It's been a whirlwind season, that went on forever and simultaneously felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. A team of nine (one down on the rostered ten due to an unfortunate collarbone injury) started 91 races over 13 rounds of racing, picking up 8 race wins, 33 podiums, 2 State Championships, 2 National Championships, 2 National Series wins (and 2 National Series runners-up) and having an absolute blast while we did it.
We began the local season at Mulch Hill, before our new bikes had a chance to get here, and again at Forest of Doom before our custom MAAP team kit turned up. These two races proved a decent warm-up for the upcoming National Series, and a handful of us broke into the top ten in our respective grades.
From there, the core National squad and a couple of locals travelled over to the Victorian Alpine region to begin the National Cyclo-Cross Series at Bright - and race the 3rd round of the VICXS series at Mt Beauty while we were there! What is typically an ultra-muddy course on the side of a hill at Mt Beauty was a much easier and faster dry(ish) race this year, and Bright's infamously treacherous mix of wet leaves, creek crossings, sand, and a bmx pump track got a bit of rain overnight for significantly more Belgian conditions. We drove home to Adelaide with a few more top tens and a couple of podiums in the bag, but we were hungry for more results!
In between National rounds, we had our State Championships here at Potting Mix Park, where the results we'd been working for came thick and fast - out of 9 race starts that day we left with four podiums, and two age-group State Champions! One of the highlights of that day was the Women's Elite race, in which Seal and Becca backed up their WMAS wins with 4th and 5th place respectively, and Lana and Camille both made it into the top ten with 6th and 8th, and Max left it all on the course to come in 6th in Men's Elite. That momentum flowed on to the next weekend of National Series rounds, 2400km (a full two-day drive) away in sunny Brisbane, QLD.
Those two rounds in the heat of the Queensland sun proved to be some of our most fruitful, and a team of 5 racers took out three race wins and an additional two podiums from just ten race starts! The run-up on the second day turned what was a pretty flowy, power-y course into a runner's delight, allowing Lana, Max and myself to improve on the previous day's results, but proving a more difficult day for Paul on his SS Arise - there was nowhere for Seal to improve on, taking the win on both days in WMAS1!
The National Championships were held in Adelaide, our home city, and so perhaps due to that hometown advantage or maybe even due to the sloppy and slippery conditions we faced, we thrived. The Saturday's racing saw Becca and Harry win Women's Masters 2 and Expert Men's National Championships, and Seal, Caz and Camille all step onto the podium in their grades. Sunday's fourth round of the National Series, on the same course at Zombie Park, saw another win by Becca to move into the lead in the WMAS2 National Series, a strong 4th by Seal to retain her series lead, Harry on the podium in EXM while I held onto the series lead, and Camille on the podium in EXW as well. Max and Lana represented us strongly with equal, hard-fought 13th places in their Elite grades.
The National Series ended with a weekend of UCI C2 races at Fields Of Joy, the spiritual home of cyclocross in Melbourne, and again we all packed up and drove over for the racing. It proved a very difficult couple of days, with dry conditions making for very quick races on the Saturday, and then overnight rain giving us a treacherous course on the Sunday morning. I think nearly everyone in the first couple of races of the day came down nearly every lap coming down the massive hill with an off-camber left-hander at the bottom of it, but those of us who did were shown up by the Elite Women and Men who showed us how it was done in the afternoon. We finished up the season with Harry and Becca winning their National Series grades, and Seal and I both coming second overall in ours.
Our last two races here in Adelaide to round out the season were excellent for winding down from a season that moved blisteringly quickly - a handful more podiums for the team across the board and we've now finished up our inaugural season as Bombtrack Treadly Racing.
I can't thank everyone who's made this team's season possible enough - from the riders who gave everything at every race and came away with some excellent results, to the sponsors who took a chance on a tiny grassroots team in a city that couldn't be further from the worldwide cyclocross field of vision, to the supporters who have taken it upon themselves to grab a cap or a team kit or even just heckle and cheer us on at the races - every encouragement has meant the world and kept this team afloat through a tiring and trying season!
We'll be racing the Adelaide Summer CX season when it starts up again, but for now it's all gravel and sunshine and recovery - see you all soon!
All photos reproduced c/o Lana Adams, Jake Thomas, Max Hardy, and Andy Rogers. Bombtrack Treadly Racing's season was made possible by Bombtrack Bicycle Co, Treadly Bike Shop, MAAP Apparel, Chrome Industries, Schwalbe Tyres, Tony Tomatoes, Praxis Works, and Nuun Hydration.