6 October 2007

Entries Close for Scott 24 Hour

| Kramer
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Entries have now closed for the Scott 24 Hour Mountain Bike race which will see the return of “The 24 Hour” to Stromlo next weekend. According to my calculations there are 2318 entrants. At any one time there should be 593 riders on the track, of which 130 are massochistic solo entrants.

Entries are down this year due to a rival 24 hour race being run at Majura the following weekend. I am curious as to who would enter the rival race when profits go into private coffers, whereas CORC puts profits from the Scott race back into Canberra mountain biking. Also in the Scott you get to ride the awesome new trails at Stromlo, compared to the rival race which is over at Majura.

More details are on the CORC website.

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Fridegmagnet – actually the entry level corporate team at the Scott 24 Hour is $2000, and the Mont is $1200. I think the mont is a bit rich for an event in its first year compared to “The 24 Hour” (Scott).

iBike – I needed to clarify my position (or lack thereof) as some people were starting to jump to conclusions that I might be someone other than an enthusiastic mountain biker who wants to see the continued advancement of mountain biking in Canberra.

As for comments about the course being dangerous… HA HA HA! You guys call yourselves mountain bikers? There is always an element of danger in mountain biking. Any potentially dangerous sections have been sign posted and saftey netting installed where appropriate. The race is over the intermediate rated trunk trail and beginner trails – people won’t be riding the double black diamond rock gardens, etc.

By the looks of things, the trail will be dusty, but given the drought over the last few years any trail will get dusty when you have almost 600 riders hammering around the course at any one time (is there a money back anti-dust guarantee at the mont or something???).

Finally I’ll say just one word: Skyline. There is no better piece of mountain bike trail in Canberra at the moment. OK its a little dusty & could use more bedding in, but it is still fantastic. My hat is well and truly off to Glen Jacobs and crew for their latest creation, which will have Scott riders scrambling back up the mountain for another run down.
See you there.

On 8/10/07 iBike wrote:
“…not helped by the dustbowl like conditions of the Nationals.”

Before I start I’ll disclose my affiliations. I am the Trails Access Officer for CORC, and have helped out with the building of the trails at Stromlo and getting the volunteer component of the project happening. I’ve also helped out with the maintenance part of not only Stromlo, but Majura as well.

Regarding the statement about the “dustbowl like conditions of the nationals”, I believe this to be an incorrect statement about the current situation out on the hill. While the weather has been very dry in the last month and led to a drying out of the trail tread, the rain in June resulted in some significant growth all over the mountain that has done an enormous amount to quell the amount of dust getting blown around. This view is not only shared by me, but others who have attended working bees and been eating pizza at the event centre when the wind picked up. Yes there are still pockets where dust is picked up, but compared to the Nationals conditions it is a whole different beast.

The aforementioned dry conditions in the last two months are starting to dry out the trail tread in many of our ride areas. Kowen got severly broken up last year, but it wasn’t all attributable to the numbers of riders on track. The soil just had no moisture in it whatsoever. Ride too far onto the edge, and it breaks off. Next tyre over it turns it to dust. The soils at Kowen 24hr and Stromlo are actually very similar – almost a sandy loam, with no big rock particles to bind it together. Sparrow actually has the best soil for Canberra trails – the shale bits around the place do alot for the binding properties. (and shows based on how well it handles the 8hr events)

Where I am going with this is that regardless of where the races are held this year, the trails are likely to get broken down into dust without that thing we all need – RAIN. The race last year at Kowen created some severe dust cloud problems for riders – the advantage with Stromlo is that any breeze will clear the dust quicker.

Based on my time fixing Majura, I can say that it also is not immune from the dry conditions and will also cop some pounding with the passing of multiple sets of tyres. It will also be technical in parts, unless the Mont keeps it to the bottom sections. As for Mont’s commitment to fixing the trails there post-race, Dave has stated that this will be done. I am happy to take his word for it at this time, because no doubt he realises the damage that will be done to his event’s reputation if they leave the trails in a mess and just walk away. The weight of public opinion has proven to be the most effective (and sadistic, but not always right) judge, jury and executioner in these cases (internet forums like this and others being a case in point).
As for the broader Scott vs Mont issue, associated sponsor rumours, and comments/discussions on CORC’s finances I will deliberately avoid it here. Without everyone knowing the whole facts in the case it becomes a he said/she said and really achieves nothing. What I can tell you from experience is that running working bees is not all that cheap, and the club, being a not-for-profit entity is committed to investing the money earned back into the club and the general MTB community. We don’t sit around smoking cuban cigars drinking cognac.


Felix the Cat9:18 pm 08 Oct 07

There is also the Rotary Scenic Cycle Tour of Canberra next weekend (Sunday 14 October) which may account for fewer entries in the Scott 24 hr MTB event. The Rotary event (‘event’, not race) is to be held on paved roads/paths though, so is more a ‘roadie’ event rather than MTB one.

As someone else has already mentioned, if you were just into hardcore MTBing and not worried about the politics of Scott vs Mont you would go in both events. There’s 2 weeks between events so if you don’t break any limbs (or bike frames!) in the Scott event a reasonably fit person should be recovered enough to compete in the Mont.

Where’d you hear that? Have you ridden the 24hr course? Lately?

Rode it on the weekend, along with a few hundred others. In fact I ride Stromlo/Greenhills most days of the week on the way home from work 🙂 My team rode most of the course on Sunday. Just a bit different to the original plan of 2 x 20kms loops. Now that the numbers are lower the course has been reduced. Im not suggesting that it is supertough and dangerous now, but when entries went live back in June that was the story. Ask Morgs, he started the story about a tougher/more technical course than at Kowen !

Now the course is ridable for most fit riders with a bit of technical skill. If they had promoted the course that way back then Im sure the numbers would be up!

If you think Im passing “FUD” ask your executive committee, Im just passing on strong rumours and concerns within the bike industry. Without any definitive statement from CORC/MTBA/CA or UCI it is all just gossip, getting stronger every day.

As for the MONT, Im riding it, should be fun, sounds not so serious and Majura is a good ride too. Neither of the courses beat anything at Sparrow. As other posters have suggested it is now all about CHOICE.

fridgemagnet7:43 pm 08 Oct 07

Grrrr. I was told APIS went into receivership or something and that the event business is no more. That might be why they don’t get a mention now.
and yes this is V boring, I’m off to a night ride at Sparrow Hill now. (slams door and runs to subie)

“This year the spin has been that the course at Stromlo will be supertough and dangerous…” Interested take on it, iBike. Where’d you hear that? Have you ridden the 24hr course? Lately? I didn’t found anything much that’s scary there when I rode it Saturday. (Since when are MTB’ers afraid of a course, anyway??)

I am also amused by your hyperbole in the use of the word “shafted” to describe one sponsor outbidding another. (So, you have some gossip about Toyota you’d like to share? Your suggestion that CORC “might” have financial liabilities sounds like FUD, too.)

Oh this old Scott vs MONT argument again, boring.

But from what I heard the CORC/APIS price for naming rights was $25,000 cash (big money in the bike industry). And after supporting the club for the first 6 years of the 24 hour race, MONT got shafted by SCOTT. But Mont may well have the last laugh as the rumour on the street is that SCOTT is about to get shafted by Toyota. Oh what a feeling.

Kramer, bit late for the “im not a member of the executive ” disclaimer isnt it. You have told some serious spin (read BS), go and ask your executive commitee what the real story is. I have ridden the last four Corc 24hr races and even did some trailwork myself and last years race was the worst. Many riders and most of the cycling industry vowed never to return to a CORC/APIS event ever again. Based on only four pro teams it looks like they have kept their word. This year the spin has been that the course at Stromlo will be supertough and dangerous….your club has scared the riders away, not helped by the dustbowl like conditions of the Nationals. The MONT is an option that many have jumped but it hasnt sold out either. Both organsiers will be finding it tough to make money.

CORC is the biggest and most cashed up club in the country receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the ACT govt in the past 10 years. Plus they have been given a $7.5M bike park at Stromlo and $1.1M for the Worlds. How much money does one club of 500 riders need from the 300,000 ACT taxpayers.

You should ask some serious questions from your club committee before you attack other event organisers. And ask them who is going to back the Worlds, now that it has been reported that Apis arent in the event game anymore, the club might be exposing itself to some serious financial liabilities.

Firstly, let’s get a nitpick out of the way: The Mont 24 isn’t one week after the 24, it’s a fortnight later.

With numbers down from last year, it’s hard to dispute the other local 24 hour race has taken entries away from it. A few dozen missing entries were solo riders (since the event is now no-longer the national solo 24 hour championships.) You can even suggest that some were due to a dislike of APIS, increased fees, the different venue, etcetc. Plenty of others however, are unaccounted for otherwise.

I am doubting I’ll get much for my Mont24 entry fee beyond the race itself (EG, investment in trails and other resources.) Perhaps it’s best to just think of it as payback for the volunteer labour of David White in earlier years.

FYI: The documentation for 2006 24 Hour race was asking for $20k for naming rights sponsorship of the event. My understanding (heard 3rd hand) is that Mont wanted to give product rather than cash.

It’s not the only grab for corporate cash – $2k 2 years ago got the whole corporate package, including 10 rider’s race entry fees. This year, $2k includes no race entry fees – marquee only! (Typically a bit over $3k with race entries.)

Lastly – anyone want to supply the dirt on Apis? Their name ain’t on the Scott24hour site anymore.

fridgemagnet6:08 pm 08 Oct 07

Money grabbers you say? This might surprise you then. How much for a prime corporate spot (say, to display and sell product) at the Scott, and how much for one at the Mont?

Between $3500 and $5000 for the Scott (without any team entries.

The Mont $1200 (also without team entries)

I’m also a club member and I help out where I can.

One small clarification of your comments too, Longrides own and run the event and Mont are the naming rights sponsor.

Sponsors don’t make money out of sponsorship of the event, it costs them – that’s what sponsorship means. Look it up in wikipedia 🙂

I should add that I am a member of CORC, but I am NOT a CORC committee member nor have I ever been. Although I will race for 24 hours in a team of 3 this weekend, I am not capable of the superhuman efforts the CORC committee members put in to ensure the progression of MTB in Canberra.

My opinions that Mont (and Longrides by their involvement with this event) are a bunch of money grabbers, who will negatively impact on funding available to Canberra mountain biking, by running the Mont 24 hour is such close proximity to the Scott 24 hour are mine & mine alone.

fridgemagnet5:17 pm 08 Oct 07

From what I heard, Mont weren’t the ones playing hardball over sponsorship dollars. I am reliably informed that CORC/APIS dramatically (and I mean dramatically!) increased the sponsorship ask (and as cash) for Mont to continue as naming rights sponsor (not very loyal to a long term sponsor IMHO but there you go). Scott came to the party to some extent, but club members may never really know what Scott actually paid for rights to each event. I wonder if Toyota will now skip past Scott as major sponsor for next year and pony up a fist full of dollars for what is just another 24hr event on a calendar year full of well run events.

Do one, do another, do both or do neither – I don’t care who the money goes to, I just want a well run event on good tracks, whether it’s a club, privateer or a combination of efforts makes no difference, they are all putting on events for riders and good on them all.

The relentless push to keep growing the event has not worked and it would seem a significant number riders have voted with their feet in favour of a number of different events (including the Mont). I hope the club is taking notes.

hingo_VRCalaisV612:21 pm 08 Oct 07

Calm down people, there are enough fluro lycra pants for everyone

Ingeegoodbee9:58 am 08 Oct 07

I saw something on Sunrise the other morning that made me laugh. In an interview with Craig Lownes (sp?) regarding the upcoming Bathurst 1000 Craig pointed out that the race was definitely a widely recognised international sporting event, I think his words were something like … its recognised internationally as one of Australia’s top sporting events – along with the (some event I cant remember), the Australian Open and the Mont 24 Hour mountain bike race… I nearly spat coffee all over my paper! Looks like Mont’s early investment in the event just keeps on paying off.

Having ridden every Mont/Scott 24 hour except the very first, I’d have to say that it’s a well run affair and a joy to compete in, that said I could easily name two dozen riding buddies who think that its got too big for its own good and that it isn’t what it used to be – they’re not riding this year (any many of these guys have ridden it every year since it started). Some of them are going to ride the Mont at Majura Pines, some have decided to ride the Mitta-Mt Beauty later in October as a different type of endurance event and some are looking elsewhere at the big choice in 12/24 hour format races on offer.

Kramer, I think you and the CORC committee need to focus on why people aren’t signing up to the Scott 24 not what their other options might be – another race a week after yours is simply providing an option for riders –they’ll choose one over the other on the basis of what’s on offer – you guys cant really do squat about what Dave White’s offering, but you’ve got complete control over what you offer at the Scott.

And I don’t buy you’re re-investment argument as a motivator for choosing a race given that there’s a fairly substantial proportion of entrants to the Scott that come from out of town – I just don’t see guys from Victoria, NSW or Queensland being motivated by the fact that local Canberra riders will reap the benefits of the event.

Anyway, that my 2 cents worth.

The CORC (Scott) 24 hour has always been an event where the punters and casual riders can race alongside (very briefly) the nations best riders. Mont’s event only has teams of 4 & 6 people so obviously they are aiming squarely for the mountain bike enthusiast money spot. They have no school teams, whereas the Scott 24 hour has the full range from solo through to school & corporate teams of 10.

I would have no problem with Mont hosting another 24 hour event in Canberra if it were not so close to the Scott 24 Hour – more so if profits were to go back into mountain biking rather than private pockets. The Mont event is definitely taking away entries from the Scott, even your own comment shows this: “serious riders are probably doing both anyway..I would if I was fitter”.

Kramer, I am not anti-CORC, I just find it a bit amusing that the 24 hr Championships and CORC’s fundraising efforts wouldn’t be where it is today without the efforts of Dave and Co early on so to have an issue with him setting up anew event is a bit rich. I see this as a great opportunity for CORC to get on board the Mont as well (i’m sure Dave could do with a hand and you guys ahve all the experience) and possibly run them as 2 separate events ‘co-snactioned’ CORC events in the future…the ‘premuim’ 24 hr championships aimed at the pro teams and solo/duo/trio/4s serious riders and the ‘other’ event aimed at those who want the challenge but aren’t hard core eg the more social 4s/6s and corporate teams eg 10s. I think the event was too big last year with too big a disparity in skill and fitness between the elite and the ‘social’. I think this will be exacerbated on the Stromlo climb loop so my team and I chose to go to the low key Mont. I think you will find that the serious riders are probably doing both anyway..I would if I was fitter. In summary, I think this is a great opportunity for a win win all round. CORC gets revenue from 2 events, Canberra gets 2 world class 24 hr tracks maintained (so the easter solo can run at either in rotation?)the premium 24 championship event covers off the pros etc and the other event keeps Mont involved and allows for the less competitive and maybe the schools to participate in a less technical course.

Also, Gnt and Rara, best of luck! The smallest team I have ever done it was as a four and that was challenging enough!

Also, cranky, I am from Bathurst and know what government support can do for motorsports. Bathurst City Council spends millions on maintaining the track and facilities etc because of the revenue it brings to the town. They also corporatised the event quite a few years ago and sold the concessions to the highest bidders, national firms not local ones, which hurt local traders but the council still got their cut.. I still think there has to be an opportunity to build a multi motorsport facility in the Fairbairn Pines area to satisfy all parties.

..getting off soap box now…


Sorry, I should have said the DH in the green van heading back to QBN along Hindmarsh from Woden up the hill. Keep left dickhead, simple really.

For what its worth, I reckon Kramer’s on the money. While I’m not entirely up to speed on the ins and outs of the local MTB scene (casual rider)I reckon anything that’ll return value to the local mtb community is the best outcome for all?
BTW sorry for maybe going off topic but the dickhead in the green van with the MTB on the back (and local bike shop sticker on the back window!)heading back to QBN early this arvo who sped up to abuse me for overtaking from the middle lane, keep left unless overtaking and you won’t have to put up with people cutting in front of you.

CORC currently has about 500 paid up memebers. How do the local motorsport clubs compare?

Also CORC is very lucky to have some members who are quite skilled at writing govt grant submissions.

The local mountain bike scene seems to be treated very generously by Govt grants, and all you can argue about is the competing benefits of these races.

Bear some thought for the motor sport enthusiasts who are denied assistance at every turn.

BTW – I have been riding out at Majura in the last couple of weeks, and haven’t noticed “the new trails David and his team are building at Majura”. All I have seen at Majura is the work CORC have been doing (or funding).

Kieran your comments have shown your ingnorance of the local mountain biking scene. Firstly, I have been involved with organised mountain biking in Canberra, CORC and the 24 hour since 2000. I worked on trail building & trail remediation for the 24 hour events with Dave White when he was the race director. I agree that Dave’s and Mont’s contributions to the race have been huge and without it the race may not be where it is today.

In the lead up to the 06 race Mont attempted to play hardball with CORC in regards to sponsorship dollars, but CORC called their bluff and ended up with a heaps better sponsorship deal with Scott (who is now the naming rights sponsor). “The 24 Hour” is the race hosted by CORC, Mont and now Scott are just the naming rights sponsor.

The point you seem to be missing is that The 24 Hour is the biggest fund raiser (by far) for CORC. Any drop in revenues from the race directly impacts the money CORC has available to fund mountain biking in Canberra, to name just a few things:
Trail building – such as professional work by Glen Jacobs at Mt Stromlo, and Darren’s work at Majura, feeding volunteer trail crews, trail building materials and tools.
Trails advocacy – applying for and winning govt grants to build new trails (like Stromlo Stage 1 & Stromlo Stage 2), negotiating land access for new areas, negotiating the construction of technical trail features & northshore structures on existing trail networks.
Junior development programs – like 10 free race entries for under 17’s, development squads hosted by professional coaches, hosting the ACT School champs with free entry, food & drinks for the kiddies.

As far as I am aware, the new Mont race is run by Longrides Racing AKA Dave White, and has no affiliation with any mountain biking club, and has no intention to donate profits to the local mountain biking community (although they name World Bicycle Relief as their “charity”). If Mont’s sole reason for sponsoring this race is “to get back into sponsoring mtb events” then why would they schedule a 24 hour race in Canberra a week after the CORC Scott 24 Hour? The way I see it Mont & the organisers are attempting to grab a piece of CORC’s pie, and hurting the CORC & Canberra mountain biking in the process.

If mountain bikers really knew the impact that the new Mont 24 hour race will have on Canberra mountain biking they wouldn’t be ditching the Scott race in favour of the Mont – which is what we have seen.

Sounds bizarre!
Drive home safely at the end – I hope you’ve got a lift organised.

Keep an eye on the highly competitive womens’ pairs category, where myself and occasional rioter Rara are going to romp home to take the glory of first place.

Anyone else we can look out for?

Your observation of a ‘rival’ race shows an ignorance of the local mountain biking scene. Dave White, the organiser of the rival ‘Mont’, has been heavily involved in endurance mountain biking and event organising for years. He has been heavily involved in the 24 mtn bike championshiops pretty well since it started as an unpaid volunteer. Mont a local Queanbeyan company came on board as a major sponsor from the first and has become synonomous with the 24 championships. The event grew rapidly until such time as it outgrew the volunteer organisation supporting it. 3 years ago, a local company APIS, run by a keen local mountain biker, Andrew Robertson, came on board to run the event more as a corporate event. This allowed the event to expand even further to the great event it is now. Running it as a corporate event meant corporate sponsorship. Scott won the bidding rights for the event naming rights. Simple function of $$$. The last 2 24hr events have been run incredibly successfully as a corporate event with APIS employee and local endurance mtn biker Tracey Angove the main organiser. This year is bigger and better than ever. The new ‘Mont’ does not detract from the status as the ‘SCott’ as the 24 hr titles. Mont wanted to get back into sponsoring mtb events, they approached David, he (again as a volunteer) agreed to organise an event, at a new location for a mtb endurance event based at Majura Winery. CORC is still running the 24hr championships sponsored by Scott and all local mtb bikers benefit from the excellent new trails at Stromlo and the ongoing development towards international events in 2008. They will also benefit from the new trails David and his team are building at Majura. The 2 events don’t detract from each other, they are just more of the same thing. Both will benefit the local mtb community. As a caveat, having ridden in the last 5 Mont/Scotts I found the event had got too big, and am riding in the Mont this year.


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