Across the weekend (12-13 November 2016) the Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon turned on blue skies and sunshine (OK and a little wind…) to welcome over 1000 riders, plus their friends, families and support crews for a weekend of mountain biking love at the Highland Fling – one of Australia’s longest running, and most iconic mountain bike events.
The Highland Fling kicked off on Saturday afternoon with the Bundanoon Dash, a fast and furious short course around town that sees riders, including mountain biking’s elite, line up to test their legs against each other before the main racing on Sunday. Cameron Ivory backed up again to take the win in 11:22 for the men, and Peta Mullens in 11:49 for the women.
The day wasn’t all about serious racing. The Kid’s Skills Clinic saw our next gen riders picking up some new moves on the bike, spectators were entertained by The String Family and our roving magician, and those who didn’t want to risk their taper took part in the Rolloff World Championships to see who could roll the downhill distance fastest or checked out the latest bling at our Sponsor expo.
Riders were welcomed to the start line on Sunday morning by the traditional dawn Bagpipe wake-up call.
The 100Mile and Full Fling (non-elite) riders set off at 7:20am, followed by the hotly contested Full Fling Elite race. This year saw a very strong line-up including both 2015 winners Andy Blair and Lucy Bechtel. They were joined by contenders Brendan Johnston, Cameron Ivory, Shaun Lewis, Tristan Ward and Michael Potter in the men’s race; and Peta Mullens, Briony Mattocks, Eliza Kwan and Imogen Smith in the women’s race.
In the men’s racing it was Brendon Johnston of Trek Racing Australia who took line honours in 4:21:57, also making him the first rider to win three Highland Fling mountain bike marathons.
“I really had no idea how far in front I was. I left Wingello and tried not to look back. Cam with with me, but I had my plan to make a move on The Kick and despatch him. From there I was by myself. It was as tough a course as ever, but I’ve done the work through the year and am proud to take the win against such tough competition.”
In the women’s race, Peta Mullens was the first to cross the line in a time of 5:08:12, also giving her a third Highland Fling win.
“It was hard out there. Like a five hour time trial! At first Briony, Lucy and I were together and that was the plan, to ride together, but our strengths and weaknesses were just too different. I made a break on a rocky descent and from there hit out on my own. Once I hit that last bit of single track, if there are no other girls with me, I know I should be home. The tailwind on the way home was a nice touch, thanks!”
In the 100Mile, Ed McDonald was once again the strongest rider, taking the win in 7:51:01. In the women’s race, Charlie McCabe took first in 10:33:07.
The 2016 Highland Fling once again featured the Half Fling and Some Fling events, which also saw some fierce racing and a sneak peek at some of the upcoming mountain biking talent.
KEY RACE RESULTS IN THE 2016 HIGHLAND FLING:
Some Fling Men
Ian Watts (1:13:13)
Dylan George (1:14:58)
Zac George (1:17:36)
Some Fling Women
Verity Evans (1:25:07)
Maizy Evans (1:29:34)
Renee Skelly (1:32:58)
Half Fling Men
Matthew Dinham (2:17:52)
Callum Carson (2:09:18)
Lewis Cressy (2:10:52)
Half Fling Women
Emma Viotto (2:38:43)
Charlotte Culver (2:43:56)
Laura Wilson (2:52:40)
Full Fling Men
Brendan Johnston (4:21:57)
Cameron Ivory (4:24:47)
Michael Potter (4:44:32)
Full Fling Women
Peta Mullens (5:08:12)
Briony Mattocks (5:21:21)
Lucy Bechtel (5:30:10)
Ed McDonald (7:51:01)
Max Richardson (8:01:48)
Stephen Tomczyk (8:23:30)
Charlie McCabe (10:33:07)
Courtney Shinn (10:45:43)
Full race and category results are available here.
Find out more about The Highland Fling at
The Highland Fling is made possible with the support of the following event partners:
- Focus Bikes: Born from a passion for the sport.
- Ground Effect: Gear for the cycling revolution
- Shimano: World leading cycling components
- World Expeditions: One of the world’s leading adventure travel companies
- GU Energy: GU FOR IT with fast food for athletes
- Maxxis: One of the world’s most trusted tire brands
- 4 Pines Brewing Company: Because we really, really love beer.
- A full list of Sponsors can be found here.