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The Redback MTB Stage Race Delivers Incredible MTB Riding

EVENT 🥇🦘

Australia’s longest running mountain bike stage race – The Redback – hit up the trails surrounding Alice Springs with six exhilarating stages over four days from Friday 18 August to Monday 21 August, 2023.

 

Rohin Adams and Tash Burgess emerged as overall champions with the fastest cumulative times across all six stages of racing. Both were equally in awe of the quality of exceptional riding on offer in the heart of Australia.

“I knew the trails were good, but I’d forgotten just how good the trails are! I’ve had a fantastic ride and it’s only Stage 1!” said Adams after his Stage 1 win.

 

The 14th edition of the race did not disappoint, living up to its reputation with each course meticulously designed, showcasing flowing lines and abundant sunshine that enthralled competitors from across Australia who made the trek to the Red Centre.

 

Race Director John Jacoby from Rapid Ascent said it was great to witness the thrill mountain bike riders got from each stage and the friendly camaraderie that permeated the event.

 

“Riders have been frothing over the trails and the variety it offered – from super-fast flowing single track, to technical switch-back climbs and twisting berm runs,” said Jacoby. “It’s certainly shown us some epic and thrilling riding!”

 

The introduction of the revamped structure for 2023 which presented riders with two course options: the ‘A-Line’ (long) and ‘B-Line’ (short) was a resounding success which saw riders of varying abilities access these incredible trails.

 

Stage 1 on Friday 18 August began in the morning with an epic XC race of 36km (A-Line) and 22km (B-Line) that gave riders their first taste of the Alice Springs trails with continuous sections of flowing single track. Riders then returned that afternoon for Stage 2 with the ANZAC Hill Climb – a 300m hard hitting climb which was won by Alice Springs’ local Tom Stockwell, and Tara Neyland in 46.59 seconds and 70.79 seconds, respectively.

 

Stage 3 saw more solid racing at the pointy end of the field in the A-Line’s 45km course with Stockwell taking pole position just 1 minute ahead of Adams. Both the A-Line and B-Line courses saw riders dive deep into the Eastside trail network around Alice Springs that included some of the most popular local trails – Stimsons, Helmet, Perente, Carl’s, and Sink Track Eagle – before finishing at the Old Telegraph Station.

Day 3 on Sunday was a highlight for the eager riders who each raced a 22km individual time trial (18km for B-Line) in the morning; followed by a night race over the same course in the evening.

 

“Racing through the desert night sky under 100 million stars is a dream-like experience for any mountain bike rider – and that is exactly what riders at the event did!” said Jocoby. “Their weaving line of light symbolic of the dreamtime serpent snaking its way along the single track, dipping through valleys and climbing ridgelines in a riding experience line no other.”

 

Adams’ won the individual time trial, but head-to-head on the night stage over the same course saw Stockwell outsprint Adams’ to the finish line. However Adam’s retained the overall GC going into Stage 6 due to his strong performances throughout.

 

“I kept inching back towards him (Adams) after the climbs and I’d catch up on the descents; then as we hit the flat coming towards the finish I played a bit of ‘cat and mouse’ then just went for it!” said Stockwell.

 

The final day of racing was filled with even greater enthusiasm amongst the riders as they took to Stage 6’s epic 52km XC course (25km for B-Line) knowing the best of the best flowing single track was saved for this finale.

 

The final stage saw Adams retain his Redback crown ahead of Stockwell; and Tash Burgess secured her spot at the top of the overall female GC podium.

 

“I haven’t seen that track in years – wow what a beautiful Stage that was; the single track was just insane,” said Adams.

 

Local young-gun Solomon Harder of Alice Springs won the overall GC in the B-Line; along with fellow local Emma Shearer taking out the female B-Line win overall.

 

Each stage certainly had riders smiling and sweating on the infinite single track, especially the red desert landscapes and sweeping views that encapsulates the Red Centre.

 

The easy race logistics saw competitors roll to the start lines (no car or support crew needed); and then had them sitting back by the pool in the afternoon, watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and sharing stories with newfound friends.

 

“The passion for mountain bike riding, the camaraderie, and these epic stages reminded us of the indominable spirit that fuels us all when it comes to events like these,” said Jacoby. “And we wanted to personally congratulate, and thank this years’ Redback participants for making it a truly unforgettable experience!”

 

The event would not be possible without the support from the NT Government which has helped event organisers Rapid Ascent market the event at a national level and cement its’ place as Australia’s longest running mountain bike stage race.

 

For more information about The Redback MTB Stage Race please visit www.TheRedback.com.au.

 

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