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About


History

Based in Lithgow and formed in 1984, the Central Tablelands Mountain Bike Club was one of, if not the first stand-alone mountain bike clubs in Australia. Our members were actively involved in the formation of our sports first governing body, AMBA, and have been vocal in the sports development ever since.

After some major races throughout the late 1990s culminating in a National XC round in 1999, NSWs first 6hr in 2000 and the Oceania DH Championships in 2001 the club began to wan and was eventually put on hiatus. In 2004 the club was revived and has since gone on to bigger and better things.

The Revival

In 2004 as small group, Craig Flynn, Brett Egan, Matt and Gary Walker and Luke Mouatt, got together and decided to revive the club. In March of that year, along with BOP's Stu Plant, we hosted the inaugural round of the Bright Orange Promotions Working Week Series. A new format of team based 8hr races. That race attracted 198 riders, becoming the biggest mountain bike race seen in our region that far. Since then over 3000 individuals have taken part on the 5 annual 8hr races held throughout the state. Our 2006 round attracted 350 riders including members of the Belgium road team, who were using the event for secret training.

Also in 2004 we worked with the State Mine Heritage Park and Railway to create a new Down hill Track at their great venue. This was used to host a NSW State round, which was acclaimed aa a huge success. So successful in fact that we were then asked to take over a National round from CCOMBC who were experiencing difficulty with land access.

Despite still having only 5 active members we rose to the challenge and in January 2005 we put on a fantastic event witht he help of The Humphreys from WSMTB, the Grundies form CCOMTB and The Prohms of WMTB. The race attracted some of the best riders in the world from as far away a France, Canada and Japan. The podium was made up 3 of former Junior World Champions lead by former World Cup series winner, Nathan Rennie and the U19 winner, Amiel Cavileer went on to become 2005 Junior world Champion.

We then went on to host the 2005 State Championships. With the popularity of the venue and our reputation for providing quality events spreading we were looking forward to increased rider numbers for 2006 NSW DH Round #2 but nothing had prepared us for the sheer number of riders that registered for the Event.

The 250 Down Hill entrants made it the biggest NSW state race in history and a further 20 Observed Trials entrants took the total up to 270 entrants.

The DH #1 of 2006-2007 National series held on the 28th and 29th of October 2006 had 320 riders, making it the biggests non chairlifted round and dispite a disappointing end, where a acciedent casue delays onthe track and evenutaly the cancelation of final runs, the event was well recieved..<.p>

Junior Development

We have always shown keen interest in the development of our younger riders, helping develop the skills and confidence to proceed in our sport. This has lead to our races enjoying a far higher percentage of junior competitors and initiatives such as our easier short course races have seen riders as young as 8 participating in Down Hill

The 2005 state championships saw 3 Lithgow kids, Cody "Disco" Strickland, Kallan Boyd and Jarrad Boyd standing on the podium in the junior hard tail class.

In 2006 we helped 4 of our young members, Brad Morris, Max Mckinny and Kallan and Jarrad Boyd achieve their goal of competing in the Australian interschools competition held in Thredbo. Despite the school failing to give them official endorsement the boys proudly represented Lithgow high and we aided them financially by paying their entry fee.

The Future

As well as continuing to bid for major events we are currently negotiating with relevant land managers to provide a greater network of quality trails to help promote our region as a mountain biking destination. For 2007 we are hoping to concentrate of club racing and provide a more regular local racing scene.

Promoting our Area

Since 2004 we have had almost 2000 race entrants. The vast majority of these have been non-locals (The club still has less than 50 local members). As the bigger events are staged over 2 days most of these stay over night, some have stayed up to a week prior to the event to practice on our trails. These riders bring friends and family members to act as support crew and on average we have one spectator per rider. That's a lot of people to our local area and that only includes race weekends.

Many come back bringing non-racing friends, on any given weekend car loads of mountain bikers make the trip up from Sydney and further afield to ride the State Mine track.

Cycle tourism is a rapidly growing niche market. No longer are bikes thrown in as an after thought, more and more people are planning their holiday around their riding opportunities. In the UK, Forest Wales has been hugely successful in tapping into the market with the diverse, maintained trail network.

In each of the last 5 years in Australia bicycle sales have outstripped car sales. In 2005 Australians purchased over 1 million bikes.

We believe with our fantastic natural terrain, the growing popularity of our trails and close proximity of Australia's major population base, Sydney, we have the potential for Lithgow to become the Mounting biking Mecca of Australia.

Our long term goal is to make available a network of signed trails in our surrounds that will appeal to the broad range of off road riding experiences.

TV and the Media

Along with word of mouth and our own web page we have been successful in attracting media attention. All of our major races have been covered by Local News crews and each of our Endurance, State and National level races have been covered in magazines such as Revolution, AMB, Sticks and CLICT.

There were segments dedicated to our 2005 and 2006 National races in professional DVDs such as Clict video magazine and Drift 3, both sold internationaly.

We were also successful in getting that race covered by SBS's Cycling Central. The CC crew shot three other stories whilst in the area so we had riding in our local area highlighted on national TV for 4 weeks in a row. This saw a surge in the interest in our casual riding opportunities.
With the help of MTBA media co ordinator the The 2006 race was favoured with wide spread mainstream media coverage.
Continuing on our 2007 State race was attended to Ralph TV, unfortunitely this seems to have pulled off air before our segment went to air.

Guiding Mounting Biking into the Furture

Our committee members continue to be vocal members of MTBA

Gary Walker is one of the Countries top Commisaires

Mat Walker and Mick Stains are Tenical Deligates

and Craig Flynn is an guiding member of the newly formed NSWMTB

Craig Flynn
President CTMBC

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