Tasmania has always been in island state of wilderness – mixing wild weather with wild terrain, and some would say wild people. More recently Tasmania has become the hot bed of mountain biking in Australia, while drawing interest from mountain bikers around the world. The Blue Derby and St Helens trail networks are at the heart of it all, and are the exact location that the new Dragon Trail MTB 3-day stage race will take place from 26-28 March 2020.
The Dragon Trail MTB route
Starting in Branxholm, the first day takes you through the best trails in the Blue Derby network, before finishing at the iconic Weldborough Pub. Set your tent up (unless you’ve booked to have it done for you) and grab a feed and a local beverage!
Stage two sends you up the range and over to the Bay of Fires. Sure you’ll be working to get up to the Blue Tier, but you will be descending all the way to the Bay of Fires, one of the most spectacular coastline areas in the world.
Day three takes in the St Helens trails, which are being finished off right now. A little shorter, there will still be some sting in the Dragon’s tail. Full course details are online.
What to expect at the Dragon Trail MTB
Good trails, good services and a chance to ride and race some of the best trails in the country. You’ll be camping and socialising with others in the race, and while it is for solo riders there’s nothing stopping you riding hard and fast with your mate, if you have adopted pairs stage racing as a new past time. There is a relay pairs option if you like the idea of a 3-day race but you’re not convinced you have the legs for it. There are age group categories as well – all explained on the event homepage.
What’s the riding like at the Dragon Trail MTB?
Fun! The trails around Blue Derby and St Helens are primarily purpose-built mountain bike trails. Sure, the Enduro World Series and Shimano Enduro Tour have visited Blue Derby, but there are a whole range of trails in the area and the routes are picking the trails that best serve a mountain bike stage race.
Yes, campsites will be set up for each stage location. You could aim to book AirBnB accommodation but you’ll miss out on much of the socialising. The event sites will be full-service with places to get coffee and lunch. You can opt to buy breakfast packs of local produce or bring your own. Check out the food options online.
What do I need to do to get ready for the Dragon Trail MTB?
Ride your bike, and make sure you can comfortably finish a 3hr ride at a pace where full-sentences aren’t so comfortable, and then do it again the next day. Plus, take a look at the event website and the transfer and meal options. Enter the race, book a flight if needed, and some time off work, and you’re set to go. There are transfer options if you need them, available as an entry add on.
Is three days all I need in the area?
Of course not – you could just ride in Blue Derby for three days, so you might want to extend your stay afterwards. Whether it’s to laze on the beach at St Helens, head to Ben Lomond to tackle the epic climb, or just retrace the steps of the Dragon Trail MTB route, there is a whole lot more riding to do in north-east Tasmania.