Extreme riders roll into region

The picturesque Brownes Lake area will be brought to life this weekend when the adrenaline-filled Inside Line Downhill Race returns for a fifth consecutive time.

Onlookers can witness some of the best mountain bike riders from the state and even the world tackle the breath-taking course, which drops from the Centenary Tower down to Brownes Lake with many locals also preparing to take on the challenge against the clock.

Participant numbers for the two-day carnival set to begin on Saturday are flowing in and event rider and volunteer Shane deJong said he felt excited for the action to start despite an interrupted build up.

“It will be awesome,” he said.

“Lots of people have already asked questions about it and brought equipment getting ready for the event.

“Last year we had 186 riders and we are hoping to achieve a similar number this year.

“It is already 70pc full and I know there are still a lot of locals who still haven’t had a chance to register, so hopefully we can get close to the 200 mark pretty easily.

“It was pretty last minute to get it on because we just assumed there wasn’t going to be a race this year.

“So we had to tidy the track up and add a few extra features to encourage as many people to come back.”

The biggest attraction is World Cup rider Connor Fearson, who has been able to compete after travel restrictions held him back from his usual duties.

“Connor is actually a World Cup athlete and is coming down with his partner and a few others,” deJong said.

“It will be really exciting to see him come down, but I think everyone will be fighting for second place.”

Justin deJong leads the Limestone Coast’s contingent of riders after he scored a couple podiums in recent years, while many youngsters are also gearing up for a whirlwind experience.

The track itself is called “Turkey Nuts” and riders will be greeted by a carnival atmosphere crossing the finish line with tents, cars, people and bikes expected to fill the Brownes Lake area.

According to deJong, this kind of environment should provide a positive atmosphere for a weekend full of downhill mountain bike action.

“Everyone is friendly and no one talks about knocking each other off, so there is a pretty good group of people just looking to have fun,” he said.

“I think a lot more young kids have been riding mountain bikes, so to see them against some of the best in the state is really exciting.”
Practice will open proceedings on Saturday between 10am and 4pm before Sunday’s main event starts around midday.

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