Bekkers qualifies for world event
GYMPIE 24 hour endurance mountain biker Sean Bekkers has refused to slow down since winning the 2009 Sports Star of the Year Award earlier this year.
Bekkers’ latest accomplishment has seen him qualify twice for the 24 Hour World Championships to be hosted by Canberra in October.
The world championship event was held in Canada last year, where Bekkers appeared for the first time and posted a quality performance against elite international competition.
Having already secured a ticket to compete at the sport’s pinnacle event, being held in Australia for the first time, Bekkers entered a qualifying event three weeks ago at Rosewood, near Ipswich to sharpen his form.
Incredibly, the Gympie endurance athlete overcame collapsing from a lack of nutrition to finish third in the event.
“I was halfway through the race and just hit the wall,” Bekkers said.
“I had been eating a lot during the race but I was going really fast and my body just ran out of fuel.”
Sitting comfortably in second place, running short on fuel cost Bekkers dearly, causing him to slip to fifth place.
But with plenty of trademark determination and grit, combined with plenty of race food from his crew, Bekkers was able to fight his way back up into third position.
Overall, Bekkers covered 410 kilometres in the 24 hours.
Race winner and current world champion Jason English, from New South Wales, finished in first position with a staggering 470 kilometres.
Not one to sit around idle for too long, Bekkers was in action again last weekend for a dusk to dawn event at Mt Tamborine.
Considered as a ‘short’ event, Bekkers rode 160 kilometres in the allotted time, including 24 laps of the course, to finish first.
The course was unforgiving, including an ascent of 4 kilometres to separate the serious contenders from the rest of the pack.
“My preparation is going really well ahead of the world championships,” Bekkers said.
“My ultimate aim is to do really well because the event is in Australia and it’s a big opportunity.”