The return to the hallowed ground of the Harrison Street velodrome for round one of Dirty Deeds brought record crowds of cross racers to the inner north hot on the heels of the Hell of the Northcote just days before.
Most races were full by the time kids was kicked off by Moreland Mayor extraordinaire Oscar Yildiz who was once again thrilled by an even bigger turnout than when he started proceedings in 2012.
The kids race is really one of the highlights of the season, from bewildered toddlers on balance bikes being urged by proud parents to teenagers about to make the leap into open or b grade. Costumes are part of DDCX and it's encouraging to see it starting early though we're told the young man in a cowboy outfit refuses to get around in much else. He did bring a sense of law and order to the proceedings though. Amity McSwan and her clan are mainstays of cyclocross and Mae and Nels continue to impress with their dedicate to airtime. Nathan
Bof and Sienna Gibson took it out in each boys and girls.
Beatbox Kitchen had reached full capacity by the time the open/any bike race got underway. Sadly there were no unicycles this round but, encouragingly, no recumbents (there was a close call at the prologue in May when someone arrived prone peddling).
Jack Lamshed took time out from testing the breaking point of the local constabulary's car doors to put on a clinic on his 26", bunny hopping both barriers and wheelie-ing up Pavlis Hill.
Noted Sunbury hardman and racecraft sage Col Bell exercised some vintage skills to keep Reuben Ruiter on his CX bike at bay and Duncan Murray placated the hipster masses with a no handed skid across the finishing line- Jack Lamshed took the highest step of the podium in men's and Bec Williamson thrilled all in women's. Bec used her track background to roll Michelle Scurr right before the line after Michelle led all race.
In B Grade we were overwhelmed with racers and it was the biggest field yet. The front runners were leaving the velodrome as the back end were still coming out if the first few corners. 14 year old Adam Blazevic, stepped up, put on the long pants and schooled a few hardened men in the art of cyclocross.
A grade was the penultimate race and Paul van der Ploeg quickly fell into pace with Adrian Jackson. The field waxed and waned to keep up with these two but tapping out a steady pace meant they soon got a clear lead over the rest of the field. Paul vdP had won the holeshot but drifted himself back into the field after the first corner. There were some great mud race battles throughout the pack. Spiro rolled a tub getting rad for Rolly and Sime, then binned it
running back to the pit at Pavlis Hill. Special mention goes to SRAM man Hayden Kerr who, after getting what to commentators Brendan and Hamish, looked like a log embedded in his palm after coming off his bike, had it removed by medico Rachel and got back into the race with the aid of his team mate Leigh "d'Oro" de Luca. Chris Mason despite coming off a serious Pyrenees training camp found the corners thrown up on this CX course a challenge for his roadie skills. The race didn't let anyone down for thrills with AJ and Paul vdP sprinting for the line with the big man on the giant bike coming up trumps.
Women's racing has been our focus and great success in the last few months. With the hard work of DDCX's Kate Lansell and Stay True's Jenny Macpherson and others too numerous to mention, women's cyclocross really stepped up a level to become an important fixture on Melbourne's cycling calendar. Anyone wanting to get involved can get onto the Dirty Deeds Women's Development Team on Facebook. What we had in the race though was an awesome trans Tasman battle between Jenna MakGill and April McDonough until April got a
mechanical. She valiantly clawed back to finish 7th. Last years NCXS front runners Lisa Jacobs and the ever smiling Mel Ansett had a ding dong battle for most of the race with technique
vs outright power giving each an advantage in different areas of the course.
Further back there was a mix of smiles and grit as our largest women's field mixed it up. Lauren Mittiga definitely enjoyed the spontaneous 'high five alley' created at the top of Pavlis Hill. Many new faces seemed to really enjoy the racing. So much smiling between all the gritted teeth!
Many thanks to all who came, raced and cheered as well as our sponsors and volunteers.
- Jet Black / BH Bikes
- Larry's Custom bikes
- Impact Massage
- Beatbox Kitchen
- 4Shaw Apparel
- Adidas Eyewear
- Commuter Cycles
- Fitzroy Revolution
- Coffee Supreme
- The Massage Oil Shop
- Treadlie Magazine
The next round will be the big one- the final round of the National CX Series at Darebin Parklands on August the 11th. WILL THE INAUGURAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS FRESHLY CROWNED THE DAY BEFORE TRIUMPH?