MTB: Enduro National Series takes over the Valley in 2017
MOUNTAIN BIKING: The Clarence Valley is set to go extreme in 2017 when it takes on the final round of the 2017 National Gravity Enduro Series before taking on the Trailstar Enduro Series once again.
The mountain biking craze that is sweeping the globe enduro involves taking on the mountain in a set of different stages with riders climbing back up the mountain before each stage.
While each stage will only take on average 2.5 to 3.5 minutes per run riders have a set time limit to complete all stages giving them the chance to race at their own pace.
The Valley got its first taste of enduro mountain biking earlier this year when we hosted a round of the inaugural Trailstar Enduro Series which is a North Coast based competition.
But the newly formed Clarence Valley Mountain Bike Club will turn the dial past eleven next year when it hosts about 400 riders in the fifth and final round of the National series.
"It is just going to be a massive event for us,” club founder Mark White said.
"It is a national round so the best riders in the country will all be in the Clarence competing.”
White's new family run events company White Lightning Events will host the fifth round at a new track the group are planning for the Valley.
"Our region has some of the best terrain for enduro mountain biking with plenty of downhill runs, exposed rock and natural features,” White said.
Mountain Bike Australia CEO Shane Coppin said the growth in the enduro discipline is giving the national body more opportunity to break into new markets.
"We are seeing so many more opportunities for riders and events to go to new trails and places, and it goes to show just how much this discipline is gaining momentum,” Coppin said.
"I think we are going to be in for an exciting year in enduro.”
White put the exponential growth in the enduro discipline down to its ability to cater for a varied market.
While there are several successful elite programs in the discipline, including the Gravity series, there is also ability for novice riders to get involved.
"Even though you have some extremely technical tracks over open terrain, everything has a B line or an alternate easier line,” he said. "So you can accommodate for your elite riders as well as your guys who are just starting out in the sport.
"I am hoping next year's local leg of the National series spins off into getting more people involved.”
The Gravity series will be in the Clarence on August 12-13.