Round 4: Moonshine
For many riders, this was the course they had been waiting for. Settled conditions saw a firm, tacky, fast course taped out through the well-drained north end of Moonshine Park.
Even with the high speed nature of the course, there was plenty of ground to be gained through technical proficiency. It was a course that favoured smooth, high efficiency riding and the ability to twist the throttle down when the course opened up.
The A Grade battle saw Matt Dewes lead for a good chunk of the race, following an opportunistic attack at a moment of mishap by Brendon Sharratt in the tricky north section. But halfway through the race, Sharratt was back in touch and immediately he began laying into Dewes with a flurry of attacks.
It was good, aggressive racing that had the desired effect - the elastic broke and Sharratt rode clear. But it was also indicative of the level of competition in the A Grade field, as it forced Sharratt to effect a scrappy come-from-behind win, contrary to his usual tactic of dominating from the front.
Elsewhere on the day, riders enjoyed a course that was, skill permitting, 100% rideable. It was compact enough to dial in lines and keep tabs on opponents, and by the third or fourth lap each corner seemed rather familiar. While the mud makes for rowdy conditions and epic photos, it certainly seemed that riders were happy to find themselves clean at the finish line for once this season.
One thing is for sure, if all the riders who have featured at the front of the A Grade fields this season turn up swinging at Nationals, we will have an exciting Elite race on our hands.
All photos courtesy of Digby Shaw Photography
Results are archived here.