COLAC district quad-bike rider Brett Clissold has conquered dry and dusty outback New South Wales to win a gruelling adventure race.
Clissold, of Pirron Yallock, is the new Condo 750 quad-bike class champion after defying 750 kilometres of harsh off-road conditions around Condobolin, in central NSW, during Easter.
The 30-year-old was the first quad-bike rider home – and 19th overall in the bike class – in nine hours, two minutes and 11 seconds.
He finished day one, on the north course, in 4.37.17 and day two, the south course, in 4.11.56, having clocked 12.58 for a pre-race prologue.
Clissold said the win was among his career highlights, which also included a podium finish at the Finke Desert Race and a win at the Hattah Desert Race.
It was his first victory since recovering from broken vertebrae he suffered while trail bike riding at Irrewillipe more than two years ago.
“I was trail riding and things went bad, I had a bad crash and ended up with a few crushed vertebrae. A lot of recovery went into that,” he said.
“It’s been two years last week, or the week before, and there were lots of physio, chiropractor, osteopath, lots of swimming and finally I got back into the gym.
“There’s been a lot of gym work to get back muscle tissue.”
Clissold contested the Condo 750 in 2011, but simply wanted to finish as he healed.
He raised his expectations for 2012 – his third attempt at the event – having regained his strength and with his bike moving quick.
Clissold said navigating the two courses also played a key role in his victory.
“I’ve finished before but I’ve always had bad navigation errors and got lost,” he said.
“Navigation is 90 per cent of it, it doesn’t matter how fast you go, if you get lost you can spend hours lost.
“That was one of my main aims, concentrate on navigation and make sure I keep the bike intact.
“Everything went according to plan.”
Clissold was one of three Colac district competitors in the Condo 750.
Irrewillipe’s John Ladhams placed 17th in his H2 motorbike class, and was 30th overall, while Colac’s Anthony Campbell was the fourth quad-bike home and 28th overall.
Clissold said service crew members, his father Ken Clissold and Graeme McNabb, were instrumental in his success.
“They did an awesome job, it can’t be done without them,” he said.