For the last fortnight (April 4-15th), the Commonwealth Games (GC2018) has been on at the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is only 1 hour away from Brisbane, so it is an opportune time to go see some world class cycling!
Australia has 36 riders in various cycling events for the GC2018.
There were many cycling events for GC2018, but I was most interested in seeing the MTB on Thursday 12th at Nerang.
There are two Australian MTBers for GC2018, Rebecca McConnell (nee Henderson) and Daniel McConnell.
The MTB was a free event, so I headed down to cheer them on.
MTB – Commonwealth Games 2018
It was a beautiful, sunny day.
The facilities, track access and the central hub were very well organized. It was super easy to get in and out.
I went earlier so I could do a bit of scouting out for the best trackside spot. I decided on a spot where the track went up the hill on one side, and down over some jumps on the other. It was a great spot.
I ended up running into a few familiar faces, which was great. Always good to see some of the crew and catch up.
I was fully prepared for the day with food, drink and tambourine. I made good use of the tambourine as years of experience means I pace myself so I don’t lose my voice too early (rookie mistake!). It was also great to be able to let fly with my ‘outside whistle’. I only unleash it at certain open-air events due to volume – perfect for this event!
The crowd came out strong to show support and did a good job of cheering.
One particular group of women were such good cheerers that I went up to them after the race to congratulate them .. ‘best cheerers of the day award’. They didn’t move the whole time (most others were moving between two tracks) and they cheered equally hard for every single rider, no matter what country. It was very impressive. Their positivity added such great energy and camaraderie trackside.
But, I was surprised at how small both fields were, especially the women’s. Then again, my experience has predominately been with big international World Cup DH and MTB, Cranworkx and Enduro/EWS races, so I had to remind myself that only Commonwealth countries could complete.
It was awesome to see the riders out on the track… super inspiring to see them charging up the hills and overtaking on the tight technical sections.
Overall it was a really great day. Congrats to all those who rode and for those who made the effort to get out and support – Great job!!
Interestingly, Irish rider Marc Potts was the only rider to compete in all three disciplines of MTB, road and track. Epic!
There was an official website for updates on the GC2018 cycling events and news, but it had little MTB coverage.
Final MTB results for the GC2018:
1st. Samuel Gaze (NZL)
2nd. Anton Cooper (NZL)
3rd. Alan Hatherly (RSA)
4th. Ben Oliver (NZL)
5th. Frazer Clacherty (ENG)
1st. Annie Last (ENG)
2nd. Evie Richards (ENG)
3rd. Haley Smith (CAN)
4th. Emily Batty (CAN)
5th. Isla Short (SCO)
GC2018 – Final Overall Medal Tally