World Champion English heads to JetBlack 24-hour race

Defending champ returns to Wiseman's Ferry

Jason English will make his first 24-hour race appearance of the 2011 season after wining the 2010 solo World Championship. He'll be on the start line for the JetBlack 24-hour race at the Del Rio Riverside Resort at Wiseman's Ferry on February 5-6 in Australia.

The Port Macquarie physical education teacher won his second consecutive 24-hour world solo mountain bike title in Canberra in October last year and said he still has some form even four months later.

Defending JetBlack 24-hour champion English claimed wins at the two previous editions of the race, but last year, he faced a strong challenge from John Blankenstein from Tathra, near Bega.

"It was close. I got a fair workout because of John (Blankenstein) last year," said English.

Blankenstein finished on equal laps with English, but took second to English with only 18 minutes separating the pair after 24 hours.

"I have done a bit more training in the last few weeks," said English, who recently signed with Merida. "We (Port Macquarie) had plenty of dry days compared to other places, so it has been good preparation."

All riders will complete as many laps as possible of the 9.8km circuit between 12 noon on Saturday until 12 noon on Sunday.

Organisers, Rocky Trail, also confirmed the addition of a new 6+6 Hours racing category. "There are only a few who can complete such a race on their own," said Rocky Trail's Juliane Wisata. For the six plus six hours category, participants can get normal night's sleep then get up and do the final six hours in the daylight.

The teams categories also allow other keen riders to race for 24 or 12-hour in a relay-style.

Among other competitors for the JetBlack 24 -hour, Para-Olympian and Ultra marathon racer John Domandl, and his guide, Tony Brown, will be on the start line. There will also be two unicyclists from Blaxland.

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