ALONG FOR THE RIDE

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Shane Ni­chols

THREE Port Dou­glas women did the town proud by fin­ish­ing strongly in the am­a­teur women’s re­sults in the gru­elling nine-day bike en­duro, the Croc Tro­phy, on Four Mile Beach at the week­end.

For Jean MacDon­ald, Jodie Keirle and Jacky Cooke it was the cul­mi­na­tion of an idea and a dream that be­gan on the fin­ish­ing on the last year’s race, which is fast be­com­ing a stand­out fix­ture in the moun­tain bike fir­ma­ment.

“We watched the fin­ish last year and it was so ex­cit­ing, and we thought it would be great if there were some Port Dou­glas rid­ers.,” said Jacky.

“Hope­fully there’ll be a lot of great moun­tain bike rid­ers in Port next year and there’ll be a big con­tin­gent.”

Their high plac­ings were a great re­sult for first timers in thevent, even given the small num­bers in the am­a­teur women’s divi­sion of the race.

But they shared with pro­fes­sional fe­male win­ner Sarah White a back­ground in en­durance run­ning.

Jacky Cooke ex­plains that she is not re­ally a cy­clist, “re­ally a run­ner, but once you pre­pare for an en­durance event it’s a sim­i­lar strat­egy.”

Start­ing in Jan­uary, the three women got down to train­ing and in the months since then clocked up an av­er­age of 20 hours a week of rid­ing, much of that on trails.

Though they raced as in­di­vid­u­als but “we ba­si­cally trav­elled to­gether”.

They slept in mo­tels along the way and, cru­cially they say, re­lied on Jean’s hus­band who pro­vided me­chan­i­cal and equip­ment sup­port.

The race had been a bru­tal ex­pe­ri­ence, Jodie said.

Once across the fin­ish­ing line they en­joyed show­ers in the club­house at Four Mile Beach and then a well de­served drink and lunch with their fam­i­lies.

The fi­nal kilo­me­tres were raced on the beach, right on the wa­ter. that morn­ing they had started out on from Wetherby Sta­tion for the ninth and fi­nal stage of the 700km race.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Jean MacDon­ald, Jodie Keirle and Jacky Cooke

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