TWO Bendigo brothers will team up at this month’s epic four-stage Port to Port mountain bike race in a bid to create history.
The introduction of teams racing has created a whole new
dynamic to the Epic Series Oceania with Tasman and Russ Nankervis in the final stages of preparation for the assault on the stunning trails of the iconic Newcastle and Hunter region of New South Wales.
The Bendigo brothers have been doing the “team thing” all their lives and say they are primed, fit, healthy and determined ahead of one of Australia’s most gruelling stage events.
After a 2018 that saw Tas
injured more than racing, he
remains determined to keep the bike upright and himself well away from doctors.
“Last year was a mixed year because I had a lot of injuries and I had a few good races as well. I broke three bones last year, my thumb, two metacarpals in a hand and broke my shoulder in three separate crashes and there was a lot of rehab last year. So, I am looking for a healthier 2019 and I will try and keep on my bike a bit more.”
He said the key to racing in teams is having an understanding and knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are.
“Russ and I could probably race together and not even talk but we would still know how each other is feeling just from body language and stuff like that. Our familiarity will definitely be a strength to try and get the best out of each other.”
Older brother Tas said he was delighted his younger brother is in the form of his life at the moment.
“I have never seen him
going this good before and we have raced each other so many times. We paired up for the first time last year, winning the Hellfire Cup in Tasmania, so that was the first time racing together, rather than against each other.”
This will be Tas’ fourth Port to Port and he is keen to use his knowledge to go one better than a second place finish to Brendan Johnston last year.
“Last year was my comeback race from a broken hand and the first time I was riding well again after that. I got second behind Trekky and it was quite close in the end and about 14 second apart
after four days.
“That was the second time I have finished second, so I am definitely pumped up to go one better and get the win with Russ this year,” he said.
Port to Port is the first race in the Epic Series Oceania that also includes Reef to Reef in far North Queensland. Cape to Cape in the Margaret River region of Western Australia and The Pioneer, the iconic six day MTB stage race through New Zealand’s Southern Alps.