TOP RIDER: Gladstone's Michael England won the Elite category at the Central Queensland Cross Country Series held at Kirkwood on Sunday.
TOP RIDER: Gladstone's Michael England won the Elite category at the Central Queensland Cross Country Series held at Kirkwood on Sunday. Paul Braven GLA120317BIKES

Gladstone riders push hard in CQ Cross Country Series

MOUNTAIN BIKES: Gladstone Mountain Bike Club put on an excellent showing yesterday with some strong results in Round 1 of the CQ Cross Country Series.

The club won four out of the nine categories on offer at the Gladstone Mountain Bike Reserve.

Riders from across central Queensland descended on the Kirkwood track for the five-round Cross Country Series.

Michael England, Kyle Young, Phil Brezigar and Briony Beales all won their respective categories, with many Gladstone riders also finishing on the podium.

Elite, Sean Hall, Michael England and Grant Burkhardt. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017.
Elite, Sean Hall, Michael England and Grant Burkhardt. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017. Paul Braven GLA120317BIKES

England went into his Elite category race as the warm favourite, but didn't have it all his own way after crashing on the fourth and final lap of the 8.3km circuit.

Gladstone Mountain Bike Club president Joel Scherer said that England suffered minor injuries from the crash which cost him significant time.

"His bike washed out (slipped and lost traction) and he had light damage to his left knee and shoulder," Scherer said.

"The crash cost him six minutes of time, which was big for him."

England still won with a time of 1:38:45, but that margin could've been greater had it not been for his accident.

Sean Hall finished five minutes and 44 seconds behind England, another strong performance by the consistent Gladstone rider according to Scherer.

"He's an elite rider and very strong local rider as well," he said.

"He travels state-wide and has worked hard in last couple of years.

"You expect him to be at the pointy end of races each time."

Gladstone up-and-comer Kyle Young won the three- lap, 25km Sport category with a time of 1:22:01.

Bundaberg's Hong Chun Tan finished 35 seconds behind with Travis Freeman third in the 15-man race.

Sport, Hong Chun Tan, Kyle Young and Travis Freeman. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017.
Sport, Hong Chun Tan, Kyle Young and Travis Freeman. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017. Paul Braven GLA120317BIKES

Phil Brezigar flew the flag for Gladstone in the Novice category, claiming first with a time of 54:37.

Novice, Andrew Crighton, Phil Brezigar and Sam Crighton. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017.
Novice, Andrew Crighton, Phil Brezigar and Sam Crighton. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017. Paul Braven GLA120317BIKES

Briony Beales was the only entrant in the Ladies Sport category, but finished with a satisfying time of 1:29:17.

Women's, Briony Beales. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017.
Women's, Briony Beales. Round 1 of the Central Queensland Cross Country Series 2017. Paul Braven GLA120317BIKES

Scherer said the event was a great success for Gladstone Mountain Bike Club.

"We're really rapt how it went," he said.

"We ended up with 58 competitors in total and we normally get around 50.

"Everyone had a really good time, there was a good spectator turnout and the track came up really well after a bit of rain at the start of week."

The next round of the CQ Cross Country Series will be held in Rockhampton on May 21.

Gladstone will host Round 5 in September.



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