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Race of chance

Wednesday, 14th June, 2017

Nick and Megan Algate hold up the main prize for this Saturday’s Silverton Hotel Poker Race, a commissioned John Dynon work valued at more than $1000. It’s not too late to put your hand up for the Broken Hill Mountain Bike Club’s premier event, a race of chance that anyone can win. PICTURE: Michael Murphy Nick and Megan Algate hold up the main prize for this Saturday’s Silverton Hotel Poker Race, a commissioned John Dynon work valued at more than $1000. It’s not too late to put your hand up for the Broken Hill Mountain Bike Club’s premier event, a race of chance that anyone can win. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

It’s a race of chance that attracts a pack of riders, but you don’t have to be a speedster to take out the top prize, just a little bit lucky.

The Broken Hill Mountain Bike Club is extending its hand to riders of all shapes and sizes (not only the lycra-cladded superstars) to come out this Saturday and enjoy a fun-filled day of racing.

The Silverton Hotel Poker Race is in its 19th year, and it has various tracks for juniors and social riders, but the main event is five laps of the Silverton Heritage Trail (about 6.6km per lap).

Riders get a playing card at the end of each lap, and whoever has the best hand at the end of the race, will take home a John Dynon masterpiece beautifully framed by Phil Grossi.

Registration is between 9.30 and 10.15am this Saturday at the Silverton Hotel. The race starts at 11am.

“We encourage you to collect a nomination form now and secure your place in the event, leaving you free on the day to warm up and psych out the competition,” said club president Nick Algate.

“You don’t need to be a club member to participate in the event and while mountain bike experience is recommended, the event does cater for social riders as well as the speed demons,” he said.

Entry fees are solo ($40), team ($60) and junior ($25) and if you are not a member of the club, a free eight-week trial membership is available from www.mtba.asn.au. It will provide you with the necessary insurance cover for this event and throughout the trial period.

All riders start and finish at the Silverton Hotel, a major club sponsor, and there are prizes across all categories. 

Nomination forms are now available from www.bhmtb.asn.au or First National Real Estate Broken Hill at 59 Oxide Street.

While the day is a fun one, serious riders don the war paint for line honours. Last year’s winner Mildura’s Tyler Berlusden will be the one to beat in the open section this year, while local Benny Goodman is going into the veteran’s class as the firm favourite.

Registrations for the women’s section have been strong, with more local women than local men putting their hand up for the race so far. Four-time winner Megan Algate is tipped to win her fifth title come Saturday afternoon.

Race presentations will be held in the Silverton Hotel beer garden at the conclusion of the race.

“It is always a great atmosphere with plenty of war stories and laughs and as many riders travel from interstate, it’s a welcome opportunity to relax and socialise,” Nick said.

“I just want to thank our major sponsors - the Silverton Hotel and First National - without their help the club would have gone under,” he said.

For more information, contact Nick Algate 0428 832 474 or visit the club’s Facebook page.

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