Dragon Trail MTB

  • Australia (AUS)
  • Off-Road Cycling

Fox and Hill Take the Titles and the New Dragon Trail is the Winner

Press Release / 20.03.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
Karen Hill and Sam Fox
Karen Hill and Sam Fox / © Murilo Mayos

The third and final day of the first ever Dragon Trail MTB stage race took place today, when the ‘St. Helen’s Dreaming’ stage provided a perfect finish for the riders’ exploration of the amazing trails and landscapes of North-East Tasmania.

They’d already been blown away by the variety and quality of the trails and, despite the aches from two hard days in their legs, they enjoyed another 45km, most of it single track, around the St. Helen’s Wilderness Trail. There were some tough climbs towards the finish and the final 200m of uphill really asked the question, “What have you got left?”

The leaders from the first two days held onto their positions, but for local U23 rider Sam Fox it was close as his final winning margin over Cameron Ivory was just 45 seconds. Over 3 days they’ve had a great contest and Fox had a puncture early on the ride today. Ivory took his chance and recorded his first stage win of the week in 1.53.07, reducing his deficit by 1 min 47secs, but it wasn’t quite enough to take the title.

“I was a little bit surprised by the Dragon Trail, it had some really good back country trails which were some of the first I ever rode.” Said Fox. “To have all the guys from the Nationals here and a few others fly down to race made it a quality field, and Cam made me suffer today. To have the time to sit around the campsite chatting with them was a really good vibe as well.

“My favourite stage was yesterday. That ride from Weldborough right through to the Bay of Fires is just spectacular. It was my first stage race, but it’s not too different from training and I was just focussing on recovery after each stage.

“For anyone thinking of giving it a go I’d say to ride some old-school fire trail and back country, and be prepared to get your feet wet and have some fun. I’d say anyone can do it, there is nothing too technical, just be ready for some tough days out, bring your mates and have a go.”

The overall women’s winner was Karen Hill with a dominant performance, taking all 3 stage wins, today’s in 2.15.22 and 22nd overall. “I was a bit surprised to have such a big lead,” she said, “and I think my start times, which were with some of the local Tassie riders, was in my favour.

“I’ve ridden stage races in East Timor, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Canada, so that helped. I’d say this race is right up there with those others and for a first year it’s been absolutely fantastic. The organisation and volunteers, and the options they give you for all-inclusive or looking after yourself are great. Finishing at lunchtime meant I could organise myself, kick back and chill out.

“Each day has been different. We’ve had different types of trail, terrain and scenery, so there is something for everyone. Day two was the hardest for me as I pushed really hard on day one, and today’s trails were just awesome. The more single track the better for me!”

The two winners were presented the amazing new Dragon Trail trophy at the St. Helen’s Trailhead. It was designed by local artist Ruth Lindsell and uses driftwood to shape the form of a dragon. Once the first race winner’s names are inscribed it will remain on display at the St. Helen’s visitor centre until next year.

The final riders today were Jane Elby and Natasha Thackray, who took just over 6 hours on the trail, finishing in 261st and 262nd places.

They’ve brought up the rear each day, and were delighted to see they were gradually moving up a few places for each start as there were a few riders who dropped out. Today the ride took them past the ‘Dreaming Pools’ and they were the only riders who stopped for a swim!

They’ve obviously made the most of every minute of their Dragon Trail ride and, along with all the other riders, will return home with great memories of their time on the awesome Tassie trails.

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