The more than 1,000 riders headed to Margaret River for 42km of some of the best single trail riding in the country, starting and finishing at the Giniversity, just outside of the township.
Jon Odams and Brendan Johnston picked up where they left off from stage two, extending their lead at the front of the men’s pairs.
Odams and Johnston were the team to beat all day, opening up an early lead and not looking back, crossing the line in 1:49:49, more than three minutes clear of Joel Green and Tali Lane Welsh, with Reece Tucknott and Adam Blazevic just three tenths of a second behind following a sprint finish for second and third.
“It was a perfect day out there, really enjoyed the trails, I think this one suits our strengths a lot,” said Odams. “It was more fun for me on the single trail, not just chewing stem and led probably a good half of it today which was good, had a ball out there.”
Johnston said that the duo’s experience made the difference across the 42km stage.
“We never really plan a certain spot to make a move as such, we just let it play out a bit, we’ve got plenty of wisdom in our old age and we know when to pick our battles and take the chance,” said Johnston. “It just works out sometimes and I guess when you’ve had the experience that we’ve had you know when to go and when to save your bikkies, it just worked out well.
“In this type of stage if you get a gap you’re sort of out of sight and out of mind for the chasers if you’re riding well so it was good to come in and put a bunch of time into the rest of them heading into the final stage tomorrow,” he said.
Peta Mullens and Jarrod Moroni made it back-to-back stage wins on Saturday in the mixed pairs, with a four minute gap back to Emma Viotto and Karl Michelin-Beard, with Holly Harris and Mitch Docker rounding out the podium positions.
“We were distanced on the early climb today, I didn’t feel good off the start and we had to work really hard to get back Emma and Karl who were with a couple of the men’s teams and I didn’t feel that comfortable following her on the single track, she had the pressure on but then I thought well we’ve got to try something so we went around and boosted on one of the a-lines and gassed it to the finish,” said Mullens. “I had a crash down the final descent, we were just hectic, just looking back the whole time thinking they were coming for us.
“Coming down the last descent Jarrod had a crash and then I had a crash, I was like slow down, we’ve got a gap, I think you can never rest on your laurels, there’s a prize for every stage win and we’ll be going for another,” she said. “We haven’t done tomorrow’s tracks so it will be fun to see something new and different, a different part of WA.”
Moroni said that the pair felt the pressure early on today’s stage.
“At the start we thought that this track really suited us, but we were under pressure there for a bit and we weren’t as comfortable as we would like to have been. But in the end we had a little bit of legs, we used them up a bit and had a bit of a dig at the end there and came through with the goods,” he said. “It was absolutely mint today, we’re not used to the pea gravel and holy moly that stuff is like ice, it’s skatey, but other than it’s absolutely perfect, the trails are great.”
Ella Bloor and Lucie van der Schalk continue to lead the way in the women’s pairs, finishing in 2:18:35, more than six minutes clear of Verita Stewart and Purdie Long, with Izzy Flint and Alexandra Durr another two minutes behind in third.
“It was so much fun, there was so much single track and the trails were running really awesome out there,” said Bloor. “We sort of came in with a group of guys, we took a wrong turn with about 10kms to go and another female pair caught up but we managed to put a gap on them on one of the climbs and we knew we just had to keep that gap and when came in with the boys we just let them do their thing, it’s not worth it to get mixed up with whatever they’re racing for.”
Though it didn’t all go to plan for the pair, with mechanical issues for Bloor making for a stop-start day on the trails.
“You don’t want to blame your race on the mechanical but I probably stopped 10 times to recharge the battery and put it back in, but it’s just one of those things that I can’t really control and you can’t let it get to you too much,” said Bloor. “Roll with the punches.”
Van der Schalk said that they enjoyed the single trails of the Margaret River.
“It was super fun out there, hats off to the trail builders and volunteers out there for keeping the trails in good nick, there were super fun shapes in there and we just had a really fun race.” She said. “I felt for Ella stuck in her easiest gears on some of those but it was a good mission of pumping down there.”
Stage three of Cape to Cape wasn’t just about the riding, with it also being Super Sox Saturday, raising much needed funds for Bike Dr and Dismantle, the event’s charity partner.
Dismantle CEO Pat Ryan said that the event was a key fundraising for the organisation.
“We find it really difficult to fundraise, we’re a social enterprise and 80% of our funding comes from trade, we run a bike shop that makes money and we reinvest that into our mission and we run a gardening business that reinvests profit into the mission,” said Ryan. “Something like today allows us to fundraise something like $60,000 to $70,000 that we put directly into a youth program called Bike Rescue, where we travel around regional and remote WA helping out young people that are having a tough time and basically pairing young people with youth workers and using bike mechanics as a vehicle for that.
“It’s a complete game changer, for a young person that doesn’t function well in a classroom, they will function extremely well when they’ve got a bike and tools and bike mechanics to tear apart bikes and put them back together,” he said. “It’s an absolute game changer, and what it really does is opens up conversations, while you’re fixing a bike your talking about school and how home’s going and their mental health, you can’t really have that conversation unless you’ve got something really fun in front of you to work on.”
Ryan and his team loved seeing the Cape to Cape community embrace the organisation and support their work.
“It’s brilliant to see so many purple socks out there today, this is the seventh year that we’ve been involved in the event and we’ve gone through every colour of the rainbow pretty much, this year it’s purple and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support that we get from the crew that rides in this event,” said Ryan.
The final stage of the 2022 Cape to Cape will see riders head to Cape Naturaliste, with a 34km blast taking in the best the region has to offer, before crossing the finish line at Wise Winery.
Cape to Cape – Stage 2 Results
Cape to Cape – General Classification Results
For more on Cape to Cape visit https://capetocapemtb.com/
Tag(s): Cape to Cape