CQ Mountain Biking kicks off in first round trek
MOUNTAIN BIKING: Gladstone local, Michael England, was hot on the trails at last weekend's first round of the CQ Cross Country Series.
The Central Queensland rider tackled Rockhampton's tumultuous terrain at First Turkey on Sunday, and took out first place in the elite division.
England described the weekend's fast-paced trek as "great fun".
Riders from far and wide travelled to the event, with some coming down from Mackay, and up from Bundaberg and Gladstone.
"It was great to be racing here at First Turkey," he said.
"I haven't had great luck here with flats in the last couple of races so it was nice to come up with a win, flat-free.
"In the first lap, the Mackay guys led out the race for the elite boys and it was a pretty good pace and kept us honest.
"Coming into the second lap, I managed to put in a bit of a gap between Glen Chadwick (a local boy) and the Mackay guys as well, and managed to hold it from there for the four laps."
With a handful of "new trails" England had not ridden before, the experience reminded him of why he loved to race "in smaller races and at local clubs".
President of the Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club, Dan Witten, was enthusiastic about Saturday's turn-out of 58 eager riders from junior right through to elite classes.
"We had two tracks out there," he said.
"We had longer tracks for senior riders and a shorter track for the novice.
"Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves out there... It was a really good start to the season.
"There was some really fast racing at the pointy end and Michael England came away with the win there."
Witten said all the categories were "closely contested" and despite the stiff competition, everyone who competed "really enjoyed themselves".
"It was a new course for us and was very atypical from what we've done in the past," Witten said.
"There were some really punchy times there where people had to make up some time up and if you did good on the descent, you could surely make up some time there as well.
"People were really embracing these trails here and a lot of people who potentially come along and ride socially now know the trails well enough that they're confident enough to come and race.
"There's a category to suit everybody.
"It's not all about races, it's for everybody to come have a lap."