Newly married mountain bike champions Andy Blair and Jenny Fay are king and queen of the mountain, while Fay and Mark Tupalski retain GC with two stages remaining…

SNOWY MOUNTAINS, NSW—Mountain biking power couple Andy Blair (AUS) and Jenny Fay (IRL) made it official last week after the couple’s wedding on Sunday. But on Saturday, the newlyweds celebrated their honeymoon with a double victory atop Thredbo at the ‘Thredbo Summit Smash‘ Both smashed out win on over the 21.1km undulating ascent from Lake Crackenback to Thredbo on stage 2 of the inaugural two-day, four-stage Snowy Mountain Bike Festival.

With a rich $10,000 prize purse up for grabs, many of the world’s best have descended on the picturesque resort community of Lake Crackenback, including 20 elite riders, as well as 180 age-group participants.

After both Fay (Swell Specialized) and Mark Tupalski (Torq Australia) took the opening 5.5km time trial to start the day and take the overall lead, riders were allowed a two-hour reprieve before the start of stage 2.

Blair (Swell Specialized), who is fresh off an AMB 100 win two weeks ago, finished at 53:29.66, just two seconds ahead of Dylan Cooper and four seconds ahead of Tupalski, who remains four seconds ahead of Blair for general classification (GC) with two stages remaining – including a 24km descent back to Lake Crackenback late Saturday afternoon.
“It’s only four seconds now,” said Blair, a 35-year-old Canberra native. “I felt pretty good on the downhill sections today, so I look forward to the descent on stage 3. The other two guys are on hardtails, so if I can exploit that I will.”

Tupalski had a mechanical and immediately fell behind at the start.“Yeah, that caused me to play catch-up and it wasn’t until the 12-kilometre mark that I was able to catch up to the leaders due to the heavy traffic,” said the 24-year-old Tupalski.

“Coops and Blairy are much punchier, so they would kick and put 10 metres on me and I would have to chug back.
“Stage 3 will be a tough call, because I’m racing guys that are familiar with the trail and they have an advantage,” concluded the 2014 Cape-to-Cape winner. “But it will be fun.”

For Blair, while stage 3 will be about conserving energy for the 75km cross-country marathon scheduled for the fourth and final stage on Sunday, he is not opposed to taking a chance or two.

“Tomorrow is the long stage, but I think on this stage because it predominantly downhill it’s going to be easier to back yourself and put your cards on yourself a bit,” said Blair.

“The time gains felt like they would be small and I didn’t want to risk it on the way up, but on the way down with gravity helping if the opportunity is there I’ll take it…

For the women, the stage 2 podium was a carbon copy of stage 1, with Fay again on top with a time of 1:01:35.58. Jodie Willet, who was 24 seconds down entering stage 2 falls to 1:49 behind Fay. Switzerland’s Renata Bucher finished third on the stage and remains third on GC at nearly four minutes down with Gwynn Le Maitre knocking on the door at just one minute behind Bucher.

“To be honest, I felt a bit tired with 3km to go and started blowing some doors open,” said Fay. “I knew I needed a bit more of a gap along the way, because I there will be less opportunities to make time on the descent.

“I just need to control the pace on the front on the way down or just sit on Jodie, because I just want conserve energy and try to get away tomorrow to really cement my lead for GC – that’s most important.”

About The Snowies MTB Stage Race:

The Snowies Mountain Bike Festival brings you some of the very best riding found anywhere in Australia. Based in the heart of Australia’s iconic Snowy Mountains, riders wil be challenged with 4 diverse stages that will test speed, endurance, stamina and technical skills. Tackle all 4 stages as a solo or as a team of 2 or 3, OR choose to do the 75k marathon or 30k XC only in this ‘not to be missed’ Mountain Bike Experience. For more information visit the Snowies MTB Festival HERE

About In2Adventure:

In2Adventure are Asia-Pacific’s premier adventure event specialists. With a full calendar of national events scheduled throughout Australia, including adventure races, cross triathlon, XC Mountain Bike, trail runs and corporate events, In2Adventure fully embraces all things ‘off road’ and ‘off the beaten track’ and offers a unique, individual experience for all ages and skill levels. For more information visit In2Adventure HERE

Upcoming Events (2014/15):

  • TreX Cross Triathlon Back 2 Back – Sunshine Coast, 17/18 Jan 2015
  • Snowies MTB Stage Race – Snowy Mountains, NSW, 21/22 February 2015
  • Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships – Snowy Mountains, NSW, 28 Feb-1 March 2015
  • TreX Cross Triathlon Championships – Sunshine Coast, QLD, 2/3 May 2015

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Photo Credit: Courtesy In2Adventure

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February 21st, 2015 / News