Base in Bright’s B24

The Thule B24 mountain bike race in the Victorian Alps around Bright

Once again the Thule B24 has rolled around put on by Base in Bright down at the beautiful little Victorian town of Bright. Tucked in the Victorian Alps, Bright is a bikers paradise with trails running everywhere to suit all levels of skill and all types of biking. An unfortunate clash of dates meant I was down there this year while Gil went off to cover the Highland Fling.

The threat of rain unfortunately kept the numbers lower than expected but, considering the forecast, the turnout was great and certainly not the small race it was when it kicked off 4 years ago. The weekend started out at the Bright Brewery with a track stand contest and a few beers.

Saturday lunch saw the race get underway from the grand marquee. First out were the solo racers, followed 15 mins later by the esprit d’ corps category. A few shots along the river then I headed out to the new section of track called Tombstone. By all reports this super-flowy section went down a treat and everyone who came down were all smiles. Basically though, all the track was new as the course had been reversed this year to accommodated taking in Tombstone.

Early Sunday morning around 1am, I had just about dozed off in the back of my car when the sky lit up and the heavens opened with a bang as a thunderstorm rolled in. I felt pity for those still slogging it through the night. Some pretty torrential rain fell over night but by morning it had eased back a bit in intensity though was still consistent. The rain fell through the Sunday at times becoming increasing again. I was rather helpless as first my lenses started to mist and then I saw moisture forming inside the camera itself. Not much to do but keep shooting anyway.

By the end of the race those who were was still out on track were plastered with mud but still everyone who came in couldn’t wipe the smile off their face after such a great event. I have long wanted to shoot a few portraits after a muddy race like that and I got more than my fair share of mud-encrusted faces after the race finished up

Sam Moffitt took the win with his first 24hr victory and Courtney Henry took the win in the female solo category with her 3rd ever mtb race.

Head over to the full gallery to check out all that was captured over the weekend.

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Thule B24 in Bright, Victoria

Highlights from the Thule B24

Thule B24!!! What a test of endurance. How many laps of a 17km trail through the mountains can you knock over in 24hrs?

On Thursday Gil and I traveled down to Victoria to cover the Thule B24 mountain bike race, a 24hr endurance race taking place in the mountains around Bright. The trip down was an adventure in itself as we were detoured due to bushfires then another due to a nasty crash which together put us about 6 hours of course (always good to take the scenic route though). We arrived in Bright midday on Friday and quickly set to walking the track and finding our locations.  Bright is a mountain bikers paradise with mountains all around and trails weaving up and through the forest everywhere. It certainly was not hard to pick our location, the problem was more what locations would we not have time for.

A new category was added called the Esprit De Corps and was very successful at bringing back social riding. Your team needed to complete a certain amount of laps over the course of 24 hours but you had the option of all riding as a group. So if you were in a team of 6 and you do a lap with all team riders it actually counts as 6 laps. I think you will see this format coming up more in the future of team racing.

The race kicked off at 12 on Saturday. It was quite a long weekend but well worth it. Probably not as long for us as it was for the riders though. We shot well into the night and were up again and into it before dawn. In the last couple of hours things became rather hectic again as all the riders crammed in the last few laps. The smiles which had faded in the early hours of the morning were back too with some riders even going past me giggling Delirious or just very happy I wasn’t quite sure which)

All in all a great weekend away. I think we are both hoping to return to Bright soon.

Oh and just in case you were wondering, the winner of the solo category was Shane Roberts who completed 22 laps or around 374kms.

You can find all the images from the Thule B24 online and available for purchase here

You can find more information about the race on their website here