Stage 2 of the Lasseters Easter in the Alice MTB stage race took place this morning under a welcome cover of cloud in Australia’s red centre. The race HQ of the historic Alice Springs ‘Telegraph station’ provided a welcome backdrop of green grass and a convenient brew shop for post race recovery beverages. Although only a short stage today of just 25km all athletes were told to prepare for perhaps the most brutal stage of the race. The organisers were not wrong in this prediction with riders treated to an almost 100% singletrack stage typified by old school technical, rocky terrain.
Rider’s who were well versed in bike handling and comfortable with tight, technical, rocky climbs and descents were to be successful today. Not much change in the pointy end of the results today from yesterday. With Brendan Johnston and Jenny Blair both taking stage wins and extending their lead on the general classification. Andy Blair showed he is quickly ascending the form ladder improving on his 9th place from yesterday to finish 4th today ahead of local’s Clark Petricke and Ben Gooley showing the comfort with their home trails. Briony Mattocks again came home 2nd in the women’s followed by Gemma Gooley and Melissa Woltham. Full results here.
Today’s stage was indicative of the surprisingly varied terrain available to riders in the Alice. The town of less than 25 000 people has amassed over 300km of MTB single track in the area. Indicating the local community has invested heavily in time and cash to establish a playground for mountain bikers. The flowy, bermed trails of yesterday were contrasted by the technical terrain of today’s stage. If you fancy the rocky terrain, staying close to the Todd River (typically dry with only sand) will allow you to get your fix. Traversing away from town in the ‘Larapinta’ area offers hours upon hours of flowy singletrack trails. The Telegraph Station surrounded by a pleasant green grass picnic area offers bike hire and guided tours of the area. Also reading up on the history of the station is very interesting.
Tomorrow is the final and reputedly most enjoyable stage of the Lasseters Easter in the Alice stage race. 40km of the area’s most flowy and fast trail offerings are on offer. The in form Brendan Johnston and Jenny Blair appear to be in the box seat to take home the title of Easter in the Alice Bilby’s for 2017 or could the final stage see a shake up of the GC. Full report to follow.