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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I Paint My Face


Words by Hamish "I'm a real reporter" Fitzsimmons & Andrew "I'm a shaaaark" Blake. Nik "Beard Power" Cee added random remarks but isn't really as funny as those guys.

Its rare that I'm at a loss for words but Sunday left me speechless. The turnout and effort of Dirty Deeds Rapha Supercross was so good it seemed like a dream.

More than 600 of the cross faithful and the cross curious turned up to the Harrison Street Velodrome to worship at the altar of mud, frites and gears.

At the stroke of noon the kids blazed away at the infield before you could say 'face paint'.  Yet again it was another sell-out of this category which is hardly a surprise given mud and grass are a familiar playground for many of the entrants.

(c) Rolly

Some of the younger riders had managed to get in line behind the grown ups getting lightning bolts and corpse paint and set a blinding pace around the track. It also marked the first inter-generational Dirty Deeds Crew racing (hey, I announce it, I get to mention it), although for sheer commitment it's hard to beat the Jackson family, who have travelled from Bairnsdale for every DDCX race.

Emily Jackson took out the girls race, just pipping BCC track gun Emily Hughes and Conall Murphy the boys, ahead of Blake Williams.

By the time the open race was up the fries were flowing from Beatbox Kitchen, the Rapha cowbells and various purloined kitchen pots were a clanging and we were off.

A course by Nik Cee is a course of course to be reckoned with. This one was deceiving to the casual observer. Inside the velodrome was boggy for the main but surprisingly quick in other sections. The mud from June's prologue was absent which is weird because it's been wet. Outside, the Roberts Reserve section of the course provided some respite before the off camber carnage that was Pavlis' Hill.

Your humble commentator started to get concerned and think Brendan's family friendly set on the mic was losing the punters, who might have come to hear his blue work. But it turned out the hill was the place to be. The descent, even after we'd made it slightly easier following the slippery slapstick of warm up laps that was best viewed with Yakety Sax playing on the PA, was highly technical. The climb back up short and brutal. The crowd surrounding it both heckling and cheering in equal measure.

After the open was smashed to bits by Heather 'Crazy Socks' Hoggan and Nicholas Morgan in their respective classes, it was time for B grade men's, one of the most contested and coveted races of the day. Sam Watson was the man with the most, then the battle of the Bens. Ben Walderden and Ben Healey took centre stage. Leigh Schilling had been promoted to A, but had time commitments and so graciously agreed to forgo any prizes and raced in B for the good times. Racers that could manage to ride up Pavlis' Hill were rewarded with Beatbox Kitchen burger & chips vouchers by Shark Man.

The women's race was kindly started off by Councillor Oscar Yildiz from the City of Moreland, the man who shall be forever known as 'He who saved cyclocross'. Without Oscar's support this whole thing might not have happened so the biggest thanks to him and the good folk at the City of Moreland.

(c) Hamish

It was a classic exhibition of the sport in A grade women's with Mel Anset coming up trumps followed by Erica Gurner and Kate McCormack. The rise in number and quality of women's entrants is yet another testament to the growth of the sport across all levels.

The crowd was incredible. The cheering and heckling was at fever pitch by the time the men's A grade took to the start line at 3. Indeed the best performing spectator on the day was awarded a Focus CX bike. It was timely for Rich as he'd been on the three bike rule from a higher power and wining a CX bike means he'll be on the receiving end next year.

The A grade start was one of the fastest ever with racers rushing to be the first around the initial corners and not surrender valuable positions before the course opened up. Much like the clown he was dressed as Leigh DeLuca shot off the start as if he was fired out of a cannon claiming the hole shot, but not the $5 holeshot prime that Brendan was waving. Not so quick was international import and now Sydney resident Vanilla-Speedvagen team rider Jeff Curtes who slipped a pedal off the start and managed to superman his way into a dropped chain (inside his chain catcher as well). The crowd held their breath as fears of marring one of the best bikes seen at Dirty Deeds circulated. His ride to recover from nearly half a lap behind was outstanding and the podium would have looked different had Jeff had a clean start. But that's cyclocross for you.

What followed was some great battling between the top riders of the series around the different elements of the course. The roadies loved the faster bike path sections while the lighter-weight amongst the field took back time on the tacky muddy ruts and pinch climbs. Several racers bikes bore the brunt of the racing with broken chains and flat tires drawing riders back into the pits, and a few riders who won't be named were seen taking unauthorised wheel changes and bike swaps on course. Lucky there were many around the course offering adult refreshments for those riders running back to change bikes or parts. Steve 'duggaduggadugga' Duggan followed his run of mechanicals with a jog along the course, but was spotted taking a shortcut by Sam 'you're all numbers to me' McGregor and summarily DQ'd in a manner which suggested that Duggan was more than just a number to Sam.

After 45mins the grass settled and Lewis Rattray overcame a horrible start to claim his first win for the year. Not only a nice guy off the course, he is disconcertingly pleasant on the course often asking politely to pass lapped riders. His stoke on finally winning again was evident to all. Following closely on his wheels was Allan Iacuone and NCXS Round 1 winner Luke Fetch.

It wouldn't be a Dirty Deeds race if we didn't give out the best prizes for whimsical reasons, because serious bike racing is best left to the humourless UCI, and as HMC says, we just like to ride our pushies a bit.
  • Best Costume: Grover, who supermanned across the line in a zentai suit a couple of years ago dressed up as Captain Planet and took home a Treadlie subscription for his trouble.
  • Most enthusiastic spectator: Rich Kemp went all out, all day, and took home a sweet Ultegra equipped Focus CX bike.
  • Best super commuter went to David W & his purple trek multitrack 700, earning a Full Monty service at Commuter Cycles.
  • Best vintage bike was Rick Blazevic and his Giant ATX780, winning a porteur rack from Constructeur.
  • Duty before DDCX to Dr. John Roy for assisting Verity who binned it hard on Pavlis' Hill, winning a frame from Larry's Custom Cycles.
  • 2nd Best costume to Golden Gloves De Luca, also winning a frame from Larry's Custom Cycles.
  • Colin Bell also won a frame from Larry's Custom Cycles, why? I can't remember, but I'm sure he earned it.
  • Furtherest travelled went to Scott Kirton from Ipswich, taking home some Rapha swag.
  • Can't Stop, Won't Stop #1 went to Grant Hay for his amazing pile up into superman on Pavlis' Hill, scoring a pair of Avid Shorty Ultimates from SRAM.
  • Can't Stop, Won't Stop #2 went to duggaduggadugga for not only destroying his rear brake in Adelaide, but also his chain during the race, jogging the whole course, winning a Paul Neo Retro canti from Fitzroy Revolution & the ever supportive DC.

Facial hair.
Thankfully none of the kids were sporting beards, except one- a Rapha racing Koala of sorts who bore a striking resemblance to Mr Daniel Strauss ( a gold gum leaf to Dan for doing every race in the character too)

The facial frolics of Open and B grade riders were well turned out in a style that said, 'Mountain bikes are the new 650B'. The standard of facial hair in A grade was all over the place with a return to bush ranging look of the 1880s.

This is an area in which A grade men's and women's had it all over the rest of the days racing. Impeccable. One really couldn't fault it at all.. The stress of maintaining correct sock height was too much for many to bear and the toll was taken on the overlord of length, Northside Wheeler's supremo, Malachi Moxon.

Special thanks
Thanks to all our sponsors especially Wade Wallace and Andy Pike from Rapha for the huge effort they put in.

We love having the following people on board for their support and sponsorship, so return the favour and give them your business:SRAM, Focus Bikes, Fitzroy Revolution, Larry's Custom Cycles, Schwalbe, Coffee Supreme, Constructeur, The Massage Oil Shop, Treadlie, CycleOps, Northside Wheelers, Commuter Cycles, Beatbox Kitchen and CyclingEdge.

And an extra special, super oversized thankyou to Dave Morgan, without whom Brunswick Cycling Club and Dirty Deeds CX would struggle to function.

Blakey has been poring over the run sheets and compiled the results for all the grades, once they're formatted for publication we'll post up a link.

If you podiumed (top 5) and weren't there to collect your prizemoney, get in touch and we'll work out a way to get it to you.

There's about Avogadro's Number of photos out there, here is a collection of links to peruse. Please consider purchasing prints from people like Brian Mangano so he can feed his family and keep photographing you.
Brian Mangano
Andy Rogers / Fame & Spear
Marisa Farrell
Simon Cornish
Mik Efford
Dave Hogan
Rik Blazevic
Hot Brad
Kirsten Simpson 
Winston Struye

And finally, video:

Monday, 27 August 2012

Go, twenty-five kilometers of enemy land, cross mud, snow, ice, rock and plenty of sand

We have a guest post today from commentator extraordinaire Brendan Bailey.

Longtime fan and supporter of DDCX, Molly Hurford, aka 'The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo' is now a published author, with the release of Mud, Snow and Cyclocross: How 'Cross Took Over US Cycling. (Also available for Kindles, Nooks & iPads!)

On with the show:
I used to write all the race reports for Dirty Deeds. It was a pretty fun job, I gotta admit, even if it was time consuming. As well as getting to make any number of jokes about random in-jokes, I got to tell the stories of the races, and that’s always the best bit. An added bonus I didn’t anticipate, however, was that I got to know a whole bunch of the folks I was sending these reports to.
One of these folks was Molly Hurford of Cyclocross Magazine – the Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo herself. After the Australian season was over we kept emailing back and forth, and eventually became pretty good friends. I sent her a shirt from this year’s DDCX and she asked me to review her new book – Mud, Snow and Cyclocross: How ‘Cross Took Over US Cycling.

I thought that perhaps I’d have to take off my friend hat and put on my cynical reviewer hat, and that that would cause some ructions. But there was no need – the friendly voice Hurford uses in her personal correspondence is exactly the same as the one she uses in her professional writing. It’s relaxed and breezy, and the fun tone makes the book incredibly easy to read. I sat in the back of an Italian class and knocked over fifty pages without taking an eye off students conjugating verbs.

It’s also obvious that Hurford loves the sport, and she brings an insider’s perspective to the writing. She’s obviously spent a lot of time with the people she’s interviewing, and her familiarity seems to put them at ease – her subjects are generally candid and honest, even if they are disagreeing with each other.
The emphasis on oral history means there are a good variety of voices, and Hurford has gone to considerable lengths to ensure that she has spoken to both a demographically representative sample and also the right voices from the early days of US CX.

Reading this from an Australian perspective gives a good picture of just how far behind we are. This is the first year Australia has had a national series; the States had the SuperCup in the late 90s. The States are hosting the World CX Champs this year; Victoria is hosting their first State CX Champs this year. But it also gives an excellent outline for how the sport can grow in this country. This is particularly true of the chapters outlining the various CX races and series across the states –it’s basically a blueprint for how to grow the sport.
Perhaps even more than other kinds of cycling, CX is about personalities, and Hurford doesn’t neglect this. The section on individual racers gives an excellent idea of who is who in the US CX scene, makes us care about the racers, lets us know the riders who until now were simply names on a results sheet.
My favourite section, however, was easily the CX hijinks chapter – perhaps the best thing about CX is the shenanigans, the willingness of even the elite riders to take the piss. And a chapter dealing with some of the best pranks in US CX is always going to be a highlight. I won’t give away any of the lolz here, but rest assured the book doesn’t shy away from the details.
All in all, it’s a pretty sweet book from a pretty sweet individual, and I enjoyed it a lot. I'm pretty sure you can get in on Amazon, or alternatively go bug Malachi at Northside Wheelers - if anyone could get it in, it's probably him.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Key To My Heart

Did you lose a set of keys on Sunday?

There's a yoga & pilates tag plus 3 keys and a keyring. Tell us what the keyring is and we'll get them back to you.

Sharp Dressed Man

Like CX? Like rad jerseys? Hurry up then, as Creux Cycling have three super limited edition sportswool jerseys left and they're on sale for only $50 each! S, L, XL.

Email info@creuxcycling, don't delay!

Splish splash I was taking Abbath

Sime (C) The JAMS


While we get some well earned sleep, pore over the many photo albums, scrutinise results sheets, sort, clean & pack our supplies up, here's your podiums for each grade, plus a slideshow of instagram photos tagged with #DDCX.

Please email us links to videos, photos, blog posts, stories from the day and we will collect it all in one superpost.

Kids Girls
  1. Emily Jackson
  2. Emily Hughes
  3. Mae Checkowski
  4. Darcy Guilani
  5. Charlotte Weir

Kids Boys

  1. Conall Murphy
  2. Blake Williams
  3. Joe Kemp
  4. Lachlan McConnell
  5. Clay Williams

Open Women

  1. Heather Hoggan
  2. Verity Scurr

Open Men

  1. Nicholas Morgan
  2. Jeremiah Vella
  3. James Deane
  4. Colin Bell
  5. Andrew Scott

B Grade Men
  1. Sam Watson
  2. Ben Walderden
  3. Ben Healey
  4. Gareth Heitmann
  5. Chris Mason

A Grade Women

  1. Mel Anset
  2. Erica Gurner
  3. Kate McCormack
  4. Kristy Panby
  5. Jade Forsyth

A Grade Men

  1. Lewis Rattray
  2. Alan Iacuone
  3. Luke Fetch
  4. Paul Redenbach
  5. Adrian Jackson

Friday, 24 August 2012

Grey Skies Turn Blue

Happy Friday crossers! Two more sleeps until Dirty Deeds presents Australia's first Rapha Supercross event, and there's some housekeeping to take care of to ensure that the only things that don't run smoothly are your drivetrains on Sunday evening.

Social Media
DDCX is fond of the occasional ALL CAPS tweet and you should be too. Whack a #DDCX hashtag on your tweets and flickr / instagram photos so we can all see them. Failing that, post about it on Google Plus so Rolly knows what's up.

There will be NO PARKING inside the gates of Harrison Street Velodrome unless you are an event official or a sponsor. Likewise, so as not to inconvenience nearby residents, parking on Harrison St (North) is restricted to residents only. We suggest you ride to the race, consider it a warm up, but if you are driving, we recommend you park near Allard Park and roll down the hill to the venue.

Race Licences
Got a CA / MTBA / BMXA / Kidz Licence or a DDCX Season Pass? Sweet, don't forget to bring it with you. No licence = no race.

Need a licence? Option 1 is to get a gold licence and sign up with a club now (We recommend Brunswick CC), print out your receipt and bring it along. Option 2 is to bring an extra $50 and purchase a 3-Ride permit from our licencing table, this will cover you for Sunday's race, the State Championships & one other road/track/CX race elsewhere.

(Don't forget that the Season Pass / 3-Ride can be upgraded to a full CA licence minus the permit cost.)

If you're under 11, you can purchase an annual Kidz licence for $10. Bargain!

Race Entry
Registration opens at 10:30 and closes at 12:00. If you rock up after this, you better have a cowbell as you'll be spectating. Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Please don't bring $50 or $100 bills unless you have a winning smile.

We will take your licence / permit in exchange for your number, don't forget to exchange them before you go home.

Course Practise
The course will be open for 1 hour from 10:45 to 11:45. You must be registered and have your number on before you enter the course, and if you are spotted on the course outside of this time you will be disqualified.

If you aren't racing, consider offering a hand to setup / teardown / volunteer during the races. Many hands make light work and help the day run smoothly.

CX is great fun to watch, so tell your friends and family to come on down. Bring noisemakers, (Nikcee recommends cookware), a warm jacket and enjoy watching people ride, run and fall over in the mud.

That's all from us, rain, hail or grime this Sunday's going to be a corker, see you there.

Monday, 20 August 2012

I Stole Your Love

After a busy few weeks here at DDCX HQ but the final installment of this year's Dirty Deeds Series is now upon us (don't fret the Victorian State Championships are still happening on the 23rd September, it's that they aren't an official DDCX event).

With the assistance of our new friends at Rapha we have a few additions planned for Sunday, all of which are aimed squarely at making this one hell of a fun afternoon at the races. 

They have a few details up on cyclingtips right now

Yes, you read it right... face painting. Combine this with the fact that Treadlie are giving away prizes for 'Most Inspired Costume' and we have three frames to give away for the people having the most fun out there and you can be sure the mud will run thick with bright colours by the end of the day.

pic courtesy Brian Mangano

But onto some updates... The day's schedule looks like this:
Registration: 10:30 - 12:00 (this is more important than your race time!)
Course Open: 10:45-11:45
Kids mixed:     12:00 (10min +1 lap race)
Any Bike Race (MTB/CX): 12:20 (30min +1 lap race)
B Grade CX:    13:10 (30min +1 lap race)
Womens CX:   14:00 (30min +1 lap race) 
Course Open:  14:45-14:55
A Grade CX:    15:00 (45min + 1 lap race)
Presentations: 16:15 

You will notice two subtle changes to the races, the first is that Open has been renamed 'Any Bike' and now functions as an newcomer/overflow CX grade as well as including the ever diminishing number of non-CX racers. We still love our non-drop barred, non-700c riding brethren it's just we have so many eager new CX'ers. There's not enough hours in the day to give everyone a grade so compromises needed to be made. If you are new to bike racing (in any form - not just CX) this might be the grade for you. The second is a consolidation of Women's CX racing into it's own race. This is something we had on the cards from well before the season started and we are very happy to be able to do it. 

So get your gumboots ready, check your bike still rolls, remind your friends, and gather your favourite noise-making implements because this Sunday we aim to celebrate cyclocross in all its glory at it's spiritual home of Harrison St Velodrome!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Going where the air is clear, there's better beer

Miss Cycling Central today because you were out gravel grinding or at the sunday roast? Or tripped over the cable to your PVR?

Never fear, DDCXHQ have you covered with a re-up of the footage from the National Cyclocross Series rounds 3 & 4 in Adelaide, hosted by Port Adelaide Cycling Club:

Friday, 17 August 2012

Blame it on the rain

Sitting inside rugged up looking at the raindrops rolling down your window? That's what DDCXHQ are doing as we clean our bikes after an ace weekend of racing in Adelaide with PACC and prepare for tomorrow's Melbourne Gravel Grinder out at Hurstbridge / Kinglake and next weeks Rapha Super Cross race.

Word from the people over at Big Hill Events is that the course for Dirty Gran Fondo #2 is wet, wet, wet. So they've made the call and postponed it to October 14th. If you can't make that date, get in touch with them and they'll arrange a refund. If you can make the date now, sign up!