GALLERY: Rookie rider breaks out at Thunder Point 180 

WARRNAMBOOL’S Tanya Faux made a standout debut in the Thunder Point 180 mountain bike event on Saturday. 

Faux won the women’s section of the Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club’s flagship event,  completing eight laps of the six-kilometre course in the coast shrub around Thunder Point in three hours, nine minutes and 50 seconds. 

Brighton’s Lucas Sproson was the men’s winner, completing 10 laps in three hours, three minutes and 42 seconds. 

It’s the first time Faux has ridden the Warrnambool endurance event after taking up the sport late last year. 

“The Forrest Festival last year was my first mountain bike event and I loved it so I signed up to the Warrnambool club that day and have gone from there,” she said. 

The professional firefighter and former professional white water kayaker said the Thunder Point track was a mentally and physically-challenging ride in a Garden of Eden-like setting. 

“The course was changing with each lap. With the amount of riders on the course, the sandy soil was constantly changing so that was really challenging mentally,” she said.

“There was a headwind on the trotting track, which made it tough. 

“You entered into the second half of the course, where there are some steep climbs and technically-challenging areas, fatigued from the lap of the trotting track. 

“You had to push hard to maintain the speed to get up the climbs, which was tough.

“It’s quite the adventure going through the tea-tree and coastal scrub. It’s a bit of a Garden of Eden, just beautiful.” 

Faux said going past the race village at the trotting track was inspiring. 

“Going past there so many times and being cheered on was great,” she said. 

“It lifted your spirits. The three hours seemed to go fairly quickly because of that.”

Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club committee member Barry Pike said it was another successful Thunder Point 180, with 87 riders competing. He said organisers had been fearful of the weather, but forecast showers held off. 

“We had a lot of entries come in on the day and a lot of entries from out of town,” Pike said. 

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with riders saying it was a tough event and the course was of great standard. 

“The overwhelming response was they’d be back next year for sure.” 

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