MTN BIKING: After more than a year out of the saddle, James Creek mountain bike rider Jake Mitchell will return to the national stage for the Mountain Bike Australia Gravity Enduro National Series.
Mitchell is a former downhill national competitor but heading into his first ever Enduro series is an entirely different beast.
Unlike a regular downhill event which involves one run down the slope for each race, Enduro is done across a series of stages as riders have a set amount of time to journey between start lines.
"Each stage gets timed, and then at the end of the competition all the times are added together for an overall race time,” Mitchell said.
"There is a little bit less stress for riders because you can afford to make a mistake. In downhill, one mistake could be your entire weekend, but in Enduro you can make up for it.”
Mitchell is heading into the first round of the national series at Falls Creek, Victoria this weekend and despite a strict regime from coach Andrew Ford, there is still a few nerves for the young rider.
"There is always a bit of nerves going into the first round of a competition,” he said. "But I think they are more excitement nerves.
"I have worked a lot with my coach over the six months of off-season, we have been doing a lot of hard training and a lot of interval work and really building on the fitness I already had. I feel ready for this.”