State’s best make splash

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
A Grade rider Rowan Brown leads Cadel Adams in a see-sawing battle the opening two rounds of the State XCO Series.
Camera IconA Grade rider Rowan Brown leads Cadel Adams in a see-sawing battle the opening two rounds of the State XCO Series. Credit: Supplied

The sound of spinning free-hubs, gear changes and knobby tyres rang out from Pemberton Pool at the weekend when the town hosted the opening two rounds of the State XCO Series.

More than 180 of the State’s best riders descended on the town to do battle on the clay-clad slopes of the Pemberton Mountain Bike Park and take first blood in the series.

Riders were greeted by a steep and tight course on Saturday which ensured they were pushed to their limits of fitness every inch of the way.

Cadel Adams, of Bunbury, led the way in the A-grade men’s field for four and a half of the five laps before he was caught and passed by reigning State series champion Rowan Brown.

Masters men national champion Jon Gregg finished third, one minute behind Adams.

Sarah Tucknott recorded a dominant win in the A-grade women’s event, beating second-placed Sarah McLachlan by almost three minutes and 18 seconds.

Neasa Jordan claimed third place, five minutes off the pace.

A Grade rider Sarah Tucknott on her way to a dominant win at the weekend's races.
Camera IconA Grade rider Sarah Tucknott on her way to a dominant win at the weekend's races. Credit: Mark Hudson

There were some tired legs and sore backs on Sunday morning ahead of round two, which pitted riders against each other over a much more technical course.

Despite the tougher course, it was Rowan Brown and Sarah Tucknott who once again ruled the roost, securing back-to-back victories.

Brown was once again challenged by Cadel Adams, with the pair separated at the line by just 19 seconds.

Bunbury rider Kallen Williams finished third.

In the A-grade women’s field, Tucknott once again rode clear of her rivals to finish more than six minutes clear of McLachlan in second and Jordan in third.

The next round of the highly anticipated series will be held at the Turner Hill circuit in Dwellingup on April 14.

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