e-bikes to debut at Rocky three-hour cross country
MOUNTAIN BIKING: An e-bike class will be introduced for the first time at a three-hour day/night cross country at Seeonee Park on Saturday.
About 70 solo and team riders are expected to saddle up for the event hosted by Rockhampton Mountain Bike Club.
The day/night race will provide an ideal hit-out before the race season proper gets under way next month.
Club president Dan Witten has received strong interest from riders in Mackay, Gladstone and Bundaberg.
"There are quite a few people keen to come and race,” he said.
"Last year we had 70 riders so if we can do that again it would be really good.
"This is our first run so we strive for a very social event to ease riders back into the race season.
"Last year our original date for the three-hour was washed out but the weather looks like it will be with us this weekend.”
Witten said e-bikes, which can be powered by electricity as well as propelled by pedals, would add another dimension to the popular event.
Teams and senior solo competitors will race for three hours and junior solos for 90 minutes on the 6.5km circuit.
Rockhampton's Grant Burkhardt and Clinton Daniels are expected to feature in the solo categories, as well as Gladstone's Sean Hall and Michael England.
Witten said the top riders would probably clock sub 20-minute laps, meaning they could complete seven to nine laps in the three hours.
"It's great riding under lights but you have to concentrate more because you're focused on that pool of light five to 10 metres in front of you,” he said.
"The team aspect of the event is also really good. Given it's early in the season, some people are not as fit as they would like to be so riding in a team takes some of the burden off.”
Witten said it would be another big year for the club and mountain biking in the region.
"We have a full shared race season with Gladstone with four cross country and four enduro events,” he said.
"Gladstone is also running a six-hour which will be something to look forward to.
"Then we have the state enduro round on July 14 at First Turkey which could attract as many as 200 riders.”
Saturday's three-hour starts at 5pm. Entries close at 9am tomorrow. Register on the club's Facebook page.