Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) announced that Derby, Tasmania, would hold the 2015 and 2016 XCM Champs. It was big news! Visiting in February, the trails were clearly another World Trail masterpiece. With about 30km of singletrack finished at the Blue Derby trails, there was the makings of a very different marathon course. Lots of flowing singletrack, enough climbing, and a small town for the Australian mountain bike community to take over – and hopefully breathe some life into.
The town has turned it on for the weekend, with bike themed motifs and some recently opened cafes. The event centre is filled with local produce, and there’s not much accommodation spare in town. The carpark is full, as is the overflow car park.
Today, all age groups were racing, with starts staggered from 10am at the tennis courts in town. Each wave of riders were paraded through town (at some pace) and straight up Cascade Road. Most categories snuck into a short loop of singletrack to make a 10km start loop before the whole 30km lap, but it was dependant on the distance.
With rains the previous week end, the course was hard going. Lots of corners, lots of pinches through switch backs, and just a lot of trail meant gaps were pretty big. Riders spent time in the feedzone, with tales of hard going on the climbs and long descents. Some rode on, others paused, happy to call it a day without finishing.
With 18 categories racing, it was tricky to pick who was where, but the full results are summarised online.
Elites take to the course tomorrow, we’ll have results and images as they’re available.