England rules on First Turkey trails
MOUNTAIN BIKING: Michael England showed his power and consistency on the trails at the Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club's six-hour cross country event.
He duelled it out with fellow Gladstone rider Sean Hall and Rockhampton's Grant Burkhardt in the opening stages before powering away to record an impressive victory in the solo male category.
England completed nine laps of the 11.5km course in the six hours, one clear of Hall and Burkhardt who finished second and third respectively.
Fifty-one riders took part in the six-hour at First Turkey on Saturday, with the biggest participation in the two-person teams and solo masters.
Club president Dan Witten said it was another great day of racing on the trails at First Turkey.
"We put together an exceptionally challenging long track," he said.
"It featured a really big climb to begin with, which rewarded the fitter rider, and then the descent was incredibly rocky and very technical.
"By and large, everyone who rode it on Saturday was exhausted but happy to get in as many laps as they could."
Witten said while some juniors rode solo, most chose to ride in a team in the three-hour format.
"The biggest category was the masters men (over-40s). There was some tight racing there as well, which shows the older guys can hold their own on a tough course," he said.
Simon Nendick (eight laps) took the honours in that category from Craig Avenell (seven laps) and Roger Hetherington (six laps).
Witten said the club's next event was Round 2 of the Giant Rockhampton CQ Enduro Series on Sunday, June 2.
"The enduro is a totally different format of riding and will appeal to a host of different riders," he said.
"We go from an endurance-based event to short, sharp timed descents.
"It's fast and furious without an emphasis on climbing, other than to get back up and do your next stage."
The club is also busily preparing to host Round 4 of the 2019 Queensland Gravity Enduro Series for the third time at First Turkey on July 14.
"We're pretty confident of drawing a good number of riders now that our trails are becoming more well known," Witten said.
Talking to the event promoter earlier in the year, he said last year it was widely regarded that the Rocky trails offered some of the most fun and challenging riding, which was good feedback.
"Last year we went about 130 riders. I would love to go 200-plus riders this year. That would be a good turnout and we'll continue working towards attracting those numbers."
- Solo male (six-hour): Michael England 1, Sean Hall 2, Grant Burkhardt 3
- Solo masters (six-hour): Simon Nendick 1, Craig Avenell 2, Roger Hetherington 3
- Solo novice (six-hour): Daniel Hewitt 1
- Solo junior (three-hour): Jordan McCann 1, Matthew Sim 2, Joshua Harkin 3
- Two-person team (six-hour): A Giant and a Galah Walk Into a Bar 1, Different Spokes 2, Fatty and Skinny 3
- Three-person team (six-hour): CQUni MTB Social Club 1, Turkey Trio 2, EMC Boys 3
- Novice team of two (six-hour): Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum 1, Darkhorse#1 2, WTF 3