rAdelaide cross

Adelaide triumphed with rounds 3 and 4 of the inaugural Champion System SRAM National Cyclocross Series on the weekend.

Perfect weather, great courses in urban parklands, interstate support, funny commentary and a few cowbells made for a great couple of days.

First we had the news that track star Anna Meares wants to try ‘cross as she takes some time off the (track) bike. Awesome.

Then there’s the chicks’ road trip to rAdelaide; 700 km is perfect for a quick chat. Rolling down the hill into Adelaide we spied a familiar ‘cross bike on a roof rack above Victorian plates. It’s getting real.  

I stayed with crossers in Adelaide and was treated to an evening ride around the parklands with the possums. It was great for the confidence – if I survive some hills in the dark, daylight will be a piece of cake. Triple awesome and it’s still only Friday.

Sunshine promised a mild Saturday and we arrived at Victoria Park in good time for registration and a sighting lap. And what a lovely flowing lap it was. We enjoyed long firm grassy/dirt straits, deep mulch with a sprinkle of mud, corners to make a bike smile, a death spiral, steps and an inspired triple worthy of Olympic showjumping: a corner sandtrap into a steep climb of mulch hill followed by mud that deepened as the day wore on. If one element unsettles, the next punishes. And then off again across the parklands through squish to the tarmac finish straight and more corners to the start to do it all again. Loved it!

With the support events done, the elite women and men’s races drew the biggest crowds and noise, and close racing among the men.

For the record, the elite podiums went to Lisa Jacobs, Mel Anset and busy organiser Gemma Kernich, while Lachy Norris topped the men’s podium from Adrian Jackson and Lewis Rattray.

Sunday dawned even warmer at Kingston Gardens, where Neil Ross delivered another long course of fast grass, bitumen and dirt straights, barriers, rolling dips, off-camber turn and a big hill – a delightful mix for riders and spectators but hell for tyres based on the punctures. The bike loved it to bits, and a happy bike is a happy rider.

As with Saturday, Lisa Jacobs took out women’s elite but Gemma Kernich went up a step to second ahead of Lindsay Gorrell, while Lachy Norris and Adrian Jackson again finished 1-2 with Jade Lean third of the elite men.

The whole weekend was a credit to Port Adelaide Cycling Club and its army of friendly volunteers, as well as riders and spectators. Thanks to PACC, my hosts and chauffeur.

Can’t wait for the next Dirty Deeds CX, then roll on Sydney!

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