THE Kinross State Forest has never seen the sort of field the 2015 Evocities MTB Series is expected to attract.
Orange will host the opening leg of the mountain bike series with the Ginja Ninja 250.
Entries for the new series are expected to open next week and Central West Off Road Bike Club vice-president Rodney Farrell said he expects some of the world’s best riders to be at the starting line.
“I think in the men’s, Jason English is really interested to come and ride. He’s a five-time world champion now,” Farrell said.
“I think in the women’s, Eliza Kwan will be really hard to beat if she comes.”
English took out the World Solo 24 Hour Championship in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The event was not held in 2011.
It’s no surprise he has also taken in the 2013 and 2014 national crowns.
While he might be the hot favourite if he enters, Farrell said English could be tested in the Ginja Ninja.
“The Ninja’s not too long so it could attract the guys who specialise in shorter races, whereas Jason likes to stretch his legs in the six to 24 hours,” Farrell explained.
“Some of the guys who want to do well in the three to six hours might give him the hurry up. It will be an interesting dynamic.”
This year’s Ginja Ninja solo title was taken out by Bathurst’s Daniel Watson, and Dubbo’s Paul Schroder claimed the title in 2013.
Farrell expects they’ll find it tougher to finish on top in 2015.
“I think with the prize money on offer the level might go up that it would be pretty hard for those guys to compete for the victory, but they’ll certainly be looking to podium or top five,” he said.
The Orange combination of Gus Tobin and Tim Guy have been the men’s pairs winners the last two years and could feature again in 2015.
“I think they’d be looking to repeat but, again, I think the level of quality if expected to go up,” Farrell explained.
“They’ll both be pedaling really well off the back of the road nationals, so the pedaling won’t be a problem, it will just be whether or not they get their timing and feel and how they deal with that.”
In the Ginja Ninja 250 riders complete as many laps of the course as they can in 250 minutes. In the last two years, the winners have completed nine laps in 2014 and 10 in 2013.
Farrell expects those numbers will be bettered this year with a crack field.
“I think we’ll be looking at somebody doing probably 11 laps. That’s somewhere in the region of 90 kilometres with a lot of climbing at altitude,” he said.
The Ginja Ninja 250 will be held on Sunday, February 15.
This will be followed by events at Wylde (western Sydney), Bathurst, Albury, Dubbo, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.
For more information on the event go to www.evocitiesmtb.com.