New format builds mountain biking camaraderie

A SPRINT finish provided a drama-filled ending to round two of the Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club winter series.

 Jack Webster keeps his focus in the Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club event. Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Jack Webster keeps his focus in the Warrnambool Mountain Bike Club event. Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

A field of 33 — split up into 11 teams of three — took to the Thunder Point dirt trails for the relay-style event on Sunday morning.

James Coomber, Troy Boote and Cam Fairbrother took the honours, edging out Jayce Dusty, Brian Dusty and Gary Bell in the final stages.

Gavin Piergrosse, Gerard Gleeson and Tyler Meddings made up the third team home.

Race director Russell Cairns said a change to the format was the catalyst of the entertaining finish.

Competitors typically complete four laps on their own throughout the day for a collective team tally of 12.

But instead of riding their last lap solo, Cairns said the team members were on the course together, with the finish down to the wire.

“We therefore had two, three or four teams finishing at once in a sprint finish,” he said.

“The C grade rider was always finishing the event, so we thought we’d turn it around and send them out together.”

Cairns said the format encouraged stronger ties between team members, some of whom had never ridden together before.

“Something we hadn’t seen before was the teammates high-fiving and congratulating each other and shaking hands with other riders,” he said.

“There was a lot more camaraderie and sportsmanship in it.”

Round three of the series is back at Thunder Point on August 24.

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