Champion racer among Forrest Festival entrants

WORLD 24-hour solo mountain bike champion Jason English is among high-profile riders eagerly awaiting the first Forrest Festival.

Word of Forrest rider Norm Douglas’ inaugural event – which includes four stages of uphills and downhills and the major cross-country event – had spread nationwide.

English, of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, said he was keen to make the trip south to ride Forrest’s renowned trails.

“I’m looking forward to it, Norm’s been to a lot of races and he’s got a lot of experience from a racing point of view, so he knows what the athletes look for in an event,” he said.

“There’s a lot of variety, it’s not just cross country so I’m interested in seeing how a few of these other events go.

“But I’ve been to a few races in Forrest now, and I always looking forward to getting back and racing the trails there, as well as the social side of the festival as well.”

Douglas said attracting a high-profile rider like English and endurance champion Peta Mullens was a major coup.

“Jason been a great supporter of Forrest, he loves coming down here, he loves the Forrest trails and he said to me personally he’s looking forward to a race that’s not as exhausting,” he said.

“He’s a world-class rider, no two ways about it, and we love having his support.”

As well as the talented duo, Douglas said the “the entire Forrest” community had thrown its support behind the event, including allowing officials to host the first stage, a 15-kilometre cross-country races, in the town’s centre.

A five-kilometre hill climb and a five-kilometre time trial cap off the first day’s events on November 26, before a 50-kilometre cross-country stage on day two.

“I think probably the longer stages suit me better, so I’m looking forward to that the most,” English said.

“But in saying that the downhill is lots of fun,” he said.

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