Blair and Fry win Ingkerre opener

Rude, rocky and rough course for stage 1

Defending Champion Andy Blair, and six-time Australian national champion Rowena Fry blasted around stage 1 of the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro to take convincing wins in Alice Springs on Monday.

The course was described by Rapid Ascent's race director John Jacoby as "rude, rocky and rough"; and with the wet conditions a far cry from the hot red dust competitors were expecting, it was nothing to stop the 200 riders ready and raring for stage 1.

The 42km stage 1 course began from the Chifley Alice Springs Resort under neutral support through town, before popping out on to the western side for the beginning of the singletrack MTB madness.

It was stage winner Fry's first time to Alice Springs, and despite the weather, she had a blast, finishing in 1:39:42 just four seconds ahead of Jenny Fay; with Jenni King taking third place in 1:45:19.

"Being from Tassie, the rain suits me just fine. What an awesome little stage!" Fry said.

"It was a bit of a frantic start with lots of mud and puddles; then Jenny Fay came across to me and we rode together the whole race having a blast! There's just so much fantastic singletrack; and short climbs which suits us both.

"There was nothing splitting Jenny and I, but when we came into the velodrome, I was just ahead and felt a little 'Fabian Cancellara inspiration' and managed to pinch the win," said Fry.

Third placed King was all praise for Fry, and was happy with her stage today. "Fry is always tenacious and loves the singletrack. I think I rode as well as I can, but I always struggle a bit on the flat open windy bits. But the singletrack parts I really enjoyed, particularly the rocky parts. All up I'm very happy." King said.

In the men's seeded field, it was Andy Blair setting the pace early on taking out the King of the Mountain at Railway Cutting Hill which was the first steep climb of the course.

Blair appeared to have one of the cleanest bikes at the finish line, claiming to have stayed on the front so he didn't get too much spray as riders roared down the slick and super- fast decent on the other side of Railway Cutting Hill.

Blair edged out rivals Shaun Lewis who took second place, and Ben Mather in third, with a winning time of 1:27.25.

"The wet weather was new to me today as every other year it's been sunny." Blair said.

"The course was quite grippy because the sand's a bit harder in the wet, so it was really fun and you got really fast. There was heaps of single track, it was just awesome," said Blair.

Returning to some much loved mountain biking, Wade Wallace (cyclingtips.com.au) took on Alice Springs for the first time - in his new category as a 'veteran' after celebrating his 40th birthday yesterday.

Wallace took out the veteran male category for stage 1 in a steaming time of 1:36.37. Knowing his background on the road bike, it's fair to say Wallace will be one to watch going into tonight's stage 2 ANZAC Hill Climb.

"I sussed everyone out in the beginning during the neutral start to work out where I'd fit in. I ended up following one of the Specialized riders and he pushed into the single track." Wallace said.

"It was perfect conditions, nice and tacky; but with some sharp rocks hitting my pedals, I know now to be more careful for the rest of the week," said Wallace, laughing.

Stage 1 and GC after stage 1 results

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Blair1:27:25 
2Shaun Lewis0:01:21 
3Ben Mather0:01:24 
Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
23Rowena Fry1:39:42 
24JENNY fay1:39:46 
44Jenni King1:45:19 
Men 18-39
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Blair1:27:25 
2Shaun Lewis0:01:21 
3Ben Mather0:01:24 
Women 18-39
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rowena Fry1:39:42 
2JENNY fay0:00:04 
3Jenni King0:05:37 
Men 40-49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wade Wallace1:36:37 
2Alex Kooijman0:02:20 
3Stephen Billington0:02:54 
Women 40-49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Juliet Plumb1:51:33 
2Kerstin Oelckers0:05:09 
3Judi McGrath0:07:22 
Men 50-59
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Paul Darvodelsky1:38:03 
2Peter Selkrig0:00:02 
3Laurie Berryman0:01:29 
Women 50-59
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carolyn Jackson1:54:38 
2Anne Broadbent0:07:26 
3Janine Pearson0:14:02 
Men 60+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Allan Stancombe1:48:58 
2Kerry Ryan0:02:31 
3Wayne Maher0:15:02 
Women 60+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jenny Caldwell2:24:46 
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