Nankervis Bros Team Up

12 May 2019

The introduction of teams racing has created a whole new dynamic to the Epic Series Oceania and with the iconic four day MTB stage race “Port to Port” only days away (23-26 May), team mates are being selected and preparations are in the final stages for the assault on the stunning trails of the iconic Newcastle and Hunter region of NSW.

The Bendigo based Nankervis brothers, Tas and Russ have been doing the “team thing” all their lives and they reckon they are primed, fit and healthy, and determined will be giving Port to Port a good shake from the first gun at Audrey Wilkinson Winery in the Hunter Valley to the finish line four days later at  Eats’, Beats and Bikes festival at Dixon Park, Newcastle.

After a 2018 that saw Tas injured more than racing, he is 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.”

“I am riding with my brother Russ in the teams at Port to Port and I think it should be pretty good. The key to 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.”

Big brother Tas is delighted that the younger Nankervis 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.”

“At the National’s Russ finished tenth behind me and at Oceania’s he was eighth behind me and at the Golden Triangle Bendigo Epic which is our biggest local race and he just beat me in that. He is going really good, too good because he is beating me.”

This will be Tas’ fourth Port to Port and he is keen to use his knowledge to go one better than the tight second place 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.

“Having the Epic Series Oceania races is unreal,” Tas said. “I would trade most other events for a stage race. It is the atmosphere, the stages are 50-70km long, the racing is fast and you are done by lunch time. It is also a good distance to be able to back up and race against all the elite guys every day, plus there is a wonderful community to them as well. It feels really nice to ride with a large group of people.”

“I would love to do all four races Epic Series races this year. I am doing Port to Port, Reef to Reef and Cape to Cape and I have looked up The Pioneer dates. If I do The Pioneer, I will have to persuade my university lecturers to get me out of a few things but it is definitely on the cards.”

“The Epic Series races are a good testing ground for people wanting to go to South Africa and race Cape Epic. That is something I would definitely love to do. Watching it every year through the live feed keeps making me want to go a little bit more, and more and have spoken to both Cam (Ivory) and Trekky (Brendan Johnston), who just did it. I Iike the idea that it is like an adventure race, a challenge to finish it and something that would suit me as well. So, it is definitely something I need to look into,” Tas said.

Find out why Port to Port MTB should be your next MTB experience visit https://porttoportmtb.com/

Port to Port MTB is proudly supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Further information contact: Noel McMahon, IRONMAN Media Manager (Oceania) +61 455 091 476, noel.mcmahon@ironman.com

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