Highland Fling marathon will attract thousands

Past winners Lewis, Hatton, Russell among the favourites racing

Two thousand mountain bikers from across Australia will travel to the Southern Highlands to race the Highland Fling on Sunday, November 14. Racers have the option of the 112km Full Fling, 100-mile and 60km Half Fling, with its snaking singletrack through the forest and farmland.

The Highland Fling starts and finishes in the Highlands town of Bundanoon, Australia's first bottled water-free town, with an extremely competitive field vying for the Maillot Tartane (the Tartan Jersey) which goes to the winner of the Full Fling.

Previous winners such as Shaun Lewis and Peter Hatton will be keen to take back the crown held by Craig Gordon for the past two years. Gordon is out, injured for 2010. The favourites will face stiff competition from the likes of Jason English, Matt Fleming, Andy Blair and 40 others in the elite category whilst in the women's category, Stephanie Russell will make the journey across from Western Australia to defend her title.

While the big money goes to the Full Flingers, it's the 100-mile Flingers who win further respect, enduring an additional 55km of tough off road riding in Australia's original 100-mile mountain bike race and for the first time, there are two women in the 100-mile Fling: Katrin Van Der Speigel is going up against Vanina Vergoz.

Undefeated four-time 100-mile men's champion Dennis Van Mil has dropped out of the race this year citing a lack of time on the bike. It will be hard to pick a winner in 2010 although Mark Fenner, John Blankenstein and local rider Brendan Den will no doubt be in the mix.

Not all the action will be on two wheels. Two unicyclists will battle it out on the Full Fling. That's 112km on one wheel. They are competing in different categories - one in singlespeed and one in open (as his unicycle has two gears).

For more information, visit www.wildhorizons.com.au.

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