Reigning Australian marathon national champion Jason English (Merida Bikes/BBD) is set to defend his title when the Australian championships hit Mount Joyce, Queensland this Sunday, April 6.
English, a four-time solo 24-hour mountain bike world champion, will aim to add another national title to his glittering resume despite a recent bout of illness.
"The championships are always a little more special as they attract a deeper elite field," said English who claimed third place in the recent Capital Punishment XCM event held in Canberra.
"Getting sick recently isn't helpful for timing, but I'm keen to see how much Mt. Joyce has changed since I last raced there a few years ago.
"It has been great to race in the green and gold jersey in both marathon and 24hr events, [and] I would really like to defend my national and world titles."
English will go head to head with Adrian Jackson who won round one of the Australian marathon national series in Bright last month.
"Adrian Jackson is always a tough competitor and he is in form," said English. "It seems hard to pick who will be performing well in this event. I think Dylan Cooper and Andy Blair will also be strong contenders, if the race was closer to 100km I think I would have a better chance of keeping up with these guys," said the long distance specialist.
The full Mt Joyce marathon course will take riders along 72 kilometres of high quality trail with the event forming part of the Real Insurance XCM series.
"The course layout has been carefully designed to showcase the best trails that the Mt Joyce escape park has to offer," said Mt Joyce course manager Hayden Lester.
"Each lap will traverse two climbs towards Mt Joyce where riders will have the chance to enjoy sweeping views of the Wyaralong Damn and its foreshore," said Lester.