Stage 3 Reveals its Character and Characters

11 August 2018

With each stage passing and athletes and the event becoming more familiar with each other, the inaugural Reef to Reef has begun to reveal its secrets, its own uniqueness and a range of very distinctive characters.

Stage three brought riders the joy of Mt Molloy, a super quick and intense 63km trek through two national parks that not only tested everyone but introduced us to the sportsmanship that makes MTB such a welcoming and inclusive sport.

After riding together all morning, GC leaders the GIANT Shimano Team of Brendan Johnston and Jon Odams momentarily eased in the finish chute to grant the Total Rush Mornington Cycles Team of Rohin Adams and Brad Clarke line honours.

The gesture had no impact on GC results as both teams are in commanding positions in their categories but Johnston said Adams and Clarke were riding really well and definitely earned it.

“From the start I just sat on the front and looking to see who was willing to come with us,” Johnston said. “Those boys were right on our wheel and there were times when we were trying to get rid of them but they weren’t budging. There was no reason for us to bury ourselves today and it is good for the event if we mix it up. They were riding particularly well so it was good for them to cross the line first this morning.”

Rohin Adams said the catalyst was Clarke’s children requesting he stop coming second and in a wonderful sporting gesture the children were granted their wish.

“At the start of the race I said to Brendan that Brad’s kids want us to win today, is that okay and he said ‘No worries’. A couple of kilometres before the finish line he said that Brad had to cross the line first for his kids. It was one of those days. They stopped to get bottles in the middle of the stage and we told them we would wait. Cycling is an honourable sport and that is what today showed.”

Clarke said the GIANT Shimano boys were very kind.

“My kids were standing beside me at the start line saying ‘Make sure you win dad, make sure you win. No more seconds’. So Brendan and Jon very graciously told us to take the win for the kids. It was very nice of them,” he said.

Reef to Reef Stage 3 lead female Sarah White

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services members continued to have a successful Reef to Reef with two local Cairns firefighters, Nathan Sandford and Sarah White leading the solo categories.

“I am a full time Fire Fighter,” Sarah said. “Both Nathan and I have worked in Cairns for ten years. We are both based out of Westcourt Fire Station.”

The Tablelands based rider was full of praise for the quality of the trails and the work locals had put in to help bring Reef to Reef to the wider MTB community

“A special thanks must go to the Mareeba Mountain Goats, all the Shires and especially the Parks Rangers who have taken the time to get the trails up to speed. I had only heard good things about the trails out here and they were so much fun, rocky and rooty. Through the rainforest, through the scrub and through the cowpats it was really good riding.”

“We have all these trails here, a great network inside and outside the MTB parks, in the National Parks, everywhere, so it is great to be able to show them off to everyone and that everyone has come here to ride them,” she said.

One of the organisations who played a significant role in the inaugural event was the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Mareeba based ranger Robert Miller was delighted to see so many riders enjoying the outstanding infrastructure.

“There is a lot work that goes into a commercial permit to run the event but then there is the ongoing lead up work for Parks is the consistent trail work at Smithfield, Davies Creek and a little bit of stuff here in Mt Molloy on existing fire breaks and fire trails.”

“These trails are well kept secrets that locals have known about for a long time but we are happy to share them and happy to keep people out riding and into back country discovering new parts of North Queensland. It is a big place and well worth exploring,” he said.

One of the many characters racing hard at Reef to Reef is Arlo Guthrie, third overall in what he calls the old farts brigade. The name Arlo Guthrie would be familiar to many music fans but Reef to Reef’s version is the Kiwi variety of the folk legend.

“My mates were fans and so they named me after Arlo Guthrie. That was 50 years ago and it stuck hard, so I call myself Arlo these days. The chef in the Tongariro Ski Club did a gig in Melbourne and he met Arlo and was telling him about this Arlo Guthrie from New Zealand, so Arlo knows of me but I have never met him. I’ll go track him down one day,” John Guthrie aka Arlo explained.

Team GC


Pos      Cat      Name                                              Time                Stage 1                Stage 2            Stage 3

1          Men     Brendan JOHNSTON (100-1)             5:25:45            00:59:40            02:09:14          02:16:50

2          Men     Jon ODAMS (100-2)                         5:25:45            00:59:40            02:09:14          02:16:50

3          Masters  Brad CLARKE (144-2)                    5:34:32             01:03:14            02:14:27          02:16:49         


Pos      Cat      Name                                             Time                Stage 1               Stage 2            Stage 3

1          Mixed  Samara SHEPPARD (143-1)             6:02:21            01:05:32            02:27:36          02:29:12

2          Mixed  Jessica SIMPSON (113-1)                6:29:40            01:14:46            02:33:18          02:41:35

3          Women Anna BECK (109-2)                       6:32:03            01:14:22            02:38:41          02:38:59


Solo GC


Pos      Cat      Name                                      Time                Stage 1             Stage 2              Stage 3          

1          Open   Nathan SANDFORD (2128)        5:39:39            01:02:53          02:12:01            02:24:43         

2          Open   Jeff RUBACH (2127)                 5:44:44            01:05:33          02:14:21            02:24:49         

3          Open   Ben ILES (2112)                      5:49:20            01:05:55          02:18:34            02:24:49         


Pos      Cat      Name                                      Time                Stage 1           Stage 2            Stage 3          

1          Open   Sarah WHITE (2145)              6:34:41            01:13:07          02:39:09            02:42:24         

2          Open   Teresa NOBLE (2142)            6:56:46            01:20:14          02:48:01            02:48:30         

3          Masters 1 Sam STEVENS (2207)      7:55:03            01:33:05          03:05:22            03:16:35