As anyone who has tried to hold Jason English’s wheel at race will attest, the bloke can ride. He’s not just legs and a massive engine, he’s a quality bike handler too.
But can his skills and absurd fitness see him hang out at the pointy end in Gravity Enduro too? We’ll have to wait and see when Jingles fronts up to race some of Australia’s best Gravity Enduro racers next Monday at Round 1 of the Roller Coaster series at Ourimbah, NSW.
It’s bloody awesome to see a rider like Jason giving GE a shot. This is exactly what makes this discipline of racing so cool; it has appeal for riders of every variety, even 24hr Solo World Champs. And, hey, if Jared Graves can go out and win XCO National Rounds, why can’t Jason go the other way?!
The Rollercoaster Gravity Enduro NSW State Series Powered by Flow Mountain Bike will kick off on Monday, 27th January and organisers from Rocky Trail Entertainment have just confirmed that the current 24 Hour Solo World Champion Jason English will be at the start of at Ourimbah MTB Park near Wyong.
On new terrain in the gravity enduro scene, English will be up against the reigning NSW State Series Champion, Jon Odams from Sydney as well as the local rider Brad Kelly, the winner of last year’s Rollercoaster race at the popular venue on the Central Coast.
“I’ve been following the new gravity enduro format that Rocky Trail has been running in NSW over the past year and am excited to give it a go”, said Jason English for whom it will be a new type of racing event. The ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete from Port Macquarie has been dominating Australian marathon and cross-country endurance events over the past few years and said that he was curious about the new format that has taken the Australian mountain bike racing scene by storm. Event promoters Rocky Trail Entertainment were one of the first to host gravity enduro events in 2012, adapting the popular European and American racing concept for the local terrains. In Australian gravity enduro events the times of two to three race tracks add up to 15-20 minutes and are dominated by technical descents and short pinch climbs with neutral rides or shuttles to the starts in between.
Race director Martin Wisata said that the format had been attracting both downhill and cross-country racers and that he expected the Ourimbah venue to sell out by the weekend, “We have limited the rider number to about 200 to cater for the local track set up and logistics. The track conditions are ideal right now and it will take an all-rounder of a mountain biker to take out the fastest time on this track.” Wisata added that there would be two timed race tracks and that he expected a wide variety of racers at the event, including juniors and female riders. “We have strong male and female elite fields and also the age categories have been very popular. A lot of mates enjoy the ‘pure mountain biking element’ of this type of racing – it’s about a day out on the bikes together and the added competitive challenge of the timed runs.”
The hosting club for this Round 1 will be the Central Coast Ourimbah MTB Club and with Brad Kelly from Watanobbi they have a local downhill favourite on the start line. The 36-year old is one of the regular builders and custodians of the Ourimbah trails he is expected to dominate on his home track. Among the elite riders he will have strong competition from the reigning Gravity Enduro NSW State Series Champion and cross-country whippet, 31-year old Jon Odams from Sans Souci.