Nestled on the steep Toowoomba range, Jubilee Park played host to the first round of the 2018 MTBA GE cup.  The first round kicked off with a bang with of 250 riders hitting the course. With the race being run in conjunction with the SEQ Enduro series, the start list was littered with a stack of Queensland entrants with riders also making the long trek from NSW, SA, ACT, VIC & WA. Known for its dusty, rocky, tight and fast trails and for being the home trails of none other than Jared Graves, riders were in for a long, arduous and physical race.

The race consisted of 6 gruelling stages with over 900 vertical meters of climbing. Riders were split into two groups in a set stage order format, with each running order set opposite to the other to spread riders across the hill and reduce delays. In addition to this, set start times for stage 1  and 4 meant riders needed to manage their time and energy efficiently to ensure they met their start times.

Naturally dusty all year round, the trails had been running ‘well’ recently due to some much-needed rain. Come race day, however, the trails were back to the usual dusty self, meaning carnage was likely to ensue.

The view out from the notorious DH trail Mackenzie Frenzy which played host to part of stage 3.
Jubilee park provides a variety of terrain and dirty types, from red dusty and rock trails amongst the tall dry grass to grippy dark dirty nestled in the lower foresty areas of the park.

This images sums up Jubilee park – Sniper rocks everywhere… good luck finding a line through here on stage 6 when you’re low on energy.
The first elite riders prepare to begin.
With the dusty and rocky trails here in Toowoomba, riders would need all the grip they could get.

Timing chips at the ready. White Lightning events were the official time keepers of the race.
Many riders were keen to get started, with the weather putting on a fine display it was no wonder spirits were high.
While other riders were getting into their zone and contemplating the long and hard day ahead.
Jordan Powell keeping it smooth. With an awkward entry over roots, this log when taken at speed was difficult to manage before sending a timber drop on stage 01 and as such took several victims.
The banana wielding Sam Fraser is not normally known to be the pedaling type, but rather for his race run back flips. His first enduro saw him place a respectable 16th in elite – something Sam was absolutely stoked with. This wont be the last enduro we see Sam at.
It was a tough day out on the trails for some. Red power ranger Tim Abbott was looking quick on stage 1, however he had an unfortunate OTB on stage 3 which saw him with some serious injuries, thankfully Tim is ok and resting up.
Pete Smith sending the triple drop, on of the faster and difficult feature on stage 3. Pete would take 1st place in Masters 5/6 with a time of 27:58.31, 3 minutes clear of second place.
Damien Hyde sending at the beginning of jump stage 5. 2nd place in masters 3/4 for Damien.
Alice Codenotti on her way to 2nd place in Masters 1/2 on the very long stage 3.
David Gibbs sending it midway down stage 3 into the trail ‘Canyonero’
Michelle Gane snagged 2nd in masters 3/4 Women with a time of 32:42.87
With a huge field of 40 riders, Under 17 men was a very competitive category. Noah Starfield on the gas through the trees on the very long stage 3.
Riders taking a chance for a quick breather and a chance to take in the view on the stage 3 transition stage. Shakas show the stoke is high.
The view down to the beginning of stage 4 at the table tops – Normally a favourite feature of the crowd on Mackenzie Frenzy.
James Hollonds hooking it around the roots on stage 1.
Alex Shadbolt keeping it low and fast down the triple. 7th place in Junior men for Alex.
Jordan Zmegac showing he still had the energy on stage 3 for a bit of fun. You can still hang it out wide in enduro.
David Ludenia hanging out the back. Dave would finish 8th in Elite men, 47 seconds back.
Ashley Watling pushing through the pain to take the win in Masters 1/2 Women with a time of 30:56.72, taking 1st in all stages for her category.
The notorious switchback turns on stage 3.
Easy you say? Not when you’re dodging foot size rocks on every turn. Some say rocks grow on trees here at Jubilee Park.
Local South East Queensland rider Bobby Blinco showing us he had this corner dialed. With dusty blown out corners throughout the course turned into sand pits, each corner threatened to suck valuable seconds out of your time.
Jordan Holzworth doing what he does best, sending it further and higher than most through the trees. Who doesn’t love a cheeky turn-bar.
Bridie White with second place in Under 17’s Women. A great result for the young rider.
This young lady has a bright future ahead of her. With a time of 27:57.46, Laura Craft was dominant in her category with the second fastest women’s time overall and only four tenths of a second short of the Elite Women’s winning time.
James ‘Cannonball’ Hall was riding with plenty of aggression this weekend and always on the edge. Just off the podium in 6th place for the New South Welshman
NSD Boss man Aaron Cairns navigating the roots into 2nd place in masters 1/2.
Steven Butler with a first place in masters men 3/4.
Sam Luff getting some quality air time and a 10th in Under 17 men to boot.
Jayden Bristow on the gas in stage 3
Lee Witzerman pinning his way to 2nd place in Under 17 men. Another solid result or the Queensland pinner.
Caleb Rees looking fast and focused before the rocky chute on stage 3. Caleb backed up his recent win at round four of the SEQ enduro series in Rockhampton with a 4th place.
Sam Walsh keeping it fairly controlled on the final stage (3) for group B. A solid 3rd place in Junior Men for the South Australian only 0.03 seconds of second place after 24 minutes of racing.
Victorian Jack Hewish would take 2nd place in juniors with a time of 24:21.30.
Roly Kyme took the win in junior men with a blistering time of 23:43.36 sitting him 37 seconds clear of second place and with the second fastest overall time of the day. The dusty WA trails clearly not a far departure from those of Toowoomba. This young rider is one to watch.

Men’s and Women’s Elite

The Women’s Elite, while lower on numbers than the Men’s, saw some close racing between places 2-4, while the winner Jessica Hoskin took a convincing win in all stages with a time of 27:57.05. Annelie Marquardt would follow in second place, 1 minute and thirty seconds back with a time of 29:27.53, taking 2nd place in stages 1-4, a third in stage 5, and a 5th in the final stage of the day. Rounding out the podium was Rachel Hore with a time of 29:48.60, including strong finish with a 2nd place on stage 6.

Rachel Hore looking focused on stage 1.
Annelie Marquardt choosing a tighter line on the switchback on stage 4.
Jessica Hoskin was on it all day from stage 1 to 6 with a solid margin back to 2nd place. This loose, fast corner on stage 1 caught several riders out running hot into the corner. Jess showing she has the bike skills to back up her fitness.

With a stacked Elite Men’s field of 41 riders, there were many local riders with experience on these trails. For the others from interstate, it would be a test of their ability to ride to unexpected trails and conditions. Tight racing was the order of the day, with the top ten riders all within the same minute after 24 odd minutes of racing.

The competition for the podium was intense, with a three-way battle for 3rd, 4th and 5th only separated by 2 seconds. A tight battle raged for 1st & 2nd place, as the top 2 riders swapped the lead multiple times throughout the day.  In the end, it would be the local boy Andrew Cavaye who would take the win and extend his lead in the overall points race for the SEQ enduro series with a time of 23:39.62. 2nd place would go to podium mainstay, the consistently fast Ryan Leutton with a time of 23:44.77 and a significant gap 13 seconds clear to third.

The first of the final three spots on the podium was won by Nerang Giant rider Stu Cali 3:58.48 further cementing himself as a serious podium threat. Interstate elite rider Michael Vanos of Nicks Cycles in NSW in 4th place missing that third spot by just 0.16 seconds with a time of 23:58.63. Rounding out the podium was SEQ legend Linsday Klein riding for Mountain Bikes Direct with a time of 23:59.67, just over a second back from 4th.

Riding for Mountain Bikes Direct, Lindsay Klein knows these tracks very well, with several podiums here in the past. No different this year with a 5th place and looking as fast as ever.
Michael Vanos breaking up the QLD party in 4th place. Michael was looking smooth all weekend.
Line choice was super crucial for the next section of Stage 1. Too tight to this tree and you were too wide for the next log roll and drop, the better option was to take it wider and get a straight shot over the roots. Stu nails the latter.
Ryan Leutton committed into the chute on stage 1. Two line choices here, the outer line meant the next corner was tight, with a smoother exit to the chute, while the other had a slower speed through the chute but easier corner.
Andrew Cavaye with yet another race win after recent wins in both enduro and DH in Rockhampton and Boomerang Farm respectively.
Bikes down meant a much-earnt rest at the end of the day…
..and a good chat…
While no longer running the event, EMS is never too far away from the action.
While there were a few injuries, thankfully these guys weren’t needed too much all day.
Future pinners can only dream…


And that’s a wrap from the hills of Toowoomba!

A huge thanks to MTBA, White Lightning Events, all the volunteers as well as TMBC for all their hard effort in keeping things running smoothly on the day.  Also a huge thanks to TMBC for their efforts in providing and maintaining a fantastic venue, the trails were running sweet all weekend!

Full Results online at

A special thanks to the team at Jonny Sprockets in Toowoomba for setting us up with a Merida eBike for the weekend. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to cover the riders and tracks that we have! If you’re ever in the area, go check their shop out!

Photos & Words: Sam Routledge