Challenging days on the mountains

Mountain bike riders descended on Jindabyne last weekend to compete in the Rolling Ground Triple Trail mountain biking challenge.

This event is unique where riders take on three different challenging courses over two days of competition with the results from the three individual races tallied to produce an overall winner.

This annual weekend event is proving hugely popular in only its second year and looks certain to attract a big following once the word is spread throughout the mountain bike community.

"We are thrilled with the response so far from all the riders, they love the concept and have all pledged to return next year as well, so yeah really happy with how it has progressed," said Rob Gant-Thompson, one of the event organisers.

Starting with the 8km time trial on the more technical Tyrolean course, riders descended to the edge of Lake Jindabyne before climbing back up the hilly course to a flat finish. Negotiating rocks and tree stumps in narrow sections of the course certainly had riders on their toes as they weaved their way around the winding bush course on the hillside overlooking Jindabyne.

The leading riders completed the course in just over 22 minutes and the remainder of the field stretching the time into the mid-thirties time period.

Cameron Lange from the Jindabyne Cycling Club said he really enjoyed himself,

"It was hard, the first lap everyone went pretty hard but after that everyone settled into their positions and pretty much stayed there," he said.

After a long break for lunch the second race commenced late afternoon at the Bungarra mountain bike complex where riders were challenged with two laps of the 9km course ranging from technical, steep climbs and fast downhill runs which were finished in just over 51 minutes for the leader ranging down to one hour and thirty minutes.

This course has been specifically built for all facets of mountain biking and has a plethora of tracks meandering through various hillsides and bushland. This was a testing ride for all but the professional mountain bikers.

On Sunday morning the third and final leg of the triple trail was held at Lake Crackenback Resort (LCR). The course was a winding trail mostly along the Thredbo River with stunning views of the Thredbo Valley and river. With three laps to be completed it would test the weary legs after the previous day's events and riders were certainly feeling the pinch.

After three laps of the 11km course Dylan Cooper from Canberra completed a trio of victories for the weekend in just over 1hr.39min for the LCR stage three, and finishing with a combined time of 2hr 53:28.5.

Jindabyne Cycling Club's Claire McDonnell and Elise Burriss had a great weekend of competition finish second and third overall after the three individual legs. McDonnell was a close 4minutes 14.2 seconds behind winner Louise Cook, a very close margin considering the extent of the terrain and kilometres travelled.

Michelle McFarline and Ursula Berchtold capped of a great effort by the Jindabyne ladies finishing second and third in the women's masters section.

In the boys junior event defending champion Tallow Baillie from Jindabyne came up against some very stiff competition with the winner Guy Frail finishing third overall in the men's open division.

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