Round 2 of the Real Insurance XCM Series is set for Sunday, May 1 with the sold-out Dirt Works 100km NSW. Over 1700 riders with a large elite contingent will tackle the course at St Albans, near Wisemans Ferry in Australia.
Now in its seventh year, the event attracts tier one riders from around the country and is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most challenging mountain bike races.
One who is definitely relisihing the event, is current 24 hour mountain bike world champion Jason English, and the Australian is hoping to make the race his third title in three weeks after winning the Australian Marathon Championships on April 17 and the National 24 Hour Championships last weekend.
“The Dirt Works Classic is a crown jewel among the Australian mountain biking community. Riders travel from across the country to take a shot at it and the contest on track is always intense,” Mr English said.
A member of the Merida Flight Centre mountain bike team, Mr English last won the race in 2009 and is hoping to continue his recent good form to retake the title.
The 100km course starts and finishes in the Saint Albans region, 105km north-west of Sydney and follows the historic Convict Trail through the Dharug and Yengo National Parks.
“The course is a mix up of single track, fire trails, dirt roads and tarmac which add a lot of variety and unpredictability to the race,” English said.
“Tactically, the margin for error is very small. There are some demanding climbs and very rocky descents throughout.”
Mr English said the race was a very different prospect to last week’s 24 hour title.
“Three tough events on consecutive weekends is a huge challenge but I’m really looking forward to it. You always want to go up against the best and some of Australia’s elite endurance riders will be lining up,” he said.
“Riding 100km in one stretch is a huge change in style to a 24 hour race. The tactics and pacing are totally different.
“Fatigue catches up after recovering from the last two events but getting back on the bike is what endurance riding is all about.”
Organised by Maximum Adventure, the Dirt Works 100km Classic NSW is one of Australia's first marathon style events. It features a mix of fast fire trail, technical singletrack, rocky descents and spectacular ridgeline views.