Otway Odyssey & Great Otway Gravel Grind return for 12th Year

Entries have opened for one of Australia’s most renowned mountain bike marathons, the Otway Odyssey presented by Focus that will see hundreds of riders race through the spectacular Otway Ranges near Forrest in south-western Victoria from 24th-25th February 2018.

The 12th edition of the event features the popular 100km Odyssey, 50km Shorty and 30km Rookie mountain bike races, as well as the kids’ 10km Pioneer event, all starting and finishing amongst a huge bike expo and food festival at the Forrest Football Ground.

“it really is a mountain biker’s marathon with all the sick single track! I love the Odyssey” – Peta Mullens

After its hugely successful inception in 2017, The Great Otway Gravel Grind (The GOGG) will also return so road riders, gravel enthusiasts and recreational riders of all styles can enjoy a scenic but challenging 49km or 97km ride on the Range’s smooth rolling dirt roads as part of this popular new riding format. The GOGG was an instant hit last year as it requires no specific skills, bikes or knowledge to enjoy a traffic ride through the areas magnificent tall timber forests.

A particular focus of this year’s Otway Odyssey is to increase female participation in the events with a broad range of initiatives, support and information for female riders under the banner of Otway Angels. Rapid Ascent is tackling the barriers for women wanting to take the first step into racing via a range of new skills programs, partnerships, networking opportunities, course recces and special events to help improve accessibility of the sport to female riders.

Defending Otway Shorty 50km champion and event ambassador Kim Willocks said she would love to see more women riding and participating in mountain bike events, and getting as much out of it as she does. “Pedalling through the bush on a mountain bike during a race, a social ride or even solo is so fulfilling,” Willocks said. “My advice to any females considering entering an event like the Otway Odyssey, who are a little apprehensive about taking the leap, is to choose an event like the 30km Pioneer designed for beginner riders, train as much as you have time for, and just have fun and enjoy the moment. This will be my fourth time racing the Odyssey. I love testing myself by racing my bike, especially through the bush alongside equally competitive riders!”

Along with increasing numbers of female riders, the Otway Odyssey always attracts many of the best riders from across Australia who not only chase the titles but also attempt win the $10,700 in cash prizes split between the MTB and The GOGG races.

“We want to extend a very big welcome to all female riders who may have been a bit nervous about racing in the past. We hope things like the women’s only 30km race start and other ideas make women feel welcome.”

Four-time 100km Odyssey champion and reigning Queen of the Otways, Peta Mullens, said the Otway Odyssey was her first ‘challenge’ marathon and is one that keeps her coming back year after year. “Over the years the course has changed and it’s gone from my most feared XCM to my most loved. I remember the walking and the mud in the early days! Instead of beastly climbs the track is made up of flowy single track for days; it really is a mountain biker’s marathon with all the sick single track! I love the Odyssey,” Mullens said.

Peta Mullens, four time Otway Odyssey champion

The Otway Odyssey MTB Marathons have become the most well regarded races in Australia, providing an incredible MTB experience for any rider – from Australia’s elite to young juniors just starting out.

Race organisers at Rapid Ascent are gearing up for huge another weekend in 2018 with over 1,500 competitors and several thousand spectators expected to descend on the Forrest region for the event. “The Otway Odyssey is such a special weekend, it’s where riders from all over Australia and with all backgrounds congregate to experience both the thrill of racing on some of Australia’s best trails, as well as the satisfaction and reward of conquering a personal challenge,” said Sam Maffett, General Manager, Rapid Ascent. “We are particularly excited about the Otway Angels initiatives and we want to extend a very big welcome to all female riders who may have been a bit nervous about racing in the past. We hope things like the women’s only 30km race start and other ideas make women feel welcome.”

The action gets underway on Saturday 24th February with the mountain bike races; the 100km Odyssey, the 50km Shorty and the 30km Rookie, all starting and finishing amidst a huge bike expo and food festival at the Forrest Football Ground. The GOGG races and the kids 10km Pioneer MTB will be held on Sunday 25th February.

All courses of the Otway Odyssey take advantage of the extensive network of singletrack and 2WD roads of Forrest and the Otways. Combined with the beauty on offer in the Great Otway National Park, the electrifying race atmosphere and sense of satisfaction you get when you finish in the middle of the massive event festival, it’s an event not to be missed.

Entries to the 2018 Otway Odyssey are now open online at www.OtwayOdyssey.com.au

The Final Fling: Entries Open

Wild Horizons and Save the Children Australia are very excited to announce that The Highland Fling, one of Australia’s largest, longest established and most iconic mountain biking events, will be going ahead for its 13th edition on 12 November 2017. It is planned that this will be, after all those years, The Final Fling.

Wingello State Forest features incredible, flowing single track

The Final Fling will also be a major fundraiser for Save the Children Australia, raising funds to support the superb work they do for children and families in 24 countries around the world. In announcing the partnership, Paul Ronalds, CEO of Save the Children Australia, had this to say: ‘Save the Children Australia is very excited to be the charity partner of The Highland Fling mountain bike marathon. The funds we receive from the event will support our work in Australia and overseas, giving children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

We’re delighted to continue our extremely close relationship with Huw Kingston, founder of Wild Horizons – the organisation behind The Highland Fling. Huw is an Ambassador for Save the Children Australia and our largest ever individual fundraiser, so we are very pleased that he has seen fit to add another layer to this relationship.’

For many, the Fling isn’t the most serious ‘race’

Speaking on behalf of Wild Horizons, Huw Kingston was very happy about the decision: For over a dozen years The Highland Fling has brought together an incredible community of riders, supporters, sponsors, local community groups and local businesses to celebrate a festival weekend of all things MTB. It has put millions of dollars into the regional economy and offered a fundraising platform for numerous Southern Highlands community groups, the community in which we live. A number of factors saw us consider cancelling the 2017 event. We’d lost a couple of key sponsors for 2017 and had also had enough of the seemingly endless inefficiencies of our local Council. However part also related to my own personal priorities changing; a desire to spend even more of my energy engaging with the pressing issues of plastic pollution, children suffering disadvantage, and of course my own outdoor adventures and journeys.

However, when we announced the event might not happen in 2017, the groundswell of support was huge. In a bit of a light bulb moment, the solution appeared. Why not use the event as a fundraiser for Save the Children, an organisation I already have a very close relationship with? That, in conjunction with our incredible organising team, the support of the mountain biking community and the local Southern Highlands community surely meant we should do at least one Final Fling. A very worthwhile Fling!’

The Highland Fling attracts Australia’s best MTB marathon racers; Peta Mullens has claimed a handful of wins.

Hopefully the event will go out with a bit of a bang and raise a substantial amount for Save the Children Australia. In addition to the proceeds of the event going to the charity, there will also be plenty of opportunities for personal fundraising.

However amongst this good news is some sad news. In 2015 the Fling weekend grew to include the Bundy Run, a trail running event showcasing the delights of Morton National Park on the edge of Bundanoon. This young event attracted a new outdoor audience and saw a solid increase in numbers year-on-year. However the loss of that event’s headline sponsor last year due to their moving out of the running market (and our inability to attract a replacement) has meant that the financials do not stack up from a fundraising perspective. It is with a very heavy heart that we announce that the Bundy Run will not take place in 2017. We would like to thank all those runners who have supported that event in the past two years.

Wild Horizons would like to say a big thanks to everyone and in particular, our sponsors for bearing with us whilst decisions were made.

We look forward to seeing you at the Final Fling!

Entries for the 2017 Highland Fling are now open here.

For further information on the work of Save the Children Australia visit www.savethechildren.org.au

6-year-old Phuong Sophon in his 2nd grade lesson on writing and word recognition. Save the Children work with the Provincial Education Office in strengthening access to schools and improving the quality of education by giving technical support, capacity building as well as providing materials and furniture to target schools.

Hamilton Takes Victory and Mullens Smashes Women’s Record at The 10th Giant Odyssey

Young gun Chris Hamilton has broken the reign of 6-time winner Chris Jongewaard to claim victory of the epic 100km Giant Odyssey in Forrest, Saturday 20 February.

Peta Mullens smashed the women’s course record by 7 minutes to finish in a time of just 5hrs, 6minutes. That’s three wins at the event for Mullens – 2011, 2012 and now 2016.

Over 1,200 riders took part in this year’s 10th anniversary edition of the Giant Odyssey at Forrest, Victoria. The Giant Odyssey is known as one of the toughest mountain bike marathons and continues to attract an impressive lineup of riders. It also caters for novice and junior riders with a range of distances to suit all abilities.

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In the premier 100km Giant Odyssey event Chris Hamilton worked with team mate Tasman Nankervis, who finished 2nd overall, to push Jongewaard to his limit and the 20-year-olds proved too strong in the hills on the final loop of the race to take lead position and secure the top 2 steps on the podium.

“For these marathon races you need to play it pretty smart and being able to work with Tasman was good. We pushed on the first King of the Mountain climb to test the field and felt we were in pretty good form. Chris was ahead going into the last big climb but Tasman was helping to set a good tempo and then we hit Chris about half way up and managed to pull away from him. Tasman and I were pretty evenly managed but I just had a little more than him there at the end,” said overall winner Chris Hamilton.Stewart_Gault-ByMattHullPhotography

Adrian Jackson, who won the event in 2010, finished in 3rd with Jongewaard 4th and Paul van der Ploeg rounding out the top 5 men.

“From the start I knew Chris and Tasman were strong and were going to push me but I didn’t give it up, I gave it everything I had but the boys were just a lot stronger on the climbs. It’s never really about coming here to win; it’s about enjoying the trails and the atmosphere and I certainly did that,” said Chris Jongewaard.

In the women’s category Peta Mullens finished 13 minutes ahead of second placed Renata Bucher who won the event in 2013, with Jodie Willett in 3rd, Rebecca Locke 4th and 10-time Giant Odyssey rider Jessica Douglas rounding out the top 5 women.

“I’ve been bridesmaid here two years in a row by very small margins. This year I tested the others on the early climbs and at 3 hours I still felt really good so I just tempo’d up the climb to try to break the record on the timed descent. I’ve got a good endurance base behind me and I love the Giant Odyssey and it’s really good to be back and to win again, especially for the 10th edition. This really is a mountain biker’s marathon with all the sick single track out there but it also caters for everyone with the 50 and the 30km events so I hope everyone had as good a day as me,” said female winner and new record holder Peta Mullens.SupersportImages_Peta_Mullens

Also competing today were 8 people who have finished the gruelling 100km event every year since it started in 2007, known as the ‘Odyssey faithfuls’. Congratulations to those riders who have now done 10 Odysseys: Jessica Douglas, Neville Bird, Lee Floyd, Brian John, Bevan Kerr, David Rusden, Dave Scarlett and Craig Sullivan.

“Every Odyssey is a bit different and every one is special but I love it every time and I’ll keep coming back. The trails are awesome and I won’t be stopping for anything,” said 10-time rider Brian John.

It was tight racing in the popular 50km Giant Shorty event with Jack Lamshed finishing first, ahead of Warren Faneco in 2nd and Matt Ligtermoet in 3rd.

“There were 5 of us in the lead pack and then I broke away in the climb on the last loop. After finishing 3rd twice previously it was good to get the win today. The trails were beautiful and clean, it was a good race and a really nice day out,” said 50km winner Jack Lamshed.Giant_Odyssey-ByMattHullPhotography

Karen Hill was the clear winner in the women’s 50km, finishing more than 20 minutes ahead of Belinda Hadden and Margaret Clark.

“It was a good short, hard race. The trails were really good, I always love coming down here and Track 15 is one of my favourite trails so that was a really fun way to finish today,” said Karen Kill, women’s 50km winner.

“That was an absolute hoot, I loved it. Fast and furious, and plenty of good company on the course, it was an absolute pleasure,” said Belinda Hadden from Geelong.

“There are 6 of us from Adelaide who have come over together; it’s a great weekend away. It’s the second time I’ve been here and I absolutely love it. The downhill sections are beautiful. The uphill is tough but it’s part of it and I love all the single track,” said Derek Blacker, 50km rider.

Then 200 less-experienced riders took on the new 30km Giant Rookie event. This event has been specifically designed for novice riders and developing juniors. First across the line was Darian Murnane in the men’s and Natalie Saunders was first female.

“It’s a great concept, my 13 year old son is doing it too and he’s super excited – it’s a great way for him to be involved,” said Darian Murnane.Giant_Grommets_ByMattHullPhotography

“I fell off but it was all good. It was the perfect distance and the trails were really good. I’ll do the 30km again next year but then I want to have a go at the 50km,” said 15 year old Joel from Ballarat.

In the afternoon focus turned to the kids with the 10km Giant Pioneer event and the new Giant Grommets ride.

Riders in the 10km Giant Pioneer included lots of young ones (the youngest being just 6 years old) as well as some riders at the other end of the age scale with Rod and Patsy Bush aged 68 years. This event is designed for new comers to mountain biking and gives them an achievable taste of the Forrest trails.

The Giant Grommets is another new feature of the event this year and encourages little kids to get on their bikes and have some fun. Fifty kids aged between 3 and 8 took part in an obstacle race, bike limbo and other fun bike activities.SupersportImages_Paul_van-der_Ploeg SupsersportImages_Happy_finishers SupersportImages_Paul_van_der_Ploeg_2 Giant_Pioneer-ByMattHullPhotography

Race organisers Rapid Ascent were rapt with the success of the 10th edition of the event.

“We are so proud that the Giant Odyssey is still going strong after 10 years. The event has a reputation for being one of the toughest and most respected mountain bike events in Australia and has had a huge following right from the word go with 1,000 riders participating every year since,” said Sam Maffett, General Manager, Rapid Ascent.

“Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this event across its 10 year history. It’s such a supportive and friendly event atmosphere, the extensive network of single track in Forrest is second-to-none, and we hope to see the event continue for at least another 10 years,” he said.


OVERALL RESULTS

 

Giant Odyssey 100km

 

Top 5 Male

1. Chris Hamilton 4:18.20

2. Tasman Nankervis 4:18.32

3. Adrian Jackson 4:22.18

4. Chris Jongewaard 4:23.54

5. Paul van der Ploeg 4:25.29

 

Top 5 Female

1. Peta Mullens 5:06.14

2. Renata Bucher 5:19.40

3. Jodie Willett 5:24.29

4. Rebecca Locke 5:33.30

5. Jessica Douglas 5:35.58

 

King of the Mountain: Chris Hamilton 1:00.26

Queen of the Mountain: Peta Mullens 1:16.12

 

Giant Shorty 50km

 

Top 3 Male

1. Jack Lamshed 2:13.38

2. Warren Faneco 2:17.52

3. Matt Ligtermoet 2:18.33

 

Top 3 Female

1. Karen Hill 2:27.41

2. Belinda Hadden 2:50.40

3. Margaret Clark 2:51.24

 

Giant Rookie 30km

 

Top 3 Male

1. Darian Murnane 1:25.45

2. Ron Thomas 1:27.00

3. Adam Vesey 1:27.26

 

Top 3 Female

1. Natalie Saunders 1:45.35

2. Laura White 1:56.32

3. Lucinda Rourke 2:02.02

 

Giant Pioneer 10km

 

Overall Junior Winners

1. Otto Crawford 0:28.21

2. Oli Bailey 0:28.35

3. Calum Moir 0:30.11

 

Handcyclists

 

Overall Winner: Michael Forbes 0:48.37

 

For full results and competitor photos refer to www.GiantOdyssey.com.au

Seven In A Row For English And Thomas Returns At The 2014 Australian Solo 24 Hour

The seventh JetBlack 24 Hour mountain bike endurance event was held at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan in Sydney on the weekend. For the first time, the JetBlack 24 Hour also hosted the official Australian 24 Hour Solo National Championships and Jason English from Port Macquarie (NSW) defended his title in the men’s overall. Victoria’s cross-country racer Tory Thomas re-claimed the women’s title after a victory in 2004 again at Mt Annan.

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Jason English on track to his seventh 24H Solo National title at Mt Annan.
Event promoters from Rocky Trail Entertainment gathered close to 400 competitors and over 300 supporters and event crews to one of the most iconic cycling events in Sydney. The JetBlack 24 Hour this year also hosted the official Australian 24 Hour Solo National Championships. Almost one fifth of the field competed in the race for the official national titles and in the men’s the big race favourite confirmed his dominance in the sport. The five-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion Jason English from Port Macquarie claimed the national title for the seventh time in a row on the popular 9.8km track that included some brand-new sections, which were launched right in time for the event.
“The last time I raced here was in 2011 and since then the track has changed a lot. It’s longer, has a lot more great features that are fun to ride and in a 24-hour race that keeps you on your toes. I have to admit that it was a very tough day out and looking at how it unfolded it could have been anyone’s race. I’m very happy to win number seven!” exclaimed an ecstatic English. Race conditions had been tough with temperatures climbing into the low thirties and the competition for the green and gold jersey of the overall solo winner was fierce.
Jason English crosses the line at Mt Annan after over 350km in 24 hours (36 laps of the 9.8km course).
Jason English crosses the line at Mt Annan after over 350km in 24 hours (36 laps of the 9.8km course).
Andrew Lloyd from Newcastle was one of the strongest contenders early on and eventually won his  23-29 age group title. Sam Moffitt and David Speering from Canberra came in second and third overall after 24 hours of racing and Michael Timp from the Central Coast’s Noraville in NSW claimed fourth. Kevin Pullen from South Australia was fifth.
Interstate riders flock to Mt Annan
Almost 50 riders from interstate competed in the JetBlack 24 Hour event – the Commonwealth Games racer Tory Thomas from Victoria took out the women’s 24 Hour solo national title and with 33 completed laps phenomenally claimed the fifth overall place in the entire solo field. Thomas last had won the coveted title in 2004 and spoke of her history in the sport.
“It’s great! I guess my 24hr career ended against my choice in 2005, I was hit by a car and so I took up cross-country racing but I just wanted one more crack”.
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Race start to the seventh JetBlack 24 Hour event.
Liz Smith from Wollongong proofed to be Tory Thomas’ strongest competitor and attacked her fiercely in the early morning hours of the Sunday. Tory’s determination was unbeatable and Smith couldn’t bridge the gap, finishing in second overall and winning her age group title.
“To come second behind Tory Thomas who has collected so many accolades in her racing career so far makes me proud and I am satisfied with my result”, said Smith who plans to ramp up her endurance training to compete in a 24 Hour Solo World Championship event in the future.
With Meredith Quinlan, Wendy Stevenson and Briony Mattocks three regulars at Rocky Trail races from Sydney’s Northern Suburbs and national title winners in their respective age groups completed the top-five female podium.
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Podium of 24H Solo National Champions of all age groups (l-r): Peter Arch (23-29), Peter Selkrig (50-54), Ash Turner (45-49), Andrew Lloyd (23-29), Briony Mattocks (23-29), Phil Mathewson (60+), Tory Thomas (35-39), Jason English (30-34), Wendy Stevenson (50-54), Meredith Quinlan (40-44), Catherine Wood (45-49), Alex Beedie (U23), Elvio Fernandes (35-39), Liz Smith (30-34).
Team and social 6+6H categories are popular at Mt Annan
Almost half of the entire racing field had competed in sub-categories, which provided participants with a break overnight between six pm and six am.“We find that these 6+6-hour categories are a great introduction into 24-hour racing and they are popular with racers across the board: from endurance riders who prefer not to race at night to juniors and groups of friends and couples”, said Race Director Martin Wisata from Rocky Trail Entertainment.
The overall race win for the team with the most completed laps in the JetBlack 24 Hours race went to the Pedal4Pierce Onya Bike team from Canberra. A team of six riders clocked in 44 laps in just over 24 hours and took out the line honours of the event.

Racing: Wallace and Fay crowned Real Insurance XCM series champions

Canada’s Cory Wallace and Irish national marathon champion Jenny Fay have taken out the 2014 Real Insurance Cross Country Marathon Series following an exciting conclusion to the series at the weekend.

Both Fay and Wallace capped off standout series’, clinching victory in the final round’s Convict 100 in St Albans.

In the men’s series, former Canadian national champion Wallace had a consistent series which included taking out round three’s Wombat 100 and a runner up place in round four’s Tablelands Classic.

Wallace finished the series on 225 points, just 20 points ahead of round one winner Adrian Jackson (205.5 points) while Shaun Lewis (184.5 points) finished third overall, 40.5 points behind Wallace.

After winning round two in Mt Joyce and round four’s Tablelands Classic, Fay took out the series on 248 points, 17 points ahead of national marathon champion Melissa Anset (231 points). Sarah Riley (185 points) rounded out the podium, 63 points in arrears.

Runner up Anset also had a stellar season, finishing on the podium in all four events she competed in, including claiming top spot in both the High Country Classic and Wombat 100.

 

 

Racing: English and Fay Claim Tablelands Classic XCM Marathon

24-hour world champion Jason English (NSW) and Irish national champion Jenny Fay claimed the Tablelands Classic, the fourth round of the Real Insurance Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Series, on a wet and muddy day in the forested Atherton Tablelands.

English overcame Canadian National Marathon Champion Cory Wallace for the top spot on the elite male podium, while Jeff Rubach (QLD) finished third.

“The conditions out there were unbelievable. I have never run out of brake pads before in a race and halfway through this race I was slipping and sliding all over the place. It was a balance between trying to push the limit, push the boundary, push the tyres and see what you can do to keep this gap whilst trying to stay upright.”

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In the elite women’s race, Fay built on a dominant lead after Australian Marathon Champion Melissa Anset (VIC) suffered a flat tyre on the first lap. Sarah Riley (VIC) claimed second place with Anset recovering to round out the podium. The result leaves the Irish and Australian XCM champions with two wins each as the final round in the series approaches.

“I’m doing the European marathon champs in Ireland in June so this was a good test to see how I rolled over mud. I just need to change my tyres but other than that there is nothing much you can do. It’s just about being smooth and relaxed and capitalising on the drier sections when you can and keeping it conservative in the muddy sections.” 

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The Tablelands Classic is just the start of an action packed long weekend of mountain biking in Far North Queensland, with the downhill qualifying and cross country eliminator finals kicking off the racing at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at the Smithfield Regional Park near Cairns today.

The World Cup event thinned the elite male field at Atherton, with Australian XCM Champion Andrew Blair and teammate Shaun Lewis, who came second in the National XCM Championships, skipping the Tablelands Classic to focus on the World Cup Cross Country Olympic (XCO) event instead.

Not all riders have been as selective this weekend, with today’s podium finishers Riley and Wallace electing to back up today’s race and take on the World Cup Cross Country course in the Smithfield Rainforest this Sunday.

A minute of silence was observed before the Atherton race where over 140 riders took to the course, all wearing commemorative ribbons for ANZAC day.

Some took on the full marathon, racing three laps of the course (66 kilometres), while those completing the half marathon covered 44 kilometres (two laps).

The course delivered plenty of single-track, traverses, bushland, rainforest and grasslands and in better weather conditions picturesque climbs and flowing descents, with the challenging conditions forcing many riders to abandon before the finish.

The Real Insurance series concludes on May 3 with the Convict 100 in St Albans, NSW.

 

Interview: Talking Nutrition, With Emily Miazga, The Real Power Girl

Emily Miazga is a real life Power Girl. A phenomenal athlete in her own right, Em is a multisport champion and a three-time winner of the gruelling Speights Coast-to-Coast in New Zealand.

Em is also a qualified nutritionist and the creator Em’s Power Cookies, an awesome ‘real food’ energy bar. Em left her adopted homeland of New Zealand recently, coming to Australia to support one of her athletes, Kim Hurst, in the WEMBO 24hr Solo World Champs. We nabbed her and sat her down in the Flow Lounge to chat; the most common nutrition mistakes, advice for nutrition newbies, high protein diet, cramping… we covered it all! Enjoy.

Racing: The CamelBak Highland Fling Is Just a Stone’s Throw Away!

The 2013 CamelBak Highland Fling mountain bike event is just four weeks away. That’s still plenty of time to get your training on a roll and be ready to leave no stone unturned when you line up for the ninth edition of Australia’s largest mountain bike marathon.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

If you’ve noticed there seems to be a bit of a stone theme, you’re onto something. One of the many things that make the CamelBak Highland Fling unique is its annual theme; designed to ensure that serious racing is also serious fun!

2013 sees The CamelBak Highland Fling go stone-age with a Flingstones theme. And while there is an assurance that no actual stones will be flung (other than flung up by tyres), there could be a dinosaur or two taking to the trails (and we’re not talking about riders in the Grand Masters category).

Briars Highland Fling 2012

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November, the picturesque New South Wales Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon will a celebrate all things mountain biking with the CamelBak Highland Fling welcoming a large field of both Australian and international elite riders, category racers and weekend warriors, together with their support crews, families and friends.

Last year's podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.
Last year’s podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.

2012 men’s champion Adrian Jackson will be back to defend his title saying: ‘The Fling is one of my big targets for the second half and I hope to hit it in top form. It’s rated in the top tier of marathon races by all elites. To win one is an honour but to win back-to-back, is legend making.’

Making sure it’s not an easy win will be a stacked men’s elite field including 2012 2nd and 3rd place-getters Dylan Cooper and Brendan Johnston, Swell Specialized team mates Andy Blair and Shaun Lewis, along with Dan McConnell, keen to show his form locally after a stellar world championship season in which he placed 2nd overall in the World Cup Series.

The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.
The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.

Defending women’s champion Jenny Fay has just picked up the Irish National Marathon Jersey after a win in Italy too, but she will be back in Australia, and in top form, to ensure she makes it three in a row at The Fling. The likes of Australian XC champion Peta Mullens from VIC and Jo Bennet from WA will be keen to stop the hat trick.

Former Singlespeed World Champion Garth Weinberg from NZ, will be over to shake up the Full Fling SS category and no doubt will finish up toward the pointy end overall too.

In the 100 Mile Fling local elites including title holder Ed Macdonald will be battling it out with international riders including the UK’s Matt Page. 2012 Half Fling winner Kyle Ward is stepping up to the Full Fling in 2013. Can his 18 year old younger brother Jayden, recent victor in the Kowalski 50km event, hold onto the family honour by keeping out last year’s 2nd place rider Andrew Arthur, 50km specialist Brad Morton and evergreen old foxes like Matt Fleming?

The main racing takes place on Sunday 10th with riders selecting the 110km Full Fling, 55km Half Fling or 100Mile Fling, with routes winding through mixed terrain. Private farmland tracks cross into the beautiful forest and gully trails of Wingello State Forest. Open paddocks become rough 4WD trails and flowing single track. Challenging climbs are rewarded with sweet descents.

Leading into the main event are also a host of sideshow events across the weekend, including the Casual Fling to cater for those who prefer a more social ride and the Bundanoon Dash for those who like their racing fast and furious.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

The Battle of the Businesses, for locals only, provides stunning costumes for spectator entertainment, while those who like to race without having to put any power to the pedal can line-up for the second Rolloff World Championships.

For young racers, Saturday’s Kids Skills Clinic tips can be tried out in the hotly contested Todds Real Estate Kids Fling on Sunday.

 

Racing: The CamelBak Highland Fling Is Just a Stone's Throw Away!

The 2013 CamelBak Highland Fling mountain bike event is just four weeks away. That’s still plenty of time to get your training on a roll and be ready to leave no stone unturned when you line up for the ninth edition of Australia’s largest mountain bike marathon.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

If you’ve noticed there seems to be a bit of a stone theme, you’re onto something. One of the many things that make the CamelBak Highland Fling unique is its annual theme; designed to ensure that serious racing is also serious fun!

2013 sees The CamelBak Highland Fling go stone-age with a Flingstones theme. And while there is an assurance that no actual stones will be flung (other than flung up by tyres), there could be a dinosaur or two taking to the trails (and we’re not talking about riders in the Grand Masters category).

Briars Highland Fling 2012

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November, the picturesque New South Wales Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon will a celebrate all things mountain biking with the CamelBak Highland Fling welcoming a large field of both Australian and international elite riders, category racers and weekend warriors, together with their support crews, families and friends.

Last year's podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.
Last year’s podium. Cooper, Jackson and Johnston grabbed the top three spots. Jackson took the novelty cheque, Coops got the beer, Brendan got the award for best attempt at a moustache.

2012 men’s champion Adrian Jackson will be back to defend his title saying: ‘The Fling is one of my big targets for the second half and I hope to hit it in top form. It’s rated in the top tier of marathon races by all elites. To win one is an honour but to win back-to-back, is legend making.’

Making sure it’s not an easy win will be a stacked men’s elite field including 2012 2nd and 3rd place-getters Dylan Cooper and Brendan Johnston, Swell Specialized team mates Andy Blair and Shaun Lewis, along with Dan McConnell, keen to show his form locally after a stellar world championship season in which he placed 2nd overall in the World Cup Series.

The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.
The unstoppable Jenny Fay will be back again to defend her title.

Defending women’s champion Jenny Fay has just picked up the Irish National Marathon Jersey after a win in Italy too, but she will be back in Australia, and in top form, to ensure she makes it three in a row at The Fling. The likes of Australian XC champion Peta Mullens from VIC and Jo Bennet from WA will be keen to stop the hat trick.

Former Singlespeed World Champion Garth Weinberg from NZ, will be over to shake up the Full Fling SS category and no doubt will finish up toward the pointy end overall too.

In the 100 Mile Fling local elites including title holder Ed Macdonald will be battling it out with international riders including the UK’s Matt Page. 2012 Half Fling winner Kyle Ward is stepping up to the Full Fling in 2013. Can his 18 year old younger brother Jayden, recent victor in the Kowalski 50km event, hold onto the family honour by keeping out last year’s 2nd place rider Andrew Arthur, 50km specialist Brad Morton and evergreen old foxes like Matt Fleming?

The main racing takes place on Sunday 10th with riders selecting the 110km Full Fling, 55km Half Fling or 100Mile Fling, with routes winding through mixed terrain. Private farmland tracks cross into the beautiful forest and gully trails of Wingello State Forest. Open paddocks become rough 4WD trails and flowing single track. Challenging climbs are rewarded with sweet descents.

Leading into the main event are also a host of sideshow events across the weekend, including the Casual Fling to cater for those who prefer a more social ride and the Bundanoon Dash for those who like their racing fast and furious.

Briars Highland Fling 2012

The Battle of the Businesses, for locals only, provides stunning costumes for spectator entertainment, while those who like to race without having to put any power to the pedal can line-up for the second Rolloff World Championships.

For young racers, Saturday’s Kids Skills Clinic tips can be tried out in the hotly contested Todds Real Estate Kids Fling on Sunday.

 

Kowalski Classic Entries Closing Soon – Think Quick!

Only 2 days left to enter the Kowalski Classic: Entries close 9pm Friday

The Kowalski Classic features two race distances over the very best trails in East Kowen and Sparrow Hill. Both distances feature a high proportion of singletrack, so get set to rail a monumental amount of corners. This year’s course will take in brand new trails built especially for the race and launched officially on race day.

If you like riding lots of singletrack, then you will LOVE the Kowalski Classic.

It is a single track marathon like no other.

THE FULL KOWALSKI (Circa 90km) / THE HALF KOWALSKI (50km):

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Kowalski Classic 2013 3

It's almost Fling time!

There’s less than one month to go until The Flinging Scotsman departs Central Station in Sydney and delivers eco savvy mountain bikers to the 2012 Briars Highland Fling – Australia’s largest mountain bike marathon and the final race in the 2012 Real Insurance XCM Series, now in its eighth year!

The Fling is always ripper day in the NSW Southern Highlands. Just keep some fuel in the tank for those final climbs!

 

Every year, the Fling has a theme, and for 2012 it’s See Yourself. Expect lots of mirrors on course to give you a look at just how haggard you actually appear at the top of the climbs! Or perhaps you see yourself stomping your way to the win?

The Fling is all about sustainability too, so the Wild Horizons mob have organised ‘The Flinging Scotsman’,  a special charter train to take riders from Central Station to Bundanoon (and return). At $29 it’s cheaper than petrol, speeding tickets can be avoided and race strategies can be planned on route. Then of course there’s the benefit of sleeping all the way home to Sydney after racing hard.

The Flinging stars of tomorrow aren’t left out of the Fling either, so over the weekend there’s a kid’s skills clinic plus the Todds Real Estate Kid’s Fling where they can put it all into practice – 170 kids raced last year.

In addition tho the 110km Full Fling and 55km Half Fling, there’s also the 100Mile Fling – we expect these longer mega-endurance format formats of 150km plus are about to explode. There are other weekend highlight races to keep the legs turning too, with the fast and furious Bundanoon Dash, the 14km Casual Fling, and local legends will contest the Battle of the Businesses dressing up bike and rider.

It’s almost Fling time!

There’s less than one month to go until The Flinging Scotsman departs Central Station in Sydney and delivers eco savvy mountain bikers to the 2012 Briars Highland Fling – Australia’s largest mountain bike marathon and the final race in the 2012 Real Insurance XCM Series, now in its eighth year!

The Fling is always ripper day in the NSW Southern Highlands. Just keep some fuel in the tank for those final climbs!

 

Every year, the Fling has a theme, and for 2012 it’s See Yourself. Expect lots of mirrors on course to give you a look at just how haggard you actually appear at the top of the climbs! Or perhaps you see yourself stomping your way to the win?

The Fling is all about sustainability too, so the Wild Horizons mob have organised ‘The Flinging Scotsman’,  a special charter train to take riders from Central Station to Bundanoon (and return). At $29 it’s cheaper than petrol, speeding tickets can be avoided and race strategies can be planned on route. Then of course there’s the benefit of sleeping all the way home to Sydney after racing hard.

The Flinging stars of tomorrow aren’t left out of the Fling either, so over the weekend there’s a kid’s skills clinic plus the Todds Real Estate Kid’s Fling where they can put it all into practice – 170 kids raced last year.

In addition tho the 110km Full Fling and 55km Half Fling, there’s also the 100Mile Fling – we expect these longer mega-endurance format formats of 150km plus are about to explode. There are other weekend highlight races to keep the legs turning too, with the fast and furious Bundanoon Dash, the 14km Casual Fling, and local legends will contest the Battle of the Businesses dressing up bike and rider.