Mountain bikers set to boost region

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Dardanup Shire president Mick Bennett says events like this have a huge impact on the region.
Camera IconDardanup Shire president Mick Bennett says events like this have a huge impact on the region. Credit: Callum Hunter.

Mountain bike racing will return to the Ferguson Valley this winter and provide a massive boost to the region, according to Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett.

For the first time in a decade, more than 200 of the State’s best cross country mountain bikers will converge on the Pile Road trail network to do battle in round eight of the State XCO Series.

“It will be massive for all of our businesses,” Cr Bennett said.

“We have the breweries and wineries, the shops, Dardanup has a magnificent bakery, there’s places to stay and places to do everything they (competitors) want to do... for this area it will be magnificent.”

Perth Mountain Bike Club president Chris Park shared Cr Bennett’s sentiments and said the club enjoyed taking the series to different areas.

“When we travel to places like Pile Road people tend to stay overnight in the area bringing accommodation and food expenditure to the local community,” he said.

“We can have anywhere up to 200-plus riders attend a race and then spectators and support crews on top of this.”

The Dardanup shire has been something of a cycling hotspot in recent times after it hosted the 2018 WA Road Championships in August, the 2019 Junior Road Nationals in September and a number of downhill State rounds, including the 2018 State championships.

“Cycling’s always had a long heritage in the region and so the council is happy to support these types of events, especially when they’re bringing so many people in our area,” Cr Bennett said.

Round eight of the State XCO Series will be held on August 11.

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