Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mountain bikers to descend on Moama

Moama's Five Mile reserve will host some of Australia's best mountain bikers this weekend.

LUKE MCMANUS February 21, 2014 4:04am

Five Mile development project officer Minda Murray and race director Time Row are looking forward to the weekend’s Australian MTB National Series

Some of the country’s best mountain bikers will descend on Moama for the third round of the Australian MTB National Series.

Round three, which is shared between Moama’s newly developed Five Mile track and the mountainous terrain of Thredbo, will feature the likes of Olympians Dan McConnell (Victoria) and Bec Henderson (ACT) as the pair compete across two days of competition.

Tomorrow will exhibit a full day of cross-country events, while the action-packed Cross-Country Eliminator will precede the Enduro on Sunday.

The event is the first of its kind in Echuca-Moama, with the flatter but faster Five Mile track offering MTB Australia an ideal venue to stage the final round of the series.

Different to other host tracks, which has included Adelaide’s Eagle Park and Victoria’s Mt Buller, the track allows spectators to reach all corners of the course to watch the action.

‘‘It’s probably the most spectator-friendly track out there,’’ race director Tim Rowe said.

‘‘On top of that, it’s very technical.

‘‘Riders might think it’s not that difficult at first (but)... the technical areas of the track and craftsmanship needed from riders to get around is at national standard.

‘‘It’s a very fast track and high paced. It’s good to give that variety so riders will need different skill sets and endurance.

‘‘The lack of elevation here will add a different element. Riders may think because it’s flat, it will be easier, but you’re still trying to chase the guy in front,’’ Rowe said.

Five Mile development project officer Minda Murray said it was a coup for the redeveloped reserve which cost $2million to shape.

‘‘We’ve never run an event of this calibre before,’’ Murray said.

‘‘It’s really nice to showcase the new park, put it on the radar for the locals and people abroad.

‘‘There are mountain bikers in town... but the sport hasn’t developed in this area and running an event like this has given the town an opportunity to develop the sport locally.

‘‘We’re excited and thankful we can provide the infrastructure to hold an event like this.’’

Murray said she wanted the reserve to be packed full of spectators this weekend, with the Enduro open to anyone willing to have a go.

‘‘Hopefully we get a lot of people here,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re expecting quite a few and a lot more people here than we’ve had here before.

‘‘For Southern 80, we get a few down here but crowds are spread out in a broader area.

‘‘Crowds will be concentrated in one area and should create an awesome atmosphere.’’

Murray said NSW National Parks and Wildlife, in conjunction with Murray River Tourism Board, hoped to stage the event as a permanent fixture on the MTB race calendar.

Races will begin at 9am and end at 4pm tomorrow and 5pm on Sunday.

The ‘‘come-and-try’’ Enduro, which is open to all abilities, will kick off at 1pm Sunday.

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