Riders gravitate towards region

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Riders gravitate towards region

All tracks will lead to Mount Gambier this weekend as the Blue Lake city hosts round 2 of the Reserve Gravity Enduro series.

Local riders will join with visiting competitors to hit the tracks on Sunday in U13, U15, U17, U21 and adult categories, with many competing in their first event.

The mountain biking event will be run as part of a four round series by Gravity Enduro SA, with a SA State Championship also included in the series in July at Adelaide’s Eagle MTB Park.

The Mount Gambier event will encompass the Valley Lakes with six different tracks utilised throughout the competition, with two tracks being in the Tenison Woods College area from Potters Point and three tracks over the other side of the hill, with another track at Leg of Mutton Lake and also one that leaves from the iconic Centenary Tower.

Organisers anticipate 250 racers competing on the day, with several big names including national champion Connor Fearon, who is currently ranked 60th in the world for the downhill cycling discipline.

Crater Lakes Cycles’ Shane de Jong, who is helping with organising the event, said the local cycling community was thrilled to have the calibre of Fearon compete in the region.

“It will be really cool for the young riders in Mount Gambier to be inspired by,” he said.

“He’s just a really nice, down to earth guy. He does not really want the attention around him so it’s cool for these kids to just ride up the hill next to a world class athlete.”

De Jong said local businesses had rallied to support the cause to ensure there was plenty of food and drink available near the course, with San Piero Coffee, Mandy’s Shack Catering and Spiral Spuds on site.

He said organisers had worked with Mount Gambier City Council to coordinate the event, with the council continuing its support.

On race day there will be some roads closed in the Valley Lakes precinct as well as speeds reduced to 25kph in the general area to help make the area safer for riders.

The ridge from the stairs up to the Centenary Tower will also be closed for a short period of time to make the race area safe.

Racing on the day will likely start at 10am and conclude around 2:30pm.

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