1,100 mountain bikers were up for a Fling November 12th and enjoyed warm and generally cloudy conditions for the second running of the VAUDE Highland Fling MTB Marathon in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
The weekend's feast of mountain biking kicked off with a Saturday evening entree of the Bundanoon Dash. A 6km sprint race starting in the middle of Bundanoon village and doing a loop into Morton National Park. It was a fast course except for the final 300metres, a steep pull up Constitution Hill to the finish line. From 70 riders, Shaun Lewis took the line in 11.07, for him the start of a very successful weekend, followed by Nick Both and Dennis Van Mil. Renee Fortunato took out the women's race in 12.01 and 9th overall.
To the main course on Sunday, with over 700 riders for the 109km Full Fling, 350 for the Half Fling and 10 Flinging Threesome relay teams sent off by the bagpipes. There were also 7 brave souls prepared to take the challenge of the severe time cutoffs imposed in the 100 Mile Fling.
The day dawned cool and overcast with a blood red sky. With 30 degrees forecast it was to be a warm ride. The 45 elite full flingers set off with the half flingers 30 minutes behind the main full fling pack and the chase was on to catch them during the 29km VAUDE stage. This passed through paddocks and forest: up and down the Roller Coaster, through the Free Bike Wash and onto the Early Bath before Boags Draft and Pigs Fly into Wingello Village. At the transition, Shaun Lewis, Matt Fleming, Aiden Lefman and the Fl(y)ing Dutchman, Dirk Van Der Walle were wheel to wheel.
Read the entire Vaude Highland Fling race report here.