General News

Wellington National Park Trail Adventure

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By Claire Tyrrell, Ride WA’s Roving Reporter

Under the canopy of tall gum trees, perfectly loamy tracks have been carved out along a hillside in Wellington National Park. Eager to test them out ahead of the Collie MTB Ramble I journey south from Perth to Wellington Dam.

From the carpark I head north towards the trail head and turn my pedals over to the highest elevation point. I pause at the top to absorb my surroundings – the brown leaves dotted along the earthy trails and dewy scrub shadowed by tall trees. Eucalyptus and fresh rainfall coalesce to bring a quintessentially Australian aroma that underpins so many of my winter rides.

Without further delay I set off down the trail, my tyres rolling with just enough resistance to keep momentum high. The familiar buzz of my mountain-bike hub echoes through the trees as I make my way down the grippy trails and towards the quarry.

Weaving through the scrub and leaning into the banked turns I think to myself “There’s nothing like this in Perth”. The sheer length of the descent makes this place unique, not to mention the jaw dropping artwork offsetting the tens of metres away.

Wellington Dam is home to the world’s largest dam mural, painted by Australian artist Guido Van Helten on a colossal 8000 square metre wall. The dam is easily accessible from the trail carpark and has fast become a tourism drawcard for the region.

Coupled with the epic mountain-bike tracks through surrounding bush, expect Collie’s Wellington Dam to become a lot more popular into the future.

Bring on the Ramble!


Event: Collie River MTB Marathon

Event Organiser: Cycling Eventures / Ride WA

Photo: Daniela Tommasi Photography

Trails: Common Ground Trails, Wambenger Trails

Major Sponsor: Synergy WA

(Please note, the new trails in Wellington National Park are not yet open for general riding.)

Marianne Vos – Objectively

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I recently read an article articulating the case for Serena Williams to be recognised as the greatest sports person ever. I am not really a tennis fan, and even if I was it would still be difficult to compare athletes across sports and across gender. The story did get me thinking, however, about Marianne Vos and how her career should sit in the overall scheme of things. How does Marianne’s career compare to that of Serena’s and how does her career sit objectively against her male counterparts in cycling? 2019 has been another stellar year for Marianne with numerous victories including La Course, Tour of Yorkshire and the Tour of Norway. At times this year it has looked like, at 32 years of age, she is actually getting stronger. Those victories and others this year can be be added to what is arguably the longest list of individual victories in any sport. But the list is incomplete, as it lacks a grand tour victory, simply because women’s cycling has never had one. If the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta had run grand tours for women, how many would Marianne have potentially won? In my mind the answer is at least six or seven and in all likelihood probably more. Serena will likely retire as the greatest tennis player of all time and if bike races gave equal status to men and women then potentially Marianne would retire (in 2028 🙂 ) with the same mantle in cycling and potentially with an athletic palmarès that would likely never be matched. B.M.

*Marianne Vos will be riding with the EY team in TOMR10.

Awesome Annemiek

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Story: Andrew Amos Photo: TDW Sport.

Annemiek van Vleuten’s crash at Rio was horrific. However, it only seemed to spur her on. Only one month after breaking her spine during the Olympics Road Race, she was back on her bike and on form. She finished her 2016 season with a win in her return race, the Lotto Belgium Tour, ahead of Marianne Vos. But in 2017, she’s gone from great to legendary. She has proven herself as one of the best climbers in the Women’s World Tour, taking stages at the Giro Rosa on slopes of 27%, winning atop the Col d’Izoard in La Course, and conquering the hilly Individual Time Trial at Worlds in Bergen. In all her Women’s World Tour participations, she has only failed to finish in the top 5 twice. She finished 2nd on the Women’s World Tour rankings behind her compatriot – and winner of that fateful Rio Road Race – Anna van der Breggen. In her homeland of the Netherlands, she won the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in September, as well as the National Time Trial Championships. As an Orica-Scott rider however, and as an ambassador for Ride WA, her second home is Australia. She loves riding Down Under, winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race back in January. Her return to form is nothing short of spectacular, producing her best season ever in 2017. She finishes it off in November at the Tour of Margaret River, as a World champion, where you can expect her to blow everyone away up the Mur du Hay.

Cycle City

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Tour week this year kicks off in Albany with the Albany Cycling Club hosting a Team Time Trial on Nov 5th and The Amazing Albany Bike Ride (TAABR) on the following day. Join us and some special guests in Albany and in the week that follows as we take the long (and leisurely) way to Margaret River where the race itself will begin on Nov 11th. Sincere thanks to the City of Albany for it’s support of TAABR and Breakaway WA, we can’t wait to visit Cycle City!  Register to ride TAABR or Breakaway WA.

The long way to Margaret River

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If you can get the whole week off from work we have daily rides happening across the Great Southern and South West in the lead up to this year’s tour. The week commences with the Amazing Albany Bike Ride on November 6th. All rides will start and finish in the same location each day with routes specially designed to showcase the hidden and iconic attractions of each region.  Our crew supporting these rides will be based at the Ocean Beach Holiday Park in Denmark, (Nov 6 and 7th) before transferring to Fonty’s Pool (pictured) near Manjimup, (Nov 8 and 9th.) Both locations have chalets and great facilities for caravanning and camping, throw in a couple of well known cycling identities and you have the formula for a memorable week before the tour even begins.

Zoe’s Story

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“I never thought in a million years that I would be racing at 50 years old, but age is just a number.”  At just 4ft 7inches Zoe Stolton is one of the easiest riders to pick out in the peloton, but what Zoe lacks in height she makes up for in courage, passion and determination. Zoe was a late starter to cycling and a serious accident in only her second race could well have ended her career before it really began, but despite this setback (and others) she has become a popular and iconic figure at PDCC earning the nickname “Heart of a Lion” as she continues to defy her age and adversity to win races and progress up through grades. In 2014 Zoe completed her first ToMR in a team with five men, but this year she is back with her own all female team the “Lakes Ladies.” Don’t expect her to just be making up numbers either as she has learnt a few tricks in her brief racing career and we expect her to be having a red hot go in any sprint finish.


Valentine to star at Closing Ceremony

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This year we have been very committed to creating the ultimate experience for our participants and thus we can think of no better way to conclude the tour than sitting back on lawns of Leeuwin Estate and listening to the delectable voice of one of WA’s brightest new stars. Described a cross between Birdy and Abby Dobson, Paige Valentine’s performance at our Closing Ceremony will coincide with the launching of her new album late in the year. With no racing the next day you may even like to indulge in a chardonnay or two while taking in the ambiental magic that is unique to Leeuwin Estate. Photo: Russell Ord

Meyer to ride for Satalyst

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Cameron Meyer is the latest rider to move from our Pro Register and into a team for ToMR. We are not privy to the team plans but we expect that Cam will be sent out by Satalyst to chase a stage win rather than pursue a high GC position. That said this year’s course really suits him and white line fever is such an unpredictable thing, just ask Phil Anderson who came across to the tour in 2013 with no intent to race and ended up winning three stages! Photo: Con Chronis, Tour Down Under

Legends Night gets Intimate

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At the conclusion of the tour Leeuwin Estate’s Art Gallery will be transformed into a spectacular and intimate setting for our Legends Night. With a host of special guests and some of the regions finest food and wine on offer this night will be the perfect way to complete your tour experience. We recommend purchasing tickets in the near future in order to avoid disappointment. A limited number of corporate tables are still available, please contact us directly if you would like to discuss this option.

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