POWERING ON: Cameron Mellifont was third in the solo male category at the Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club’s three-hour cross country.
POWERING ON: Cameron Mellifont was third in the solo male category at the Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club’s three-hour cross country.

Region’s riders lap it up at three-hour cross country

MOUNTAIN BIKING: Weekend rain made for perfect race conditions at the Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club’s three-hour cross country.

Gladstone’s Sean Hall powered to victory in the solo men while Emerald’s Emma Burgess reigned in the solo women as 68 riders hit the trails for the first race of the year at Seeonee Park.

Rhys Jones hits the trails in the team of two category, which he and Glen Chadwick won. Picture: Allan Reinikka.
Rhys Jones hits the trails in the team of two category, which he and Glen Chadwick won. Picture: Allan Reinikka.

Club president Dan Witten said all the riders were in good spirits and the rain enhanced the event.

“Despite a lot of anxiety over the weather and the rain – and there was a substantial amount out there – it was excellent,” he said.

“Seeonee is a very dry track normally so the rain firmed it up and made it perfect for racing.

“Everybody probably thought that the tracks were going to be heavy, slow and muddy and instead we got fast, grippy and really fun.

Ryan Cromb won the solo junior category. Picture: Allan Reinikka.
Ryan Cromb won the solo junior category. Picture: Allan Reinikka.

“I’ve never ridden Seeonee Park as good as it was on Saturday.”

Hall completed eight laps of the 6.3km course to win a keenly contested solo male category by almost 11 seconds.

Grant Burkhardt and Cameron Mellifont waged an epic battle for the minor placings.

They too completed eight laps, with Burkhardt edging ahead on the last lap to take second, four seconds ahead of Mellifont in third.

Burgess completed seven laps to score a comfortable win in the solo female.

Silvia Smith (six laps) was second and Donna Oliver (five laps) third.

Emma Burgess won the solo female category. Picture: Allan Reinikka
Emma Burgess won the solo female category. Picture: Allan Reinikka

Witten said it was a good way to kickstart what will be another busy year on the trails.

The Rockhampton club will again run combined cross country and enduro series with Gladstone, and will host a round of the Queensland Enduro Series on April 19.

The next race will be the opening round of the combined cross country series in Gladstone on Sunday, March 15.