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Bunch Print

Coffee with GG

Hi everyone, welcome to the first of what I hope will be a regular blurb with Cycle FNQ filled with the latest racing results, rider news, scary stories and a review or two of some of the latest cycling products available across the Far North.

I’ll get straight into it and glance backwards over what has been a crazy busy couple of months for racing and riding in FNQ. We’ve had the Paluma Push, Cardwell MTB Challenge, BOOM CX Classic, Twin Bridges Tussle, crit racing for the roadies, and a bit of gravel grinding on the Crepe Escape (with Wil Bird) aaaaand ... I’ve gotta take a breath!


After rolling the Rubach boys at the RRR, Oliver Phillips (Pump'n'Pedals) narrowly missed the overall win at the Paluma Push. Dan Rubach must’ve trained the house down to edge him out by a nail-biting 13sec, with Jeff Rubach a further 18sec back in third. Sisters, Anita Narula (Bicycle Centre/Liv) and Sarah Kaehler (Astute Financial/Discovery Cycles), again showed their talent (and good genes) claiming 2nd and 3rd overall behind Ruth Corset. Other noteable Cairns' rider performances at Paluma were recorded by; Isaac Fleming, Linc Carolan, Pup Miller and Peter Craig. Full 2016 Paluma Push results here.

Oliver Phillips celebrates his 2016 RRR win on Four Mile Beach

Dan Rubach grabbed another victory at the Cardwell MTB Challenge, besting brother Jeff home by half a second, with Julie Sager taking the women's title in almost 5hrs. Brendon Skerke (Astute Financial/Disovery Cycles) flew the flag for the Cairns crowd, taking 4th overall and winning the Masters Category. Full results here.

The BOOM CX Classic was awesome! Stay-tuned for the full story in bite-sized doses over the coming months.

2016 BOOM CX Classic

The Twin Bridges Tussle had more mud than the Glastonbury Festival, with heavy rain on the track the night before making for some sticky rainforest racing. Against a strong field, Oliver Phillips punched out another amazing effort to take the win in the 50k race, with Linc Carolan 2nd and Kieran Mouldey 3rd. Anita Narula did little to improve the family Christmas table atmosphere getting a good win over sister Sarah Kaehler in the soggy race conditions. Full results here.

Sarah Kaehler - Paluma Push

Unfortunately, the roadies have been a bit hampered by the weather and some conflicts with other racing but they did manage to get in a round of the Trinity Cycles Criterium Series on the 24th of July. Wayne Evans worked hard to make the break stick in A-grade edging out Gary Haydon. Some great racing across all categories - check out the ‘Jonesy Report’ here for a colourful description of all the day’s racing.

What's the Crepe Escape (gravel grind)? It’s; riding bikes at a comfortable pace, on good gravel roads, talking all sorts of rubbish ... followed by delicious crepes and great coffee. OMG, it’s the perfect social experience on a bike!

Gravel Grind


Aimee Ingram is tearing the cranks off her S-Works Amira in training and is heading South this weekend for Round 5 of the Subaru Women’s National Road Series. Aimee is having an incredible year and is now racing regularly for the Total Rush team at the highest level in Australia. Next time you see her out on the road give her a squirt with your water bottle (or NOT) and a massive congrats, she deserves it. Check-out her Rush Women's Team facebook page here.

Rush Women's NRS Team

Dunc Murray, Fi Yard, Damien Ingram, Wayne Evans, Mark Hogan and Dom Hoyal are deep in training pain for the 2016 Melbourne to Warnambool Classic - one of Australia’s most iconic one-day road races - to be held on 15th October 2016. What's involved? A mere 278km of wind, cold, tears and going deep just to get to the finish before the cut off. Dunc’s been there a few times before, but for everyone else it’s a real journey into the unknown.

Gary Haydon and Fi Yard are heading over to Perth in a couple of weeks for the World Amateur Cycling Championships. Fi is targeting the TT with her Trek Speed Concept dialled to within an inch of its life, whilst Gary’s been punching the hills and the watts and is confident of a good result in the road race.

ELEV8XCM this weekend, apparently over 300 riders registered.

The Cardiac Challenge is fast approaching, as observed by the Sunday bunch rides smacking out the km's along Maitland Rd. Keep at it you lot, a great ride that’s doing a power of good.

Cardiac Challenge

REVIEW - Maxxis Rambler 700x40C tyres

This week’s review the Maxxis Rambler 40mm gravel/adventure tyre. Of the 4 bikes on the BOOM CX Classic 3 were rolling on ‘em. Gav Scott and I discovered them not long ago trawling through the tyres available from Maxxis that were a reasonable price, suited a CX bike and could be used on just about any surface. They’re available in 60 and 120 TPI (both tubeless ready). I opted for the 120 TPI set with EXO protection as I wanted to set them up tubeless and use them on the BOOM. A bit of tape on my non-tubeless ready Giant TCX wheels and bam! ... beaded straight away. Bit of Joe’s No Flats sealant and they were perfect, no leaks and sat nice and straight on the rim.

They have a low block tread pattern that looked like it’d probably fill up pretty quickly in sticky clay - which was the case on the CREB Track, but then the way that track was (apart from chains) nothing would have worked. I reckon there’d still be 4WD’s stuck in there now. Apart from that, they’re awesome! They were great on the gravel, steering was direct and confident into and on the corners. I like my tyres a bit harder so on the BOOM they sat at about 50PSI on the gravel and 60ish on the road. The Ramblers at 50psi on the gravel soaked up bumps nicely but still gave the feeling of being light and responsive for the punchy little climbs on Black Mtn Rd. They did a great job on the Bump Track, which was dry and dusty on the top half, with loose over hard on the slopey bit. Dom and I managed to get a good pace up and I felt confident on both surfaces; they just seem to stick really well, smoothed out the rough and did the job. On the road they were awesome, with average speeds around the 35k-40km mark between Mossman and Daintree they rolled really well. Only one flat for the day on Dunc’s bike, though he was the only one running the Ramblers non-tubeless, so might have been a pinch or a bit of glass. All up a great ‘adventure’ do anything tyre that I can’t recommend highly enough. They retail for about $80-$90 for the 120TPI ones (they’ll last well and are worth the investment). Order through Bicycle Centre or your preferred retailer.

Busy column as it’s the first one, and I know there’s heaps of fantastic riding going on despite the s#*@house weather. I’m happy to mention anything in the column and will look at any reader contributions about anything cycling, just email me on If you want anything reviewed, again just drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do. Next column will have ELEV8 results as well as some road racing and whatever else I can dig up.




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