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Australian MTB Series Round 2 MC - NE
Hobart, Tasmania, November 26, 2006
Sun falls on mountain cross battle
Arguably mountain biking's most spectator friendly event, the mountain cross lived up to its reputation as Terry Scarr, Caroline Buchanan, James Maltman and Sam Gardner took out Elite men, Elite women, U19 and Sport categories respectively on a true Glen Jacobs designed mountain cross track.
Racing was hot all afternoon long with riders trying out every single one of the multiple lines that Jacobs had crammed into the short course. Touted as one of the best mountain cross tracks in the country, the racing didn't disappoint with some huge passing manoeuvres, big upsets and tight racing.
The crowd was strong, vocal and very patient despite some time set-backs which saw the finals being run as the sun had already set.
As it happened
While the motos saw a few upsets with riders like top-ranked riders Luke Strom, Rick Boyer, Amiel Cavalier and Dennis Beare not making the cut for the final four, the quartet of Alex Lloyd, Adam Nicholson, Chris Panozzo and Scarr was a hugely talented line-up.
In the much anticipated Elite Men's final, Lloyd burst out of the gate to take the hole shot but some amazing second straight work by Nicholson and Scarr put Lloyd into third spot and out of the race for the top dais position. As Nicholson went about making the race his, Scarr set himself up into the third corner, taking the inside line and looking to make a run on Nicholson.
As they hit the penultimate corner, Nicholson took the inside line as Scarr took the outside berm. Nicholson tried to shut the door but Scarr came with speed to have the inside line in the final corner as out of nowhere Panozzo made a late charge up the inside to nearly take the lead. With only a straight to run, Scarr and Panozzo were side-by-side but Scarr had the better run to the finish with Panozzo dead in the water while Nicholson still had enough steam to run Panozzo down to finish a strong second.
The race for fifth was taken by Tim McCulloc over Amiel Cavalier who held off Rick Boyer and Wynn Masters.
It was a great result for Scarr who builds on his second place at the first round of the MTNX in Sydney.
Caroline Buchanan is in a class of her own and demonstrated again - as if we hadn't started to get the idea - that she's a super-fast mountain cross rider who has the ability to take it a long way. It wasn't all beer and skittles for Buchanan though as Sarcha Huntington and Michelle Hall made sure they were in striking distance if the charging Buchanan were to falter. However falter Buchanan did not and took each moto and the final unchallenged, smooth as you like.
James Maltman, or The Maltese Falcon - as he was known for the afternoon, took the spoils in the U19 category without so much as a serious challenge. Right from the first moto, Maltman was just covering lines, his head seemingly on a swivel as he just looked behind to make sure he was doing just enough to hold off his rivals.
This tactic worked as Maltman needed only to cover the most conservative lines to stay in complete control. Our number one junior DH rider showed his versatility once again as he took out the final easily.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mikkeli Godfree/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Evan Jeffery/www.evanjeffery.com.au
Elite Men 1 Terry Scarr 2 Adam Nicholson 3 Chris Panozzo 4 Alex Lloyd Elite Women 1 Caroline Buchanan 2 Sarcha Huntington 3 Michele Hall U19 1 Maltman Sport 1 Sam Gardner