2017 Event Ambassador James Downing
We're very excited to have James Downing on board as event ambassador for The Redback 2017.
"This will be my 5th Redback. My first one was in 2013 and I have been hooked ever since! It is such a great location for racing and riding. For me it is the perfect opportunity to escape the dreary winter weather and hit up some of the best singletrack in the country. Nothing quite beats the stage race lifestyle....riding, eating, sleeping.....and chilling out by the pool after each stage. It is simply living the dream!!! James Downing, ACT
I first started riding bikes when I was 8 and first put on a number plate in 1989 to race the mountain bike. Back then it was all about rigid forks and toeclips. Fast forward 25 years and the cycling scene has drastically changed but my enthusiasm for the sport has not diminished one little bit.
I have been riding for Cannondale since 2010 and a member of the Canberra Off Road Cyclists since 1992. They do an amazing job of sorting both trail advocacy as well as running races on just about every weekend of the year. They also put a lot back into women's and juniors development which is fantastic.
I remember when I first started racing mountain bikes back in Brisbane as a junior. I had a lot of fantastic fast riders that I hung out with to learn as much as I could from. They were generous with their assistance and advice and it definitely was a great opportunity for me back then as a lot of those basic elements have held true for many years. In order to give back to the sport that has provided me with so much enjoyment over the years I genuinely enjoy helping out other riders with any aspect of the sport.
Be it bike advice, skills work, line choices, training, nutrition or just about anything, I simply like helping anyone get just that little bit extra out of the sport to boost their satisfaction levels.
Got a question about The Redback, MTB stage races or just MTBing in general? James is happy to help out.
Email James Downing or shoot him a message on Facebook.
And make sure you catch him for some tips in the Q&A session at The Redback Race Briefing and Official Welcome!
James' Race Report:
"The racing was only about 10 hours worth, but the memories of 7 days in an amazing oasis of mountain biking is the life experience that I will take away from this event!"
Read his race report from The Redback here.
Previous Race Reviews and Testimonials
"It’s the atmosphere and the mood of this race that have helped me perform again and enjoy pushing myself in competition once more."
Read her race reports on Marathon MTB here:
Stage 1 | Stages 2 & 3 | Stage 4 | Stages 5 & 6 | Stage 7
"The ICME is not just a stage race, its a 5 star stage race - live it up in luxury in your accommodation, race for a few hours, get a massage, have an afternoon nap, eat lunch by the pool....chat with new friends...whatever takes your fancy. So you can see why this event feels like a holiday!"
Read her race report here
"The camaraderie between all the riders over the week makes this event what it is, and brings us back year after year. If you have thought about contending this event, you should. It is achievable for all riders no matter your ability. And once you have arrived in Alice everything is only 5 minutes away!"
Read her race report here
Other great event reviews from competitors:
- Enduro Mag by Ash Hayat
- Flow Mountain Bike by Nic Learmonth
- Liv Giant by Jo Bennett (overall female winner!)
- Hero Dirt - thanks to Phil Jessen and Adam Kelsall
- Flat Out Forty - thanks to Steve Burton
- Ride the Dirt Trail
- Hero Dirt - thanks to Steve McGreesh and Adam Kelsall
2013 Rider Testimonials
“The trails are absolutely pristine! A fantastic way to finish a ‘top top’ event; and I think all the riders had a blast! It’s been great racing all week.”
Row Fry - 2013 Overall Winner (female)
"Thanks for a great week, one one of the best events I've entered by far over the last 10 years. Super tracks, great crew, friendly riders & a week of absolute fun. Thanks will see you definitely next year!"
Tim Gibson - 2013 participant
"I could not believe how much single track there is up here; and the diversity! You go from rock to sand; there’s little pinch climbs everywhere, awesome little descents; and lots of double track and fire roads that are super clean!"
Michael Crosbie - 2013 3rd Overall
“It’s my first time to Alice Springs and this stage race is something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years. I love the loose trails, it makes it more exciting and my favourite stage was Friday's Stage 7 - I was taking in the views and really enjoyed riding along the fun single track and down all the rock faces.”
John Groves - 2013 participant, known as 'Plank Man'
“It’s awesome here, such great trails and great people. I’ve come with a few mates from Queensland and all the mates we made at last years’ event. The trails here have got absolutely everything; rock, sand, dust… the works.”
Amanda Reddy (Gympie, QLD) - 2013 participant
"Just wanted to say a HUGE big thank you to all the team for making the Alice Springs bike race so much fun. Everyone agreed that it was fantastically organised, efficiently run and gee what awesome trails you managed to combine into 5 days of racing. As I was talking to another competitor at the airport about the event, he said that it was the sort of week that strikes something deep in the soul. It certainly was a very special week for me. It was challenging and fun and oh-so satisfying! What a great way to see the beautiful landscapes of Australia. Had a great time and wanted you all to know."
Jenny Kjar (2011midfield rider)