Racing: Bundanoon’s Highland Fling, a Weekend of Racing in the Southern Highlands

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.grp_whhf16-0570

“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.grp_whhf16-0405 grp_whhf16-0619

“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.grp_whhf16-0631


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)

 

100Mile Men

Ed McDonald (7:51:01)

Max Richardson (8:01:48)

Stephen Tomczyk (8:23:30)

100Mile Women

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

http://www.wildhorizons.com.au/highland-fling

 


The Highland Fling is made possible with the support of the following event partners:

Major Sponsors:

  • 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.

Johnston Prevails for Back to Back Titles

While Olympic selection is his focus, Brendan Johnston proved he still is a force in the marathon discipline taking out his second straight Elite Men’s Australian Marathon Championship at Derby, Tasmania on Sunday.

 

The Canberra rider had too much class at the end of the 90km race to claim back-to-back green and gold jerseys ahead of Tasman Nankervis (VIC) and Scott Bowden (TAS).

Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens
Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens

“I was super nervous coming into the race. I didn’t expect to win it once let alone twice so really happy with how I’m going with my form,” an elated Johnston said.

 

“Had great amount of power which I didn’t think I would have in the last lap and pretty thankful for that and really enjoyed it to the finish.”

 

After a early shower before the start, which would ensure a muddy day out for the riders, it would be a pack of four that would take up the challenge with local hope Bowden, Nankervis, Johnston and XCM National Series leader Andy Blair having broken away from the pack.

 

For Bowden, who had only recently returned from a bronze medal performance at the Oceania Championships in Queenstown, it was his maiden voyage over the long distance.

Scott Bowden
Scott Bowden

 

“That’s my first ever marathon on the mountain bike but it was super good fun out there and I think the muddy conditions made it much harder but it was great.”

 

As Blair dropped off the pack by lap three, the trio would wage a mini war heading into the final climb of the race, before three soon turned into two, Bowden succumbing.

 

“On the climb, we all kind of put in a few little surges but it was Tas put the hammer down on bit of a rough section on the climb and I didn’t quite have the legs and I didn’t feel to bad but thought of might have been able to bridge across but in the end they were just two strong,” the 21 year old said.

 

That left Bendigo’s Nankervis and the defending champ, who at one stage thought he’d be batting to make the podium.

 

Tasman Nankervis
Tasman Nankervis

“I was struggling and I didn’t know how to play it with these guys climbing so well,” said Johnston.

 

But, having conquered the course last year, and with a green and gold jersey on the line, the Trek rider found that extra push and made the break from the 20 year old Nankervis.

 

“After the river crossing Trekky was just too strong. It was a bloody hard race.”

 

Johnston conquered the distance in a time of 4:34:17 more than a minute ahead of Nankervis.

 

“They are really good riders and I was not expecting to ever beat them easy or at all.”

 

Blair would finish fourth with fellow Specialized team-mate Shaun Lewis in fifth.

 

Full results: http://my6.raceresult.com/51401/?lang+#1_2FCCD2

Mullens Marathon Joy in Derby

A late decision to compete at the Australian Marathon Championships has paid off for Peta Mullens, with the Victorian claiming the Elite Women’s title at Derby, Tasmania.

Jenny King
Jenny King

It is the second time the Bendigo rider has taken out the XCM National title, the last back in 2012.

“I was originally going to race and after Oceanias I had a rough run and thought I probably need to have a big break into Cairns. But was feeling good in training and couple of ergo sessions and really had the itch to race.”

 

Mullens would finish right on four hours.

Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens
Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens

 

“All I had to think about was getting to the top of the climb in the last lap and last hour was great fun.”

 

It was an intriguing battle for the minor placing’s with Jenni King (VIC) silver and Briony Mattocks (NSW) bronze.

 

An overcast sky and some light drizzle greeted riders ahead of their 70km journey around the famed Blue Derby trail in Tasmania’s North-East.

 

For Mullens, it would be a cautious start despite coming into the course blind.

 

“Wasn’t sure what my tactic was today and didn’t know whether I’d sit with the girls for a lap to see what Atlas was like cause I hadn’t ridden it.”

 

But the confidence grew and from there, and the former Australian road champion put the hammer down on what riders described as a technical and challenging course.

 

“I felt good on the first climb and thought I’ll try and dishearten them and go out and hurt myself.”

 

While it was only a battle with the clock for the Victorian Mullens, King had to overcome an ordinary first lap where she was sitting in fifth.

 

“I felt terrible at the start but really lucky on the technical descent and those other girls were climbing really well. And I had to put everything in to get second today.”

 

Briony Mattocks, who finished second at the recent National XCM Series in Alice Springs, would produce a gut busting performance.

Briony Mattocks
Briony Mattocks

The Sydney rider, dropped more than a minute on the third and final lap to over-take Eliza Kwan (ACT) and Anna Beck (QLD) to snatch bronze.

 

“I would’ve thought top 5 for me would’ve been exceptional so third I’m beyond happy.”

 

It wasn’t a happy hunting ground for National XCM Series leader Imogen Smith who suffered a technical on the final lap to finish back of the pack.

 

Results: http://my6.raceresult.com/51401/?lang+#12_FA6F0E

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

Kowalski Classic 2015: New Course (Of Course) Details

Now in its fourth year, the Kowalski Classic is a one-day showcase of the famous trails in East Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill. The event celebrates the achievements of local trail builders Paul Cole, Alan Anderson and the mysterious Kowalski Brothers Trailworks, who together have hand built over 100km of flowing trail in East Kowen (the Kow) & Sparrow Hill (the Bird).


 WOAH! Let’s all just pause for a moment there: The Kowalski Brothers, Paul Cole and Alan Anderson have HAND BUILT over 100km of singletrack. That is simply incredible. That alone is reason enough to come ride the Kowalski Classic, just to get an appreciation of what an effort on that scale actually looks like.


WHAT’S NEW IN 2015?New Course (of course). The Kowalski Classic is all about singletrack (in mind bending amounts), so each year we design a bold new course — weaving together our all-time favourites, long lost (seldom ridden) friends and folding in trails we’ve just built for debut on race day. The course is quite different each year and 2015’s will be no exception. Expect a day full of flow, challenge and smiles on this grand tour of skinny dirt. A singletrack marathon like no other.

New Loop Order and Wave Starts. We have made a number of changes to reduce on-track congestion early in the race. The main changes are: 1. Riders in the Full Kowalski will head out on a different 50km loop to the Half Kowalski. 2. We will increase the time gap between wave starts. 3. We will include more passing opportunities (double single track and stabs of fireroad).

New Race Distance. At 25km, the QRTR Kowalski (Tyrion) is a distance that will suit riders coming into the sport as well as those getting back on the bike and unsure if they have the legs for the Half Kowalski. Loads of singletrack and never too far from HQ. Sweet.

Junior Category. The minimum age has been lowered to include riders 12 years and up. (You’ll a ‘yes’ from your parent or guardian though, kiddo!)

Registration at East Hotel. East Hotel are sponsor and Official Accommodation Partner for 2015. Race registration will be held at East Hotel on Friday afternoon and Saturday before race day, so book a room for the weekend, register for the race, collect your event merchandise and kick back in ridiculous comfort. (See the race website for packages)New Trails. Absolutely. The trail builders have been busy in Sparrow and East Kowen, so you can expect to ride lots of new trail (Scroll down for images of work currently under way)

Which distance is for you?
Each race distance features a great combination of our favourite trails so there’s no compromise should you choose something shorter (high on smiles, lower on distance). The Bird is the Word. The Kow is like Wow.

AND THE FORESTS WILL ECHO WITH LAUGHTER

The Kowalski Brothers Trail Crew are hard at work building two bold new trails:

1. Stairway to Heaven is the toughest and longest climb they’ve ever built. Steep, squirrely and downright technical in places, it snakes up the hill in a most devilish way. It features benched traverses, uphill berms and some radical rockwork. Keep something in your tank for this one.
2. The Trail That Cannot be Named (not its real name) is a new descending trail right beside Stairway to Heaven. The terrain is steep and rocky so you can look forward to plenty of features, jumps and a healthy amount of gnar. More technical by design, this trail will ask for your undivided attention, so pack some attitude (and maybe some Band-Aids).

Gold for Blair and Johnston at the Mountain Bike Marathon Championships in Blue Derby

ACT riders Brendan Johnston and Jenny Blair claimed maiden Australian titles today, winning gold at the 2015 Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Championships in Derby, Tasmania, presented by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

The weekend saw two days of exciting mountain bike racing, with age-group riders competing on the Saturday and Elite riders battling for gold on the Sunday, resulting in hundreds of riders and spectators descending on the picturesque riverside town of DerbyMark Tupalski (ACT) and Brendan Johsnton (ACT) led the Elite Men’s race after lap one, with 2014 champion Andy Blair (ACT) sitting in third.

nFSvc
Johnston leads Tupalski.
EliteMenWinnerBrendanJohnstonCrossesTheLine_CreditHeathHolden
Elite Men Winner Brendan Johnston crosses the line.

In what may mark a handover to the next generation of marathon riders, young guns Tupalski and Johnston sat neck and neck for the first two laps.

Descending hard on the final lap, Johnston built an insurmountable lead and rode away with the win.

“I wasn’t overly confident coming in to today,” said Johnston. “I’ve been on it for awhile, since the beginning of the National Series, so I’m getting towards the end of my peak I think and I was worried I might be over the hill but I was able to pull this one out so I’m really happy.

Tupalski and Blair finished in second and third respectively. 

Mens podium. Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships.
Mens podium. Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships.

In the Elite Women’s race, Jenny Blair (ACT) led the pack from the get go, securing herself a two minute lead by the second lap, which she extended to almost 10 minutes on her way to the title. 

“I took advantage of the climb at the start and got away,” Blair explained.  “The girls got back to me a bit but I knew that I’d been training with a change of pace recently so if I could just keep changing the pace I’d wear them out and keep going on my own and that’s exactly what happened.” Irish-born Blair spoke highly of the Blue Derby trails and said she was happy to now have jerseys from both Australia and Ireland.

Elite womens winner Jenny Blair and elite mens winner Brendan Johnston at the podium_Credit_Heath_Holden
Elite women winner Jenny Blair and elite mens winner Brendan Johnston at the podium.

“It is hard racing on them [the Blue Derby Trails] but for the everyday person who wants to come here for the weekend, it’s just amazing.  “The trails are just so manicured – you can really rail it or you can just enjoy it.”

Eliza Kwan (ACT) and Rebecca Locke (VIC) rounded out the podium in second and third. 

Elite women winner, Jenny Blair finishes the Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships at Derby on Sunday.
Elite women winner, Jenny Blair finishes the Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships at Derby on Sunday.
Elite women second place getter, Eliza Kwan is congratulated by third place getter Rebecca Locke.
Elite women second place getter, Eliza Kwan is congratulated by third place getter Rebecca Locke.

In Saturday’s action, local favourite Alex Lack (TAS) dealt well with the pressure of riding at home, taking out the Junior Men’s Marathon title, while Mikayla Wolfe (VIC) won the Under 17 Women’s title.  Spectators were treated to a variety of entertainment over the weekend, including local food stalls and live music.

This is the first time a National race has been held on the Blue Derby trails, with the former mining town enjoying a resurgence, forming a new identity around an ever-expanding mountain bike trail network.

This weekend’s Championship race was also Round 7 of the World Mountain Bike Marathon Series, presented by the UCI, and is a key qualifying criteria for riders to be named on the Australian team for the annual UCI Marathon World Championships.

The Dance with the Devil – XCM National Championships was delivered by a joint partnership between MTBA, Dorset Council and Launceston Mountain Bike Club and MTBA will be returning to Derby next year for the 2016 XCM National Championships. 

Full results can be found at onlineresults.com.au.

Get more info on Derby’s amazing new mountain bike trails here – Flow Nation, Derby, Tasmania.

Golden Triangle Epic Paves The Way For World Class Trail Network in Bendigo

With only a few days to go before race kick-off, the town of Bendigo is set to welcome hundreds of mountain bikers from all across the country to the Goldfields region this Sunday the 26th of April.

The Golden Triangle Epic will be celebrating its 10th year in 2015, and this years event will no doubt be the biggest and best yet. As one of the largest club-run mountain bike events in Australia, the Golden Triangle Epic is unique in that all the money raised from entry fees will go straight back into local trail development.

Competitors can expect a brilliant course for 2015, which includes freshly revamped singletrack that the Bendigo MTB Club has been building as part of its ongoing trail development program in Spring Gully, located just 5km from the centre of town.

GoldenTriangleEpic0

Vice President of the Bendigo MTB Club, Rim Martin, has been spearheading the Trail Development Committee, which is responsible for developing sustainably built trails for the local riding community.

“We have identified Spring Gully as the priority area for MTB trail development in Bendigo”, said Martin.

“There’s already lots of great singletrack in and around the forests of Bendigo, but the emphasis with the Spring Gully Trail Network is to build sustainable, purpose-built trails that are inclusive of all rider types.”

Hand built by volunteers from the Bendigo MTB Club, the new Green loop is only 65% complete but has already become a roaring success for the local riding community.

GoldenTriangleEpic8 GoldenTriangleEpic2

“We have been working within Zone 1 of the study area to develop a beginners Green loop. This trail is already open and is receiving an average of 300+ riders a week,” staid Martin.

Longer term, Martin expects that Bendigo has the potential to develop as a mountain biking centre to rival those of the Alpine regions.

“The intention is that the Spring Gully Trail Network will form the northern entry point to the Goldfields Track; a 210km off-road trail that goes all the way to Ballarat. The really exciting part of the Goldfields Track is that it will connect five mountain bike hubs along its length through Central Victoria with Spring Gully being a key component of this.”

President of the Bendigo MTB Club, David Macauley, is excited about the clubs trail building plans, which are turning into a reality thanks to the 2015 Golden Triangle Epic.

“The money we raise from event entries goes straight into developing the Spring Gully Trail Network” said Macauley.

“We have completed Stage 1 by hand with volunteer labour from our members. The next step is to get a proper trail Master Plan developed for the whole area.”

As for this Sunday, Macauley is looking forward to seeing new riders turn up to experience the fantastic riding that Bendigo already has to offer, including those who are choosing to do the full 160km course option.

“The 100 miler was unique when we launched it. Luckily there were a couple of crazy guys who were willing to give it a go the first time. This year there are over 20 men and women having a crack at it, which is amazing!”

GoldenTriangleEpic4 GoldenTriangleEpic1 GoldenTriangleEpic5

But if racing 160km off-road doesn’t float your boat, competitors also have the choice of competing in the 15km, 50km or 100km categories. The cash prize pool has now topped $10,000 thanks to the generous support of the event sponsors, including Andy’s Earthmovers and Isuzu.

Along with spot prizes from TORQ, Birzman, Maxxis and Frameskin, every competitor who enters into the Golden Triangle Epic will have the chance to win a Trek Superfly FS 8 thanks to Cyclescape Bendigo.

So get amongst it! If you’re still yet to get your entry in, registration on the day is fine.


Event Details:

·      Date:               Sunday 26th of April 2015

·      Location:         Spring Gully, Bendigo, Victoria

·      Distances:       15km Pioneer, 50km, 100km, 160km (100 Miler)

·      Entries:           www.mtbbendigo.com

Lakes Entrance Epic – Event Preview

Entries close soon for the Lakes Entrance Epic, held on the gorgeous East Gippsland coast in Victoria. This is just the second running of the event, but it has all the hallmarks of becoming a classic addition to the race calendar. Full event details and entries are available here – or take a gander below to get a better idea what this region and race are all about.


 

2015 Lakes Entrance Epic from Jake Lucas on Vimeo.


 

The Lakes Entrance Epic is one of those amazing events riders are drawn to. Pristine, beautiful beaches, a buzzing coastal town, amazing trails, plenty for the whole family to do, and some of the best scenery in Australia: the Lakes Epic truly has it all.

A field of seasoned guns and a huge mix of riders and characters from all over the country rolled into the beautiful seaside town last year, and now with the addition of trail running on the Sunday, the event is set to grow.

With fantastic local trails, Lakes Entrance provides the perfect location for this style of event, with multiple distances and varying terrain, and has all the key ingredients needed in the perfect location of East Gippsland, Victoria.

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There’s something for everyone at the Lakes Epic with the mountain bike event having three distances to choose from with 25km, 50km or the full 100km,; and the trail running event with 7km, 15km or 25km, as well as a kids’ event in both disciplines.

Lakes Entrance is such a family friendly destination and a great place for holidays. The town is packed with so much to do including boating, great fishing, beautiful beaches, local wildlife with seals and dolphins frolicking in the Lakes, mini golf, a huge skate park, plenty of shopping, wineries just out of town, the Bullant Brewery in Bruthen, plenty of funky little cafes, heaps of great restaurants, fresh seafood, and of course the fantastic trails of the Colquhoun Forest.

The event itself starts with beautiful views over the water on the foreshore, then competitors head along the highway under police escort and through town, and only after a few kms competitors are rewarded with flowing single trail taking them out into the Colquhoun forest. This is where the different distances of each day will split and go different directions, with the shorter distances experiencing some of the forest, and the longer distances experiencing the Colquhoun Bike Park, the Discovery trail, and the northern end of the forest. The best part though is that all competitors in either the bike or run events, regardless of distance, finish at the same amazing finish line with spectacular views out over the ocean and the town!

After such a huge success in its first ever year, Alpine Gravity took on valuable feedback and will continue to improve and refine the event to make it bigger and better for competitors each year, with some great improvements and even some brand new single trail, making the Lakes Entrance Epic one of the most sought after entries on the event calendar!

See you in May for the 2015 Lakes Entrance Epic!

 

National Mountain Bike Marathon Series Set To Explode In 2015

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is excited to announce the 2015 National Cross Country Marathon (XCM) series.

The truly National series spans four states and both territories, offering riders almost 600 kilometres of Australia’s best mountain bike trails. Racing in the XCM format extends the traditional Olympic Cross Country discipline, with winning racers battling head-to-head for an incredible three to five hours.

Beginning in Alice Springs with the Easter in the Alice event, the series then heads to the landmark pair of the Wombat 100 in Victoria and the Convict 100 in New South Wales. With a break over the winter months, racing resumes at the picturesque Dwellingup 100 in Western Australia, moving to the nation’s capital for the iconic Kowalski Classic before wrapping up at the Bayview Blast event in Queensland.

Riders in the Elite Category will compete for a prize pool of over $16,000, with the male and female winners receiving $5000 each. In 2015 the series is being organised and overseen by the MTBA Events Team after challenges were experienced with a different model in 2014. Individual races will be delivered by a mix of highly respected promoters and clubs who all have significant experience in their regions.

Mr Shane Coppin, CEO of MTBA, has been instrumental in assembling what will be Australia’s largest and most expansive cycling series.

“It has been a worthwhile challenge to deliver our members and all Australian mountain bikers a package of events that is of a truly global standard” said Mr Coppin.

“Significant effort was invested to ensure that our riders could experience some of the best trails all across our great country and I’m looking forward to racing starting in Alice Springs on Easter Saturday”.

Riders should head to www.mtba.asn.au for more information, or follow links to the individual events below. A dedicated website for the series will be launched at the start of 2015.

The 2015 National Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Series presented by Mountain Bike Australia

  1. Easter in Alice – Bunny Buster Stage – 4 April 2015 – Alice Springs, NT

  2. Wombat 100 – 12 April 2015 – Woodend, VIC

  3. Convict 100 – 2 May 2015 – St Albans, NSW

  4. Dwellingup 100 – 5 Sept 2015 – Dwellingup, WA

  5. Kowalski Classic – 20 Sept 2015 – East Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill, ACT

  6. Bayview Blast – 24 Oct – South Brisbane, QLD (Event-specific website coming soon).

Easter in the Alice – Bunny Buster Stage

“The BUNNY BUSTER 90km EPIC stage of the Lasseters Easter In The Alice Mountain Bike Muster 3 day stage race will become the first national series event to be held in the Northern Territory. The worlds only $100 stage race is run in the shadows of the mighty Macdonnell Ranges under a blanket of blue sky”

John Pyper, Race Director – Easter in the Alice

Wombat 100 & Convict 100

We are excited to have two events form part of the MTBA National XCM Series.  We believe the XCM discipline needs the leadership and structure of a national body to administer the sport, and private promoters willing to support that structure to the benefit of all riders.

Henry van Heerden, Race Director Wombat 100 & Convict 100 – Maximum Adventure

Dwellingup 100 MTB Classic

The Dwellingup 100 MTB Classic is very excited to be a part of the MTBA XC Marathon Series. Our involvement gives us the opportunity to showcase one of WA’s iconic mountain biking destinations. We’re looking forward to attracting riders from all over Australia to participate in our great event.

Dave Budge, Managing Director, Trievents

Kowalski Classic

Self Propelled Enterprises look forward to the Kowalski Classic being part of the National XCM Series for 2015. We support Shane Coppin’s (MTBA CEO) plans for the series and MTBA more broadly. The iconic single track adventure that is the Kowalski Classic is an ideal fit with these aims.

Alan Vogt, Director – Self Propelled Events

Redlands Bayview Blast

“Redlands Bayview Blast” race it or ride it for your own challenge. After only one year this event is already being spoken about amongst riders as the “must do” race for South East Qld.  Held in Redland Bay, 35 minutes from the Brisbane CBD and held in October the “Blast” is a feast of prime single track and friendly club atmosphere.

Tony Hancock, President – Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club

 

Convict 100 Gets Tweaked (and Reversed) for 2015

The Convict 100, is one of Australia’s most popular marathon races. Just a couple of hours from Sydney, the rough, raw and fast course runs largely over fireroads that were built by the convicts back in the 1830s. The riding is rugged and the setting is stunning – it’s definitely one of our favourite events.

Andy Blair. The Convict always attracts some big guns.
Andy Blair. The Convict always attracts some big guns.

Read on below for the official word.


“After celebrating our 10 year anniversary in 2014, it was time to introduce some new challenges to the regular Convict riders.  The 100km was relatively easy, for many years we’ve been contemplating running the course in reverse which is what we are doing next year.  This change will present a very different challenge to those familiar with the 100km course.  For example, riding up Jacks Track in the first 15km will be very different compared to flying down it in the last 15km and tackling the rock gardens and rock drop-offs in the opposite direction along the Old Great North Road will require some renewed focus.  It also means the two major climbs on the course will now come earlier in the piece.

The legendary Settlers Arms, the perfect place to finish a race!
The legendary Settlers Arms, the perfect place to finish a race!

“2015 will also feature and all new 68km course to replace the “Half Century” and a new 44km option for the “not so serious” novice mountain biker.

“In the early years of XCM events it was the 100km course that was getting the majority of entries.  In the last few years the “half course” or 50km has seen the biggest number of entries sometimes making up two thirds of the participants.  For this reason we are introducing an all new 68km course that will include the famous Convict kayak bridge and technical sections around Shepherds Gully and the Old Great North Rd.  Although riders will have to cover a bit more distance the new course is a marked improvement and will present a much more diverse and challenging course to those wanting to race the Convict half.

Convict 100 MTB enduro 2014, 50k, 75k, 100k

“The new 44km course has been earmarked as an entry level ride mostly made up of fire trail and dirt road sections. Most beginner riders take up cycling and if they are disciplined in their training, can quickly build the endurance to cover 40 – 50km on a mountain bike.  It’s is the ability to ride technical terrain that is often the stumbling block and takes more time to master.  That is why we are introducing an easier 44km course option to give those novice riders a feel for racing, get them out on the dirt without any serious technical challenges.  Having said that, the 44km is no cake walk with a 300m ascent in the first 15km and an opportunity to ride the kayak bridge.  The perfect introduction to MTB racing.”

Entries for the Convict 100 are open now.