Welcome back! It's 2018 and the racing season kicked off with Rocky Trail Entertainment's Grand Prix Round 1 at Glenrock, within the city of Newcastle. This is not the first time Rocky Trail have used the Glenrock trails, previous blogs here 2017, 2016. The lushly forested, well defined trails are always a hit with riders. A huge range surfaces were on offer this year with an overnight storm. The initial single track was particularly muddy, which transitioned into a dry, if not a little dusty section as well!
After placing on the GC Series podium the last three years running, we're back to do it again, racing with the JetBlack MTB team. It isn't going to come easy though, a quick scour of the Glenrock lineup and particular our category was brimming with suitably fast names. Martin, head honcho of RTE, got us started well down the main access fire-trail, much further than previous years. With over 300 riders attending, this was one of the biggest GPs EVER! As per usual it was going to be important to be in the first group come the singletrack, a good early position to start from.
It was a hectic start but the open fire trail was suitably long enough to place on the back of the front group. Conditions on this first lap were slick but manageable in the rainforest section, most of the remaining trail was grippy if not dry. Eventually we found the wheel of team mate Michael Brown, which helped maintain pace and consistency. For some though these first few laps saw more action than they would have liked, a couple of local lads in separate encounters were off the bike, one with a broken frame, the other a possible collar-bone.
From gnarly downhill sections to the granny gear switchback climbs Glenrock has it all. RTE chose to remove some of the climbing from yesteryear, in place a smooth fire-trail back to transition. Everything was working well, our Pivot 429 had a service during the week, with the rear shock getting much of the attention. Slickonium grease from DIYMTB had the shock working a treat, evening out the trail. We have also been running our own nutrition over the last couple of years, finding what works for us. You can check out some of our previous reviews here. Anyway, it felt like we got our nutrition right again this round using High 5 products. Thanks to our team mates and family for the bottle hand-offs.
Over fifty JetBlack MTB Racing team riders were at Glenrock, providing a friendly atmosphere for all. It is great to have on-trail moral support and the transition expertise of a large team. JetBlack MTB Racing continues to be partnered with The Odd Spoke, Natural Balance and Rocky Trail Entertainment. Which allows us to ride how we like! In the results the team was well represented across all categories and delivered some top results for this event, good signs for 2018 and the GP Series. You'll see us at another event shortly!
Full results here.
Full results here.