WITH the 2017 Mountain Bike Australia XCO National Series at Kinross State Forest attracting almost 500 entrants, mayor John Davis said a second mountain bike trail centre at Mount Canobolas would prove Orange is serious about the sport.
While the matter will likely wait until a decision is made on the proposed merger between Orange, Blayney and Cabonne councils, Cr Davis said he still supported the idea.
Are you in the game or just pretending?
“Then people know you’re a real player – are you in the game or just pretending?” he said.
Central West Off Road Bicycle Club vice-president Rodney Farrell was a little more cautious, saying the proposal still had a long way to go as the club worked with other stakeholders.
“If the mountain proposal came off, it’s a totally different prospect because it’s largely attracting tourism, not races, but it will be a massive drawcard,” he said.
He said Kinross State Forest would likely be logged in three years’ time, meaning the club would need to look at other options.
Mountain Bike Australia event director Bob Morris said strong club support and hard work from the Central West Off Road Bicycle Club made it easy to bring a national event to Kinross State Forest and the addition of a second trail centre would make Orange a world-class mountain biking destination.
“There’s over 100 kilometres of trails with gravity trails and cross country trails are we will be fighting people off at the airport,” he said.
Competitor Riley Taylor travelled for the competition from Noosa and said with a lot of competitions further south towards Victoria, Orange was a halfway point.
“We can definitely introduce a stopover – rather than being Canberra or something, we could make it more around Orange,” he said.
Professional off-road triathlon competitor Jacqui Slack from Wollongong said she used the event as a training opportunity to hone her mountain bike leg and she came ninth in the elite ladies’ competition.
“I was surprised with how cosmopolitan Orange is with the cafes and bars and restaurants and lots of accommodation options,” she said.
“[Another track would mean] you could ride one area one day and another the next day, which would bring so many more people here,” she said.
NSW Minister for the Environment Mark Speakman will decide whether to allow mountain biking in the Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area.