By John Michael Flynn at Kooralbyn, Queensland Australia
Melbourne bicycle courier Andrew Bell has emerged as Australian endurance mountain biking's 'man of the moment' with a stunning victory in the Merida 24 Hour at Kooralbyn in Queensland.
In what could only be described as one of the most impressive rides yet seen in a 24 hour cross-country endurance event on Australian soil, Bell completed forty laps of the demanding 10 kilometre Kooralbyn circuit, amassing a grand total of 400 kilometres in the saddle.
The 31 year old Victorian's monumental effort proved a fitting climax to the largest 24 hour mountain bike event ever staged in Queensland. Bell's lap tally ranked higher than many of the four and six member teams in the field of 450 riders.
"I had to dig deep, I was ready to stop about six hours ago," an emotional Bell told Cyclingnews at race end.
"The last four laps I thought 'bugger it I'm not stopping, I'm just going to go through and see what the body can do' and it held up.
"It hurt a lot, a hell of a lot."
Read the entire Merida 24 Hour race report, results and photos here.