It’s taken a few years, but local riders have broken through for the trifecta at the weekend’s Tathra MTB Enduro.
Pambula’s Toby Stewart blitzed the field to claim his first Mitas 50km crown, with Bega’s Sebastian Weber second and Stewart’s brother Roly third.
In the King Nelba 75km, Dual Australian marathon champion Brendan Johnston claimed back-to- back victories.
Johnston beat home renowned marathon mates Ed MCDonald, with Mark Williams and Andy Blair tied for third.
But it was finally a day for locals to celebrate. Toby’s breakthrough win ends a Tathra Enduro hoodoo – which has seen bad luck, including flat tyres, strike on each of his previous campaigns
“It was a perfect race,” Toby said. “It couldn’t have gone any better.
“I would just have been happy with a top three. But to win it is pretty good, and to beat the Canberra guys is a great feeling.”
Stewart was locked with a group five riders, but hit a great turn of speed and hit the finish line first by almost two minutes.
Sebastian was also thrilled with his result, backing up from victory at the Australian Inter-schools MTB Championship in Canberra on Friday.
“I have been looking forward to this race all year,” Sebastian said. “I just wanted to go well. I wasn’t expecting to go this well.”
More than 400 riders (including 60 kids) lined up across five events and organisers said they were thrilled with the turnout after a delay in June. “It’s reassuring to see people coming back after the June storms and this weekend the weather was perfect,” event committee member Stacey George said.
“The event also attracted a real cross section of riders from kids on push bikes, and teenagers right up to Commonwealth Games representatives, and current and former Aussie champions.
“I think that is inspiring for local riders, and many of our kids who started out riding in the Bega Cheese Children’s Chase are now showing up at the top of the leaderboards.”
Ms George also thanked the event’s volunteers, who worked tirelessly throughout. “Our event is entirely run by volunteers, from all sections of the community. We have volunteers from the local Rural Fire Service, Surf Club, Lions Club, CEFE, Tathra School, Preschool and Mountain Bike Club, and we couldn’t run it without them or the generosity of our sponsors.”
All money raised from this year’s event goes towards local community organisations, renewable energy projects and the Tathra MTB trail network.
Full results by category can be found at http://my6.raceresult.com/54896/?lang=#
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