WATCH: Riders ready to race the clock at First Turkey
MOTOCROSS: Jodi Newton will be gunning for a top-three finish in Round 4 of the Queensland Enduro Series being held in Rockhampton on Sunday.
She will compete in the elite women's class, putting her skills to the test alongside some of the state's best on the challenging trails at the First Turkey Mountain Bike Reserve.
The Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club is hosting the event, and president Dan Witten expects more than 150 riders will be saddling up to race the clock on Sunday.
Rockhampton's reputation as a mountain biking mecca was further enhanced after the successful staging of a round of the national series this time last year.
"Certainly last year's nationals brought people from all over the country to ride here and some of them will be back this year,” Witten said.
"I haven't seen the final numbers for this weekend but if the 150 we got for the national round is anything to go by, we'll do better than that because Rocky is more well-known now and we've got riders who've been here before and know what they're in for.
"There will be some quality riders heading here, including a number of sponsored riders out of southeast Queensland, and because there's series points on offer those serious about the overall will definitely be making the effort to come.”
There will be racing in classes from under-13 and under-15 through to sport, expert and elite.
Riders will have four hours to complete six timed downhill stages, their aim to record the lowest cumulative time.
Witten said the stages would be made known tomorrow, allowing riders to get in some practice before competition starts at 10am on Sunday.
"Riders will notice names like 1995, Megatron and K9 which are all in it and our new trail Smokescreen will also feature,” he said.
"There's a mix of trails; there's open and flowy and fast, and tight and technical and rough as well.
"We'd expect some of the locals' fast times to be challenged this weekend.
"On some of the faster courses, riders will be down around the minute, minute and a half mark and some of the longer ones three and a half to four minutes.”
Witten expects a number of Central Queensland riders to feature.
"Anthony Oakeshott, Cody White, Joel Robinson and Jake Keleher will all be up there and really pushing the guys from out of town,” he said.
"In the women's, Jodi Newton is an ever-present threat. She's top five wherever she goes and is a really good chance. Ellyse O'Connor will be right up there as well. I think a number of locals will give a good account of themselves.”
Newton said it was great to be able to ride a Queensland round in her own backyard.
"It's good not having to travel away to compete and hopefully the home trail advantage will work in my favour,” she said.
"I'm hoping to place in the top three so we'll see what happens.
"I just try to think about my race and focus on what I have to do, rather than worrying about the other riders. I just want to race cleanly and get down without any mistakes and whatever happens happens.”