News 19 Mar 2009

WORLD CHAMP MERRIMAN JOINS A4DE

Australian Four Day Enduro press release:

A four-time world champion will be among the 350 dirt bikers who will line-up to contest the second biggest motorcycle enduro race on the planet at Orange (NSW) four weeks from today.

The annual Hog’s Breath Cafe Australian 4-Day Enduro (A4DE) is an Australian Championship event this year being held at Orange from April 16th to 19th.

The A4DE is one of the most prestigious and biggest races of its kind on the globe, attracting some of the world’s fastest riders and contributing more than $1.5 million to the Australian economy.

This year, spectators and fans will be in for a real treat when multi-time World Enduro Champion Stefan Merriman goes head to head with the best from OZ, including last year’s A4DE Outright winner, Chris Hollis (from Port Macquarie).

Merriman, who is living at Nelson’s Bay (NSW) with his family, will be gunning for Outright and Class victory.

“The four-day is a great event. It’s great to have so many people, it’s a big atmosphere and it’s fantastic for enduro in Australia,” Merriman said.

“I haven’t competed against anyone in Australia at enduro for two years, but I know the opposition will be tough – it could go anyway between at least six guys.”

Riders of all skill levels – from Clubman to Pro – from every Australian state and New Zealand will be vying for class and Outright honours.

A record number of local riders will also be competing. Last year’s A4DE Championship Veteran’s winner, Stuart Bennett, from Orange, and top-Australian racer Ben Grabham, from Bathurst, will be among the dozens of racers from the Central West who will take part.

There is also a state-versus-state element to the event, with the top riders from each state competing on Junior and Senior Trophy Teams. New South Wales took out the top gong last year for Seniors and Victoria for Juniors.

New South Wales will have Merriman, Hollis and several others fighting in its corner.

Queensland will also have some big talent on its side, with multi-Australian Off-Road Champion, AJ Roberts (from Bribie Island) and four-time Australian Enduro Champion ‘King’ Kirk Hutton from Kobble Creek.

Victoria will again have a strong presence, including last year’s 4th Outright finisher Blake Hore (from Officer) and 5th Outright finisher Peter Boyle (from Stony Creek).

The A4DE consists of four days of grueling trail and about six special test phases a day, equaling a total of about 30 hours and more than 1000kms on the machine. Riders must also complete a final motocross on day four.

The event boasts classes for any senior rider, male or female, from clubman to pro. Entries close April 1st and will be capped at 350 – to enter visit www.a4de.com.

Organisers, Phil Sargent (Dirt Bike Promotions) and Lyndon Heffernan (Detour Events) said they were looking forward to a fantastic A4DE for riders, supporters and spectators.

“It’s going to be interesting four-day… we looked at bringing some of the old school back into it and also keep it rider friendly and ride-able for the majority of the field,” Sargent said.

“We’ve made some changes this year, including ‘seating’ the riders, which means the fastest riders will all be together at the front of the pack, making it easier for spectators and fairer for competitors.

“The course will head north of Orange and will run on a mixture of private property and forestry land.”

Heffernan said they had secured Orange’s Warratah Sport’s Oval for ‘Parc Ferme’ (the staging area for riders and crew).

The final motocross for the event will be held on Sunday, April 19th, at the Australian National Field Day Site – Borenore.

For more information visit the official A4DE website: www.a4de.com.

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