The 2022 Otway Odyssey MTB Marathon was dominated by the Nations’ top riders today in the 100km and 50km courses. This year it certainly was a showcase of quality riding with Melbourne to Warrnambool winner Brendan ‘Trekky’ Johnston and Australian National MTB Champion Rebecca (Bec) McConnell taking out the 100km. Johnston clocked a time of 4:38:39 ahead of National Criterium Champion Cam Ivory in second place (4:40:16) and Sam Fox in third (4:42:27), in a day of challenges on the infamous tough trails of the Otway’s. McConnell posted the winning time of 5:28:03 for the females, ahead of Peta Mullens in 5:34:46, and third-placed Courtney Sherwell in 5:41:17.
All the riders of the 100km and 50km should pat themselves on the back for accomplishing the BEAST that is the Odyssey!! As summed up by Bec…“My level of expectation on pure suffering was at a maximum after last year! Anyone who gets through any of these Odyssey courses is absolutely incredible!”
The 50km Otway Shorty event was won by 18-year-old emerging talent Angus Neaves in 2:23:48 and previous 2015 Odyssey winner Jenni King in 2:57:06. It was great to see so many riders experience the thrills of the Odyssey in its 16th edition.
The 6th edition of the Great Otway Gravel Grind attracted its’ biggest field to date with over 600 riders experiencing just how great riding in the Otways is! The 97km and 49km courses followed a magical line along the smooth rolling dirt roads of the Otway Ranges; with riders also being wowed by the spectacular views over the Great Ocean Road region. The results take into account these time-out zones, resulting in Nankervis taking out the men’s win in a collective overall time of 3:46:38, ahead of Griffin Knight (3:47:08) and third Matthew Bird (3.47:08). For the women, Courtney Sherwell backed up heir third place in the Otway Odyssey with a win, finishing the race in a time of 3.37:52, with Kate Kellett second in 3.46:25 and Liz Taylor in third place overall in 3.54:47.
In addition to the GOGG on the second day, over 300 riders competed in the 30km MTB course which flowed through the popular Forrest trails with many new mountain bikers and developing juniors in the field – plus those Odyssey Angels!
But we can’t forget the 10km MTB Pioneers full to the brim with pumped up ‘kids’ and their mums and dads.
Congratulations and well done to all riders that pushed through the pain cave and got the Otway Odyssey and Great Otway Gravel Grinds done…
words and pictures from Rapid Ascent