Sunday saw the running of round 3 of the Santa Cruz SEQ Gravity Enduro Series at Mt Joyce, west of Brisbane. With round 2 being held on hero dirt on at Garapine last month, some overnight rain promised more of the same high grip levels for the close to 200 riders who took on the challenge.

Photos from Round Three of the SEQ Gravity Enduro, Mt Joyce 15-06-2014.

After 3 years of Enduro racing at this venue, most riders thought they had seen it all with regard to trail selection, but Race Director Ian Harwood still had a few tricks up his sleeve, incorporating some rarely ridden trails as well as linking previous competition stages in new ways to make sure that no one was racing on autopilot.

After Jared Graves dominated proceedings at Round 2, many of the fast boys were looking to take on what they had learnt from the GJ master class. This resulted in quite a few who did not make it to the start line, due to crashes in practice. Big props to Glenn Pedley, who suffered significant facial injuries 1 week out practicing. Stitches removed he was there on race day and bagged a top ten finish. The overall increase in pace has seen a lot more riders take up the option of running full face helmets on some stages.

Photos from Round Three of the SEQ Gravity Enduro, Mt Joyce 15-06-2014.

As the timing systems are further developed, this was the second round where riders had the option of a scatter start. Being able to attack the stages in any order brings with it some interesting strategic plays, with lots of different views on the best way to approach the day. Do you do the longer pedalling stages first while fresh, or head for the shorter, more technical stages while the brain can still discern the front from rear brake lever? This approach not only helps to spread out the field, but also keeps the guessing going on how people are traveling.


In the Elite women’s field, despite riding different stage orders and coming from different MTB backgrounds, Kylie Maduna (Cyclinic Women’s Team) and Sarsha Huntinton (Project Duo Racing) shared the top step (literally) while Erin Stocklasa rounded out the podium after stopping to help and injured rider and receiving a manually adjusted time.

An unfortunate date clash with a local XCO race meant that a few regulars on the elite podium were absent. Lindsay Klien (Giant All Mountain Cartel) took the win by 24 seconds over AMC team mate Michael Ronning. Isaac “I come up with a new surname every race” finally made it onto the last step on the podium, after waiting in the wings of the Top 5 for the last few races. Andy Fellows and Greg Palmer rounded out the top 5 for the day. After 22 minutes of competitive stages, the top 5 Elite men were separated by less than 60 seconds with another minute accounting for the top ten.

Photos from the SEQ Gravity Enduro Series, Round 2 at Garapine on 18-05-2014.

With 3 rounds out of 4 completed for the season, Lindsay Klein and Michael Ronning are looking strong, with consistency paying off for Isaac Denny in 3rd place. In the Elite women’s field, just 20 points separate Sasha Huntington and Kylie Maduna.
The lower (but no less competitive) categories also saw some great racing, as did the new initiative of the Kids zone to encourage more families and friends to enjoy this great format of racing. Balance bikes and mini north shore is a winner.

Round 4 of the series will be held at Jubilee Park, Toowoomba on Sunday August 3.

Words: Ian Harwood | Photos: Element Photo and Video

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