This year’s state cross-country champs were held at Blue Gum Lodge in Springwood, with a short course (XCC) race on Saturday and the regular length (XCO) race on Sunday. The tight, twisty trails at Blue Gum make amazing use of the small area. They double back on themselves a lot making for great spectating, but catch you out as a rider if you’re not looking ahead!
The elite women’s short course race went for 20 minutes plus three laps of a fun, sub two-minute course. It was a great way to get your head dialed into to trails and good for getting nerves out of the way before the longer race the following day. I held onto second place, getting a decent lead over Erica O’Brien (third) before slowing down to a more comfortable pace. Vanina Vergoz led from the start, enjoying herself so much she also rode a bonus lap afterward, not realising she had already won the race!
Photo: Kath Bicknell