keep getting better. Is it important for your race to be the first spot on the calendar for the International cross season? Yes, because of the distance travelling from Europe or the USA, the date needs to be close to China. After China, the international CX calendar gets very busy,

“Fields of Joy was always the CX platform for me, both on social media and then for my very first event. When they announced a UCI race, I knew I had to be there; mainly to play my part in supporting the growth of the sport, and secondly to make sure the American’s didn’t walk all over us, I think we held our own!” Peta Mullens This needs a serious amount of State Government support, but we believe CX is a compelling value proposition for a major international event in the middle of winter and the associated TV rights into Europe & the USA. Do you feel that it is possible to draw larger numbers of international riders here before they head across to race in China? Definitely. China is a very attractive option for many riders, with two C1’s on offer. Coming to Australia “on the way” makes sense as riders get into the time zone and get some valuable hard racing in their legs before China. Plus we feel Australia is a very attractive destination. Squid Bikes said they’d definitely be back and will bring other Americans with them.

particularly in the USA, then Europe. For us, Australia > China > USA is what makes sense. Thankfully the UCI agreed to our date… Being first also gets lots of social media exposure in Europe and US. Melbourne is known for being the first Formula 1 Grand Prix of the year and hopefully it will also become known as the first UCI Cyclocross race of the season. Thanks for your time and we look forward to the next Fields of Joy race at Essendon. Thank you. The pleasure is ours. Thanks for covering CX and helping to grow the sport in Australia. We’ll be back in April 2018 for VICXS.


„The day is still young. I get an early start in Reykjavik. I‘m on my way heading south-east. Solid tarmac as far as the eye can see. But after 120 kilometres, it gets a bit monotonous; I think I was simply born for more bumpy ground. Luckily, the PARALANE is with me on this front. I turn off the road at the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. There‘s a dirt track in front of me, and mountains on the horizon. Beams of light fall from the clouds, lighting up green and white spots that join up to form a mosaic. I push on. My PARALANE Factory – just as adventurous as me myself.“ Jeremy Powers, FOCUS Athlete


THANK YOU So many people to thank. Airport Toyota & all our sponsors, volunteers, officials, MTB Australia, the UCI, riders & the Cyclocoss Community. Everyone who helped make MELGPCX a success, we sincerely thank you. ME LGP.CX Hosted by Sunbury Cycling Club


Cameron Ivory enjoys a quick brew and a flick through Grinta at ROULÉ, the new cafe adjoining the store. It's been put together by the team from Maillot Jaune Premium Coffee and is the perfect compliment to the freshly renovated store in Newcastle.

DRIFT BIKES STAFF MEMBER, LUKE BAGLEY, ENJOYS A QUICK BREW AT THE NEW CAFE ROULÉ ADJOINING THE STORE.

JOSH STEPHENSON

2/47 NORTHCOTT DR KOTARA NSW NSW 2/47 NORTHCOTT DR KOTARA

DRIFTBIKES.COM.AU DRIFTBIKES.COM.AU


IN FOCUS

A GRINTAVIEW WITH FOCUS BIKES FOUNDER - MIKE KLUGE

Mike Kluge is a cycling lifer. An ex professional on the road, mountain bike, track and cyclo-cross, he enjoyed most success on a CX bike, winning the amateur world championship (twice) and then the elite world championship in 1992 (not that his mountain bike world cup overall win in 1990 was anything to sneeze at). 1992 was a big year for Mike, as he also started Focus Bikes that year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first Focus was a CX bike, and was produced out of a garage with a couple of partners. 25 years on and the brand, the bikes and Mike have come a long way. We caught up with Mike recently when he was in Adelaide for the 2018 Focus Bikes launch to find out more. Looking back at your palmarés the early ‘90s was a pretty hectic time for you; racing ‘cross World Cups as well as MTB World Cups. With such a full hectic schedule of racing what made you decide to launch your own bike brand, Focus Bikes? I was disappointed in the bikes that I was riding at that time. They were geometrically incorrect. I didn’t like the design or the parts they were using. In 1990 I almost lost the Mountain Bike World Cup and the unofficial World Championship as the result of this. Was the first bike that you built a ‘cross bike? Yes it was a CX bike. I knew I would benefit from it if I wanted to become world champion again. Do you feel that coming from a racer’s background gives you an edge in designing bikes? Definitely! My experience in cyclo cross, road, track and mountainbike racing all helped me develop the bikes. What were the features that you introduced to your first cx bikes to make them stand out from the competition. I used wider race handlebars, self-custom made Magura hydraulic brakes and a Suntour shifter from the trekking bikes, to bring shifting up on to the bars. In what year did you move across to mountain bikes and racing MTB World Cups? Was it for the racing or the Californian lifestyle? It was in late 1989. At that time I was taking a break in California. I received a call from a race promoter from the Grundig World Cup organization asking if I would be interested in taking part in a Mountain bike race in my home town Berlin. At that time I had no clue about mountain bikes, so I had to make a pit stop to a bike shop to check them out. CX racing adopted disc brakes a few years ago and this changed the race scene and significantly opened the market for gravel/adventure bikes. Is it a positive step for Focus that 64 www.grinta.com.au

the Australian Federation have now given the green light to disc brakes for road racing in Australia? It is a great step forward for Australia and needs to happen worldwide. It is long OVERDUE and the UCI should really make a move as well. With Disc brakes you can stop on point in all weather conditions. For me it’s much more fun, smarter and much safer to use Disc brakes. Do you still have a hand in the R&D and testing of the bikes? We have a very good team behind Focus and I’m there for the fine tuning and I love testing our new bikes a lot. I have heard that you are very fond of your e-Bike, as an elite rider is this the point in your life where you throw your hands up and admit you’re only human… Or is there a fundamental appeal in riding electric bikes? Yes many reasons! Because of the E-Bikes I’m riding much more again. I’m riding technical trails, that I haven’t ridden in the past 25 years because they were just too difficult. The E-Bikes help leverage the various riding levels of riders, overcoming gaps in fitness and strength which creates a good group riding experience. Given your cx pedigree are the cyclo-cross bikes your favourites at Focus?


1992 Cyclo-cross Worlds victory, Leeds. UK

It’s actually all the bikes. It would be too boring to choose only one because I enjoy riding all of them. Looking ahead 5 years what do you predict will be the next big leap/innovation for cyclists? Raising up the speed limit for E-Bikes would help generate the opportunity to get more people on bikes and out of cars, the speed increase would increase the appeal of longer distance commuting.

1993 World Cup - CX Italy

Will you be back to Australia in January for TDU? Yes I will, because I like the passionate Australian cyclists and I want to see more German-engineered Focus bikes in Australia. Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to chat then at greater length. But for that we need some beers...

At the 2017 Cape Epic www.grinta.com.au

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QIANSEN TROPHY A MECHANIC’S TALE... #mechaniclyf

The Qiansen Trophy has been running for four years now and this year consisted of two races. First one based in Fengtai and the second in Yanqing, both approximately 2 hours out of Beijing. Events like the Qiansen Trophy in China are where I am in my element. I love helping those I care about achieve their very best and the teams we take to these places are filled with some of the best. This year I was wrenching for the JBlood Adventures team consisting of Naomi Williams, Bec Locke, Michael Howson, The Real Shaun Lewis, Tom Chapman, Nick Norden, Jo Easson and Angus Dickson. On top of that wonderful mob I was helping the Australian Cyclocross Magazine team of Stacey Riedel, Nick ‘No Shoes’ Smith and Ben Walkerden. With most other team mechanics assisting maybe one or two riders, I knew I could have my work cut out for me with eleven riders, but I love it! Race day is a relatively busy day, for me anyway, especially if I decide to try and race the support race in the morning. It just makes for a very long day in the sun and the heat. It is fairly cold and wintery home in Australia this time of year, not so for Beijing, being consistently around 28-30 degrees. My job pre race is to make sure all the riders have what they need, their bikes are running schmicko and tyre pressures are how they like them. Once everyone is happy, I more or less leave them to warm up and prepare themselves to race. In this time I am organising spare wheels, spare bikes and my tools and running to and from the pits. With so many riders, it’s important to keep on top of who has what wheels or bike and where they are located in the cluttered confines of the pit zone. Then in the hopefully unlikely event of a mishap for one of the riders, I am able to assist them at superhuman speeds – that’s how it goes in my head anyway… 66 www.grinta.com.au

This year both races went rather smoothly for the team and myself. No major incidents to really cause anyone to lose too much time. A wheel change and some air for Howie and a couple of silky smooth bike swaps for Tom and that was pretty much it. However, the whole time during the race you are keeping an eye out, remembering what order each rider will come by, grabbing

The phrase “Pete, I might need your help, I think I’m too drunk for a wheel change” may have possibly been uttered by another mechanic, but who’s to know, we would definitely not be drinking in the pits. the next bike, being ready to grab the next set of wheels, knowing when someone has made a pass and the order changes again. And remember, its about 30 degrees in China this time of year and the pits are of course in the full sun, it’s rather full on. But again, I love it! It was super helpful having Sean Couley from Australian Cyclocross Magazine and Shaun Lewis’ dad Mark in the pits to help out, we were literally juggling bikes and wheels as I threw bikes at them to scoop up the next. A major highlight of travelling with a team and visiting other countries for racing is the people you meet from all around the world, all there for the same reason. This year was my second year at the Qiansen Trophy and it was fantastic to see so many familiar faces. I guess somewhat different to a racers point of view, where during the race everyone around you are direct competitors, from a mechanics point of view the pits can actually be a really friendly vibe. Mechanics from different teams and countries helping each other if need be,

lending tools or assisting to catch riders bikes as they come in for a bike change. The phrase “Pete, I might need your help, I think I’m too drunk for a wheel change” may have possibly been uttered by another mechanic, but who’s to know, we would definitely not be drinking in the pits. I was only too happy to offer my services. It’s a happening little area in the pits and we are all in it together. We are also fairly good at heckling and cheering each other’s riders. A rider came up to me and said, “I heard an Australian cheering my name, it must have been you”. Friendly competition from my end while the riders do all the real work! After the races there is a fair bit of pack up, load spares on the bus and ride back to the hotel, wash a couple of bikes and then make sure everyone has everything from the day. Post race is really about the beers and tales of the days racing. I do like a good party. A challenge for everyone in China I would pretty safely say is food. Endless buffets of fried rice, odd bread, very bad coffee, and dishes that you can’t tell what they are. And it really doesn’t help when the tags on the food make very little sense, an example was a strange looking dish just labelled ‘Aftertaste groping’, mmm yummy! But really there is enough on offer to make a meal of something each time. And if the food is one of the only slight drawbacks, then you’re in for a good time. I am proud of the whole team and their efforts in China and throughout our whole season. I am honoured to be able to join in the adventures and hopefully make trips like these easier for everyone. A massive thanks to the man JBlood himself for making this trip possible for us all. Looking forward to the next!

Peter Arch


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THE FLYING Doctor. KIM HURST GRINTAVIEW By Brett Kennedy Chainslapmag.com Photos Digby Shaw

When cyclocross first gained it’s unsteady, slippery foothold in New Zealand, races were held in places that more resembled mountain bike courses than the up and down off-camber fare most of us had seen on grainy Youtube videos of the euro pros in action. Which was probably more help than hinderance for most riders, largely coming from the fat-tyred discipline (and many riding the same bikes they lined up for xc on). One of the first races held in Wellington - the de facto home of NZ CX - was on a twisty singletrack course not far from Makara Peak, the home of mtb in the capital. As the ‘elite’ riders started stringing themselves out through the thick bush, I noticed that running in the top 5 or 6 was a woman who looked so strong she was putting a lot of urgency into the guys in front of (and behind) her. Over the ensuing years, as the sport has grown and curated its own band of specialists with proper equipment and who can actually run, the same woman has taken to the hardest discipline of

cycling and stamped her name all over it. That name is Kim Hurst. Hailing from the UK, Kim has made Wellington her home and cyclocross her forte. Not that she’s any slouch on other bikes, currently holding the women’s course record for the legendary Karapoti Classic, a 50km slog through some of the steepest and crappiest terrain that has been running for nearly 30 years. When you consider some of the previous holders were Olympic medallists and full-time Pro riders, a full-time GP who trains outside of her long ‘real job’ hours taking minutes off their times is even more impressive. The skills gained on the mtb have certainly helped with the handling required for cross, and Kim’s huge engine just keeps pumping out the watts for the 45 minutes required of it at the redline. Add in the perfectly dire weather that Wellington turns on for the racing season and her British heritage, and you start to realise that she was made for this sport.

No stranger to the Aussie cx scene, Kim recently raced the FOJCX doubleheader in Melbourne and also took home the National series title from the West Island as part of her build-up for a crack at some US racing, including the two opening World Cup rounds. “I really didn’t expect to come away with the Aussie title but I was stoked to not only grab the title but be part of an exciting women’s CX racing scene happening there” she told us from Rochester, where she’d just done her first weekend of US racing. After a turbulent lead-up including a stolen bike, recovered bike, replaced bike on top of 36 hours of travelling, just getting to race her bike against the best in the world was a feat in itself. Dominant at the NZ Nationals, Kim welcomes the extra motivation of racing against new and stronger opponents, and the World Cup and World Championships is the pinnacle for an athlete who is hungry to push

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“The two U.S World Cups will give me a strong sense (or more likely violent punch in the face) of where I’m at.” Plus, the atmosphere at World Cups is kinda insane themselves to find out what they are really capable of. Kim says that her future plans will definitely be more ‘cross focused. “Despite the big 4.0. looming on the horizon I still feel that I can compete at a high level and push the limits of what I can do” she says. “At 38, I’m still setting new PB’s so it seems a little premature to hang the wheels up just yet. Of course, the desire to pull on a black skinsuit with a fern on it at Worlds is still hugely strong.” Taking small steps isn’t the way Kim does things, and the journey to the Worlds in Valkenburg in January has been a crash-course (literally, after her first lap biff in Rochester) in taking it up several notches. “The two US World Cups will give me a strong sense (or 72 www.grinta.com.au

more likely violent punch in the face) of where I’m at. Plus, the atmosphere at World Cups is kinda insane and while the racing is incredibly hard both emotionally and physically, it is an immensely satisfying thing to say you have been part of after the dirt and sweat is washed off. So, ask me again in a few weeks about Europe. It may we’ll be on the cards.” One thing’s for sure, if Kim’s on the line and suited up, there will be no half measures of pain being administered. Kim would like to thank Niner Bikes NZ, Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels, Capital Cycles, Shimano NZ, Trifour Technics, Biomaxa, Cowbell Coaching, Seight Custom Clothing


Photo: Adrian Marcoux © 2017 SRAM LLC

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holiday paradise that is tropical North Queensland home and its stage plan from Cairns to Port Douglas is unique - every day is different! The eight days include lush rainforest trails, awesome single tracks in the so typical bushland surrounds; you‘ll ride through river crossings and the iconic Australian Outback and you‘ll finish on the breath-takingly beautiful Four Mile Beach. You can rely on a support crew that has decades of stage race experience, including mechanics, a chef, doctors and physio therapists, photographers and local experts setting up the daily feed zones out on track. Ride with over 100 cyclists from all over the world and Australia and for many this race is the challenge of a lifetime and for everyone it is an experience that they will never forget.

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TEAM PROFILE BOMBTRACK TREADLY RACING TEAM

The BombTrack Treadly Race Team has been a regular fixture on the national cx scene, we recently caught up with Expert level racer and Team Manager, Jake Thomas and Elite racer, Lana Adams to have a chat about the team. Jake can you tell us how the team came about this year and who are the sponsors of the team? Last year we had a really great group of people all riding under the #TreadlyCX banner in MAAP kit as a bit of fun and a way to increase the shop’s visibility in the evergrowing cyclocross scene here in Adelaide. This year I decided to branch out to a few brands that are close to the shop here, that we have good relationships with, and see if they wanted to all come together to help

us get the Bombtrack Treadly Racing team together for the National Series. Those partners have been Bombtrack Bicycle Co (our bike sponsor) and by extension, the Australian distributor Link Sports, Treadly Bike Shop (an invaluable resource for parts, workshop time, and bankrolling some of the team paraphernalia), MAAP Apparel (custom team-issue skinsuits and caps), Praxis Works/ Dawson Sports Group (cranks, chainrings and bottom brackets), Chrome Industries (off-the-bike clothing & waterproof shoes - a necessity), Tony Tomatoes (a local pizza shop who got us over the line with some start-up expenses), Schwalbe/Bike Box (tubular and tubeless tyres to keep us rubber side down), and Nuun Hydration/Zen. Who’s on the team and do you race as well as manage the team?

Racing in Elite at the national level we have Lana Adams and Max Hardy, our Expert racers are Caz Whitehead, Camille Bishop, Harry Waugh and Patrick Galloway (who unfortunately has been out all season due to injury), in Masters 1 we have Seal Yates, Masters 2 Becca Gross and Paul Black, and I race Expert, too. Harry actually won the National Championship Expert Men’s race and then proceeded to take the National Series lead off me by a handful of points in the last race of the series at Fields Of Joy! Seal held the lead in the WMAS2 Series until the last race as well and took second, while Becca was the only one of us to take her series lead all the way to the end of the series and win, having also won the National Championship WMAS2 Race but being ineligible to hold the National Champion title without Australian citizenship. I was putting together a proposal

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Lana Adams would multi-task throughout the CX season for the team - both racing and documenting the team's progress through the year. Lana's photrographic work can be found at instagram.com/lanaadams/ or www.lanaadams.tumblr.com


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for a new brand for 2018 the other day and actually realised that in the national Series alone we managed 18 podiums including 4 race wins - all in our first real year as a team! With working at Treadly and shop life how do you find the time to manage the team? It’s difficult, absolutely. This season has been totally different to the last, with so much extra travel and a handful more races than I managed to get to last year, it certainly feels like it hasn’t stopped for a few months now. I wouldn’t be able to do any of it without such a supportive team - we’ve all had some pretty bad headspace at times through this season and we certainly wouldn’t have all made it to the end of the season with such stellar results without the rest of the team to get us there. Along with competing in the national cx series, what other races have the team been to this season and how have the results been? We raced at Mt Beauty, because we were already there for the Bright season opener, and before that we actually had two rounds

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of our local series here in Adelaide that’s put on by Port Adelaide Cycling Club. Since the National Series ended we’ve actually already had another State round, with one more to go in late September. Most of us raced the State Championships in July as well, where we took out wins in WMAS 1 and WMAS 2, nabbed 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th place in the Women’s Elite race, and got as high as 6th place in Men’s Elite. The team bike colour looks rad, is this colour scheme available to the public? The bike in team colours was actually painted by Max himself to match the MAAPdesigned team kit! He took the colours and the multi-dot motif and transferred it to his frame, with pretty damn good results if you ask me. Depending on time-frames with next year’s Winter season, you might see more of us on custom painted bikes, but I don’t think that Bombtrack will be offering that paint as standard on a CX bike in the near future. Who knows though, right? The team kit is definitely available to the public, though stocks are getting seriously limited - I only

have a handful left. With the national cx series rolling to its conclusion, what’s next for you and the rest of the team? I’m currently ‘taking a break’ from the team by running around trying to organise a Summer season of events for the shop. I have big plans for the team in 2018, and if they all come to fruition I think we’ll see more of the same great results and more of the same growth in cyclocross here (especially the women’s racing) that’s so important to the core of the team. Ideally, I’ll learn from this season’s lessons and have every conceivable part of the team logistics organised by December(ish) to launch in May - but for at least a couple of weeks after our last race for the season, I think I’ll put the biggest tyres I can fit on my Hook AL and try to get lost in the endless gravel of the Adelaide Hills for a bit to recharge between that and watching the US/Euro season that’s already underway, ‘cross never really gets far from the front of my mind!


Elite racer - Lana Adams: How has the formation of this team affected your racing cx? Last year I raced on the team predating our current team, we simply called ourselves Treadly CX, wore the same skinsuit and hung out at the races having a really great time. This year it’s felt a little more “serious”, without it really being too serious at all, but with custom kit thanks to MAAP & some actual sponsorship behind us, notably Bombtrack helping out with our bikes. Honestly the team marquee was the best thing ever this season, it saved us from getting hypothermia at most of the races. Having a highly supportive team of people around me has helped on every level; from making sure my bike is running, to pinning on numbers, to hearing their voices on the sidelines, to the supportive shoulders when I have a bad time & beat myself up over it. It hasn’t changed a tonne, we’re still mostly the same crew just trying to have a lot of fun. How have you found the competition in the Women’s Elite field this year compared to years past? This is only my second year racing CX, as last year I dove straight into racing the National Series after only just bumping up to A grade in Adelaide. This year felt a lot stronger. The depth is really growing. The women who raced last year have stepped up the level A LOT. It’s really, really awesome to see. Especially three of my favourite Adelaide locals, Nat Redmond, Stacey Riedel & Jo Easson, have taken their strengths to the next level and it’s really heartening to see teams/sponsors picking them up and taking supporting them seriously.

anxiety (even if it is meant to be all fun & games) and I couldn’t really balance the two. I’m a pretty slow/deliberate shooter and the nerves from the anxiety doesn’t really work with that. The proliferation of CX is booming, and the proliferation of race imagery has grown alongside it, so I don’t feel the need to contribute so heavily to it anymore now there are so many fantastic photographers shooting on the sidelines. Also, my race day nutrition is AWFUL & I never end up eating until 3 hours post race because I instantly rush to the sidelines of the next race to heckle, and then there’s pack down, bike clean up etc. I’m useless the night after a race, and barely a person the night after a double header, but with the added ability to eat forever.

With the national cx series rolling to its conclusion, what’s next for you and the rest of the team? This is mainly a question for Jake, who is already working hard behind the scenes to see where the team is going to grow to next year! But personally and team aside, next for me is simply embracing the warmer months. The CX season this year felt long, and sometimes unrewarding, but still filled with endless good memories. I’m looking forward to returning to enjoying bikes for un-competitive reasons. And thanks to the brilliant volunteers at Port Adelaide Cycling Club, I get to look forward to our upcoming season of hot & sweaty Summer CX here in Adelaide, which is always a really great addition to the Summer months. Photos courtesy of Lana Adams & Andy Rogers

How do you find time on race day to prepare for your race, warm up, race, and then manage to get photos from nearly every race - and then back it up on the second day of these National Series double headers? When it’s put like that, I don’t really know. Luckily for me, I may race Elite CX but I’m not competitive in the standings so it doesn’t really matter to me if I don’t fit in a proper warm up. This year I found juggling my commitment to race day and my desire to take photos really difficult, and halfway through the season I made the decision to (mostly) stop photographing at the races. So that’s helped. I experience a lot of pre race www.grinta.com.au

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WHEN DEPTHS ARE UNCHARTED, IT’S BEST TO SKIRT THE BOGHOLES

HELLS 500 | KEEPERS OF THE CLOUD | MAKERS OF THE EVERESTING


OL’ DIRTY 2017 “ What the actual hell? ” I snorted out another chuckle in a series that had started a few hours earlier. Here was Nonie, rolling past the jumping castle and laughing clowns at the mid-ride feed stop, covered literally from the tip of her helmet to the bottom of her shoes in sticky red mud. “I did a bit of a superman” she laughed as she re-enacted her graceful flight over the handlebars. Looking around, the carnage and the carnies combined, as rider after rider rolled into the bush-equivalent of Coney Island complete with popcorn, cotton candy, and crazy mirrors. This was standard Ol’Dirty, an annual event run by Hells 500 that has been taking in the goat trails, groad, singletrack and scrubby trails of the Upper Yarra for the past half-dozen years. While the course is different every year, the format is the same - an irreverent mix of hip-hop, batch brews, a solid crew, and shit-eating grins all round. It’s an opportunity to show people what Hells 500 is all about, and that primarily is pushing boundaries without getting all self-righteous about it. After all, it is just riding bikes. Sure, maybe not where they are not designed to go, probably halving the drivetrain life,

Photos by Riley Wolff Words by Andy van Bergen


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PROVA CYCLES RAZZO ROAD WITH CAMPAGNOLO EPS - STEEL PERFECTION Thanks to the wonder that is 'the internet', I discovered Prova Cycles while wading through the #29plus hashtags and landing on Mark's 29+ trail rig. Mark definitely likes his trail bikes, and is building a strong line up of well engineering bicycles for whatever application is required. Bikepacking, Cyclocross, Ăźber commuter, trail riding and high performance road racing.


The latest Prova is a very sharp road bike with wafer thin beefy steel tubes, classic caliper brakes and the crème de la crème Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset and AX Lightness wheels. The steel frame is paired with a Curve Cycling carbon fork with a beefy shoulder that better suits the tapered and reinforced headtube and Chris King headset.


From the builder, Mark Hester: Rob wanted to replace a high end carbon bike and was ‘steelcurious’. Being a regular racer of the skinny tyre type the brief was for a fast and responsive bike. To achieve the target of high torsional and pedalling stiffness it uses the lovely Columbus Spirit HSS down tube which

is drawn to a crazy .45mm through the centre. The use of the Reynolds 853 oval top tube also adds to the torsional stiffness while still allowing longitudinal movement of the front axle on square edge impacts by being able to flex more vertically. The bench testing I have performed on

compliance at the saddle showed how much of an impact seat post exposure and size makes to this metric. The use of the Columbus Life triple butted seat tube, a 27.2 post and the careful balance of exposed seat tube and the angle of the top tube means that long days in the saddle will be a breeze.


In house designed dropouts are machined from solid 4130 here in Australia. They include stainless steel inserts for the axle and quick release face and hanger thread. The design of the dropouts was influenced by UK manufacturer Field. When experienced builders tell you to be careful when doing internal routing I listen. I designed and 3D printed stainless steel cable guides which have a reinforcement flange on the inside of the tube to compensate for the material removed. All the bosses and routing is

done before the tubes are finally tacked together. There is also some extra magic inside with little 3D printed cable clips to keep the EPS wires from rubbing on the steerer, and allowing the wiring to follow the brake cable into the top tube. After a stint in Canberra I recently moved home to Melbourne and setting up shop in Kensington I have now gone full time on bicycles. The current lead time on custom builds is 4 months at

the moment. Customers are more than welcome to pop in for a visit and have a fit done at the same time. The finish on the frame is fantastic, with build details to ensure the bike remains sharp for a long time. The last Canberra made Prova was finished by another Canberran, Simon Tennant of Velopaint. You’ll find Mark on the tools at his new Melbourne workshop. Prova Cycles 6 Bakehouse Rd Kensington 3031


Vuelta EspaĂąa Gallery by Beardy


The Vuelta’s opening stage was the team TT which passed through the centre of the Arena of NÎmes, one of southern France's oldest arenas, built by the Romans around AD 70.


Stage 5, the first summit finish for this year’s Vuelta would see Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) win atop Alcossebre with a 42 second margin ahead of Eritrean rider, Merhawi Kudus


Above | Chris Froome rides the gutter in search of smooth road surface on the cobble street of the historic town of Cuenca. 94 www.grinta.com.au

Right | Out of the old town and back to the smooth asphalt at the finish in Cuenca.


Left | Esteban Chaves on the climb of Calar Alto in Serra Nevada after a long and very wet stage.

Above | Wout Poels was a familiar sight leading Chris Froome towards the finish. Sierra De La Pandera stage 14.

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The Stage 14 finish on Sierra De La Pandera.


Alberto Contador with one last stage win for El Pistolero on Alto de l’Angliru.


Chris Froome 1km from the summit of Alto de l’Angliru and the last of nine mountain top finishes. It’s little wonder Froome called it the hardest grand tour he has ever raced.


Alberto Contador surrounded by fans on Los Machucos. It was the first time the climb had been used. With it’s extremely steep gradients it won’t be long till it features again. 104 www.grinta.com.au


Contador capturing the hearts of spectators young and old.

Waving goodbye on his last podium in his home town Madrid.

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RELIX

RE-FUSE

DOLOMITES CAMPIONE TT Distributed in Australia by

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PADRONE

ROULER


Photographer’s Feature - Gene Kehoe What’s with the name, Genek? Well my name’s Gene and my family name is Kehoe so Gene K is me. I had to choose a number because Genek was already taken, so I went with 12 which has been a number I have used growing up in various sports teams. How’s your Instagram following at the moment? My Instagram following is ok, ha. I don’t really think too much of it in honesty. I’m very lucky to have met some great people through the account and I guess that’s what I am most thankful for. I try not to make the account too much about myself because I’m really not that interesting. How long have you been shooting road cycling? I have always been interested in beautiful images. I grew up going to Melbourne’s Rudolf Steiner School, a somewhat alternative learning based program and art was a big part of their teachings. I personally like to photograph people mostly, if they happen to be on a bike, great. I like cycling too! So as for shooting road cycling I really haven’t done that much, it’s not something I’m 100% interested in. I did some photos for my friend Jesse Carlsson on the IPWR but that was a project I believed in and something I did have an interest in but those types of projects with those particular characters don’t come around all the often. If it was shooting something like the TDU I probably wouldn’t have done it. Are you into all things two wheels or just the road bike?
 I love all types of cycling, but the road bike was my first experience in cycling and my road bike still is my favourite bike I own. I first came into cycling 6 or 7 years ago, when I purchased my first bike from Cam and Linc at Bike Gallery. I recently started MTB riding and really enjoy the trails out at Smiths Gully. My friend Mars, built a lot of the trails out there and has taken me out a few times to show me the ropes. What I like about CX or MTB is that you have to focus 100% on what you are doing. The clarity and the carefreeness of the exercise is very rewarding. Whereas when you are on the road bike you still have time to think and the problems you may have had at work, or anywhere can still manifest themselves. MTB riding is just awesome it’s something I wish I had of taken up a lot earlier. What is your favourite race or event to shoot? Favourite event to shoot. Hmm if I could choose any event that I would like to shoot, not just events I have shot as I haven’t shot very many, mainly just local club races. I would like to photograph The Mongolian Bike Challenge! My friend Joan did this race a few years ago it looks truly incredible! 
 Where has the bike/camera taken you in the last 12 months? The bike and camera have taken me to the TDF in 2016 where I worked for a cycling touring company as their marketing coordinator. I did a lot of photography work there and took some really nice shots.

I would say this would have been my most enjoyable aside from parts of the IPWR. Who is the most photogenic rider you’ve ever shot? The most photogenic rider would be my Catalan friend Joan. He is one of my good friends and he has helped me a lot with many things in cycling. Joan first introduced me to Rapha and helped me to get a job working in the H Van at events. So yeah Joan if you are reading, thanks. What made them stand out? Well Joan has very distinct facial features and is quite unique. I think it is the uniqueness that makes a subject interesting. Is your life centred around riding, or is it just a job for you? I think I would never call cycling a job. I do jobs within cycling but riding my bike doesn’t ever feel like work. I’m lucky to be involved with two great companies, Rapha and Giant Bikes Australia. Both companies have helped me a lot and I am very thankful for the opportunities they have both given me. I would however love to do more photographic work for both companies. How do you deal with traveling with your equipment?


Above | Jesse Carlsson on the road at the IWPR, Right | Mike Hall prior to IPWR 2017 Below | Inside Rapha's clubhouse, Melbourne with the fantastic Citroen H-Van


Travelling with my equipment. I think what I learnt on the IPWR is that organisation is the most important aspect of work and travel. You have to keep on top of it. Do you still race? Races, well I don’t race much. I don’t race too much because I tend to put too much pressure on myself and want to enter a race as fit as I possibly can be, which due to work and life commitments is hard to obtain a level of fitness that I would be satisfied with. The other thing that always stopped me was that I always had bills and to afford these bikes and gear I had obtained initially, I would always have to work on weekends to cover the new helmet or shoes I had purchased ha. Would you swap your life for that of a pro rider? I don’t think so. The decisions I have made throughout my life have been to set myself up for later in life. I guess sometimes we wish we could all have lead some sort of other life, or multiple lives but I have a beautiful wife and a kid on the way and couldn’t be happier with my current prospects. I have been involved in elite sporting teams at a junior level and cycling for me was more of an escape tool than something I would have pursued. The reality is there are a lot of very talented athletes that spend 20 - 30 hours a week trying to make it as a pro and hats off to them. I still personally view elite sport as entertainment, not always fair sporting accomplishments. That is what I loved so much about the IPWR! Anyone could enter, any age, any ability! Everyone had the same chance. Which other photographers do you admire? Cycling and other…

Which other photographers do I admire. Hmm I would say JR Artist, who is a French photographer. He does a lot of political based photography, very daring stuff. I love his work and at University I studied one of the projects he did called “Women Are Heroes” look it up, it’s amazing. What was your best cycling related moment from the year? I think lining up at the Nationals, although I didn’t last too long. I spent four months training very hard and when I looked back at it maybe too hard. I guess for me you don’t know till you try and I think with maybe more racing and confidence in the bunch I might have www.grinta.com.au

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Above | Kristoff Allegeart driving a relentless pace across the roof of Australia - IWPR 2017 Right | Mike Hall rest in peace


That is what I loved so much about the IPWR! Anyone could enter, any age, any ability! Everyone had the same chance.


Above | Sarah Hammond seen here at Indy Pac, she's just smashed it at Race to the Rock Below | The People's Champ driving the coffee machine

lasted a bit longer. No excuses though those athletes are amazing. I needed a few more TUE’s for some sinus issues I was having but hopefully my allergies are better this year and maybe I can get myself up for another few laps. You work closely with Allan Iacuone at Rapha in Melbourne, are you able to explain to our reader’s the whole ‘People’s Champion’ thing? Yeah I work with Alby ha. For anyone that knows Alby, you would know why he is The People’s Champion. I can explain it very simply. Jesse Carlsson, is a marketing genius. Nah he is just a really good guy, one of the most humble, hardworking people I have ever met. He’s the guy that is annoyingly good at everything but never talks about it. Most of us need to tell a joke or remind ourselves we are valued or good at what we do, where as Alby just does. It’s been great working with him over the past year and we have helped to create a great community within the Rapha Melbourne Cycle Club. I would like to get out on more rides with him and drop him up The Wall or one of the iconic Mt Dandenong climbs. I’ll just have to wait another 15 years. Jokes aside I am very lucky to have the friends I have within cycling because they are all really good people and great role models.


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northsouth EXplore The FAROE ISLANDS BY BIKE, KITE and KAYAK

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Sitting inside a cosy old pub on an archipelago somewhere in the North Atlantic, I’m beginning to realise that we’ve just arrived in one of the most bizarre places left on the planet. Outside the window a row of brightly coloured Viking-style huts line the street, with their distinctive grass–clad roofs catching the last rays of the day. Inside the pub, locals chatter excitedly in their strong Nordic accents and the scent of freeflowing all-malt lager fills the air. If it wasn’t for our brand new road bikes lying seemingly abandoned on the opposite side of the road you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a scene from a recent Vikings episode.


Anywhere else in the world and a couple of unlocked bikes on the side of the road would be gone within a matter of minutes but the dishevelled looking character behind the bar assures us that crime doesn’t exist in this part of the world. “You can even leave your keys in the car here in the Faroes”, he tells us, struggling to hide the pride in his voice. “But if you’re still worried, you can take them down the road to the hotel”. Having just made the 51-kilometre trip from the airport hauling a kayak, kite board and film gear on our bikes, our bodies have decided that they’re not moving any further until they’ve been properly nourished – and the foreign smells coming from the kitchen are too good to refuse Created by volcanic eruptions some 55 million years ago, the Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 spectacularly crafted igneous rocks that rise high above the ocean somewhere between Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic. Originally settled by the Vikings in the 9th century, there are now roughly 50,000 of their descendants living on the islands along with 100,000 sheep and one of the most diverse bird populations in the world. Due to its geographical

isolation and relatively small population, the Faroe Islands are arguably one of the most unspoiled landscapes left in the world. For me, it is undoubtedly the most moodily beautiful place I have ever laid eyes on. Riding into the capital city, Torshavn, on what was apparently one of the more unremarkable roads, it was impossible not to become completely overwhelmed by the huge moss-green landscapes that surrounded us. Emerging from the sea of low-lying mist that seems to perpetually engulf the Faroes, a series of dramatic treeless precipices soared towards the sky and filled us with excitement for the next 14 days that we were going to spend exploring them. Deep ocean tunnels connect some of the 18 islands that make up the Faroes but many of them can only be reached by ferry or helicopter, making a cycling trip around the islands a logistical nightmare. To solve this problem we decided to bring along a kayak and kite-board that we could use to make the crossings between the islands where and when it suited us – weather dependent of course. Up until the 20th century, the Faroese people could only move around on foot and in small wooden rowboats so


Climbing out of the tiny village of Norðradalur on the island of Streymoy, one of the steepest but most beautiful roads in the Faroes (1.9km at 11.2%).

it seemed entirely appropriate that we too, would be exploring these mystical islands using only human power. It didn’t take long for the strange mix of sporting equipment lying in front of the pub to attract the attention of the locals. Before finishing our meals, we were joined by a couple of local fisherman, curious to know what we were up to. We told them of our plan to bike, kayak and kite board around as many of the islands as possible in the next 14 days and asked them if there was anything we should be worried about. The bewildered look on their faces said it all. I don’t think there is anywhere in the world where the people have such a deep and reverential connection with nature than here in the Faroes. Living so far away from the rest of the world, the Faroese people have learned to fend for themselves in some of the most wild and unpredictable environments known to man. They appreciate nature and what it has given them but above all, they respect it’s power. 118 www.grinta.com.au

Before parting ways with our new friends, we promise that we’ll pay close attention to the weather forecasts and that we won’t tempt fate by going out when the conditions aren’t favourable. Apart from the precarious road tunnels that connect the islands and the notoriously un-

predictable weather patterns that plague the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are actually a near perfect cycling destination. Picturesque paved roads cover the majority of the islands, snaking through rugged mountain ranges and joining up the hundreds of tiny fishing villages that occupy the coastline.

We should have probably turned around at this point. This particular day we crashed twice, got lost, broke a chain, broke a drone and to top it all off, we spent the final 20km getting sent backwards by a 40-knot headwind!


Taking a moment to appreciate the view after the brutal climb up Mount Sornfelli (3.5km at 9%), just outside of Torshavn on the island of Streymoy. What you can’t see in this photo are the 60km/hr gale-force winds that are making it difficult to stand up straight!

And as we quickly discovered, you can basically ride everywhere in the Faroe’s with a network of gravel tracks and sheep trails providing access to anywhere that the road doesn’t take you. There

The

aren’t many places left in the world as wild and as remote as the Faroe Islands and as it turns out, the bike is the perfect tool for exploring them.

crossing eysturoy to kalsoy residents-100 www.grinta.com.au

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2nd. crossing vagur to mykines Our second crossing of the trip from Vagur out to the island of Mykines. This photo makes it look easy but I can assure you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Bikiting (verb) – the action of kiteboarding with a bicycle on one’s back. After hours of patiently waiting for the wind to pick up, Dave begins his arduous 11-kilometre crossing.

The struggle was all worth it. Say hello to the island of Mykines – home to 14 permanent residents and about 100,000 sea birds. There aren’t any roads on Mykines. Just sheep, puffins and beautiful single track like this. Making the most of the sunny weather on Mykines. Out of our 14 days in the Faroes, this was the only day where it didn’t rain at all during the day. It’s difficult to provide a map for the entire trip since we were going back and forth between Torshavn and the surrounding islands but here’s one our favourite little road loops from the main island of Streymoy. If you’re ever in the Faroes then this is the perfect place to start. If you’ve got more time to explore, the island of Esturoy is where you’ll find some of the most spectacular roads and landscapes. Go to www.northsouth.cc to watch the full Faroe Islands film


TOPBIKE

TOPBIKE

TOPBIKE

TOPBIKE

TOPBIKE

Let us do the hard stuff Photo @dr_taka, Passo Giau, Giro 16 rest day

TOPBIKE

TOPBIKE TOPBIKE

TOPBIKE tours

tel: +61 (0) 3 9419 2040 holiday@topbike.com.au www.topbike.com.au


“Because it’s there” OVERYONDER.CC


Rapha Women’s 100

7,000 women worldwide joined together and rode 100km on the 23rd of July. This is their story in images from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland.

Photos of the Women’s 100 by:: Lana Adams - Adelaide | Cam Mackenzie - Auckland | Paul Spurling - Melbourne | Ben Cirulis - Sydney


#NEVERGIVEUP

E: australia.fullbeam@gmail.com P hone: 0402 046 42 2

Web: www.f ullbeam.c om.au


Barrington tops Part #1 - gloucester to moonan flat

Frog n’ Toad - The beauty of Barrington Tops (for those of us living in Sydney anyway) is the relatively short drive to get there – only 3.5 hours north of the CBD. Thoughtfully, the guys coming up from Melbourne knocked off the 9-plus hour drive to Sydney the day before, joining us early Friday morning for the convoy to Gloucester. Kosciuszko of the North - Barrington Tops seems to be (from our vantage point at least) an under-appreciated

area of NSW for cycling. It’s beautiful, featuring a high plateau between two of the larger peaks along the Mount Royal Range (a spur of the Great Dividing Range), and accessible only by gravel roads. Surprising to most is the elevation of the main road crossing through the National Park – an alpine-length climb eventually topping out at 1528m. It snows in winter, and was even considered during the 1930’s as a potential ‘Kosciuszko of the North’ – fully equipped with skiing & tourism facilities. www.grinta.com.au

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Roll Out - Later than intended & in the sweltering 36º heat, we departed Gloucester headed for Moonan Flat. We took the scenic route, heading around the Bucketts Mountains and out via Mud Hut Road searching for some extra gravel before climbing for the ‘Tops.

Water raid - Bottles empty, and with all the river beds dry, we decided in desperation to raid a water tank attached to a modest house along Scone Road. With no way to know if this was our last water opportunity before the climb, we had little choice. We hopped the fence hoping no-one was home...

Good Samaritan - Meet Rob – owner of the water tank, and allaround top bloke. He also once raced road bikes for Hunter Districts, on a custom, Aussie-built Demonda (running full Super Record & Nissi Rims he recalled). Perhaps that is why we was so forgiving, nay, welcoming of 6 strangers caught red-handed stealing his water. 128 www.grinta.com.au


Swimmin’ Ol -

As luck would have it, only a few hundred meters past Rob’s place, The Dilgry River was flowing. This would have made for a perfect water stop, as at the foot of the climb you’re crossing the river before its had a chance to get any cow crap in it – fresh straight off the hills (the water, that is). Not needing a drink, we instead opted for a dip before tackling the gravel climb up Barrington Tops Forest Road.

Cap’n Thuderbolt - Frederick Wordsworth Ward (aka Captain Thunderbolt) was a bushranger renowned for escaping from the Cockatoo Island penal establish-

ment and for his lengthy bush-ranging career - the longest roaming bushranger in Australian history. Over six-and-a-half years, Ward robbed everybody and everything across much of northern New South Wales - from the Hunter Region north to Queensland and from Tamworth nearly as far west as Bourke. Thunderbolts Lookout is just one of many areas of geological interest that bears this rather successful outlaw’s name.

Sunset Boulevarde - With the light fading, and a red sun poking through the trees up on the plateau, we knew something special was about to happen. Con-

cerned we may exit the trees too late to see it, we hustled for glory - getting there just in time. A bushfire in the surrounding area had coloured the sky and the low cloud cover left just enough of a gap on the horizon for the sun to come blasting through. An amazing sunset (and tidy little descent) to round out the first day.

Death by dinner - In an effort to put back in what had already been expended on a big first day (plus add a layer on top for the next day’s efforts) Lachlan ate three dinners to himself, plus a few beers in rapid succession. Cue hot sweats followed by a complete full body shutdown. RIP Lachlan. www.grinta.com.au

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Good morning -

We had an early start, for no particularly good reason. As we were in no real hurry, we had ample time to appreciate the slim breakfast offerings and take some photos of our cramped mess. Soon it was time to down a few coffees before rolling out towards Stewarts Brook, basking in a golden morning glow.

Little and Often - Having each probably eaten a little too much on our first day of riding, and with no shops along today’s route, rationing our meagre remains like a savvy squirrel would be essential.bears this rather successful outlaw’s name. Sips n’ Tips - Water might also have 130 www.grinta.com.au

been an issue, considering how dry things had been in the area recently, save for the Woolooma Public School popping up like an oasis along Stewarts Brook Road for us to refill the bottles.

RIP Razorback -

This unfortunate fella had met his demise only moments before we rounded the corner. The farmer gloated he’d been after the pig for weeks, and seemed pretty satisfied with the kill. We’re not exactly advocates of hunting purely for the thrill, so we just smiled politely and moved along. Note: we’ve included this here to bring you the full, unabridged story of the ride - and do not in any way condone this behaviour. In a

nice piece of juxtaposition, after the skewered pig, we found ourselves up close and personal with some fairly relaxed roadside horses.

Hike-a-bike, forever...

This was the moment everything changed – an unexpected PRIVATE ROAD. Unfortunately, it was also the ONLY road we knew we could use to get back up into Barrington Tops National Park. It wasn’t the length that was the problem - it was only a relatively short distance before we made it back onto the management trail. The problem was it was 95% unridable. Water-damaged, rocky & steep, this was the beginning of nearly 4 hours of not-so-pleasant bike hiking.


Part #2 - Bushwalking

Private Property -

Mt Hungerford Trail links Moonan Brook Road to the Middle Ridge Trail. This was a route we could have taken from the pub, instead of heading to the base of the Mt Hungerford Trail from Stewarts Brook Rd. The entry is marked as PRIVATE, and makes a point of stressing you can’t access the national park via the trail. Which was rubbish, because you can, and we did, but should you wish to avoid this little bit of hardship, perhaps look at approaching from Moonan Brook Rd instead.

Thought it was over...

We reached the Middle Ridge Trail only to

find more of the same, though, thankfully, with a little more shade. We continued to hike-a-bike, figuring that, based on our chat with the local farmer, it was most likely going to stay this way all the way up to just over 1550m.

Jam & Biltong..

Making what we believed to be our highest point, Beardy cracked out some snacks – a small single serve jam & stick to get things going, followed by a delicious bag of Biltong. We took the time to enjoy a rest and lament our aching legs, having trekked for 4 hours on what was supposed to be a cycling adventure. www.grinta.com.au

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Careys weather -

Careys Hut offered up a little history lesson on the area - with the plaque informing us of the once great plans for a ‘Kosciuszko of the North’ on the slopes around Careys Peak. These plans were foiled by the great depression of the 1930’s, and the likely realisation that there wasn’t actually enough reliable snowfall to support ski fields. A big win for the national park, which remains ski free and all the better for it.

Puddings all round... Our arrival at

the Bank Hotel Dungog couldn’t have come at a better time. We’d finished almost all of our food, and, should things have dragged on for another hour or so, we may have been in a spot of bother. Spirits improved further when we realised our dinners could be bundled with a delicious pudding for some rock-bottom country pricing. Beer and pudding flowed as we discussed what looked like some rather ominous weather headed our way for the final push back to Gloucester.


Part #3 - dungog to gloucester

Altered route - With predicted rainfall for the day looking rather severe, we took to planning a secondary route. This was a real shame as our third day was likely to be one of the best. The area up and around Gloucester Tops will have to wait for us to return. Which we will. Our revised route would instead go via Monkerai Road on the way towards The Bucketts Way and through to Gloucester.


Bridge closed

The historic Monkerai Bridge over the Karuah River is one of many wooden truss designs built by the old Public Works Department, completed in 1882. Seen as historically significant, the bridge is currently closed to motor traffic until it has been restored – apparently it has the ability to eat tyres.

Chamois upgrade

Long days in the saddle mean it’s hard to say no to some free roadside padding, especially when it comes with its own waterlogged chamois cream.

The Bucketts Way

After enjoying the soggy gravel along Monkerai Road, and feeding a very random camel, we hit

the final stretch home to Gloucester. Bikes washed down, we hit the burger joint and wrapped things up with a couple of beers. Photos: Beardy, Ben & Esjay To see more of Over Yonder’s adventures go to www.overyonder.cc


A BADASS REMINDER to keep things simple.


With SRAM RED® eTap, you get precise, wireless electronic shifting, removable batteries, and the world’s most advanced shift logic. A shift logic that’s also the simplest: tap the right paddle to move to a harder rear cog, tap the left paddle to move to an easier rear cog, tap both at the same time to Photo Jeff Curtes shift the front derailleur. Innovative but intuitive. Elegant, yet badass.


$14.95

The main climb of Saturday’s race headed straight for the clouds and provided a fantastic opportunity for the punters to see the elite field grind and run their way up this beast, before a hard left turn to the finish straight.

24 hours later and this ramp was unrecognisable as a typical Melbourne overnight deluge, and a reversal of the course, turned this grippy section into a greasy slip’n’slide that again instilled fear in riders and drew the crowds, as it had the day before, but for very different reasons. Photo Jeff Curtes

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Grinta#2 issuu  

Edition #2 of Grinta Magazine, our CX takeover edition - featuring the work of Jeff Curtes and Andy Rogers. A special feature of this issue...

Grinta#2 issuu  

Edition #2 of Grinta Magazine, our CX takeover edition - featuring the work of Jeff Curtes and Andy Rogers. A special feature of this issue...

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