|By: News Release|
Photos: Copyright Enduromagazine
Reigning champion Adrian Jackson has sounded a warning to rivals ahead of the 2012 Flight Centre Cycle Epic as he prepares to take the marathon mountain bike title for the third consecutive year.
Melbourne-based Jackson will compete against some of Australia’s elite mountain-bikers, including Merida Flight Centre teammate and world 24 hour solo champion Jason English, at the 87km event to be held at Spicers Hidden Vale in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, on September 16.
Jackson said after a winter of training he was firmly focused on the race.
“I’ve done a lot of work through the winter in preparation for this year’s race, with more of a focus on marathon racing, that should hold me in good stead for the Epic,” Jackson said.
“I have been competing in the Real Insurance national mountain bike series, so I have a number of longer races under my belt.”
Jackson will again team up with English – who he tied with in a dead heat for first place last year – although he admits there may be more rivalry between the two riders this time around.
“Jason and I will work together as a team but I think we will probably push ourselves right to the finish line this year,” he said.
“With a third consecutive title up for grabs, I’m very keen to cross the line by myself in 2012.”
Australia’s pioneer mountain bike marathon, the Flight Centre Cycle Epic is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a new course following the January 2011 floods that damaged the regular course.
Jackson said the reworked 87km track would be more challenging than last year’s 75km race.
“Last year’s race was quite tough, there was a lot of single track riding as well as rough terrain on the less used tracks,” he said.
“This year will be challenging because it will require the same tougher technical riding but for a bit longer again.
“The hardest part of marathon mountain biking is the length of time you spend on the bike, being able to pace yourself effectively, stave off cramps, and manage your water hydration and food intake.”
Race organisers expect more than 1500 riders to compete in the various events and many more to attend the 10th anniversary event.
The Epic weekend includes the 50km Merida Pursuit, the 20km Spicers Chaser, and Mini and Minor Epics for children.
A new 10km 99 Bikes Family Fun Ride has also been added to this year’s attractions as a growing number of families have joined the Epic ranks.
For more information about the Epic or to register for the event go to http://www.cycleepic.com.au/