Press Release; For immediate distribution
Day one on the Dragon Trail was everything the riders travelled to North-East Tasmania hoping for. Riding flowing new trails, combined with some older backcountry single tracks, ensured there were big grins all round, and maybe a few grimaces on the tougher climbs. The weather was perfect too!
Day 1 was called ‘Derby Flow’, and riders set off from the event hub at Branxholm for a 9km non-timed ride to the true start of a day on the Blue Derby Trails, with the ‘Axehead’ trail first up, followed by the climb up ‘Long Shadow’. Riders were set off at 10 second intervals and were all carrying a satellite tracker so fans and friends could follow their progress and this was combined with live timing during the day. Ahead of them was a 52km ride with 1590m of climbing.
The route got technical crossing some old mining water races, climbed the notorious Heart Break Hill and followed the weaving Dam Busters trail and descent, before passing through the Derby Tunnel to the first aid station of the day. Rolling through the dimly lit old mining tunnel was a surreal experience!
The middle part of the day included some spectacular views and the crossing of a picturesque suspension bridge before riders left the Derby Trails for some old school adventure riding to reach the second aid station at the small township of Moorina. Then, for the finale it was time to make the steady climb up Frome Road and onto the Big Chook Trailhead, the high point of the day at 580m. The reward was a blissful, groomed, switchback 5km descent before hitting the finish line at the historic Weldborough Hotel.
It was no surprise that the first to get there was Sam Fox of the Marathon MTB team. Coming off his recent wins at the National XC U23 and short track champs, the local rider was among the favourites. “I was kinda hoping to come here to win,” he said. “I ride here reasonably often, so it’s nice to come to a local race.” He added, “It’s really cool to race a three day event and nice to ride some of the old back country trails that people don’t come here to ride. There are riders who come here often who won’t have ridden those trails.”
He rode much of the day with Cameron Ivory, who finished 23 seconds behind, with Jon Odams and Rees Brent just over 4 minutes back. His winning time of 2.06.54 was well inside the predicted winning time, so it’s going to be an intensely competitive race between this bunch over the next 2 days.
The first female finisher was Karen Hill (2.29.20), racing in the 30-39F category and finishing 19th overall on the day. “I had a really fun day out there and felt really good,” she said. “I was strong on the climbs and I have a handy lead for tomorrow.” She added, “I had no expectations coming out here and haven’t ridden any of these trails, but I like riding new trails so it’s just ride your bike, have a lot of fun and see what happens!”
For the elite riders every second counts and the 10 second start interval was something they were factoring in as they raced, but for the majority today it wasn’t really a concern! They were enjoying the scenery, the challenge, the amazing trails and the company along the way.
The last competitive finisher today was Jane Elby, coming in 281st and enjoying the ride for just over 6 hours, while one pair of riders managed to add many more kilometres to their route by somehow getting lost!
All are now safely into the camp at the Weldborough Hotel, kicking back, resting up and enjoying the social hub activities. There are mechanics and medics on hand if needed, great local foods and beers, talks by speakers, or learn a few at their workshop. It’s all part of the Dragon Trail experience.
For further press information contact Louise Foulkes 0419 427 243
For photos please contact; Murilo Mayos 0449570030 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please credit photos to Murilo Mayos/Dragon Trail MTB.
You can follow the results and progress of the Dragon Trail MTB at https://live.trackmelive.com.au/dragontrail21/ where you can also see descriptions of the route and click through to Facebook to see regular photos and videos.
For more about the Dragon Trail MTB visit; https://dragontrail.com.au
Dragon Trail MTB is organised by Geocentric Outdoor and is sponsored by Events Tasmania and Break O’Day Council.