Australian 4X racers competed in back to back rounds of their national series this weekend. On Saturday in Ebenezer, round five was more like a running race in the final 10 metres of the elite women's race.
In the fifth round early leader Caroline Buchanan crashed just metres from the finish line. The 17 year-old from Canberra was then passed by Brisbane's Sarsha Huntington, however Huntington suffered the same fate. Both riders ended the race by running with their bikes over the finish line with Buchanan winning and Huntington running across the line to claim second. Third went to Canberra's Julie Boer.
The men managed to keep the rubber side down, and it was last year's series winner Terry Scarr coming out on top ahead of current series leader Leigh Darrell, who overcame mechanical trouble in the first straight to come back for a third place finish. Second was Queensland's Adam Nicholson.
On Sunday in round six in Kurrajong, Darrell and Buchanan took top wrapped up the 4X series titles. Buchanan got another win ahead of Boer and Joanne Fox, but Darrell wasn't so lucky as it was the elite men's turn to crash.
Darrell had to settle for second on the day and Brisbane rider, Adam Nicholson won the men's final despite crashing along with four finalists. After crashing Nicholson saw his bike land past him and was the quickest to get underway and sped down the steep course with Darrell in hot pursuit.
"It's the first elite [victory] after a lot of years racing," said Nicholson. "It was a long time coming. I knew I had it in me."
The Australians are now preparing for their National Mountain Bike Championships over the Australia Day weekend January 24-28.