Words by Flow, Jarrod Quinn | Images by Ken Bell / Alpine High Country

Mountain biking’s come a long way since ’92! Gears have been added then divided, suspension and brakes now work and we’ve seen countless bottom bracket, headset and hub standards come and go. But two things remain, the Mitta to Mt Beauty MTB race and Rob Eva, who won it in 1993 and 1995. Local racer and all-round top bloke, Jarrod Quinn, shares his tales of the 2017 Mitta.


Back in ’08 riders started down the Mitta Mitta golf course.

‘The Mitta’, as its affectionately known, is a 55km point to point mountain bike event from the sleepy township of Mitta Mitta, up and over Trappers Gap and finishing in Mt Beauty, a place well known amongst the cycling community.

For some it’s a race as they try to get their names etched onto the winner’s list alongside the likes of Paul, Neil and Daniel Van Der Ploeg, Steele Von Hoff and Murray Spink. For others its the adventure, the challenge of finishing or trying to better the previous year’s time that draws them to the event.

Wes and Kylie Samson won the tandem category, a decade ago.

The lead group early on in the 2008 Mitta. Neil Van Der Ploeg won that year and Simon Flower (#49) held onto 4th.

This year saw the 26th running of ‘The Mitta’ and the event did not disappoint. After a quick race briefing for Liam Panozzo the field of around 100 riders were set to roll out of Mitta. A neutral start out of the township following the lead vehicle, driven by Joel Panozzo, meant for an organised and calm start to the race. However as the lead vehicle accelerated away it was game time, riders started to string out as the pace stayed steady and people started following wheels to get out of the wind as much a possible.

‘The Mitta’ is unique as there are very few mountain bike events with a whopping 10km climb in the middle, followed by an equally huge descent. The challenge of such a different style of mountain bike event keeps riders coming back year after year.

In 2017 the start is more controlled; a good chance to warm up and share some banter before things get serious.

Race winner Rohan Adams on the front as the lead pack pulls away at Scrubby Creek

As riders hit the first climb the groups started to split and it became a challenge of riding steady to the tops of the climbs and really letting it fly down the long descents, all the while ensuring that you left some energy reserves in the tank for the final tarmac section into Mt Beauty. It was also a challenge to avoid coming unstuck while distracted by the stunning surrounds with views up to Kosciuszko and the NSW Main Range, then Mt Bogong and the Alpine National Park.

The 2017 Mitta was taken out by Rohan Adams in a sprint finish while Kathryn McInerney claimed the women’s title.

Chris Panozzo hiding from the wind and Ken’s camera behind fellow local, Jarrod Quinn

The Mitta is a real Panozzo family affair. Last year Chris lost his lead-out man, so did what he does best.

Huge thanks must go to all of the Team Mount Beauty volunteers and local Mt Beauty Rotary group who give up their time to organise, marshal, set up and pack up such a logistically challenging event. Without their hard work, this event would not be as amazing as it is.

If you’re planning a trip to North East Victoria, perhaps include the last Sunday in October into your schedule and join the next running of the Mitta to Mt Beauty.

In ’08, Matthew Gray had some unexpected company!

See more from Team Mount Beauty at tmb.org.au.

2017 Mitta Results

Open Men

1. Rohan Adams 1.52.14
2. Tim Beardall 1.52.15
3. Jarrod Quinn 2.03.04

Open Women

1. Kathryn McInerney 2.10.36
2. Tory Thomas 2.14.12
3. Allison Lane 2.39.53

Full results can be found here.

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