Riders contest Alice Spring MTB enduro
TOP AUSTRALIAN MOUNTAIN BIKERS are currently vying for the coveted yellow jersey at the five-day Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro near Alice Springs.
Professional riders taking part in the seven-stage challenge include Australian Solo 24 Hour winners Jason English and Joanna Wall, along with current champions of various local and international races. Nearly 200 cyclists are participating in the race, which is open to weekend warriors as well as professionals.
This year’s competitors range in age from 14 to 65 and made the journey from as far away as Singapore to participate in the race.
Notable entrants include the “Four Timers,” six Australians who have raced in every Ingkerreke Commercial enduro since the event began in 2008. One of the Four Timers, Stephen Brady of Alice Springs, says every race is a new adventure.
“The event provides an unparalleled opportunity to access many routes which we, even as locals, would not usually be able to ride due to their remoteness and the need for rider support. Every year I discover more beautiful places in Central Australia,” he says.
Returning competitors are noticing a few differences in the course this year, as some stages have been shortened based on feedback from previous racers.
Stage 1 has been reduced from 50+km to 39km, and Stage 3, the Anzac Hill climb, takes a mere 60 seconds. The popular 23km night stage and Telegraph Station eastside stage remain unchanged.
Race director John Jacoby says this year’s course is the race’s best ever. “The rivers and creeks are flowing, the grass is green, the flowers are out and there is more singletrack around Alice then ever before,” he says.