Daring riders test their skills

World Mountain Bike Championship at Dalby Forest ..tough climb 112090f   Picture  Richard Ponter  '21/05/11
World Mountain Bike Championship at Dalby Forest ..tough climb 112090f Picture Richard Ponter '21/05/11
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MOUNTAIN bike fanatics from across the country were given the chance to tackle the world cup course in Dalby Forest on Saturday afternoon.

As the UCI Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup returned to the 3,440-hectare beauty spot, hundreds of riders lined up for the Dalby Dare to see how they would fare on the black rated circuit, compared to their elite counterparts.

The Dalby Dare sets off ..a photographer capturing the action  112090e

The Dalby Dare sets off ..a photographer capturing the action 112090e

Although the Dalby World Cup course is open to the public all year round, a quiet weekend with friends was sure to be different to facing hundreds of fellow riders, with an even greater number of spectators cheering from the sidelines.

Before the event, competitors were given advice from experts on how to tackle challenging hurdles such as Dixon’s Hollow and the dreaded Medusa’s drop. Not forgetting of course the relentless Worry Gill, that claimed a number of victims in the race prior to the Dalby Dare.

Hundreds of spectators stayed behind to see how the event would unfold, with many choosing to gather around Dixon’s Hollow and Worry Gill in the hope of witnessing a big pile-up. However, besides a number of minor scrapes, no major collisions were witnessed.

Jay Horton, the husband of Great Britain’s Maddie Horton, who placed her stake for the London 2012 Olympics in the Women’s Elite World Cup race on Sunday, said: “This event shows how friendly this sport is. Unlike sports like football or rugby, you can actually talk to the professionals who are more than happy to give advice or have a friendly chat.”

Mountain Bike World Cup reports on pages 46-48.