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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Jason English and Gwynn McLeod are the first Jetblack Wild Wombat Champions

The inaugural Jetblack Wild Wombat mountain bike event was held in Mogo on the NSW South Coast on 1 December 2018. The classic 12 hour format included a ‘Wild Solo Challenge’ and the seven-time 24-hour Solo World Champion Jason English from Newcastle reached his goal of completing 220km on the 10km circuit, winning the Solo Male classification outright. In the women’s in was Canberra’s Gwynn McLeod who won with 16 laps. Many local racers participated with Cory Dimmer from Batemans Bay placing second in the solo men’s and John Gardner from Candelo in third.

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More than 200 mountain bikers from all over NSW and the ACT competed in the first Jetblack Wild Wombat mountain bike race in Mogo. The event centre was located in the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden and the accompanying families and supporters enjoyed the picturesque setting, many ducking off for a swim on the surrounding beaches during the day.

Wild Solo Challenge achieved: 222.2km for English

The team relay classifications were very popular with most teams racing in the categories of four riders and almost one fifth of the field competed in the solo classification. Riders were timed in age groups as they clocked in one lap after the other and many had nominated a kilometer goal in the newly launched ‘Wild Solo Challenge’. The outright solo winner, Jason English from Newcastle, achieved his goal of 220 km in 22 laps and a race time of 12:10:39. The seven-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion had already won after 21 laps, however, continued to ride to chase his ‘Wild Solo Challenge’ goal. As the most successful endurance mountain bikers in Australia he said that it has been a lot of fun racing the Mogo trails,

“I really enjoyed racing on the race course – it is always exciting to get to compete on new trails. The team riders were good company out there – as a solo rider you pace yourself and the team riders are punching out fast laps are always a motivation to keep going. I’m hoping to return next year for the second edition of this race!”

The race was supported by the NSW Government through Destination NSW and the local Eurobodalla Shire Council. Many many local businesses took the opportunity to promote their products and services to the Rocky Trail community in the event lead up. Also the local bike industry embraced the new event and the new local Eurobodalla MTB Club was out on track in force, assisting with track marshalls on their home trails. Councillor Jack Tait attended the official race start and was impressed with the event set up and participants,

“We welcome this new event in our region and it is so good to see so many junior riders out on their bikes and people from all over the state visiting the Eurobodalla. We hope this event will prosper and establish itself in our region for years to come.”

Many local racers took part in the event and Batemans Bay’s Cory Dimmer was the outright runner up in the Men’s Solo competition and winning his 40+ age group with 18 laps in 11:57:24. John Gardner from Candelo won the 50+ solo division and came in third overall also on 18 laps and about half an hour behind Dimmer.

Green and gold stripes for the win: Gwynn McLeod

In the women’s Gwynn McLeod took out the solo division with 16 laps and a race time of 11:44:24. The Canberra rider is the reigning 24 Hour Solo World Champion in her 30+ age division after recently competing in the World’s event in Scotland. With a third placing in the amateurs overall and an eighth place outright she is quickly establishing herself as one of the leading endurance women in the country. In second was local racer Leah Childs with 14 laps in just over the 12 hour mark ahead of Sydney’s Claudia Fiess who clocked in an equal amount of laps. It had been a different experience to ride her local trails at race pace, Childs said of her race.

Gwynn McLeod said that her next ultra-endurance competition will be Rocky Trail’s 24-hour race in early 2019 and she was really impressed with the Mogo trails,

“I can’t believe how much fun this course was – yes, it was punishing as well, but over such a long distance it always is. I really enjoyed the flowy trails out the back, I love travelling to new venues with Rocky Trail!”

Outright line honours for the Gordons

In the overall results the outright line honours were claimed by former 24 Hour World Champion Craig Gordon from Wollongong and his nephew Owen Gorden. The Jetblack Racing Team pair had announced from the beginning that an outright win was the definite race goal for the weekend and proved that a racing bug was in the family by punching out 25 laps in 12:01:10.

Rocky Trail’s Race Director Martin Wisata confirmed that plans for the event to return to Mogo in 2019 were already underway,

“It has been an absolute pleasure to put on this event here and it was such a pleasure to see so many loyal racers at the start line in Mogo as well as so many new faces joining the Rocky Trail community!”

The Jetblack Wild Wombat concluded the 2018 racing season for Rocky Trail Entertainment and Wisata said that an intense period of preparation was coming up for his crew to launch the 11th year of events with the Jetblack 24 Hour at the end of March.

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