En­trants to Down­hill dou­ble

Albany Extra - - Fish 'N' Tips - Tim Ed­munds

A faster and steeper course will con­front a host of lo­cal and vis­it­ing com­peti­tors in the fourth edi­tion of the South­ern MTB Ur­ban Down­hill as part of Al­bany’s premier moun­tain-biking fes­ti­val this week­end.

Or­gan­is­ers of the an­nual moun­tain-biking event are ex­pect­ing close to dou­ble last year’s to­tal en­tries across five events in­clud­ing the ev­er­pop­u­lar Jump Comp in the town square on Satur­day night and new cross-coun­try stage races in­tro­duced last year.

Al­bany Moun­tain Bike Club pres­i­dent Phil Stan-Bishop said the five events, in­clud­ing the South­ern Peaks 37km and South­ern Peaks 50km, Jump Comp and Kids Ur­ban Down­hill and Ur­ban Down­hill on Sun­day, had so far at­tracted more than 300 com­peti­tors.

Close to 400 en­trants are ex­pected by the time rac­ing gets un­der way on Satur­day.

Stan-Bishop said the course for Sun­day’s Ur­ban Down­hill had changed sig­nif­i­cantly, mov­ing to the south­ern side of Mt Clarence away from the western side of pre­vi­ous years.

The course will start at the Desert Corps Memo­rial on Mt Clarence and fin­ish at Law­ley Park af­ter wind­ing through down­hill tracks and onto Al­bany steep­est streets with new course fea­tures.

“Most of that core of riders are com­ing back,” Stan-Bishop said. “With that level of ex­treme rid­ing, it is al­ways the main event and most spec­tac­u­lar. The course is much steeper and more ex­cit­ing be­ing half the dis­tance.

“They will be go­ing a lot harder and only take a cou­ple of min­utes to get down the course.”

Stan-Bishop said up to 200 com­peti­tors would take to the South­ern Peaks 37km and 50km events on Satur­day, sig­nif­i­cantly up on last year’s num­bers in the in­au­gu­ral race.

“It has cer­tainly risen in pop­u­lar­ity,” he said.

“A lot who have not done cross-coun­try rid­ing be­fore have regis­tered, we have had a very good re­sponse.”

Perth-based moun­tain bike rider Jor­dan Prochyra took out the Ur­ban Down­hill ti­tle in 2016 while Al­bany pair Nav Coole and Tammy Stone claimed the hon­ours in the South­ern Peaks race.

Prac­tice for the Ur­ban Down­hill will start on Sun­day at 10.30am with the main event at 1pm.

Or­gan­is­ers are still look­ing for more vol­un­teers. Visit www.south­ern­mtb.com.au.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Al­bany Ur­ban Down­hill com­peti­tor Travis Fage gets him­self ready for Sun­day.

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