TASMANIA, Australia (Singletrack.com) – Arguably the country’s premier cross-country mountain bike stage race, the Pure Tasmania Wildside returns to the Australian national MTB calendar on January 28 with a record 480-rider field.
Held in what is affectionately known as Australia’s ‘Apple Isle,’ the four-day event starts at the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain and finishes at Strahan Village, located on Tasmania’s pristine west coast. This year, the race has attracted riders from all states and territories in Australia as well as overseas, with representation from Switzerland, Columbia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The men’s elite field is one of the strongest in the event’s 10-year history, with early favorite and four-time winner, Sid Taberlay, back for another crack. The only rider to have ridden every Wildside since its inception, Taberlay last won the race in 2005 and is keen to prove he still has what it takes, and will use the race as an important test of form in his quest for Olympic selection.
His greatest adversary is undoubtedly Canadian Max Plaxton, who won the 2011 NORBA series and in doing so, earned selection for the London Games. Snapping at their heels will be a trio of Australian riders from the state of Victoria: 2010 Wildside champion, Daniel McConnell, under-23 national champion Paul van der Ploeg, and 2008 Wildside winner, Adrian Jackson.
Riders compete in seven competition stages linked by six ‘cruising’ (non-timed, transitional) stages; in short, a continuous and visually spectacular journey of over 200 kilometers that will challenge the skill and endurance of every participant.
- Day 1 – January 28: Cradle Valley to Tullah, 70km Results
- Competition stages (2) – 38km
- Cruising stages (3) – 32km
- Day 2 – January 29: Tullah to Zeehan, 64km
- Competition stages (2) – 52km
- Cruising stages (2) – 12km
- Day 3 – January 30: Zeehan to Granville Harbour, 43km
- Competition stages (2) – 28km
- Cruising stages (1) – 15km
- Day 4 – January 31: Strahan to Strahan, 36km
- Competition stages (1) – 36km
Event website: www.wildsidemtb.com