Meet the Team

Brian Tracey

Races in: Masters Men

In 2001 a guy at work was into mountain biking and before I knew it I had bought my first serious mountain bike. It was an alloy Giant NRS and one up from the base model. My rides would consist of driving to Manly Dam, doing one lap and then driving home. Unfortunately I didn't stick with it because after about 15 months in I started a new job which kept me from doing any exercise at all.

Fast forward to 2007, where I was about 20kg heavier than I am today, and it was time to do something about my health. I changed jobs, dusted off the bike and started gradually riding again. Not knowing much at all about the sport I came across a local mountain bike site called NoBMoB and signed up for my first group ride. From this ride on I was hooked.

I entered my first race which was the Dirtworks 50 half marathon. It took me 02:46:32 and I came in 222nd overall and 97th in my category. It wasn’t until 2010 where I completed my first full marathon, the Dirtworks 100. It took me 07:32:52 and I came in 594th overall and 240th in my category. I’ve raced this event, now called The Convict, every year since 2010 with my latest one taking 04:33:36 and I came in 48th overall and 10th in my category.

Over the years I’ve made some great friends which have all inspired me to keep pushing myself and looking for that next challenge. For 2014, I have teamed up with Wayne and we are heading over to South Africa to compete at the ABSA Cape Epic in the Male Masters category.

You can also see other races we are doing here.

Wayne Dickinson

Races in: Masters Men

MTB'g and the great outdoors outdoors in general is entrenched as part of my life. I love riding, seeing new places, riding with a great group of inspired people, encouraging others and improving my own abilities as a result. MTB'g and the friends I have met through this adventure have contributed to me as a person.

On the competition side of things, competing / racing is what drives me to new levels. It continually encourages me to challenge what is possible. As a result I have been very fortunate, culminating in the winning of the 2013 Australian Marathon Championships for my age category. This launched a successful campaign in 2014, not just finishing but competing in the largest MTB race of them all the Absa Cape Epic.

My results and the family and friends who have made this possible, have challenged me to set new goals and achievements. 2015 is already looking exciting, with the 2015 Australian Marathon Championships before heading to Europe to compete in the 2015 Craft Transalp.

Looking forward to another year of hard work, and all the benefits and inspiration that result. Join me on the journey !

I will leave you with a quote that both drives and inspires me:

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go"

Gary Davidson

Races in: Veteran Men

Arriving from the UK in 2007 I found myself looking for a sport to take up, primarily just to keep fit. I owned a mountain bike so it seemed like the logical choice. A quick search on the internet led me to Manly Dam and with route in hand courtesy of NoBMoB I went for my first ride. That was it, from then on it became a regular ride.

Come 2011 I finally entered my first event, the Three Ring Circus. I’d finished in just under 3hrs and at the end I didn’t know why it had taken me so long to enter a race, I’d loved it. I did a few more Half Marathon races in 2011 but after the Fling and a bit of ‘gentle persuasion’ from Brian I decided it was time to up the stakes and tackle the full Marathon races.

2012 saw me tackle the Convict, the Husky and of course the Fling. Those results have now set the targets to be beaten over the course of 2013 and beyond. Riding with the other members of the team has added a great level of motivation to constantly improve and push harder.

Michael Faretta

Races in: Masters Men

My introduction to mountain biking, and cycling generally, was back in the UK in 2006. I’d recently settled into a job in Manchester and took a call from friends in Leeds saying they were off to the Lake District for a camping/mountain biking weekend and would I like to join them on a spare bike, I jumped at the chance. Armed with my snowboard helmet and woefully under prepared I was in the car off to the mountains for my first experience of mountain biking and I loved it. Soon after I’d bought a bike of my own and had been roped into a 24 hour race as a last minute replacement, my first experience of racing, which in typical UK fashion was wet and muddy.

Work brought me to Australia in October 2008. Manly Dam was my first experience of Sydney trails and through the offer of my spare tube to some guys on the side of the trail got to meet what would turn out to be some regular riding friends and we all entered the Dirtworks in 2009. In the lead up we had regular training rides and my first +100km off road ride on Oaks/Andersons was in excess of 9 hours (a full, and painful, day out)! I’m happy to say that things have improved since then and consider that the 2013 Convict was my best Enduro to date.

Cycling is a regular part of my life, from commuting, road rides with the guys on the team and mountain biking, socially and competitively, they are all positive experiences and I have made some great friends as a result, long may it continue.

Matt Russell

Races in: Masters Men

Back in early 2007 a mate of mine, Miles, finally convinced me to give mountain biking a go. He had been hooked for some time and always talked about the great places he got to see and the fitness he was gaining.

I had never ridden a mountain bike so it was all a new experience to me. Miles organized a loan bike for me - my first ride was initially a bit tentative but as the day went on I got seriously bitten by the MTB bug. The next day I went and bought my first bike, a Giant Trance.

Later in 2007 I did my first MTB race, the 55km Highland Fling, a race I have done every year since – my return to Mecca if you like. That first race was such a buzz I took to the racing scene and everything has gone up a notch since then. In my first Highland Fling I came about 100th, last year I got a 13th in my category and almost an hour faster.

These days I ride a Specialized EPIC MTB and Tarmac SL4 on the road. I continue to enjoy the freedom that cycling offers as well as all the great people you meet along the way. The team at SXC Racing is a great bunch of like-minded people, who love cycling for the enjoyment and camaraderie but also the thrill of competitive racing.

2012 has been a bit interrupted by injury so I look forward to the year ahead as we enter a number of team based and individual events and hopefully pick off a few podiums along the way!

Paul Sloan

Races in: Super Master Men

I had a fairly slow start to MTB Racing. In 1995 my wife and I went mountain biking at Terrey Hills a few times with one of her friends on borrowed bikes, and the next time her friend visited she came home with her first mountain bike. We shared the bike for a while although I only rode every month or so. In 1998 I purchased my first mountain bike, I’ve still got it and get it out every few months for a ride. Fast forward to December 1st 2009, its my brother’s birthday and he managed to convince me to do the Dirtworks. In the next few months I went from riding 2 or 3 times a month to twice a week and survived the rock gardens during my first GNR training ride.

Come race day I enjoyed the 50K so entered Husky as my first 100K race. Riding the Husky I was hooked, the singletrack had me smiling the whole race. Next up was my first and only Solo 24 during a trip to Brisbane to support my brother in a pre worlds 24hour event.

I have been riding a Specialized Epic since 2010 and have enjoyed racing everything from XC to 100k, and even one very hot 6+6 out at Del Rio. I love the team aspect of the 24hour races and we have managed to get on the podium in masters a few times.

MTB will always be my passion although I have to admit that the dark side and particularly road criterium’s can be fun.

David O'Connell

Races in: Masters Men

I used to ride reasonably regularly on the road for fitness but other things took priority and after a 10 year break I got myself a mountain bike in 2005. Some friends had been telling me of their mountain biking adventures and I wanted to give it a try. Those early rides were hard work doing an afternoon outing on the local fire trails or a couple of laps of manly dam. I earned my fair share of scrapes and bruises and was usually exhausted afterwards but loved it.

I also dreamed of tackling a marathon race but I was no where near fit enough to ride my respectable hardtail for more than twice the distance of a typical weekend outing ! So I hatched a plan, which included riding a few times a week and got myself a dual suspension bike in preparation for the Dirtworks 100 in 2010. The rocky sections and the distance surely tested me, but I loved the race and from then on there was no looking back.

Riding and racing regularly is now a very rewarding part of my routine, and I have learnt so much since that first race. It has been a wonderful experience sharing the social rides, training rides and the racing with the team and all the other great folks that I have met out on the trails and at various events. For 2013 and beyond I hope to compete in a broader range of events and with the inspiration of the team look forward to continued improvement and exciting races together.

Gary Harwood

Races in: Masters Men

I remember when I was 7yrs old, I didn't have a bike and over the course of a weekend I swapped every toy I had in exchange for rides up and down the street on my neighbours bike. After realizing that I’d given all my worldly possessions away for time on this two wheeled wonder my Mum scraped the cash together for my first bike that Christmas. That was me, I was hooked!

Later on I rode BMX and road before discovering mountain bikes in 1989. I competed in cross country for years in the horrible mud of Great Britain then got the downhill bug for a few years before I moved to Australia in 1998 after dreaming of cycling in warmer climates.

After many dark years of partying and really not looking after myself I moved to the Northern Beaches of Sydney, quit a pack a day smoking habit and got back into cycling. First MTB, then road and now cyclocross. I mix it all up and love every discipline depending on the season.

After six years of being back on the bike I’m well and truly hooked again and find training a great thing for the mind as well as the body and rarely find it a chore. I'm in a phase at the moment where I race as much as possible (3 times a month). This also drives me to get up on a cold dark winters morning to get out and ride. If you can call Sydney winters cold compared to Yorkshire?

Steve Knight

Races in: Super Master Men

I started mountain biking back in the 80's when John Tomac ruled the international race scene. I started racing in the early 90's on a hardtail with 30mm of front travel, the races were all short course lap races which were very popular with lots of competitors. By the mid 90's downhill has all the rage and can remember racing at Oxford Falls with spectators lining the track which was very exciting. Around 2000 freeride was the go and rode that till late 2006 when I got sick of the injuries. Some friends talked me into a 100k race called Dirtworks enjoyed it went alright and have been racing endurance ever since with some all mountain racing thrown in from the start of 2013

Graham Nisbet

Races in: Veteran Men

I finished Uni in 2002 and was looking for a way to regain some fitness after 4 years of engineering uni lifestyle taking its toll. I decided to give mountain biking a crack and bought a GT Avalanche hardtail. I loved getting out on the bike but admittedly it spent more time in the garage than anywhere else over the following 5 years. I got back into riding again around 2007 when I met Kath. This was mainly on a road bike and during this time, with the help of Kath, we sorted out my nutrition and I lost 17 kilos, significantly improving my health and performance on the bike. Then a few things happened that steered me back into mountain biking:

1. We moved to Terry Hills
2. I discovered Strava
3. I bought an Epic

Moving to Terrey Hills meant mountain bike rides no longer involved packing the bike in the car, driving somewhere, packing it back and driving home etc... suddenly everything was on my door step.

Discovering Strava, I am not ashamed to say, gave me the drive to constantly improve my riding and I consider it my number 1 training tool. Once I started to see some good results on mountain bike trails I was totally hooked.

Then, in 2013 I decided to give the Convict 50km a go. After some on and off training I bought an s-works epic a week before the race (a bike I had been drooling over for years) and gave it a go, ending up 49th overall out of 784. Considering my previous attempts at racing were a 381st / 591 in the 2012 100km highland fling and some casual teams of 4 in two 24 hour races, I was very happy with this result. So I started to train more regularly (I.e. once a week) and compete in some 50km races, improving my placing each time. This year I have been trying to build that up with my aim to be competitive in the 4-5 hour (100km) races by early 2015.

I am thrilled to be riding with SXC and have already picked up some great pointers in the very little time I have spent with the team. Looking forward to some fast and enjoyable riding ahead!