By: Mick Lehpamer
Seven brave ANZA souls took up the challenge laid down by our MTB Director… Let’s fly down to Perth, drive for another 3 hours to a sleepy little spot called Margaret River & then go flog ourselves silly doing a 4 day mountain bike stage race amongst 1,000+ other crazies just like us…. And, without a hint of hesitation or reservation, we all say it was bloody AWESOME!!
Stage 1 – Just look at that photo… Nothing more needs to be said! If you need more convincing watch my 23 second video..(ANZA Facebook Thursday 22nd). Where else can you ride on the pristine beach ½ way through a killer first stage! And did I mention sand… yes, sand, sand, sand & more of the stuff…
Hint for next year… go practice on the stuff as it was everywhere!
Stage 2 – Sand… a little less than yesterday but just enough to remind you that you still hate it. Once again, majestic views of an awesome coast line followed by some pea gravel single track to test your handling skills.. And you got to love a stage that finishes at a winery! Half way through and we all just wanted more! Let’s not mention the speed bump Gilles…
Stage 3 – The Pines – Singletrack heaven! Some of the best singletrack I have ever ridden.. Simply awesome! This is why you go mountain biking and until you experience it & the thrill of nailing the berms, jumping a huge tabletop complete with a hooting crowd, cow bells ringing & a screaming chainsaw (yes, there was a guy with a chainsaw cheering us on) you have not biked! And to cap it off… this stage finished at a brewery!
Stage 4 – With somewhat tired (read concrete) legs, the 7 brave ANZA MTB souls raced strongly to the finish line… we were once again spoilt with awesome singletrack, tough pinch climbs, screaming fast downhills and a few sections of blacktop to ease the pain … we were all greeted with a huge cheer as we all successfully completed an amazing, stunningly beautiful MTB stage race!
Who finished where… who cared? Well… we did.. just a little.. The ANZA pecking order went Phil, Arran, Me, John, Fredrik, Liesbeth & Gilles… We’ve now all set our base times & we’re all going back to beat them next year… Who’s coming with us?