Todd Smith finishes 18th at Dakar

Pipped from the podium at Finke Desert Race

By Lara Pearce

Jacob Smith missed out on a podium place in his seventh consecutive Finke Desert Race by just 2 minutes and 57 seconds on the weekend.

The gruelling two day off-road rally in the centre of Australia tested the Condobolin rider, who says it was one of the toughest Finke Races he has done.

“I got so close to the podium and it would have been nice to be one more step up, but I was quite happy with the results and how everything turned out,” he said.

“It was a pretty brutal track – 230 kilometres of the roughest track you will find in Australia.”

Jacob completed the first day of riding from Alice Springs to Finke in two hours, three minutes and nine seconds to finish in sixth place.

“I just tried my hardest to make up as many positions as I could on Monday and ended up finishing fourth,” he said.

“I had a fair few close calls but I didn’t have any actual crashes – you don’t want to come off going those speeds.”

Jacob finished with a total time of 4 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds to come second in his class and fourth outright.

The gruelling track saw a large proportion of competitors unable to finish the race, including another Condobolin rider, Jake Haddrill.

After qualifying twelfth in the prologue on Saturday, Jake had a crash towards the end of the first day of racing. He was taken to hospital and is believed to be doing well.

The winner of the 2013 Finke, Todd Smith, was unable to compete this time around due to a spinal injury.

“He is just waiting for his back to heal, so he will probably sit the rest of the year out,” said his brother Jacob.

Jacob Smith missed out on a podium place in his seventh consecutive Finke Desert Race by just 2 minutes and 57 seconds on the weekend.

• Jacob Smith kicking up some dirt at his seventh consecutive Finke Desert Race over the weekend. Jacob ended up finishing fourth outright. Contributed by Ross Briggs

From frosts to dust: Yellow Mountain 2014

Another successful Yellow Mountain two day endurance event was held on the first weekend in August.

• Above: Local Condobolin riders finished in many of the top places on the day. Contributed

Another successful Yellow Mountain two day endurance event was held on the first weekend in August. By Scott Chamney

Another successful Yellow Mountain two day endurance event was held on the first weekend in August.

The event was booked out within just 2 hours of opening, such is its popularity. There were a good number of new competitors this year as many regulars had injuries or other commitments.

Freezing mornings didn’t deter the riders or spectators from enjoying the event, though Sunday’s cold conditions were less than ideal.

“My fingers still haven’t recovered from Sunday morning” laughed local competitor Todd Smith, “the first eighty kilometres were torture. It was the coldest Yellow Mountain I’ve ever experienced.”

Conditions were also dusty with the recent dry conditions, making some sections more hazardous as visibility was reduced.

But the event was a resounding success with Broc Grabham the overall Champion of the event and all riders satisfied with the demanding course.

Another successful Yellow Mountain two day endurance event was held on the first weekend in August.

• Above: Overall winners 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively Broc Grabham, Jake Smith, and Todd Smith. Contributed

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