Date: May 12 2012
It wasn't so long ago that Andy Blair had to sell his house to fund his mountain biking dreams.
Now, backed by local sponsors, Blair has taken on the nation's finest to become one of the best mountain bikers in Australia. The Queanbeyan local is preparing to defend his Ingkerreke mountain bike enduro title in Alice Springs next week.
''I am the defending champion so I'm going back to win it again,'' Blair said. The Ingkerreke enduro is a seven-stage event spread over five days.
Blair will compete against 200 riders in stages ranging from 300 metres to 77 kilometers.
''This is an event you don't have to qualify for … there will be experienced riders competing to win as well as inexperienced riders who are participating for the accomplishment of finishing a long riding event,'' Blair said.
While Blair is focused on winning the Ingkerreke enduro, his major goal is the national marathon championships in Canberra next month.
''Everything I am doing in competitions and in training is geared towards the national marathon championships … winning that is my major goal at the moment,'' Blair said.
The current Real Insurance national series leader rides 400-800km a week to prepare for mountain bike events.
''I also do a lot of other stuff off the bike to build up strength like gym work and yoga,'' Blair said.
The red centre is expected to hit 30 degrees next week but Blair, who is used to training in Canberra's cold winter, isn't fazed by the drastic temperature change. ''I'm actually looking forward to competing in the sun in Alice Springs … it will be like a holiday,'' he said.
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