Cape to Cape MTB 2021 champs cross the finish line

The men's, women's and mixed pairs winners at Cape to Cape MTB 2021. Photo: Daniela Tommasi.
The men's, women's and mixed pairs winners at Cape to Cape MTB 2021. Photo: Daniela Tommasi.

The 2021 champions have been crowned at the Cape to Cape Mountain Bike Stage Race, with ideal conditions greeting riders for their final hit out of this year's event.

The final stage of Cape to Cape took riders north to Cape Naturaliste, with a 34km loop beginning and finishing at Wise Winery capping off four days of racing for the more than 1,000 mountain bikers.

The make-up of men's pair podium came down to the final day, with the Russell Brooks Building team of Nathan Jones and Jon Gregg holding on to edge out the Blue Derby Pods Ride Team by just over a minute, with Rainbow Pedal Pops coming in third.

Jones and Gregg led the event from the opening stage, but a crash for Gregg early on Sunday put them on the back foot.

The pair worked their way through the field to finish the 34km stage third, close enough to Tasmania's Blue Derby Pods Ride Team of Tom Cheesman and Tim Harmsen to take the overall win.

"Everyone started off at the same time today, both pairs and solos, and I got a little caught back in the field and I was trying to make way through on a sketchy downhill and there was a sharp right hand turn at the bottom and I couldn't take it, so I had to lay the bike down and then get going again," said Gregg.

"We lost a fair bit of ground but Nathan held up and waited for me and we just put everything into trying to catch up.

"At one point in the last 10km we saw the Tasmanian guys, we knew we had two minutes lead at the start of the day and did a time check and they were 50 seconds in front so we thought we could manage it," he said.

"But still we had to dig deep to bring it home so we're really pleased and relieved."

The women's pair title was won by the Weenie G and Z-dawg team of Kristen Gardner and Zoe Davison, 11 minutes clear of Cheeky Chicks, with the Colonial Brewing Girls third.

Gardner and Davison finished the event as they started it, at the front, crossing the line at Wise Winery more than two minutes clear of Tracey Chapman and Steff Van Amerongen of Cheeky Chicks.

"We know the other girls quite well and it was very unexpected to be in front every stage I have to say," said Gardner.

"I thought we'd go back and forth a little bit but Zoe is so good at picking it up and dropping the hammer down, I know I'm mentally strong enough and it just worked out."

Zoe wasn't the only Davison to finish on the podium at Cape to Cape this year, with Dad Chris winning the grand masters men with Matthew Sevior.

"Dad has always been a role model and we train together and I enjoy his company, to see him on the podium makes me quite proud and then also to be able to race and do well with Kristen is such an honour because we've always seen her as such a weapon," said Davison.

"I've always looked up to her and she's so good and so fast to be up here next to her is great.

"She can always go, she never gives up, even with legs cramping she's still pushing the pedals, she does not give up at all," she said.

The mixed pairs title was won by Izzy Flint and Cam Ivory of Tassie Turbo Chooks, with the duo winning by almost 50 minutes over MAD Wolfpack, with FCR Mixed Up third.

"The trails were really good today, we started and it was a little bit messy to begin with but as soon as we got to the trails it was so good, Cam and I spent the whole time loving it," said Flint.

"It was pea gravel which we're not quite used to, but it was actually pretty grippy all things considered.

"It was really nice to race together and we had heaps of fun which I think is more of what this event is about, having fun and enjoying the trails that the area has to offer."

Ivory enjoyed his four days of racing in the South-West with Flint, including the return to Cape Naturaliste.

"Today was awesome, it's my first time up here doing these trails," said Ivory.

"I think the last time I was up here was the year I DNF'd with gastro so it was a much more pleasant way to finish this year, and we're stoked to come away with the leader's jersey.

"We came in here with a good plan under our belts, a lot of communication was key for us," he said.

"I wanted to make sure that when I was pushing the pace a bit that I wasn't going to cook Iz too early but then I know that she doesn't just cruise along, she likes to ride fast as well so if she wanted to go faster she was always going to tell me and I think we kept it under control, we got a good gap on day one and managed that, but I wouldn't say we took it easy at all, we still gave it our all."

This story Winners crowned after four days of MTB racing first appeared on Augusta-Margaret River Mail.