This past weekend saw a big weekend for multiple riders of the Giant Australia Off-Road Team. Brendan Johnston successfully won his 4th Cross Country Marathon (XCM) title by taking victory in the Bayview Blast in Redland Bay near Brisbane. Riders took off in waves starting with a 17km start loop followed by two longer laps.
After a minor crash Brendan worked hard to distance his rivals and managed to get a gap towards the end of the race. After 4 hours, 15 minutes and 18 seconds he rode into the finish chute alone on his Anthem Advanced Pro 29er to take his 4th title, a bit over a minute ahead of Reece Tucknott in second place.
After the race Brendan had this to say, “I’m really pleased to take my 4th National Marathon title on Sunday, it’s a great feeling to be able to carry the stripes for the year. I felt really good throughout the race and just found a super comfortable rhythm on my Anthem through what was a very singletrack heavy course. I resorted to a tactic of old which was to ride on the front of the group until I was the last man standing which is really the only way to race that course - luckily, I had a good nutrition strategy and the race plan came together perfectly! The result has sparked my interest to potentially take on the World Championships later in the year in Switzerland”.
The result caps off a big month or so for Johnston who also took victory with fellow teammate Jon Odams at the 4 day Port to Port event in Newcastle, NSW. Odams also competed in the Bayview Blast but unfortunately a crash led to his withdrawal from the event.
Further down south there was a full weekend of CX racing in the picturesque town of Mount Beauty at the base of Falls Creek. Looking to take out the state title was young rider on the Giant Australia Off-Road Team Adam Blazevic. Over 30 Elite men took to the start line in Mount Beauty include a combination of CX specialists and riders crossing over into cyclocross from the road.
Representing the new Giant x Tango CX team Adam rode strongly to take the victory and the Victorian CX state title along with it. His TCX Advanced Pro performed faultlessly on his way to the win ahead of Raphael Freienstein of the St Kilda Cycling Club. Summarising his race, Adam had this to say afterwards, "I’m really happy with my win at the State CX Champs on Saturday. It’s always an awesome course at Mt Beauty, with lots of elevation changes and some nice technical sections. I felt really good throughout the race and just tried to ride smart and conserve energy through the technical sections on my TCX. I was able to build a gap on a hilly section of the course early in the race and hold that gap to the line."
Full results from the XCM Bayview Blast can be found here.
Results from VIC State XC titles can be found here.