Victorian Mountain Bike Series Wraps Up at Linton

The 2018 Victorian MTBO Series wound up at bright and sunny Linton on Sunday, 21 October. But as the saying goes “It’s never over until it’s over”. Course Planner Toby Cooper (EU) set just the right combination of long legs, coupled with short technical loops to challenge the riders.

Five out of the ten classes were decided on Sunday in the mixed pine and eucalyptus forest north of Linton. Course 1 had been sorted in the 4 earlier rounds with Scott Gavens (BK) and Carolyn Jackson (BK) creating unbeatable leads. It was a three way tussle for Course 2 Men, with Ed Steenbergen (CH), Peter Cusworth (BK) and Bruce Paterson (BK) separated by only 4 points at the start of the day. Ed had a slim lead going into the last two controls, but a poor route choice on single track into the last control cost him valuable seconds which saw Bruce pass and score a narrow 7-second win, with Peter fading to third, 2 minutes 35 seconds off the pace. The 100 points for Bruce’s first place tied him with Ed – both on 298 points – so they happily shared the podium for the series.

In Course 2 Women it came down to Jayne Sales’ (MFR) 95-point ride just before presentations finished, to tie her with Kate Gavens (BK) on 286 points. The three-way battle for honours in the Course 3 men between John Gavens (BK), Keith Wade (TK), and Eureka’s Ken Dowling was again decided by the narrowest of margins. Both Keith and Ken had great rides, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively, with John back in 6th place. With Peter Hill (NE) taking the 100 points for first place, the calculations for best-three point total over the 5 rounds saw John Gavens (296) edge Keith (295), with Ken third with 291. Gavens, who organised the first event of the year at Paddy’s Swamp (gaining a valuable 98 points – average of his best three rides), was delighted and urged all to help set courses in 2019!

Heather Leslie easily topped the Course 3 Women, with Monica Dickson (EU) second and Melissa Biviano (BK) third. Course 4 Men saw Ralph Koch distracted at the first control, but holding on to win Course 4 on the day and edge Blake Gordon (Event Adviser at Linton) by 2 points over the 5-event series. Kathy Liley (YV) gave it her best to finish just behind Ralph and score the 99 points to vault her into first place on Course 4 Women – 2 points ahead of Peta Whitford (YV) – with Dale Ann Gordon (EU) in third place. On the popular 2-hour Score course, Tania Elderkin (BK) and Stuart Lloyd (BK) took first and second to win honours over 5 rounds.

Everyone was encouraged at the presentations (Peter Cusworth’s lovely framed picture awards) to bring one other new person to the events – thus doubling our disappointing numbers on the day. A wreath was placed by Eureka at the monument to the 5 brave Geelong fire-fighters who died 20 years ago in the tragic Linton bushfires.

Victorian MTBO Series Standings 2018

Final Results

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