Bay of Fires Turns Up the Heat on Day Two of the Dragon Trail
Press Release; For immediate distribution
It was day 2 of the new Dragon Trail MTB in Tasmania today, and what a day! Today was the day the Dragon roared.
The second day was always going to be the tough as riders were taking on the longest of the 3 stages on legs tired from day one. Stage two is called ‘Bay of Fires’ (it includes the whole Bay of Fires trail) and the stats read 58km with 1385m of climbing, but it was the variety and challenge of the riding, and the awesome descents, which made it a day to remember.
John Darcy, who is the president of the Dirt Devils Cycling Club in Hobart, summed it up like this; “Day two provided the ultimate mix of single track, rain forest climbs, and what may be the world’s best descent for cross country. Placing a big climb at the start proved to be ideal to set everyone up for the 20km Bay of Fires descent. I simply can’t imagine a better course and finishing on the beach with white marble sands and clean ocean water for a quick dip was bliss. What a day! Possibly the best day I’ve ever had on a MTB.” (John has won the National Marathon Champs in New Zealand and across Australia in the past, and he finished 22nd today.)
Starting from the camp and social hub at Weldborough the route took riders over the mountains and down to the sea, with the first half at higher elevation and the nature of the course changing throughout the day. It began with 3km of twisty single track through spectacular myrtle beech forest, before the toughest ascent of the whole race, 400km to the top of Blue Tier. The second half of the climb was real ‘adventure riding’.
Kim Beckinsale described it this way. “It was really rocky and gnarly, so we were on and off the bikes. It was slippery and the tree roots here in Tasmania are so thick they seem to want to grab you and hold you! Then at the top of Blue Tier it was all different, like a moonscape. It was awesome.”
She continued, “Then we had a rolling descent, which was different to day one, and was just fast and flowy as we went down from the rainforest riding into drier Aussie bush and trails. The next stage of climbing was beautiful, but the legs were really feeling it after yesterday and it seemed to go on and on until a marshal said the magic words, ‘It’s all downhill from here’. The final descent was absolutely superb, right down to the beach where I jumped straight into ocean.”
Race organiser Craig Bycroft of Geocentric Outdoors had described Bay of Fires as ‘the best mountain trail I’ve ever ridden’ and MarathonMTB.com said after today’s ride, “This trail is awesome to ride, and getting to attack it in a race right after a long backcountry trail is a truly unique opportunity. We rode through a huge range of terrain today, and hopefully the environment these trails traverse will be protected from logging plans into the future – they truly are an international drawcard, and a prize for domestic travellers.”
Beckinsale agreed saying, “What they are doing with mountain bike trails here is amazing and it’s great the event is taking us to little townships along the way which you wouldn’t normally see. I know a lot of riders have family who have come along to support them, and they are going to some lovely places off the tourist track too.”
The day ended with riders transferring to the social hub at St. Helen’s, where they will be for the next two nights as tomorrows ride is a circuit of the St. Helen’s trails. After the tough ride today they will need to relax and recover. Times today were about 25% longer than yesterday and the last riders to reach Swimcart Beach on the Bay of Fires coast had been out enjoying the course for over 8 hours.
The elite riders took longer too and there was no change in positions among the leaders, who are still Sam Fox, and Karen Hill. Fox took 2.32.21 today and extended his lead over Cameron Ivory to 2 mins 31 secs, and Hill put in another strong ride finishing the day in 21st overall in a time of 3.09.46.
Tomorrow is the final day on a stage called ‘St. Helen’s Dreaming’. It’s shorter at 45km but may not be any easier as legs will be lactic and there is a lot of single track on a route which follows most of the Dreaming Pools Wilderness trail.
The ‘Dragon Riders’ will be looking forward to a final day on the best of Tasmania’s world class trails, and to another day of superb weather with perfect temperatures and sunshine forecast for the third day in a row. It just doesn’t get any better!
For further press information contact; Louise Foulkes 0419 427 243
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.