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English and Smith win 24-hour solo race in Stromlo Forest Park

Cycling News

Several riders test their legs before upcoming Crocodile Trophy

World and Australian 24-Hour Solo Mountain Bike Champion Jason English and Australian Champion Liz Smith won the solo categories of the Scott Australian 24-Hour Mountain Bike Championships this weekend at Stromlo Forest Park in the Australian Capital Territory.

Riders raced laps of the challenging Stromlo Forest Park trails as solos or as relay teams of up to 10 riders, starting at Midday Saturday and riding throughout the night and finishing at Midday on Sunday.

In the men's race, English was victorious for the fourth time and competed against one of the strongest fields ever assembled. Riders included 2011 UK and European Champion Matt Page (Wales) and Canadian National Champion Cory Wallace. Both riders featured in the battle throughout the race, with Page finishing second and Wallace in fourth behind Australian Andrew Hall in third place.

In the sport of endurance mountain bike racing, English is without peer, undefeated in the 24-hour discipline since 2008, a period containing over 20 wins in the discipline.

English reflected on the quality of the field "after a cancelled overseas event, Page and Wallace arrived trained and fit, and the local guys are getting faster and faster too - I knew it was going to be a tough race from the gun."

After having mechanical issues early, English moved up to first late on Saturday evening, and then in his trademark fashion, accelerated away from the field at sunrise. He talked about why he is able to do this time and time again. "I think it's that early morning my normal training time - my body is simply ready to ride."

Looking to the future, English said "the national championships will be tough next year - all of us (Australians) will race the world championships here in October, so it will be sought-after to win the green and gold jersey at Easter and be able to wear it to the Worlds."

Matt Page, racing in Australia for the first time since his sixth place in the 2010 world championships, said, "I was disappointed in 2010 that I wasn't able to bring my best race. I'm happy with my second today - I've shown people what I can actually do."

English, Page and Wallace now head to the Crocodile Trophy, a nine-day mountain bike stage race in a week's time.

In the women's event, the raining Australian Champion Liz Smith won the race for the first time, and is undefeated in the discipline in 2012. She said, "It was a tough race. The conditions made it a little bit tougher, the mud and the rain, but it's a great track to race on." Smith is focused on 2013. "I'm happy to win, and it's great preparation for the World's here next year."

Peta Mullens, recent winner of the Tour de Timor, held the lead for the first half of the race but withdrew in the early hours of Sunday. Second place went to Phillipa Rostan, and third place went to Kate Penglase).

In the relay teams competition, team "Gu On the Go", racing in the teams of six men category took out the overall honours completing 36 laps of the challenging course. Team member and 2004 Olympian Sid Taberlay said, "It was harder this year with the rain. The course became challenging with some holes that caught people off-guard, and those sections were also leg energy-sapping". He was happy with the win, "We've won this event before - and as always we've secured the win with a good team effort from all involved."

2012 is the 14th time the Canberra Off-Road Cyclists (CORC) have staged the Scott Australian 24-Hour Mountain Bike Championships. CORC President Sarah O'Callaghan was ecstatic with the ongoing success of the event "The Scott 24-Hour continues to be the largest club-run event in Australia, and we couldn't be happier with almost 2,000 riders again enjoying the Stromlo Forest Park trails".

With large celebrations planned for the 15th Anniversary of the event in 2013, the event also coincides with both the 25th Anniversary of the club and the 100th Anniversary of the ACT. In addition to the Scott 24-Hour teams event in 2013, CORC will also be hosting the World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation (WEMBO) Solo 24-Hour Championships with the support the ACT government.


Solo men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Laps
1 Jason English 31   laps
2 Matt Page 31  
3 Andrew Hall 30  
4 Cory Wallace 29  
5 Shane Roberts 28  
6 Andrew Lloyd 27  
7 Callum McNamara 26  
8 Martin Handley 26  
9 Mark Astley 24  
10 Matthew Parsons 23  
11 Kieran Laughton 22  
12 Mike Daws 21  
13 Steve Knope 20  
14 Elvio Fernandes 19  
15 James Ross 19  
16 Rod Gisik 19  
17 Simon King 19  
18 Mick Dunbar 19  
19 Troy Herfoss 19  
20 James Mason 18  
21 Cory Dimmer 17  
22 Marco Bottari 16  
23 Michael McCluskey 15  
24 Gordon Brewster 15  
25 Jason Harrod 14  
26 David Gradden 13  
27 Nathan Schubert 13  
28 Stephen Musgrove 13  
29 Joe Ivisic 12  
30 Matthew Hanrahan 12  
31 James Auchinleck 12  
32 Craig Tozer 11  
33 Rob Wade 10  
34 Michael Sutinen 10  
35 Graham Moriarty 10  
36 Phil Randerson 10  
37 Geoff Mallinson 9  
38 Mike Brennan 9  
39 Jamie Ingram 7  
40 Tim Stubenrauch 6  
DNF David Rae 15  
DNF Sam Chancellor 14  
DNF Mark Gibson 11  
DNF Edward McDonald 10  
DNF Robert Davis 10  
DNF Nathaniel Peek 8  
DNF Jay Bailey 8  
DNF John King 8  
DNF Aaron Doull 7  
DNF Tim Gradden 7  
DNF Brooke Nelson 6  
DNF Ben Tillott 6  
DNF Jon Rutledge 5  
DNF Peter Hampson 4  
DNF Paul Chambers 4  
DNF Andrew Wearing 4  
DNF Jeremy Francis 3  
DNF Ian Roach 2  
DNF Gary Knight 1  
DNF Craig Major 1  
DNS Arran Pearson    
DNS Shayne Bellato    
DNS Troy Bailey    
Solo women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Laps
1 Liz Smith 23   laps
2 Philippa Rostan 23  
3 Kate Penglase 22  
4 Katie Chancellor 21  
5 Ruth Thompson 16  
DNF Peta Mullens 15