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Dragon challengers happy with course

DATE 02/03/2012

Photo L to R - Overall Blue Dragon winners Ken Allen and Nick Morgan celebrate their victory.

More than 360 mountain bike riders had an exhausting and bruising encounter with State forests in the North East in early February, but most left still smiling and vowing to return.

The fourth running of the Blue Dragon Challenge attracted 184 two-rider teams to the forest roads and tracks between Derby and Weldborough.

Organised by former North East boy Ben Mather the event has become a fixture that raises the profile of the region with a very different audience.

Mather is particularly happy that the number of entries from interstate continues to grow.

Melbourne pair Peter Malcolm and Andrew Mock, who won the second stage and were second overall, appreciated the scenery despite riding through it as a blur.

“You still have time to see a bit of your surroundings and it’s much nicer than where we usually ride,” Malcolm said.

The fastest cumulative time for the two days was recorded by Hobart’s Nick Morgan and Ken Allen – the second time Morgan had won.

They completed the 92 kilometres over the two days in four hours 46 minutes and 43 seconds.

Forest Tasmania’s entry “Platts Power” made up of Peter Bird and Adrian Walls competing in the male Golden Oldies section finished uninjured in a shade over nine hours.