Open Letter to MTBA

Following the release of the EOI documents for the 2016-2018 NCXS, we have been working in the background in an alliance formed between  Australian Cyclocross organisers with NCXS experience. We feel it is important that we voice our concerns to MTBA on behalf of our respective Cyclocross communities.  With a view to transparency, below is our letter to MTBA.

_________________________________________________________________

Shane Coppin
Chief Executive Officer
Mountain Bike Australia,
PO Box 377, Varsity Lakes QLD 4227

Expressions of Interest – National Cyclocross Series (NCXS)

We the undersigned, write to you on behalf of the NCXS host clubs and interested parties across Australia.

We write to express our concern over recent developments regarding the National Cyclocross Series Expression of Interest (NCXS EOI) documents recently released by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

We seek to work with MTBA to address some of these concerns, to improve the state of Australian Cyclocross in general, and the National Series and National Championships in particular.

We are concerned by the following (in no particular order):

  1. Lack of consultation prior to releasing the EOI.
  2. The last minute nature of this process and the uncertainty it creates with CX season fast approaching.
  3. Lack of elected representation for CX as a separate discipline within MTBA’s Committees.
  4. MTBA reneging on last years submission commitment to 2 year allocations.
  5. The ‘Regional Grant Strategy’, and the associated burden on athletes for regional travel.
  6. Gender inequality by not offering women the same grades as men.
  7. The potential for exclusion of CA licensed riders.
  8. Changes to Master’s category age brackets.
  9. Transference of financial risk to hosts clubs through fixed fees.
  10. Absence of Support Grades.
  11. Apparent lack of due diligence to adequately explore the workability of key EOI proposals.
  12. MTBA imposed personnel at races.
  13. A range of operational & organisational issues, either captured or absent from the EOI.

To adequately cover the detail of these issues, we submit to you a separate report. We have chosen not to make the detail of that report public at this stage, but want to assure members of our respective Cyclocross communities that we are making our issues known to you personally, and MTBA, in no uncertain terms.

Put most simply, we believe that Cyclocross belongs to the communities across Australia that have helped build it over many years. We understand the passion that a great many people feel for the sport. We believe Cyclocross quite rightly has a separate identity, and deserves it’s own voice; and as such needs input to how it is to be organised and the future direction of the sport – particularly at the grassroots level. We do the sport and our communities a disservice if we remain quiet, and hope that you take our input as it is intended – as being for the benefit of the sport now and in the future.

We extend our offer to work with MTBA to develop a national series that benefits Australian cyclocross in 2016 and beyond, and to represent the best interests of Australian Cyclocross riders and host clubs. We can be contacted by return email.

Yours sincerely

Greg Murison
Perth Mountain Bike Club, BrewCX.com

Gemma Kernich
Vice President – Port Adelaide Cycling Club

Peter McInulty
Fields of Joy Cyclocross, Sunbury Cycling Club

Colin Bell
Fields of Joy Cyclocross, Sunbury Cycling Club

Nik Cotterell
Dirty Deeds Cyclocross, Brunswick Cycling Club

Paul Aubrey
Canberra Off Road Cyclists, BrewCX.com

Sean Couley
Manly Warringah Cycling Club, Australian CX Magazine

Shannon Lister
Newcastle Cyclocross

Robbie McEwen
Robbie McEwen Cycling

Bradley Norman
Queensland Cyclocross

 

CC
Australian CX Magazine
BrewCX.com
Greg Meyland, Victoria Representative, MTBA Management Committee
Jodie Stembridge, WA representative, MTBA Management Committee
Russ Baker, President, MTBA

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Garry Millburn

So it has been a while.  Over the last year, the team behind BrewCX have been busy running races, raising families, getting married and that kind of stuff.  Anyway in the week prior to the 2016 CX World Champs we caught up with Garry Millburn for a good old chat.  We wish Garry and the rest of the Australian team, success, as the Belgian’s say for their races.

 

 

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Capital Cross Round 1- Presented by Pushys

Thanks to Hardy Lohse for the images from Round 1 of Capital Cross.  I hope you enjoyed the course that Patrick and I put together.   We worked really hard to try and put together a balanced course that had as many elements of cyclocross as possible.  All we need is a drop in sandpit and a set of flyovers over the canal and it would be the perfect venue.

CORCs Capital Cross was brought to you by the following CORC members, Dave, Helen, Richard, Patrick, Darryl, Tom, Andrew, Claire, Nigel and Pushys.  Thanks to everyone who pulled down the course as well.

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National Championships and NCXS Round 5 – Adelaide

We have put together a collection of media from the weekend of racing in Adelaide to let you relive the action.  Thanks to Kevin from Chameleon Photography who provided a sample of his work for the story.  Contact Kevin if you are keen to purchase any images.

Our collaboration with Cyclingtips continues, here is our take on the National Championships.

National Championships – Mulch Hill and Forest of Doom

 

Saturday’s images can be found here

Sunday – NCXS Round 5 Zombie Park

 

Sunday’s images can be found here.

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Brew Cup Ranking – 31st July

Ahead of the National Championships the BrewCX team have just recovered from running the National Rounds in Perth.  It’s a good thing as we need to update the rankings.  With some elite riders missing the racing in Perth we have had a reshuffling on top.

The names you see here in the Brew Cup ranking, will be the riders to watch this weekend in the National Championships.  We will let you name your own favourite from the list below.

In the female rankings it is no surprise to see April McDonough on top after 2 dominating rides in Perth.NCXS2LJWill Lisa stand on the top step again?

Rider Points
April McDonough 110
Melissa Anset 74
Lisa Jacobs 66
Kate Swain 37
Josie Simpson 34

In the men’s it is a similar story with Chris Jongewaard on top.  As a result of the other place getters mixing the results up in Perth, (Millburn 8th and 3rd) the gap to second place has extended.  When looking towards the U23 Jersey, Chris Aitken is in 8th and Tom Chapman in 10th 7 points behind.

Alby_JongewaardThe Men’s race is likely to be battled between Jongewaard and Iacuone

Rider Points
Chris Jongewaard 115
Adrian Jackson 83
Garry Millburn 71
Paul Redenbach 62
Alan Iacuone 58

With 40 points on offer for the National Championships, we should have a clear leader by Sunday night.

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Brew Cup Ranking- 9th July

Ahead of the national cyclocross series heading to Perth for the first time, we have updated the Brew Cup ranking following the first two rounds of the national series.

The racing in Perth will see two different course.  The first day of racing at the Midvale Speed Dome, will see a tight and twisty course with a mixture of grass, asphalt and a trip through the velodrome.  The second days racing will be held at Garvey Park in Belmont.  The course is situated on the Swan river and will include a combination of surfaces and sand.  The recent rain will have made an impact on this course.

Elite Women

Following back to back victories in Melbourne, it is no surprise to see national champion Lisa Jacobs on top of the rankings.  That being said the top 3 riders in the women’s ranking, all stood on the podium on both days in Melbourne.

NCXS2LJLisa Jacobs took back to back victories in Melbourne

With Jacobs a confirmed non-starter for the Perth NCXS rounds (on a holiday in France) and her nearest rivals, April McDonough and Melissa Anset have a great opportunity to build an advantage over Jacobs.

April McDonough is a favourite for the Perth NCXS races.  The technical skills she demonstrated will be to her advantage on the tight Speeddome course and challenging Garvey Park.

Name Points Rank Last Ranking
Lisa Jacobs
66
1
(6)
April McDonough
50
2
(4)
Melissa Anset
34
3
(8)
Sarah Holmes
28
4
(4)
Oenone Wood
26
5
(1)
Claire Aubrey
25
6
(2)
Amity McSwan
22
7
(3)
Jenny MacPherson
20
8
(2)
Penny Hosken
20
9
(No ranking)
Tory Thomas
18
10
(No ranking)
Tessa Fabry
10
11=
 
Anna Beck
10
11=
 
Kate Swain
10
11=
 
Josie Simpson
9
12
 
Phillipa Birch
7
13
 
 Lizanne Wilmot
6
14=
 
Em Parkes
6
14=
 
Connie Silvestri 
6
14=
 
Terri Rhodes
6
14=
 
Debra Denis
5
15
 
Helen Blackwell
4
16=
 
Sharon Heap
4
16=
 
Carla Franson
4
16=
 
 Annabel Cox
4
16=
 
Genevieve McKew
4
16=
 
Ella Brogan
2
17=
 
Christine Carter
2
17=
 
Diane Nelson
1
18=
 
Gemma Kernich
1
18=
 
Lucy Barker
1
18=
 

Elite Men

Following 2 great rides in Melbourne, the biggest mover and leader of the rankings is Allan Iacuone.  The top of the men’s ranking is a close affair with Iacuone, Jongewaard, Millburn and Jackson all separated by 10 points.  All four riders are on the start-list in Perth so some close racing should be assured.

NCXS2_AlbyAllan Iacoune

5th place rider Paul Redenbach rode consistently in Melbourne and should also be considered a contender.  With a significant running section expect on Sunday, Lewis Rattray European experience could be used to his advantage.

In places 12th and 15th we see the first West Australian riders, Craig Cooke and Peter Hatton.  Both riders will no doubt feature at the front of the racing.  Hatton took victory in Sydney last year whilst Cooke has represented Great Britain at the cyclocross world championships.

Name Points Rank Last Ranking
Allan Iacuone
58
1
(12)
Chris Jongewaard
55
2
(2)
Garry Millburn
52
3
(1)
Adrian Jackson
48
4
(6)
Paul Redenbach
34
5
(3)
Chris Hamilton
15
6
(No ranking)
Chris Aitken
14
7
(3)
Jade Lean
13
8
(7)
Shaun Lewis
12
9
(3)
Scott Wines
12
10
(3)
Tom Chapman
11
11
 
Craig Cooke
10
12=
 
Jason Chalker 
10
12=
 
Paul Van Der Ploeg
10
12=
 
Robbie McEwen
10
12=
 
Nick Both
9
13
 
Lewis Rattray
8
14
 
Andy Blair 
6
15=
 
Lawson Hartshorn
6
15=
 
Liam Jeffries
6
15=
 
Mark Chadwick
6
15=
 
Peter Hatton
6
15=
 
James Kennedy
4
16=
 
Karl Wilson
4
16=
 
Tom Patton
4
16=
 
Russell Collett
4
16=
 
Sid Taberlay
4
16=
 
Ben Henderson 
2
17=
 
Jason Smith
2
17=
 
Simon Dec
2
17=
 
Alex Revell
1
18=
 
Danny Hennessy 
1
18=
 
Aaron Dickford
1
18=
 
John Groves
1
18=
 
Justin Claridge
1
18=
 
Michael Potter
1
18=
 
Nick Morgan
1
18=
 
Tasman Nankervis
1
18=
 
Tom Clifton
1
18=

 

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National Cyclocross Series – Round 1 and 2

 

The first round of the National Cyclocross Series  was held at Cranwell Park, on a course that was flatter and firmer than last years national champs course at the same venue. The race also doubled as the Victorian state champs, adding extra spice to the masters division.

Masters 5+ men and masters women raced early, and Canberra’s Patrick Denis wearing the colours of the Telenet Fidea team was the star of the show, taking a big gap, and channelling the power and skill of his Belgian look-a-likes for the win in the over 50’s race, while Rebecca Pickett, Bianca Williamson and Kristen Theile took home the spoils in the masters women.

The course opened for practice, and over 150 riders poured onto the track for their first look at this years NCXS. With  hard braking downhill into tight hairpin turns, lots of off camber corners, 2 sets of stairs and a long steep climb, the course required both technical skill and excellent fitness.

The masters 30+ and 40+ men was a great battle with 3 of the 30+ riders forming a group early, while in the 40+, Mark Mos set out in pursuit of the leaders. A crash amongst the front 3 riders took out the 2 leaders, while BrewCX rider Paul Aubrey was on a different line and took his advantage. Mos went to the lead of the race with 2 to go and was not to be beaten. Local rider Nicholas ‘Spiro’ Edwards chased hard and caught Aubrey on the last lap taking the win in under 30’s.

The elite women were seeded in the order they finished the 2013 national series, but with the absence of defending champion Rowena Fry, Sarah Holmes was the number one seed, and National Champion Lisa Jacobs was equal favourite with Commonwealth games mountain bike selection Tory Thomas.

SarahHolmes

Sarah Holmes – Cornering Hard

Jacobs asserted her advantage from the start, coming from the second row to take a 5 second lead on the first lap. She was dominant, taking a strong win from April MacDonough, Melissa Anset and Thomas, who each rode on their own for the whole race.

The Men’s elite race was a deep field of over 70 riders, containing local favourites Adrian Jackson, Lewis Rattray, Chris Hamilton, Liam Jefferies, Paul Redenbach and Allan Iacuone along with interstate rivals Chris Jongewaard, Brew Cup leader Gary Milburn and Nick Both.

Milburn got his usual holeshot, but it was the favourite trio of Jackson, Jongewaard, and Iacuone who quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Jackson was unable to hold on and was stuck in no man’s land while Jongewaard was keen to work with Alby to put more time into AJ. Once the pair were clear of the threat, they traded blows, and were able to match each other’s effort until Alby’s decisive attack during the last 200m.

Chris Hamilton worked his way back into the race to take third ahead of Jackson and Redenbach.

Alby_Jongewaard

Alby and Chris were like this for most of the race

Milburn

Garry Millburn

On Sunday, the awesome team from Dirty Deeds Cyclocross ran a national series race for the third time, on a track very similar to last year’s national series course in Darebin Parklands. It was great to see such a strong field turn out for all the grades, and loads of kids finding out about the joys of cyclocross. This is a real strength of the Dirty Deeds series, and one that every cyclocross promoter in Australia should be taking their lead from.

With a tighter course than Saturday we expected to see closer racing in the Elite Women. Saturday’s winner, Lisa Jacobs expected that the more technical nature of the course would suit her higher skilled rivals. As soon as the gun went, the battle was on and it was a surprise to see Mel Anset get the holeshot.  April McDonough made her way forward very quickly and joined the Aussie Champ Jacobs. By the end of the first lap, Jacobs and McDonough had a gap over Anset, with last years winner here, Sarah Holmes seemingly off the pace. With great skills through the barriers and tight corners, McDonough was putting Jacobs under pressure. The open and climbing sections were to the advantage of the National Champion and we saw Jacobs open a small advantage, which she was able to hold on the more technical sections due to her much improved cornering. With small gaps between most riders it turned into a great battle all the way to the line. Jacobs’ strength proved her advantage and she took victory ahead of McDonough and Anset, with Holmes 4th and Penny Hosken 5th. A notable mention goes to Josie Simpson who rode out of her skin in 6th, just seconds behind 5th.

NCXS2LJ

Lisa Jacobs – Takes another victory

NCXS2_Proud

Proud – Courtenay, the skinsuit and Josie

The Elite men’s race was expected to produce similar fireworks to Saturday’s, but the flatter course allowed for a closer battle as less explosive riders were able to hang on. Chris Jongewaard led the field out, getting the jump over holeshot specialist, Garry Milburn, with Allan “Alby” Iacuone, Adrian “AJ” Jackson and Paul Redenbach joining the pair at the front, with Lewis Rattray leading the chase with seemingly the entire Focus team. The leading 5 stayed together for the first half of the race, with AJ and Jongewaard trading attacks, and Iacuone leading the chase each time. Jongewaard pushed slightly too hard, crashing in the mud by the bottom of the course, and Jackson was able to capitalise, dropping his companions, with only Alby able to chase. By this time, a great crowd was forming on the off camber uphill corner, and some great heckles were being thrown out, really contributing to the excellent atmosphere of the race. From here, Jackson was able to use his skills as an elite mountain biker to stretch Iacuone and eventually break him to take his first national series victory since Sydney in 2012. Iacuone was second, Jongewaard caught Paul Redenbach late in the race to take 3rd.  Garry Millburn rode solo for the second half of the race to take 5th.

NCXS2_Men_StartMen’s Start

NCXS2_Jong_JumpLap 1 TrafficNCXS2_LeadGroupA select lead group of 5 formed

NCXS2_ServiceThe definition of Neutral Service – Monza’s Leigh DeLuca assists Shimano powered Trek rider Ben BradleyNCXS2_AlbyAlby looking good in the National Champions skinsuit

NCXS2_AJAJ looking lonely as he solos to victory

NCXS2_Torq

It was a great weekend of racing, and thanks go to the organisers, and especially the volunteers that give up their race to make the events happen.

The national series continues in Perth in 3 weeks, with BrewCX being central to the organisation of that round. It promises to be a great event, and we will have previews of the course up early next week.

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