White to lead local charge in Qld Enduro Series
MOUNTAIN BIKING: Cody White will lead the local charge in Round 4 of the Queensland Enduro Series at First Turkey this weekend.
Home ground advantage could well give the Rockhampton rider the edge in the hotly contested elite men's category.
Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club president Dan Witten said riders from across the state would set the trails alight on Sunday.
"It's very exciting racing to watch,” he said.
"People will be treated to some really tight racing but they are also going to see riders leaving it all out there.
"We're hoping for 150-plus riders after we had about 120 last year.
"Hopefully we can get a strong local turnout.
"The main draw is from the south-east - Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast - but we are beginning to have people travel from up north as well.”
Witten said conditions should be ideal for racing, and recent rain had come at the right time.
"It's looking good. The tracks are ready to go and a little bit of rain means they will be grippy and they should be prime for race day,” he said.
"There's six stages, some of the juniors ride less, and the lowest accumulative time for those six stages wins the race.
"The trails were released last week and among them are K9 and Smoke Screen, which riders really enjoyed last year.
"They are both black diamond trails but they are quite contrasting. K9 is very flowy and full of jumps whereas Smoke Screen is an old-school hand-built trail that's very rocky and very tough technically.”
Witten said there would be keen competition in categories from elite men and women through to masters and juniors aged under 13.
Among the strong contenders from the southeast are Ryan Leutton and Andrew Cavaye and Michelle Gane and Annelie Marquardt.
Witten was confident several locals could also claim podium places.
Among them were White, the Keleher brothers and Joel Robinson, who won the masters class in this event last year.
"I think Cody White is going to be a real chance on his home trails,” Witten said.
"He travels away to a lot of these races and he's a top 10 rider wherever he goes.
”Home ground advantage will give him a real boost here.
"Jake and Zane Keleher, if they are riding, are super fast and Joel Robinson is one to watch and always a threat in his age group.”
Riders will hit the trails for practice on Saturday afternoon before racing gets under way at 10am on Sunday.
Witten said he was excited for the event.
"I think we're going to get a good turnout,” he said.
"I know based on feedback from racers last year they loved the trails that Rocky had to offer. In fact, they were some of the best out of the whole six-race series.
"The weather's looking good and this is an event that is tailor-made for spectators.”