With most of the individual State series’ wrapping up in Australia, it’s time to turn our eyes to the next chapter of the racing calendar. The EMS Shimano Australian Tour is the perfect place to focus your efforts when it comes to Gravity Enduro and with three epic stops, it’s sure to be a blockbuster series….
EMS or Event Management Solutions Australia are the legends that brought the EWS series to Australia with Derby goodness, ran the World Championships in Cairns last year and made a name for themselves by setting up and running the Queensland Enduro Series. Whilst they may have moved on from their humble beginnings, they still maintain the same quality event management that has been honed from years in the business.
Each and every one of the races included in the Shimano Australian Tour will be Enduro World Series Qualifiers, with the last two stops in Derby and Bright forming part of the Continental Enduro Series for the Asia-Pacific region.
Round 1: Gold Coast – 14 October
Taking place in Nerang State Forest, just West of the idyllic beaches of Queensland’s Gold Coast, round 1 is set to be an epic start to the series. Nerang is home to the Commonwealth Games Loop, a network of hand-built single track and no shortage of rocks. It’s rocky terrain is held together by dust, the trails are rugged and technical at times and the lack of elevation means that those with the pedaling stamina may mount the podium when the rubber meets the dirt.
Round 2: Derby – 11 November
A true success story, Derby is home to one of the most iconic trail networks in Australia and some might say the world. This aging mining town was re-invigorated when the Blue Derby trail network was built, leading to a booming mountain-bike based economy for the town. Home to some of the most epic trails in Australia and the 2017 EWS Trail of the year as voted by the riders, Derby certainly will not disappoint.
This race opens as the first round of the Continental Enduro Series and it is sure to be a blockbuster with some big hitters likely to line up for their chance to smoke the competition and claim the title of the Asia-Pacific Enduro Champion by the end of the season.
Round 3: Mt Buller – 2 December
Located just three hours from Melbourne, Mt Buller is an amazing mountain biking location. With over 100km of purpose-built mountain bike trails with everything from flow trails, hand-built single track and gravity-fed world-class downhill trails; Buller has it all. Usually known for its winter wonders as an Australian Ski destination, Mt Buller truly comes alive once the snow melts and the rubber hits the dirt. This final round of the Shimano Australian Enduro Tour forms the second round of the Asia-Pacific EWS Continental Series, the final Australian round before the series crosses the ditch and heads to NZ for the second half of the series.
This year looks set to finish on a high with an epic series becoming the prelude to the EWS round in Derby, Tasmania in March, 2019. The categories include Elite, Masters and Challenger, so whatever your skill level, you can have a crack, ride with your mates or pin it to win it. This rider will sure be hitting the trails at both the Gold Coast and Derby races and I look forward to seeing you there, pretty sure I’ll be taking out the tail end of the elite category……