PORT TO PORT’S SIN­GLE­TRACK SOJOURN

Australian Mountain Bike - - Fast Track -

In just four edi­tions, Port to Port has be­come the stand out moun­tain bike stage race on the east coast of Aus­tralia. But any­thing that grows has grow­ing pains, and the event crew are stay­ing one step ahead, and up­dat­ing the course for 2018 to make sure it’s bet­ter than ever. But what ex­actly does that look like?

STAGE 1: HUNTER VAL­LEY

That’s right – a new start! The hard and fast sandy stage at Nel­son Bay is gone, mak­ing way for the views, climbs and raw trails of the Hunter Val­ley and Pokol­bin.

STAGE 2: KILLINGWORTH

A flash­back for some, a fresh taste for oth­ers... with a stage that kicks off climb­ing into the range be­hind the moun­tain bike park, the re­ward comes at the end as the course drops you back into the labyrinth of sin­gle­track, with grav­ity as­sis­tance al­most the whole way to the fin­ish­line.

STAGE 3: AWABA AND THE WATAGANS

This favourite stage has had some tweaks to de­liver more fun and less con­ges­tion. With the neu­tral road start shunned for a back road and dirt track route to Awaba, let the sin­gle­track nir­vana be­gin be­fore you as­cend into the Watagans be­fore a long and sin­u­ous de­scent to the fin­ish on just about ev­ery type of trail you can imag­ine. This is a stage you can’t miss!

STAGE 4: GLENROCK

In 2017 this stage was close to per­fec­tion. A fast and open start, twisty trails, sin­gle­track above the Pa­cific Ocean and a fin­ish on the beach – what’s not to love? 2018 de­liv­ers 40kms of mostly sin­gle­track on this fi­nal stage, and lands you right at the fin­ish­ing party at Dixon Park. Want to know more? Find your way to the event web­site – and see you on the trails in May! The Con­vict 100 has carved it’s own place in Aus­tralia’s moun­tain bike his­tory, just like the en­gi­neer­ing folly it runs along. The Old Con­vict Road was built to run from Syd­ney to New­cas­tle, but by the time it was built, there were faster op­tions via ship up the coast! But what was a good road in the 19th cen­tury has now de­graded to a de­mand­ing moun­tain bike course, where weather events change the best lines, and you can never be to­tally sure what you’ll be tack­ling. With the event now over 10 years old and of­fer­ing not just the iconic 100km, but also a 68km and 44km op­tion, there truly is some­thing for just about any ap­petite. Start­ing and fin­ish­ing at St Al­bans, about 90 min­utes out of the cen­tre of Syd­ney, the event on Sat­ur­day 5th May is an ideal time to test your­self, and your mates, on the chal­leng­ing course in­clud­ing the in­fa­mous kayak bridge. Head to the event web­site to find out more, and hope­fully we see you on the start line!

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