Riders couldn’t have hoped for better trail conditions for yesterday’s CQ XC season opener.
With unusually consistent showers over recent months, club volunteers really laboured to keep the course trimmed and the tracks clear for the event. The trails were certainly in prime condition on the day and the success of the event is a huge tribute to their efforts.
Dust levels were virtually non existent and heavy morning fog before the race kept temperatures mild. Midway through tho, you could see many riders struggling with the humidity. That’s mountain biking in the tropics 🙂
As well as the locals, riders came from Gladstone, Bundaberg, and Mackay and it was great to see some friendly regional rivalry and the mix of riders who won places on the podium.
Also great to see was the number of juniors which has continued to grow exponentially over the past 12 months, plus more women taking part in competitive racing.
A statistic that I found interesting about the event was the number of riders on the start line.
If you follow the various mountain biking journals as I do, you’ll see an article pop up every month or so claiming that XC race entries are dropping globally.
Some clubs have even stopped holding XC events because apparently, everyone wants to race GE, but is that truly a global trend?
Last month’s GE opener in Rockhampton broke all records with 58 riders on the line. I think everyone expected the enduro to be big because First Turkey gained a lot of exposure and rave reviews after hosting a round of the Shimano National GE Series last year – and frankly, they are some of the best GE trails in the country – but I don’t think anyone anticipated that Sunday’s CQ XC opener would rival the enduro in popularity. Yet it did.
56 riders fronted the line on Sunday. This pretty much followed the precedent set last month at the 3 hour XC day/night held at Seeonee Park which drew a field of 64. That’s three record breaking events in a row across both riding disciplines.
Locally at least, the claimed ‘global drop’ in popularity of XC doesn’t apply at all. This is a wonderful thing because it means that the Rockhampton trail networks will continue to be developed with a view to promoting both disciplines, and will continue to attract both types of rider. It follows that mountain biking will continue to explode in popularity.
The next XC event on the CQ Off-Road Cycling radar is the 10th Anniversary 6 hour being held at First Turkey on Saturday 19th May. The following weekend is Round 2 of the CQ XC Series hosted by Gladstone MTB on Sunday 27th May.
Finally, a reminder that we’re here to help promote all forms of off-road cycling from Wide Bay to Whitsunday. If your club or group isn’t listed on our CQ Bike Clubs page, get it listed. It’s free – no strings – no excuses 🙂
Photo Gallery ~ 2018 CQ XC Round 1
Click on the image below to view the Google album of photos taken on the day. It opens in a new window.