GET DOWN AND DIRTY THIS WEEKEND
This Sunday 15 July you can get down (hill) and dirty of the mud variety at the Noosa Enduro Mountain bike adventure. In just its second year entries have more than double that of last year.
"We are extremely pleased with the response from the mountain bike fraternity and local community in getting behind the event which has ensured its future while helping to raise funds for the Shine Project," said Geoff Meyer, USM Events Project Manager.
Billed as the 'hard way to see Noosa' the mountain bike race will show case the fitness and bike handling skills of some of Australia's finest cross country mountain bikers.
The Enduro includes a 60 kilometre and 100 kilometre course. The 100 kilometre premier event will test riders in a circuit beginning at Tewantin travelling to hinterland towns of Pomona, Cooran and Kin Kin before returning to the start point. The 60 kilometre race follows the same track as the 100 kilometre event before short circuiting back to Tewantin after Pomona.
Already the talk of the mountain bike world, the Noosa Enduro offers spectators the possibility of seeing riders from some of Australia's top teams including Cannondale, Scott and Scody fight it out head to head for line and team honours.
The top three place getters in the 100 kilometre event Brett Stevens, Jeff Toohey and Andrew Wegener are lining up again, the later two hoping to reverse positions this year.
Other contenders this year include Craig Gordon, 2006 World Solo 24 hour champion and 2006/07 National 100 kilometre marathon champion.
The new kid on the block Glenn Stewart, a super lean, super fast U23 National team rider will be among the mix and making this his comeback race after a year on the sidelines Hamish Elliot.
Also part of Team Cannondale and returning to defend her 100 kilometre crown, Imogen Smith, a hot contender for the National Series title and who wasn't far off the men's pace last year will start as favourite. Local hopeful Naomi Hansen from Cooroy will be looking to go one better this year after finishing second to Smith in 2006.
For the uninitiated mountain bike racing offers a real spectacle. The speed the 'big guns' ride over rough terrain fighting for every morsel of traction on slippery gravel surfaces is hard to believe. It is expected that the winner of the men's 100 kilometre event will complete the course in a little under five hours averaging about 22 kilometres per hour. The average rider will take between six and nine hours to make the journey.
The 60 kilometre circuit, whilst covering largely the same out and back terrain as the 100 kilometre event, includes stunning vistas over the Noosa Hinterland. The vistas come at a cost though and are only located after a gruelling climb above Grahams Road near Pomona. Most of the 60 kilometre competitors will enter for the enjoyment of a great ride as opposed to the sheer physical challenge of the 100 kilometre event. Look out for a few of the elite who will treat the 60 kilometre course as a sprint race. These riders will arrive home in just over two hours.
The nature of an event such as the Noosa Enduro is as much a mental battle as a physical one.
During the event riders will consume up to 11 litres of fluid being a mix of water and carbohydrate rich drink. Couple this with eating every half an hour to keep the glycogen levels high to fire tired muscles and you have a dieter's dream sport. In order to consume the six to nine thousand calories needed to complete the race almost anything is on the menu including cold pizza, dried fruit, electrolyte gels and jelly babies.
Organisers of the Enduro encourage everyone to come out and cheer on the expected 800 plus competitors as they go one on one over the gruelling course. As the course is designed around the Noosa Trail Network there are many places to see the action.
New this year, the Noosa Travel Smart Junior Enduro (7-15 year olds) on Saturday 14 July designed to introduce the kids to mountain biking. For 7-10 year olds a 2km event or 11-15 years 4km, start at 4pm.
"This year we have also catered for the spectators, see the big guns fly, be treated to amazing stunt expos every 30 minutes, bar facilities and live crosses from Zinc," said Meyer.
Top Viewing Spots
Start/Finish: Noosa Sports Complex on McKinnon Drive
Pomona township King of the Mountain Track - base of Mt Cooroora
Cooran Tablelands Lookout
Western Branch Road Kin Kin
Kin Kin Township
Tinbeerwah Forestry Off Tinbeewah Road
Event start at: 6.30am - 100km
9.15am - 60km
For more information on the Noosa Enduro please call 07 5449 0711.
THE NOOSA ENDURO - even better second time round
On Sunday July 15 Noosa will again deliver the second Noosa Enduro, back by popular demand. In 2006 USM Events unveiled the latest adrenaline filled pursuit to its burgeoning events calendar - adventure mountain bike racing, offering another exciting and challenging option for sports enthusiasts and certainly not for the feint hearted.
USM Events Noosa Enduro Project Manager Geoff Meyer says the response to last years race was phenomenal and this year we have catered for an even larger market segment with the introduction of teams and kids distances.
"We were pleasantly surprised at the great reception the event received from competitors and the local community so this year have extended our program to include mountain bikers that just want to complete the distances."
"Having invested a lot of time and effort in designing the courses outside protected National Park lands over the past two years it was particularly exciting to have the inaugural event be such a success and have worked on improving all aspects and making it a spectacular entertainment event for spectators."
"The event has been the brain child of Noosa Council, SHINE committee, local police, mountain bike riders and experts of Noosa's trail network," said Mr Meyer.
For the hard core rider there is still the 100km or 60km distances but you can now tackle the 100km as a two to four person relay. Another new option is to compete as a three person team in either the 100km or 60km - each person completing the entire distance. Not to be forgotten is the kids, for 7-10 year olds a 2km event or 11-15 years 4km.
Anyone contemplating entering should do so with the correct preparation and fitness. The Noosa Enduro website has a number of helpful articles and tips on training and race preparation, detailed course terrain/maps for both events, advice for support crews, check points and much more.
The courses take in some of Noosa's prime off-road real estate and will take competitors through stunning tails, tracks, tablelands and three major climbs at Mt Tinbeerwah, Sheppersons Hill and Cooran Tablelands Range that boasts the hill nicknamed 'Mother'. This hill is so challenging, Cycleogical will present a $500 gift voucher to the first rider to ride the 'Mother' in the 100km race with no foot placed on the ground. The quickest riders will complete the 100km in less than five hours, some will need the 10.5 hour cut off time to finish.
The SHINE project, a Noosa Shire Council charity established 2004 will be the event beneficiary. The SHINE project supports the provision of services and infrastructure to assist victims of Domestic and Family Violence on the Sunshine Coast. To date they have built three houses in one week-end with the amazing support of community workers.
The Noosa Enduro aims to raise money in support of the SHINE project with a view to building more facilities and providing additional services throughout the Sunshine Coast.
A total of $30000 in prize money is up for grabs in the 100km event with categories for male and females covering Elite, Open (18-39), Veteran (40-49), Vintage (50+). There is also a team's category, maximum of 3 competitors, first elite team across the line will pick up $1500. The 60km offers similar category options - Open (16-39), Veteran (40-49) and Vintage (50+) for male and female.
For more information on the Noosa Enduro please visit www.usmevents.com.au or call 07 5449 0711.
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