Riders have need for speed

The picturesque Crater Lakes region will be buzzing with pedalpumping activity this Sunday when the state’s best enduro riders fly down the hills in the second round of the 2021 Gravity Enduro SA Series.

In what will be a first for the Limestone Coast’s revered trails, over 250 riders will test their fitness and braveness across all six daunting courses on the one day.

The event was supposed to be welcomed the region for the first time last year, but COVID-19 made it impossible which makes this Sunday’s event even bigger.

The winner will not necessarily be the most daring rider down the slopes, with the most complete rider rewarded having completed the 20km loop in the fastest time which includes six downhill dashes and two climbs to Centenary Tower.

With so much ground to cover, riders are expected to conquer the mountainous course in around three hours, but spectators will be treated to plenty of action at Brown’s Lake with three trails all finishing in the same area.

Mount Gambier Mountain Bike president Shane de Jong said the arrival of an Enduro event to the has been a long time coming for  the region, but the wait has provided the perfect opportunity to capitalise on its growing  popularity.

“It was scheduled to come to me last year, but obviously, the whole schedule got  mixed around because of COVID restrictions, which was honestly been good for us  because we had tome to develop the tracks,” he said.

“Enduro has taken off and all aspects  riding are leaning towards it, even bike manufacturing.

“Hopefully the council can see how much it brings to the town, so we can develop more trials and make the safer.” Adelaide stars include young Sam Walsh who is an “absolute gun” in all aspects of riding and Steve Gebert, who will make his Mount Gambier debut, while Cain  Branston hopes to use his European experience to full affect.

Other big names to watch out for are Cameron Ryan, Tom Siinmaa and Dylan Stone.

Local hopes include Justin and Shane DeJong, Ben Kilsby, Scott Morrish, Jake Brown, Cameron Barry, Travis Wells and young gun Deegan Watson.

De Jong said different aspects of the versatile event will favour a wide range of riders.

“The downhill sections are quite technical and a matter of going flat out and then  you have got cross country parts which is all the endurance and climbing, so it is a blend of both,” he said.

“Most of the tracks are designed that way that some suits the downhill riders, while others favour cross country riders, but at the end of the day, whoever can ride them all the fastest will win.” With the eyes of the downhill world on Mount Gambier this Sunday, De Jong hopes to put on a show visitors wont forget.

“We have put a lot put a lot of effort into  make an impression saying look how awesome these tracks are,” he said.

 “So hopefully they (riders) see how much effort and care we put in in and come back every year.” The pedalling action will commence from 9am on Sunday morning.

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