Mountain bikers make tracks into winter

DIRT-TRACK fans from across the region will take to Thunder Point tomorrow for the first round of Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club’s winter series.

Four-year-old Thomas Dufty leads his dad Leigh and brother Jacob, 2, in training for tomorrow’s Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club winter series opening event.

Four-year-old Thomas Dufty leads his dad Leigh and brother Jacob, 2, in training for tomorrow’s Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club winter series opening event.

Organisers are encourging rookie and experienced riders to sign up for the three-round series, staged at Tower Hill in recent years.

The series uses a relay format involving teams of three. 

The course starts and finishes at the Thunder Point harness racing track.

A one-lap qualifying dash at the start is used to determine the make up of the teams. 

Each rider will complete four laps of a 2.5-kilometre dirt trail, for a team total of 12. 

“The course is probably about 80 per cent single track, which is what mountain biking is all about,” mountain bike club spokesman Russell Cairns said.

“On the big mass events like the Otway Odyssey they have too much (of riding on wide sections) and it loses its appeal a bit.

“But there are plenty of passing opportunities at Thunder Point, everyone is pretty curteous.

“It’s good for a laugh. You’ve just got to have a functional mountain bike and an approved helmet.”

Cairns said 21 teams, made up of  63 riders,  contested the most popular round of the 2013 series and hoped the 2014 rounds would be similarly popular.

He said the course was in near-perfect condition for early winter, further buoying hopes the shift to Thunder Point will be successful.

“Thunder Point rides better in winter than it does in summer, it’s riding an absolute treat. And we’ve set a track out which is fairly easy,” he said.

“Some of the Thunder Point stuff is is quite technical but we’ve chosen an easier track, more fast and flowing stuff for people to use.”

Organisers will take registrations at 10am. 

The qualifying dash is at 11am, with racing to follow. 

The other two rounds are on July 20 and August 24.

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