Sydney’s Jon Odams and Kate Kellett from Torquay claimed the elite AusCycling 24 Solo National Championships in Lithgow.
The duo were awarded the coveted green and gold stripes among a group of 10 newly announced 24 Hour Solo National Champions for 2022 across a range of age classifications.
Solo endurance athletes from all along the East Coast of Australia and Tasmania – 41 men and 13 women – lined up as part of the field of 300 mountain bikers at Lidsdale State Forest in Lithgow, the heart of the Seven Valleys Region.
Odams had been memorising the course well during the first part of the race, which was a strategy he benefited from during the night laps.
The all-rounder who races across many mountain bike disciplines, including gravity, gravel and shorter endurance events, completed his last 24-hour event appearance over 10 years ago in 2011.
He added that he had specifically included night rides in the preparation for the nationals event this year. It was during those consistent night laps, that he was able to create a solid gap to his competitors, finishing with 47 laps in 23h25:31. The 40 year-old executed a perfect 24-hour race with a solid pit crew, no major mechanicals or physical upsets and said,
“This was a fast and tough race the whole way through. A huge thank you to the organisers for such a good event and course. Now to let the body rest and enjoy many treats.”
In outright second place was Jason English, the seven-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion from Newcastle and a legend of the sport who clocked in 46 laps in 23hr45min37.
With the gap to Odams increasing during the highligh experienced ultra-endurance athlete punched out solid laps in the early morning hours to secure the silver medal in the 40-49-year classification behind Odams ahead of Alwynn Miller from Inverell (-5 laps). In third outright in the mens was Mick Sherwood from Tamworth (-2 laps).
The women’s solo outright winner Kate Kellett didn’t leave anything out on track and dominated the women’s field from the first lap.
“This medal means the world to me. This race has been very important to me and I trained on a specific ultra-endurance programme for months. It’s been a great, but still brutal course.”
She said that second-placed Kaydee Raths had been very strong right from the start too and that had put quite a lot of pressure on her. The 40-year old Kellett from Torquay finished on 37 laps after 23h51:22 with a gap of 35min28 ahead of the US-born Kaydee Raths from Tasmania.
In third outright was the Jetblack 24 Hour title defender from last year, Gwynn McLeod from Canberra.
The Championships was run in conjunctions with the JetBlack 24 event.
Photo credit: OuterImage