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The Adventure Travel Company Boomerang

Mt Beauty, April 5-6, 2003

When Lycra meets Dri-za-bone

The inaugural "Boomerang", a two-day, five stage MTB event, came to a surprising, screeching halt on Saturday afternoon during the second stage when race leader Peter Hatton found himself surrounded by a herd of cattle being driven down from the high country before winter set in.

The oil-skin and Akubra clad cow-cockys accompanying the herd cracked their whips as more riders arrived and for a few tense moments it appeared that bar-ends just might lock horns with horns. However, on the slim and steep mountain track it wasn"t long before the lead vehicle and cyclists gave the descending herd best and backed up 200m to let the Herefords pass. With a second group of cyclists held up for almost 50 minutes by another mob of cattle the stage result was later declared neutral.

Encountering cattle in the high country is a natural hazard of mountain biking and having a valid permit to use the road achieved little in convincing the lowing herd to retreat uphill.

After a 9km prologue TT in the morning, the second stage - complete with cows - gave the riders plenty to talk about during the evening"s 50m Knockout Sprint, held under lights at the Mt. Beauty CFA (Country Fire Authority).

Jenni King took the lead from Dellys Franke (by just 3 seconds) after she picked up 80 seconds in time bonuses by winning the 50m Sprint stage, while Jill Burston maintained 3rd. In the men"s division Peter Hatton slept in the Leader"s jersey ahead of Matthew Fleming and Nick Kiraly.

Sunday morning"s 8.30 am hill climb woke everyone up and saw Dellys Franke resume the lead in the Women"s category by a slim 2 seconds. Jenni King raced well in the 5th and final cross-country stage but couldn"t maintain Dellys" cracking pace. The men"s racing, while extremely tight and with Rob Eva nipping at the heels of the leaders saw the podium remain the same. Phil Anderson, after a good rest from last year's Crocodile Trophy, finished in 6th place overall, easily accounting for all in the 40+ category.


Final general classification
Open men
1 Peter Hatton
2 Matthew Fleming
3 Nick Kiraly
4 Rob Eva
5 Tim McColl
6 Phil Anderson
Open women
1 Dellys Franke
2 Jenni King
3 Jill Burston
4 Victoria Kirkby
5 Victoria Betts
6 Emma Colson
U/18 men
1 Daniel McConnell
40+ men
1 Kahn Franke
2 Geoffrey Weymouth
3 Gordon Garradd

Previous Australian Results