Queensland has secured two major international mountain bike events to be held in Cairns in 2014 and 2016.
Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey congratulated Cycling Australia on its bid for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups and said the events would leave an important tourism and events legacy for Tropical North Queensland.
“Today’s announcement represents a major coup for Cairns and Queensland, providing an opportunity to showcase a region renowned for being ‘Adventurous by Nature’ as well as bringing economic benefits to the State,” Ms Stuckey said.
“The World Cup events in 2014 and 2016 will see Cairns become the focus of the world’s mountain biking community.
“The events, bid for by Cycling Australia with the support of the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, are expected to attract attendees from 45 countries around the world.
“In addition, a series of participatory Cross Country Marathon (XCM) mountain bike events will be held in the lead up to each World Cup encouraging cycling enthusiasts from across the country to bring their bikes to Cairns, test themselves on the trails and stay to watch the World Cup events.
“Investing in the events will also mean ongoing infrastructure, positioning Queensland as a great destination for hosting future World Championship Mountain Biking events.”
Ms Stuckey said mountain biking was a Commonwealth Games and Olympic sport and hosting the events would demonstrate to the international sporting fraternity Queensland’s ability to host world-class sporting events ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
“Cairns is an ideal destination for hosting major sporting events providing enticing holiday options for participants, their families and friends, encouraging visitors to stay longer in the region,” she said.
“In 2012 the region welcomed more than two million visitors who spent $2.5 billion on visits both increases of four per cent increase on 2011.
“Today’s announcement is the latest addition to the growing calendar of major events, supported by the Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, for the region which also includes Great Barrier Reef Masters Games, Cairns Airport Adventure Festival as well as AFL and NRL Fixtures.
“The Newman Government recognises sports tourism as a major contributor to Queensland’s economy and supports the target of $30 billion in overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.”
UCI Board of Management Committee Member and President of Oceania Cycling Confederation Ms Tracey Gaudry congratulated Cycling Australia and Tourism Events Queensland for the bid to host the UCI MTB World Cup events. “Today’s announcement is a significant one for cycling in Australia. It marks the beginning of a new suite of major cycling events that the UCI and Cycling Australia have been working on together in partnership and the future is bright.” Cycling Australia’s Commercial Director Mr Michael Edgley highlighted the partnership between Tourism Events Queensland, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, James Cook University and Cairns Regional Council as being the determining factor in Cairns winning the right to host these mountain bike events. “The Cairns stakeholder group worked together seamlessly to secure these events and are to be congratulated for putting together a team that will ensure that Cairns will be ready to welcome the world’s mountain bike community in style.”
Australian MTB Cross Country Olympic (XCO) Champion Peta Mullens said that getting the opportunity to represent Australia in a UCI MTB World Cup on home soil was something to be cherished. “The Cairns courses will be unique and the tropical nature of the events will be a real highlight for all the international competitors. I’m so excited about the prospect of donning the green and gold bands here in Cairns”. The UCI is due to ratify the full suite of UCI MTB events contained in the Cycling Australia bid at the June UCI Board of Management meeting.
Image courtesy of Steve Bennett
All 2012 participants and mountain bike fans agreed that “the 18th edition of the Crocodile Trophy was the best ever.”
The Czech racer Ivan Rybarik won the elite men’s category and the worldclass triathlete Kate Major from Australia claimed the women’s title.
The arrangements for 2013 have already been made and they hold a lot of new plans for the mountain bike stage event in the Australian Outback, which has been known as the “world’s hardest, longest, hottest and most adventurous race”.
Shorter stages and more trails
Almost all stages will be the same as last year with three slight changes. “The stages will stay shorter than in previous years, however, they will include considerably more mountain bike tracks again”, promises event organizer Gerhard Schönbacher. “Furthermore, a time trial will ensure more variety and a huge challenge on day six”.
After the successful finish on Grassy Hill in Cooktown last year, the spectacular landing site of the legendary Captain Cook will crown the stage race at its grand finale also in 2013. Overall, the participants will ride 855 km and more than 15,000 m in elevation.
Crocodile Trophy to host longest individual time trial in the world
After stage five from Mt. Mulligan to Adams Dam with 147 km, which will be the longest stage in this year’s race, the next day on the road to the former Goldmining town of Maytown the Crocodile Trophy will set a record: racers will have to complete this distance of 97 km individually, resulting for it to be the longest time trial in the world. The eighth stage finishes in Hopevale - a small Aboriginal community and the final stage to Cooktown is the second shortest stage, but beautiful single tracks will deliver everything a mountain biker’s heart could wish for.
Three serious candidates for the final podium have signed up already: The second in last year’s overall classification and race winner of 2008, the Czech rider Ondrej Fojtik. Wolfgang Krenn from Austria, third last year and second in 2011, said that he wants to climb the highest point of the podium in his third attempt. Not to forget the Canadian Cory Wallace, the tireless crusader who finished fourth last year. Then there is the Belgian rider Mike Mulkens who won last year his first stage in Maytown after two second overall positions in previous events – and last, but not least, the best Australian finisher in 2012, Steve Rankin. Nobody else knows the Outback like the strong Queensland rider.
New category: Team Relay
Organisers will also introduce a new exciting category for the Crocodile Trophy 2013: „The Relay Team“. A relay team will consist of three participants, where one rider of each team has to ride a day’s stage and the other two team riders go to the next camp in an official vehicle. Each rider of a relay team has to complete a minimum of one stage on a bike. A change during the stage will not be allowed.
Stages Crocodile Trophy 2013
19. Oct. 1. stage Cairns – Smithfield (5 laps x 6 km) 30 km / 800 hm
20. Oct. 2. stage Cairns – Lake Tinaroo 92 km / 2.500 hm
21. Oct. 3. stage Atherton – Irvinebank 111 km / 2.700 hm
22. Oct. 4. stage Irvinebank – Mt. Mulligan 114 km / 1.600 hm
23. Oct. 5. stage Mt. Mulligan – Adams Dam 147 km / 2.700 hm
24. Oct. 6. stage Adams Dam – Maytown (ind.timetrial) 96 km / 1.400 hm
25. Oct. 7. stage Maytown – Laura 87 km / 1.300 hm
26. Oct. 8. stage Laura – Hopevale 122 km / 1.200 hm
27. Oct. 9. stage Hope Vale – Cooktown 56 km / 1.100 hm
Total 855 km/ 15.300 hm
Image copyright Regina Stanger/Crocodile Trophy 2012
A mountain bike specialist has usurped her contemporaries including a young gun trail runner in the second edition of the Montane Seasons of Pain multisport series held seasonally on Mount Baw Baw, in Victoria. Team iRide Rocky Mountain rider, Jade Forsyth, took out the female category win, apparently surprising even herself.
“I entered not knowing where I would finish amongst the girls as this was my first venture into the world of multisport events,” said Jade. “So I was stoked to win!”
In second place was rising star of the trail running scene, Lucy Bartholomew, who, only nearing her 17th birthday, will be a star of the singletrack in years to come. “But maybe not in multisport,” she says. “I’m not great on the bike and had to walk some of the ride sections. I think I’ll enter as a team next time with a mountain biking partner!”
In the men’s it was second time lucky for Stephen Rennick, who came 11th in the inaugural Summer Montane Seasons of Pain in January, but turned up the speed a notch for the Autumn edition to outclass notable triathlete and adventure racer, Aaron Dodd, in second place.
The tussle was tight between the pair from the starter’s bell.
“I knew I was in for a challenging race when Aaron took off from the bell at a cracking pace,” said Rennick. “For the first (trail run) lap I was on par with Aaron, but he was first out of transition for the first bike leg. My plan was to try to catch him on the hill climb and enter the singletrack section first to try to get a bit of a lead, which I managed to do.
“I then focused on settling into a rhythm on the second run leg, and by the last mountain bike leg I was focusing on getting through as efficiently as possible as the legs were getting rather heavy.
Rennick singled out the Seasons course – slightly shortened for this edition – for high praise.
“The location, the snow gums and alpine terrain is something different and quite special,” said Rennick. “The format of the event of a trail run and mountain bike is perfect for someone like me just getting into multi discipline racing. I’ve been interested in adventure racing for a while, and this event was a perfect starting point as the distances are achievable, but still challenging. It’s also more accessible for people who don't swim or own kayaks and being a grassroots event, the atmosphere was relaxed and competitors friendly. Oh, and the prize money is a good lure too!”
For all competitors is was the now infamous ‘Sting’ – a final 1.5km/400m vertical ascent – that will stick in the memory as much as crossing the line first.
“The toughest part of the race with out a doubt,” said Rennick. “It was a bit like a dream, trying to run it, but you just can't. You know you have given everything by the top because the legs are burning. With the thinner air and heart racing at near max, it was just about getting to the top and over the line.”
Said Forsyth: “The Sting...well, what can I say...my legs stung! I think it was the most challenging part for me but rewarding at the same time.”
Both winners spoke highly of the course they’d just conquered, which took in 30km or singletrack trail running and mountain biking split into four loops.
“The run was along undulating double track with a bit of bush bashing thrown in to keep you on your toes. The mountain bike leg was a mixture of double and single track with some little rock rollovers and technical sections to keep the seasoned mountain biker amused,” said Forsyth.
“I will definitely be back for more Seasons with its great atmosphere and amazing terrain to ride and run through.”
Organisers have confirmed that the Winter edition of Seasons will go ahead on a revised date and an all-new format to accommodate for the changed conditions, which includes guaranteed snow.
“Montane Seasons of Pain Winter edition will be a mix of cross country skiing and trail running/snow shoeing in the main, with a short dash of mountain biking thrown in as the edition’s unique ‘Sting’,” says Race Director, Grant Seamer. “The course won’t necessarily be as long, but it’ll be all on snow, so it will still be tough but fun.”
Now slated for 10 August, 2013, the Winter Montane Seasons of Pain will inaugurate a unique event on the multisport calendar, being the only format of its kind in Australia.
“As far as we know there are no other XC ski combined with snow shoe, trail run and mountain bike events in Australia,” said Seamer. “And the event will take place on the Saturday prior to the annual Tullicoutty Cup, a Nordic ski style event taking in 8.5km and 5 km courses. So the Seasons event will make a great warm up for XC skiers in that event.”
The Spring edition of Montane Seasons of Pain will return to the trail run and mountain bike format.
MONTANE SEASONS OF PAIN WINTER EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE SATURDAY 10th AUGUST 2013. MONTANE SEASONS OF PAIN SPRING EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE SATURDAY 23rd NOVEMBER 2013.
More information and entries at www.mtbawbaw.com.au
1. Steve Rennick 02:24:22
2. Aaron Dodd 02:31:15
3. Tegyn Angel 02:44:26
1. Jade Forsyth 3:04:35
2. Lucy Bartholomew 03:16:25
3. Aislinn Prendergast 03:19:59
TEAM WINNER: Team Brady 02:47:22
Jason English (Merida OnTheGo) and Jenni King (Target Trek) have won the 2013 Subaru Australian Cross Country Marathon Champions in Atherton, QLD.
English took out the gruelling 103 kilometre race in a time of five hours, 18 minutes - just over two minutes ahead of 2012 defending champion Andy Blair (Swell-Specialized). Peter Hatton (Giant Racing) rounded out the podium, crossing the line in five hours, 33 minutes.
A five-time solo 24 hour mountain bike world champion, English had the endurance to come from behind to clinch the win. "Because this race went out to 5 hours it worked in my favour," English commented.
English moved from fifth place to second after two laps of the challenging tropical terrain before taking the lead with just 13 kilometres left to race. “I knew if Andy didn't slow down he would keep the gap.” English said of his second lap feats.
“I had to rely on the challenge of the tough climbs to work their magic in my favour.” The green and gold jersey adds to English’s solo 24 Hour Australian title won over the Easter long weekend in Canberra. "Two national titles in 3 weeks, I feel a bit greedy but I'm stoked,” English remarked.
After leading for the majority of the race, second placed Blair said he gave it everything. "I wanted to ride my own race - if anyone got across to me I wanted to make them work for it,” Blair said. “When Jason reached me I couldn't hold his pace and he got away from me.
I'm really happy with my race today though." Women's Full Marathon In the women’s race, it was Victoria’s Jenni King who prevailed to claim the national title ahead of Therese Rhodes (Liv/Giant) and Sarah Riley (Liv/Giant). King completed the 103 kilometre course in a time of six hours, 45 minutes - 15 minutes ahead of Rhodes and a further 23 minutes to Riley.
“I was just happy to finish, I had heard how tough the course was,” King gasped. “I wasn't even thinking about the result, but it's a bonus to take the national title,” the 2012 Olympic Cross Country National Champion said. 2012 defending champion Peta Mullens (Target-Trek) was forced to withdraw midway through the race, leaving the door open for teammate King to claim the Australian jersey.
Irish national Jenny Fay (Swell-Specialised) was the first across the line but unable to claim the Australian National title.
“I rode away into the lead early in the second lap,” Fay described. “From there I raced conservatively but still working on the climbs which are my strength - the course suited me down to the ground, in fact if I could dream of a course this is it.”
Fay was disappointed her nationality prevented her from claiming the Australian title.
"It's a bittersweet day given I still have Irish nationality so I can only claim the race win. I'm looking forward to racing the Irish national marathon champs in September,” Fay explained.
Australia’s premier mountain bike marathon riders will venture to Australia’s tropics when the 2013 Subaru Australian Marathon Championships kick off this Sunday.
The Championships will be held in Atherton, Queensland on April 21 with reigning National Champions Andrew Blair (NSW) and Peta Mullens (VIC) set to light up the picturesque tablelands.
“There are probably up to ten guys that can win the championships,” Blair explained. “It’s definitely the hardest race of the year with the deepest field out of any marathon in Australia.”
Blair recently took out the Capital Punishment marathon in Canberra following six weeks off the bike due to a serious injury.
“I broke my scapular (shoulder blade) which sidelined me for the National Championships, one of my big goals for the year. Because I missed them, it has meant all I have been thinking about is trying to make (my injury) right,” he said.
In the women’s racing, defending champion Peta Mullens (VIC) will bring her recent Absa Cape Epic experience in South Africa to the fore when she takes on strong competition in Jodie Willett (QLD) and Irish National Jenny Fay.
“I think my climbing form is there on the back of the Cape Epic,” Mullens said. “I feel like I’ve come a long way technically in the last year to the point where I don’t feel that I have a weakness people can target in a marathon race.”
“If I’m incident free and have good legs I think I’ll be standing on top of the podium on Sunday,” Mullens said.
The Victorian heads into the Championships fresh from winning the Wombat 100 marathon last weekend which followed a dominant victory at the Olympic Cross Country Australian Championships in February.
“I have a season goal of being a triple National Champion this year across Cross Country, Marathon and Cyclo-Cross so the pressure is on,” Mullens exclaimed.
The 2013 Subaru Australian Marathon Championships will be held in Atherton, Queensland on April 21.
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