Gallery: Riders master Thunder Point dirt track circuit

MOUNTAIN bike riders Phil Orr and Jade Forsyth have conquered Thunder Point's dirt tracks.

Orr and Forsyth claimed the open classes in Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club's (WMBC)increasingly-popular TP180 event.

Orr, of Ballarat, beat home Kel Boers and Ricky Smedts to claim the open male honours in the three-hour enduro.

He completed the 5.8-kilometre course 11 times, finishing in three hours, four minutes and 37 seconds.

Boers and defending champion Smedts also completed 11 laps and crossed the finish line within two minutes of the winner.

Forsyth, of Baxter, was a convincing champion in the open female race, completing nine laps in 3.04.53.

She beat home Liz Mulconry by 9.17 and was a lap ahead of third-placed Jane Ollerenshaw.

WMBC committee member Gavin Prentice said almost 100 riders took part in three, two and one-hour events at Thunder Point on Saturday.

He said the figure was double the number from last year and organisers hoped to attract 200 for next year's edition.

"We're looking to double our numbers again next year," he said.

"The access to the facility as well as the reserve is imperative.

"We'll be getting our head down the next couple of weeks to get feedback from participants and spectators to make sure next year's event is as good or better than this year."

Prentice said the Thunder Point course was "technical" and "deceptively demanding".

He said the top male riders completed 64 kilometres in three hours more than 20kmh on a mountain bike riding up and down hills.

"You think (the course) is flat but it's quite hilly and single track 90 per cent is single track, which riders love," he said.

"If you're on a road bike you can get the wheel spinning out on the open road.

"Mountain bike riders want it tight and fast but narrow.

"There are a couple of drop-offs and rocks and natural obstacles."

Other winners on the day included Warrnambool's Barry McCormack, who took the honours in the open male two-hour class with seven laps.

Altona Meadows' Corinna Brown won the open female two-hour class with seven laps.

Warrnambool duo Luke Robertson and Wally Lynch won the pairs' class with seven laps.

Henry Jeffers completed seven laps to win the junior class while Sam Ward and Bryce McDonald were the top junior pair with six laps.

Glenn Wooster, four laps, Jack Webster, four laps, and Chloe Mutsaers, three laps, were class winners in the one-hour event.

"A good plug for the females and juniors is the Warrnambool riders participated in the club's skills development program last year," Prentice said. "And built their confidence to compete in these events and got finishes in it."

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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