Enduro

Alison Parker primed for A4DE

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She's the world's fastest female enduro rider and she's heading for Coff Harbour. Yamaha's Alison Parker will ride in the Hogs Breath Caf̩ Australian 4-Day Enduro (A4DE) to be held at various locations around Coffs, from July 5-9. The 2006 international enduro champion, Alison is also the first Australian in history to race the ISDE (International Six Days Enduro) and has been the fastest Australian Enduro rider since 2002. This will be Alison's sixth A4DE in a row, having previously raced the event at locations across NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria. A relatively late bloomer on the enduro circuit, Alison's introduction to the sport is a unique tale in its own right. "I grew up in the city, but my family used to go to the country for holidays," she said. "My brothers, sister and I had one or two bikes for us to share between us and eventually my brothers got sick of sharing and gave it away while I kept it up." While her upbringing may have been as a city girl, Alison maintained strong connections with the country. While completing her teaching degree at Southern Cross University, Alison lived for a number of years at Red Rock and her familiarity with the hills surrounding Coffs could be an advantage in the upcoming A4DE. "When I lived in Coffs I used to go riding with an old trail riding legend named Al Gillard all the time," she said. "We made an odd couple, the young female enduro rider and the veteran trail bike rider." In her first attempt at the 2006 ISDE, Alison surprised even herself, by beating some of the best female riders from across the globe. "It's essentially the Olympic Games of enduro racing with over 600 competitors from 31 nations," she said. "Basically my goal was to finish the race, I never really set myself a goal of beating the other riders but I soon learned I was quicker than them." She said the intensity and toughness of the A4DE had been great preparation for her win in the ISDE. "Thanks to the A4DE Australian riders are better prepared for the six day event," she said. "We're now drawing a lot of international racers as well as overseas-based Australian riders who are coming back to compete in the A4DE." Included among the strong contingent for this year's A4DE is Britain's multiple world enduro champion David Knight as well as some of Australia's leading international racers Stefan Merriman, Glenn Kearney, Jake Stapleton and Josh Strang. All riders, including Alison, will be on show across the four-day event with a number of opportunities to get up close and personal with the stars of the sport. "Race headquarters at 'Parc Ferme' and the Special Test site are both excellent vantage points for spectators," Alison said. "There's also an autograph session from 6.30pm at the ex-Services on July 3 and the final day of racing will include a Motocross test at Coffs Raceway on July 8." Main Photo: Alison Parker in action
Credit: Garry Morrow / Click28.com

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