25 May 2023

On your bike! Cyclists have just two weeks left to prepare for MTB championship race in Wagga

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man on mountain bike

Josef Winkler will be among those competing in the 2023 AusCycling National Mountain Biking Championship in two weeks. Photo: Josef Winkler.

The nation’s top cross-country marathon mountain bikers have just two weeks left to prepare ahead of the 2023 AusCycling Marathon National Championships, which are returning to Wagga Wagga for the second consecutive year.

And local Josef Winkler, fresh from a career-best seventh placement at the recent Tumut MTB Three-hour Race, will be looking to keep up with the best for the expected 100km Wagga race.

That placing, he said, came despite “a couple of stacks” along the way, but it was a good preparation for the four-hour event in Wagga.

And, he said, he was looking to secure a placing this year, particularly if put in the Elite category, after what was a “disappointing” finish in 2022.

READ ALSO Mountain biking: If you plan to tackle Pomingalarna, here’s what you need to know

More than 300 riders braved heavy rain at last year’s event on trails at Pomingalarna Reserve in Wagga, with a likely larger field expected for this year’s race on 28 May, after a practice run on 27 May.

Riders can register now for the event, until just before midnight on Tuesday, 23 May.

AusCycling chief executive officer Marne Fechner described the course and facilities as second to none.

“We appreciate the assistance from Mountain Bike Wagga Wagga and Wagga Wagga City Council in helping us deliver this event in a city known for its sporting achievements,” she said.

“The event will also be a good starting point for those who will be competing at the 2023 UCI Masters World Championships to be held in Western Australia in September.”

The Wagga course will take riders on a journey with a magnificent network of purpose-built trails and tracks, while starting and finishing at the new Multisport Cycling Complex.

Wagga Wagga Mayor Dallas Tout said he was delighted AusCycling had again chosen the city for its 2023 Marathon National Championships.

Cr Tout said he was looking forward to welcoming competitors from “far and wide”, as well as locals, for “a great weekend of mountain bike racing”.

“The feedback we received about our $12 million multisport cycling complex at Pomingalarna Reserve after last year’s event was really positive and the 2023 championships will be another opportunity to showcase this state-of-the-art facility,” he said.

READ ALSO The thrills and occasional spills of Wagga’s most enthusiastic cyclist

The council’s manager of recreation and economic development, Ben Creighton, said the top-level competition would use the entire Pomingalarna precinct, including the criterion track, BMX track, velodrome and jump track.

He said while he encouraged spectators to head out for the race, the council was asking the non-competitors not to ride in any areas during the championship races on Sunday.

“If you’re out for a ride on Saturday, please be aware of organisers who will be setting up the event course and take care as there will be extra riders on the trails, practising for the national championship,” he said.

Entries are open until 11:59 pm on Tuesday, 23 May, for the Mountain Bike Marathon National Championship and the Wiradjuri Wander, two non-championship categories catering to riders aged from 15.

Competitors can register online at the AusCycling website: auscycling.org.au

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