The Asia-Pacific Continental Enduro Series kicked off today in the North-East town of Tasmania, in stunning conditions, hosting a mix of the world’s best athletes, seasoned riders and newcomer talent to the sport of mountain biking.
The elite men’s field was stacked with experience and in a thrilling performance, it was current World Champion Sam Hill who attacked the six gruelling stages in fine form, to claim the win.
“Derby this weekend was awesome, we had six challenging stages to race with a good variety of terrain and plenty to test the skills. I’m really happy with how I rode, I had six good stages and I’m pumped to get the win,” Hill said.
Christopher Panozzo shaped an impressive race and was awarded second position and Andrew Cavaye carved up the course to round the elite men’s podium in third.
In the elite women’s field, local Tasmanian athlete Rowena Fry continued her winning streak to dominate the women’s Enduro race today and claimed the title in front of a home crowd.
“Main thing was trying to stay clean, there’s the potential to have a few offs on these sort of technical courses so clean runs is the most important and hopefully that equals a fast run. I wasn’t mucking around on the liaisons,” said Fry.
Emily Parkes produced a smashing performance across the challenging multi-stage course to come away with second place. Lucy Mackie was awarded with third place and was thrilled with her result.
Blue Derby Trail Network is fast establishing itself as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier mountain bike destination.
“I love Derby and I am super proud of what the North-East of Tasmania is doing at the moment with all their trails and Tasmania in general. I’m a proud Tasmanian so I love showing off what we’ve got here. I’ve raced around the world and I think these trails are pretty up there in terms of fun and a great vibe, what a great place to spend a weekend,” said todays’ elite women’s winner.
The Asia-Pacific Continental Series allows riders to gain world ranking points into the 2019 Enduro World Series. The Continental series, which runs across four races in Australia and New Zealand, culminates with the crowning of the Asia-Pacific Enduro Champions in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 16 February 2019.
“I want to do really well at the Enduro World Series (EWS) here next year in March so I will be doing a fair bit of practice. Fingers crossed I qualify and I am super keen to train as hard as I can and learn the lines on this course. Being a home course it’s a massive advantage for EWS level,” Fry added.
Fry recently took out the first round of the Shimano Enduro Tour on the Gold Coast and claimed victory in the National Round recently in Adelaide.
In the Asia-Pacific series the top three riders in each category, per event, automatically progress onto the Enduro World Series reserve listing.
With the Enduro World Series coming back to Tasmania in 2019, these top three positions at the Asia-Pacific Continental Series were hotly contested today and this level of competition will continue across the series.
With just under 300 competitors across the fields today, the township of Derby, Tasmania, was transformed into a hive of mountain bike activity. Mountain biking enthusiasts were in the mix of the racing action with plenty of spectators supporting the action across various vantage points throughout the trails and town.
Shimano Australia are thrilled to partner with the Asia-Pacific Continental Series and enjoyed being part of the action in Derby, Tasmania.
“Shimano Australia is excited to see the progression of Enduro in the local market driven by success of the Enduro World Series.
“It’s fantastic to be here in Derby on such a beautiful day in the trails and there’s lots of people cheering and enjoying the atmosphere. Everyone has a massive smile on their face,” said Toby Shingleton, Brand Manager, Shimano Australia.
To review overall results visit the website
Photos: Sven Martin