JC Riders At NSW School MTB Series

A number of JC members entered the first round of NSW School MTB Series (and second round of club series) at Yellomundee on Sunday morning. The weather forecast was not great, but the rain managed to stay away from the racing.

We had Amogh Vinilshekar out there for his first ever event along with the Pappas and Bonora kids, Sophie, Alex, Julia, Jono and Georgia. All of whom are also down to compete in the NSW Road School Series beginning 1 May 2016.

All but Amogh snuck in some secret training on Friday with Ian Watson, the JC mechanic and resident MTB coach. Ian ran them through their body position, how to approach various obstacles and handling their bikes in a skid.

The day started with Julia riding with the pee-wees. Her confidence seemed to improve from a month ago and showed signs of becoming a very capable rider. After a few laps, she even managed to make some passing manoeuvres around some of the boys.

Later on her sisters Sophie and Alex joined Jono in the Junior B races. Sophie and Alex took third and fourth respectively, while Jono who rode in a much bigger field of experienced boys came in the top 20. Both girls rode well with Sophie only seconds behind eventual second place rider. Alex lost time and a bit of skin after an early fall but managed to get back on and squeeze out 4 laps despite her start. Jono also pushed out a credible 4 laps and managed to take a few spots from some of the kids on the leader board.

After checking out the course last month, Georgia decided to join Amogh in their first C grade race. Georgia took 6th place while Amogh had to fight it out in a much bigger boys field to take 16th spot. Both riders put in a great effort with Amogh managing to pass another rider despite having never trained and riding on a borrowed bike that he had never seen before race day. -Great work Amogh!

Ian managed a top ten result in the mens D grade event after an exhausting 2 laps of the senior circuit. After the race, he made good use of the camping chair and spent some time watching the kids riding on some dirt piles. It was great to see the kids improve between warm-up and the end of their races. Even just sitting in the camping chairs, we could see their skills improve while playing on the dirt piles.

As before, all the kids walked away exhausted and with big smiles on their faces.

The event was hosted by the Western Sydney Mountain Bike Club who did a great job with a professionally run programme. With a friendly atmosphere and well run races, it’s no surprise that they can attract 60 riders in just the juniors competition. -Great work guys! Their next big junior event is the JetBlack NSW All Schools XC MTB Championship.

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About Stelio Pappas

Commuter, bike enthusiast, racer

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