Top Gear Cycles at 2015 DOUBLE CROSS DIRTY GRAN FONDO -Big Hill Events- ( by Celine Hepworth)
Last weekend we got a group of riders together to take on the Dirty Grand Fondo, super fun event that was challenging but very rewarding at the same time.
I am training for the World Duathlon Championships in 3 weeks and my skills off road are non existent, my last family ride at Lysterfield with my husband Peter and my 15 year old twins girls was a little tense and my twins kept telling me to relax and let the bike to the work… I decided to enter the 50km to get a solid strength training up the hills and to survive the down hills. First cycle cross event was only two weeks ago and now I would be riding with my husband Peter.
When I woke up Sunday morning I got a special note from my twins girls which made my day. And the perfect weather blue sky and 20 degrees.
Peter my husband, Nick and Lucas our staff memebers. Jackie, Greg and Jenny and Angus were all at the starting line.
It was great that there were 17 womens entered in the 75km and 33 womens in the 50km versus 121 M in the 75km and 71 men in the 50km.
The race started easy rolling down hill on a gentle fire trail and the view was spectacular. After 6km the filed starting to spread out as we started the first 7 km climbs which had an average gradient of 4.3% . I kept passing riders up encouraging them and telling them that I was only riding the 50km. We started the first descent and got a little nervous , it was very bumpy and lots of water bottle were flying of the rider’s bikes. The 5.3km Drop Hill descent was brutal with lots of pot holes and gravels. I tryed to stay relaxed.
I got passed by a few riders on the decent. I was really happy when we started the second climb another great challenge with agood gradient. The view was amazing.
Greg came flying passed at the 50km and 75 km turn off.I kept working hard 10km to go I was riding by myself until I caught another women rider 5 km to go . My competitive nature took over and I worked really hard until the finish line not knowing where I was placed.I finished and was very happy and amazed when I was told I finished 2nd women overall and 1st cycle cross rider and 5th overall.
Nick crossed the line 3rd in the 75km CX category and Jackie 2nd in the women 75km MTB. Jenny , Greg and Lucas all did so well. Great work for Top Gear Cycles. I was waiting for my husband to finish when he called me I got worried but he asked me to tell the official that a rider had a bad crash and needed first aid and an ambulance. Peter and Angus had stopped at the 60 km mark to give assistance to a rider who was badly hurt and waited for the 1st aid to get there before finishing there ride. Then a women came up to me at the finish to thank my husband Peter for changing her tyre during the ride as she had a puncture.
IT was a great experience and I will do it next year. The burgers made by the CFA were delicious and it was such a friendly atmosphere. Great event run by Bighill events.
Peter and Angus were given some beers for providing 1st aid.
Bikes used by shop riders
Diverge, Crux, Epic.
Our shop is closed this Saturday to commemorate Anzac Day. We will be open till 8pm on Friday for those who want to pick up there repairs or last minute items for the weekend.
Huge discounts on Specialized Mountain Bikes , starts Monday 23rd of March 2015, two weeks only.
MODEL Original RRP New RRP
CAMBER FSR COMP 29 BLK/RED/WHT $3,199.00 $2,699.00
CAMBER FSR COMP 29 SIL/BLK/CYAN $3,199.00 $2,699.00
CAMBER FSR COMP CARBON 29 CARB/WHT/C $4,299.00 $3,499.00
CAMBER FSR EVO 29 CNDY RED/BLK/WHT $3,499.00 $2,799.00
CAMBER FSR 29 BLK/DRTY WHT $2,299.00 $1,999.00
CAMBER FSR 29 BLK/HYP GRN/WHT $2,299.00 $1,999.00
CAMBER FSR ELITE CARBON 29 DRTY WHT/BLK $5,499.00 $4,499.00
CAMBER FSR EXPERT CARBON EVO 29 CARB/GA $7,499.00 $5,999.00
CRAVE PRO 29 DRTY WHT/FLTH WHT/RKTRED $2,299.00 $1,699.00
CRAVE 29 GRN/HYP GRN/BLK $1,599.00 $1,299.00
CRAVE COMP 29 CHAR/BRT ORG/BLK $1,799.00 $1,449.00
CRAVE EXPERT 29 RED/WHT/BLK $1,999.00 $1,599.00
CRAVE EXPERT 29 BLK/HYP GRN $1,999.00 $1,599.00
CRAVE SL 29 RKTRED/SIL $1,549.00 $1,249.00
EPIC FSR COMP 29 BLK/WHT/HYP GRN $3,299.00 $2,799.00
EPIC FSR COMP 29 BLK/RED/CHAR $3,299.00 $2,799.00
EPIC FSR COMP CARBON 29 CARB/BLK $4,499.00 $3,499.00
EPIC FSR ELITE CARBON 29 CARB/BRT YEL $5,999.00 $4,999.00
EPIC FSR ELITE CARBON WC 29 RKTRED/BLK $5,999.00 $5,399.00
EPIC FSR EXPERT CARBON 29 CHAR/BLK/RED $7,199.00 $5,999.00
EPIC FSR EXPERT CARBON WC 29 CARB/CHAR $7,199.00 $6,499.00
FATE COMP CARBON 29 CARB GRY/CYAN/HYP G $2,999.00 $2,499.00
FATE EXPERT CARBON 29 DRTY WHT/INDIGO/S $4,499.00 $3,499.00
JETT PRO 29 DRTY WHT/EM GRN/CHAR $1,599.00 $1,299.00
JETT SPORT 29 SHD SIL/CHAR/CYAN $999.00 $799.00
P SLOPE BLK/WHT/CYAN/GLD $2,899.00 $2,199.00
P STREET 1 BLU/MOTO GRN/HYP GRN/WHT $699.00 $599.00
ROCKHOPPER 29 WHT/BLK $899.00 $749.00
ROCKHOPPER 29 CHAR/BLK/HYP GRN $899.00 $749.00
ROCKHOPPER 29 FLTH WHT/FLORED/WHT $899.00 $749.00
RUMOR FSR COMP 29 SIL/WHT/CHAR/PNK $3,199.00 $2,799.00
STUMPJUMPER FSR COMP CARBON 29 CARB/ $4,299.00 $3,499.00
STUMPJUMPER FSR COMP EVO 29 MET BLK/HY $3,799.00 $2,999.00
STUMPJUMPER FSR COMP EVO 29 CYAN/FLT $3,799.00 $2,999.00
SJ FSR EXPERT CARBON 29 DRTY WHT/BLK/ $7,699.00 $5,999.00
SJ HT COMP 29 BLK/WHT/HYP GRN $2,299.00 $1,999.00
SJ FSR COMP 29 CHAR/BLK/SIL $3,199.00 $2,799.00
SJ FSR COMP 29 DP BLU/MOTO ORG/CYAN $3,199.00 $2,799.00
SJ FSR COMP EVO 650B MET BLK/HYP GRN/ $3,799.00 $3,499.00
SJ FSR ELITE 29 BLK CHRM/KOOL SIL $4,499.00 $3,999.00
SJ FSR EXPERT CARBON EVO 29 HYP GRN/BLK $7,699.00 $5,999.00
SJ FSR EXPERT CARBON EVO 650B HYP GRN/BLK $7,699.00 $5,999.00
SJ HT COMP CARBON 29 CARB/BLK $3,299.00 $2,799.00
JETT LTD 29 BLK/BLK/DRM SIL $1,999.00 $1,599.00
P STREET 1 BLK/CHRM/CYAN $699.00 $599.00
P STREET 2 RED/BLK $799.00 $699.00
P STREET 2 CYAN/DP BLU/FLORED $799.00 $699.00
P20 PRO WHT/PUR $899.00 $749.00
P26 BLK/RED/WHT $999.00 $799.00
P3 HYP GRN/MOTO GRN/BLK/WHT $1,699.00 $1,499.00
P3 FRM BLK CHRM/CHRM $699.00 $599.00
RUMOR FSR 29 INDIGO/HYP GRN/WHT $2,299.00 $1,999.00
RUMOR FSR 29 WHT/EM GRN/CHAR $2,299.00 $1,999.00
RUMOR FSR COMP 29 HYP GRN/CARB/SIL/BLK $3,199.00 $2,799.00
RUMOR FSR ELITE 29 BLK/DK SIL/FLORED $4,399.00 $3,799.00
RUMOR FSR EXPERT EVO 29 BLK $5,599.00 $4,799.00
STATUS FSR I BRSH/RKTRED $2,999.00 $2,199.00
STATUS FSR II DRTY WHT/CYAN $3,999.00 $2,999.00
Want to test ride your dream bike , now you can do it in Melbourne, Specialized Bikes have a fleet of their latest bikes traveling the country side and the are coming to Melbourne in March.
March 21st at Yarra Boulevarde 8am to 12pm
and on Sunday March 22nd at Lysterfield Park [off Hallam North Road] from 8am to 2 pm
Check here for more details http://www.specialized.com/au/en-au/news/latest-news/17194
Why I love my Specialized Shiv.
Well I’ve had my Specialized Expert with ui2 now for nearly a year now so thought I’d do a quick review. Sure it doesn’t have S WORKS along the down tube for + status but it’s a damn good bike!
After coming back from back surgery it was important for me to buy a bike that had a lot of adjustability so I could get comfortable on the bike and ease my way back into an aero position again. Obviously my priority had now shifted somewhat over to comfort on the “comfort to aero” scale!
The shiv is one of the most adjustable rigs around. The front end can be adjusted a number of ways and there is loads of play there.
There are spaces under the tt bars that can be added or subtracted, spaces under the pads, and with my model you can also change out the head stem. The tri bars can be easily extended in or out also.
The bike also does not conform to UCI frame regulations as it is specifically designed for triathletes so Specialized did not have to abide by the same restrictions in design to make it super aero and comfortable.
I’m not sure what they put in the Fact 10 carbon frame but it absorbs impact well and runs incredibly smooth.
I’d heard a bit of controversy about the brakes before I bought the shiv but they have been fine. Sure they don’t have the typical release feature you see on shimano etc but I just leave them and turn the adjustment screw in or out depending on the thickness of the rims I’m using. I set the brakes far enough apart that I don’t need to adjust them to get either wheel out and the break performance is fine. It’s not like I’m wanting finely tuned breaking performance on a tt bike anyway
The rear wheel is has vertical slots so easy to get out. My last TT bike had horizontal slots and it was a massive pain in the arse to get the wheel in and out.
The fuselage built into the down tube is the most aero way to carry fluids on board and works really well. I wasn’t sure if I wanted the hassle but after a couple of goes I quickly got the hang of it and now use it all the time.
The shiv fuel cell isn’t great for carrying tools and tubes as it is a little narrow and not overly deep but it does fit a can of pit stop nicely in the top section and testing shows it adds to the aerodynamics of the bike so I’ll run with it for all races up to Half Ironman.
Ui2 is the bomb. It’s so nice to have it shift perfectly every time and tuning servicing is few and far between compared to cable shifters. To have shifters on the hoods and on the extensions is fantastic for undulating or hilly riding. You can stay in the drops and ride it like a road bike, then come the flatter terrain you can get down low and go go go!
I swapped out the Sitero saddle with a fizik arione. I like the idea of the cut out but the nose was just too wide for me and felt like I was sitting on a bench.
In summary I’ve never ridden a tt bike that is as smooth or as comfortable as the Shiv.
Get in to Top Gear cycles and get measured up for one today!
Great to see Mack back racing after a nasty injury forced him on the sidelines for 2013 he has made an amazing comeback to racing winning a medal at the World Xterra Champs and last weekend won an Australian off road triathlon title, read Mack race report below.
Xterra Off Road Triathlon World Championships
(1.5k Swim, 30.4K Mtb bike, 9.5k Trail run)
So it all started at Xterra Anglesea Off Road Triathlon.
I had just completed the final grueling run leg which included a 4k stretch of running on soft sand when a fellow competitor came up to me and said “I think you’ve won your AG which means you will get a slot to the World Xterra Off road triathlon champs.”
When is it I asked?
Hmm a week before Noosa, what the hell, 23 hours of total flying, 4 planes, then a plane & bus to Noosa the next day, I’ll be right!
So after a winter season of posted and designated training sessions it was soon time to board the plane to Hawaii. The whole tribe was coming too and Jimmy our youngest was particularly excited telling anyone who cared to listen we were going to “Hawarley”.
On flying out we heard that Hurricane Ana had just hit the Hawaii islands and I was thinking no she hasn’t arrived yet! At least it happened last weekend and not next weekend I thought. We finally arrived in Maui after a mad rush to our connected flight at Honolulu airport.
Upon arriving in Maui it was a typical Maui day for that time of year being pretty warm and humid which was reassuring after the hurricane talk.
The drive from the airport along the coast up to Kaanapali on the north side was quite spectacular. I was quite taken back by how close the road is to the ocean and we passed many small shore breaks where people were Stand Up Paddle boarding. Through Lahaina we took a left into our outrigger accommodation in Kaanapali at the Maui Eldorado, which is situated on a beautiful lush golf course and only a 5 minute walk down to the ocean. The accommodation was nice and roomy which is ideal when you have a wife, 2 kids and a bike with you.
On the Thursday I rode the bike course and it all seemed ok, you could tell the course had been subjected to a little bit of rain. 10km’s in and the heavens opened up and the rain started to really bucket down. Clearly the systems from Hurricane Ana were still passing through as heavy rain this time of year is pretty unusual. I continued to ride but witnessed the ride course turn muddier and boggier. Before too long both my wheels had completely seized up on my steed due to the amount of mud. Riders (and nearly me) were falling off all over the place. Thankfully an Xterra motorbike official appeared and told everyone to get off the course and explained a quick exit route back to the road.
The only highlight from the practice ride was talking to Brendan Sexton in the line whilst lining up to use the hoses. The amount of mud on the course was a bit unsettling to all competitors and Dan Hugo explained it best during the pro press conference Friday night when he said you don’t want it to turn into a race where it favours the riders who simply have the most clearance from wheel to frame.
The muddy conditions sent a flurry of people to the mechanics at the Expo either wanting different tyres for muddy conditions or needing a repair due to the impact the mud was having on the equipment and the subsequent high pressure hosing required to get the mud off.
From Thursday through to race day we all just prayed it would not rain and the course would dry up in time.
After an average sleep, race day arrived and it was time to all pile into the hired SUV and drive the 10 minutes to the race site. The transition area was located in the large lawn area between the beach and the paleaceous Carlton Ritz resort. I was a little bit more nervous than usual as it had been a while since I have done a big race, I’ve never completed in a world championship, and I knew there were family, friends and people from work tuning into the race website to follow me online.
I just wanted to put on a good showing and didn’t really think too much about my finishing order. I thought if I put in a solid effort without too many mishaps I could potentially snag a top 10 finish or if I had a blinder a top 5.
I was pretty chilled shortly before the start as I watched the pros go first into the lumpy seas. They had a 2 minutes lead off before the entire AG men field start, with the entire women AG field starting 1 minute behind us.
Finally the hooter sounded and into the drink we went. I managed to get a pretty good start with a fair bit of clear water and I remember thinking how good is this but as we got closer to the first turning can the usual rough and tumble proceeded and it was on for a young and old! The sea was all over the place so I found it hard to get into a rhythm but everyone else was in the same predicament.
Coming into shore I got on a wave which dumped me on to the beach and I remember thinking shit my race could be over before it even begun but managed to regain my composure and realise I was ok. I looked at my watch and saw 24 something as I got out of the water so was happy with that given the lumpy conditions. Officially 25.37 by the time I crossed the timing mat up near transition. This put me 12th in my AG. After a careful and uneventful transition it was time to take on the first long climb of the bike course. The first 15k was mainly up with a few little flat sections for short relief. It is definitely a climber’s course and I was feeling ok about my climbing ability, with the increased flexibility I had gained in my lower back over the last few months. There were lots of riders to negotiate but I told myself to be patient and not go too hard too early. I slowly pipped rider after rider and at about the 15k mark the course opened up a lot more and the amount of riders had thinned out considerably. I started to really enjoy being in the race at that stage and I was riding with another 40-44 competitor from Australia who I knew was a solid performer so things weren’t looking too bad. After a few words we started a longish descent and I started to pull away. It was also great knowing that most of the climbing was done and it was time for a bit of speed and bike handling which I enjoy.
Every now and I again I would come up on a competitor and go past and the odd one would go past me. There was still some climbing sections to go but nothing like we had already done. I rode up to a woman with red hair and recognised it to be an elite Australian female Charlotte McShane. What I didn’t know was that I would see her again later in the day…
With about 2 miles to go descending back down to transition my front brake completely failed, which meant I only had a back brake. This wasn’t ideal but these things happen in racing and at least I was able to continue. Having only a rear brake meant I had to ride a little differently and take all the speed out before I hit the corners and then roll through. I had a couple of rear tail slide outs and my quads would contract due to the sudden different movement as I tried to desperately keep upright.
I was having so much fun before this happened so it did put a little dampener on an otherwise fun bike course as I stressed about my current predicament.
I was relieved to get back on the road to the transition and put the last couple of miles behind me and have a solid crack on the run.
I was still feeling pretty well hydrated as the aid stations were fantastic and I was conscious to drink regularly even if it meant stopping or slowly right down. I stopped twice on the bike to take gels. The water was icy cold as was the sports drink. The water biddons at each bike station was handy just to pour over one’s self. The wind also assisted cooling down the body temp once wet.
I remember coming into transition and seeing not too many bikes which was a nice sight.
As I ran out of transition and back up the hill Anna yelled out “wow great bike leg”
Bike split – 1.47.30
I had managed to ride my way into 4th in my AG.
The first 4.5 km’s of the run were all uphill but I knew this as it was the first section of the bike course. Anna had done the exact same run the day before and told me once you get to the top the rest is mainly back downhill into transition except for one killer bitumen hill.
I put myself into lockdown mode and just concentrated on putting one leg in front of the other. It was a hard slog but I knew I was on the last leg and every step was getting me closer to home. It was getting hot but once again the drink stations were fantastic and there were lots of them on the run leg.
I was generally passing people or holding position when I heard someone come up from behind me and then pass and it was Charlotte McShane and I thought to myself fair enough she is very light and an elite ITU athlete after all! My goal was to try and minimise her lead knowing I had a 2 minute lead before she over took me to try and beat her overall. I didn’t know where I was coming in my AG so it was good motivational tool to keep the pressure on.
It was good feeling to reach the summit and then my next thought was to get over this last bitumen hill on the way back home. I got to the last hill and it didn’t disappoint. It was very steep and I just told myself not to walk. I passed a couple of people going up the hill and once I was at the top I knew the rest of the run was either flat or down hill along the side of a cannon and river back to the beach and the finish line.
After a short beach run I knew the finish line was close so I picked it up along the grass lawn of the Carlton Ritz to the finish along the finish straight.
It was a satisfying feeling to reach the finish line knowing I had a solid race after all the expectation and travel to get there. I found Anna and she excitedly told me I think you’ve come third. WTF! Podium!? I didn’t expect that.
After hugging the family it was time to watch another friend and ex Nuna tri club member Penny Hosekn who I had trained with on the mtb alot to prepare for the event. There was a great outdoor bar we could sit in and watch competitors finish and I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of contemptment. I could really kick back now and enjoy the rest of the time in Hawaii with the family.
Penny had a solid race also and was high fiving us with a big smile on her face as she came down towards the finish.
I managed to run 45.48 for the 10k which was the 2nd fastest run in my category. Oh and yes I managed to beat Charlotte McShane…… by 24 seconds….!
Have to say thanks to Top Gear Cycles for their support with my cycling needs, my publicist Stephen Rosbrook and the NTC family and of course the family for coming with me and making it a great holiday.
823 people entered the race
86 in 40-44 male category.
Elevation gain – 1032m
Max elevation – 411m
Elevation gain – 313m
Max elevation – 220m
Noosa Triathlon by Penny Hoskin
There is something that brings you back to Noosa every year. It has a big reputation being Australia’s largest and premier triathlon and it did not disappoint. It is a great event weekend and escape to the warm after Melbourne winter.
It was a very quick turn around with only 5 days break in-between Xterra and Noosa. Needless to say I was feeling pretty flat when I arrived. Jumping on the time trial bike again felt so effortless and fast after the mud and hills of Maui. Noosa is great event with open water swims, celebrity triathlon events, cycling crits and runs leading into the main event, the Noosa Triathlon.
The weather for race day was perfect, calm and a bit cloudy. I was racing Open Age group which means we are the next waves after the Pro’s so no waiting around.
I lined up at 6:28am in the Noosa River for the deep water start. I had great swim start and lead into the first buoy. I didn’t know how well the body had recovered so I lets a few girls past and found a nice set of feet to sit on for a draft.
Coming into transition one I was in the lead pack of four. After a decent transition I passed a few girls and mounted the bike in second place and was soon into the lead. I knew I had to put my head down and work the bike as I wanted a buffer for the run. I felt strong through the whole 40km bike leg. The highlight is the 3km climb. It was a bit of a lonely bike and you only get one check of where the other girls are at the top turn around.
I racked my bike and headed off onto the run. I took off on the run a bit slower than usual in the hope that I would build into the run. I lost the lead at the top turn around. I was really starting to hurt and feel the fatigue from last week’s adventures. I could see the next girl at the top turn was moving and could do nothing to respond when she passed me. The last 3km was tough. I was determined to stay in a podium position and not get passed in the closing stages again. I managed to hold on and happily finish in 3rd place.
A big shout out to Topgear Cycles who had a Specialized Shiv time trial bike packed up for me and ready to go after my Hawaii race, couldn’t have done it without their support.
Xterra World Off-road Triathlon Championships in Maui
What can I say, Maui is one of the most amazing places I have been and this is one of the most brutal events I have done!
The event is based around the Carlton Ritz in Kapalula, Maui which is a beautiful backdrop.
I arrived in Maui the weekend before the event in the midst of Hurricane Ana. By Monday morning the rain had cleared and everything looked so perfect I knew it would be a good trip. Out the front of our villa was surf beach and a short walk the other way was a beautiful sandy beach with coral, abundance of tropical fish and turtles.
Leading up to the even I went for a swim at the DT Flemmings Beach, the race swim location and there sizeable surf dumping on the beach. Xterra really like to make the whole event a challenge. I was actually quite excited about a surf swim. I did feel sorry for the couple who were also planning on doing a swim set but they looked seriously scared at the prospect of having to swim out through the surf break.
Run training was the same. Running along the coastal track and up into the pineapple fields is picturesque but tough! Melbourne winter does not prepare you for Maui heat and humidity.
Wednesday was the first day the mountain bike course opened. Everyone was keen to get out and see the course. It is mostly single track and most of that goes up! After about half an hour of climbing it started to cloud over and spit rain, a welcomed relief from the heat and sun. Within another half hour we were out on Razor Ridge in a tropical downpour! The decent back down had become a river. We were eventually diverted off the course as they were shutting it as it had just become too wet. It was even impossible to push your bike out as the fine dust turned to gluey mud and so much collected on your tires that the wheels wouldn’t even spin without hitting the frame. Yes it was an adventure even before the race begun!
Race day was a perfect Hawaiian day, the warmest and sunniest day the whole time I was there. There was some small swell at the beach which added a bit more fun. I even managed to catch a wave back into the beach.
The swim course is 1.6km ‘M’ shape which means you do two loops and come back into the beach for a short run in-between the two loops. All pros started together, followed by Age Group men 2 minutes after and Age Group females 2 minutes behind them. I had a solid swim coming out in the top 10 pro females. Then it’s straight up hill run to transition and then out onto the bike to start climbing! Amazingly the course had nearly totally dried out! It was a nice and unexpected surprise as two days before we couldn’t climb some of the steeper sections without the rear wheel just spinning in the mud. I was constantly getting passed by the Age Group men the whole way through the bike but one of the great things about off-road racing is how friendly people are even when you may be a bit slower through a single track section. I really struggled with the heat and humidity on the bike (and run), I just wasn’t used to it. Also I would change my training leading in if I did this event again to just do lots of hill repeats. The last few miles of the bike course was my favourite as it was fun flowing single track.
Then it was back to transition to start the run. The first 3 miles of the run course is the same as the bike course, up! Near the top I took a jell and combined with the downhill I found a second wind and managed to pass back a girl from the Netherlands who had passed me on the uphill. There were some fun, flowing sections through single track with some logs and other little obstacles. The end of the run is along the beach where we swam and I was spent and this hurt!
I was very happy to see the finishing chute and even got a ‘high five’ running up the chute from my training partner, Mack Clarkson. Massive congrats to him for being the fastest Australian age group male home and a podium in his Age Group.
Xterra Maui is one tough event but a great event and challenge! I recommend if you get the chance to go to take it!