Mick Sherwood’s brief but powerful affinity with the 12 Hours in the Piney race in Armidale has continued, after he claimed back-to-back open solo titles at the annual mountain bike event.
Following 10 hours of racing, he had covered 193 kilometres – finding strength in the extreme endurance nature of the event.
“I seem to be able to maintain the pace over the long distances,” he said, “as apposed to the short, intense races.
“I seem to favour the longer ones, where you can dial it back a bit but still hold a pretty meaningful race for a longer time.”
The Tamworth Cycle Club member has only competed in the annual New England Mountain Bikers event twice.
Sherwood’s fellow Tamworth competitors, Steve Roberts, Chris Shaw, Ben Clark and Mark Willis, won the team-of-four race.
The 12 Hour is a multi-lap race held on a 13-kilometre track in the Armidale State Forest.
Entries to the event were up 20 per cent this year compared to last year, NEMTB said.
Last year’s race was held in April, with 220 riders taking part, while this year around 270 people competed in one of the premier social events on the mountain biking calendar.
NEMTB president Peter Hosking said the date change, combined with other variations to the event, rejuvenated it.
“We changed it quite dramatically to try and get out of the normal race season we have at the beginning of the year,” he said.
“We changed the format, we made it a little less technical, and the majority of the feedback was that was a positive move. So we are hoping that will increase numbers again once the word gets out.
“We have a lot of people at the pointy end but a lot of people were there to have fun with friends and family.”
The 12 Hour is aimed at everyone from casual cyclists through to the country’s best.
“Some of these people buy a licence for the one race a year,” Hosking said.
“We think it is important that we have our pointy competition happening out at Sport UNE on those technical trails on a national level and we really want to have something that has a nice, social feel to it as well.”
Female open solo: Meghan Gillmer.
Male open solo: Michael Sherwood.
Female +40 solo: Katherine Wood.
Male solo 40+: Alwyn Miller.
Female pairs: Jacqueline King and Jacqui Munday.
Mixed pairs: Jodie Mayled and Brad Newman.
Male pairs: Stuart Eddy and Chris Fucks.
Female team of four: Katherine Hosking, Emily Wooster, Isabella Hosking and Olive Tutt.
Mixed team of four: Holy Harris, Michael Harris, Pat Ferris and Carl Hooton.
Male team of four: Steve Roberts, Chris Shaw, Ben Clark and Mark Willis.
Male team of four +40: Peter Mitchell, James Webber, Timothy Parkes.