Chinan Four Day Enduro motorbike riders tackle grueling Cessnock trails 40 years after inaugural race

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Enduro returns to Cessnock four decades after inaugural race SPEED: A rider leaves a trail of dust on the n Four Day Enduro course. Picture: Marina Neil.
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TweetFacebook n Four Day Enduro at Cessnock. Pictures: Marina Neil. Cessnock Motorcycle Club legend, the late John Hall, had one main desire when he started the n Four Day Enduro motorbike race 40 years ago in Cessnock.

To make ’s enduro riders competitive.

Back in 1977, a contingent of n riders returned from a world enduro competitionheld inCzechoslovakia with not one having finished thepunishing six-day race.

So Mr Hall, and others, decided to host a four-day race to ensure when ’s riders returned to the world stage, they would be much better prepared.

That racefirst held in Cessnock in 1978 would become the nFour Day Enduro–an annual event now held at different locations around the country.

“It was his idea, his invention if you like,” John’s son,MalHall saidon Friday.

“Basically what he wanted to do was make our Enduro riders competitive, because we weren’t.”

To honour the inaugural event, the racehas returned to the“birthplace ofn enduro”–Cessnock.

Over 350 men and women riders are in town to traverse the back country of the surrounding district.

“It’s the 40thanniversary, it had to come back to Cessnock,” Mr Hall said.

“For dad, for the club and for the town.”

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Each day, riders have commenceda gruelling schedule from Cessnock Showground with groups of three taking off intermediately over a two-hour period.

During each day’s riding, they encounter multiple tests –short sections of track riders stop at and are then timed over before continuing on the day’s trail route.

Those test times are added together for a combined race total, but penalties are applied if a rider arrives lateto atest.

Cessnock Motorcyle Club secretary Matthew Short said riders have been pushed over the“physical anddemanding” first three dayswith the field reduced to under 300 due to injuries and mechanical issues.

“Anywhere from160 to200km each day,” he said of the course.

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Mal Hall said Cessnock had embraced the visitors, some from as far asEurope and the USA.

“It’s very important, it brings a lot of money into the town,” he said.

“They didn’t know how big it was going to be, but the amountof people driving through town, stopping in pubs, stopping in cafes…. accommodationis fully booked everywhere.

“I drove past a butcher today who had a sign out the front that said‘$30 Enduro pack’.”

The event culminates with motocross races at Cessnock Racecourse on Saturday, where riderscan eithermake up or losetimefrom thefirst three days.

Gates open at 9am with racing until late afternoon.

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