Leaders Push Ahead on Day Two

18 August 2023

The second day of the 2023 Reef to Reef mountain bike stage race has been highlighted by the leading pairs pushing hard to extend their leads at the front of the field. 

Riders headed up onto the Atherton Tablelands on Friday morning, with Davies Creek Mountain Bike Park hosting 42km of single track racing. 

Joel Green and Tali Lane Welsh picked up where the left off on the opening day, clearing away to cross the line in 1:48:29, almost nine minutes clear of Cameron Wright and Aden De Jager, with Lachlan Allison and Benjamin Iles rounding out the podium. 

Lane Welsh said that they pushed ahead early to get a gap on their competition. 

“It was awesome out there, good sensations, we got a bit of a gap pretty much instantly on the first bit of single track, we just started pushing on from there,” said Lane Welsh. “Originally we were thinking of dropping some people on the climb and then do a time trial from there but we ended up getting ahead pretty quickly and just went into the zone and pushed as hard as we could and we’re pretty happy with how we went. 

“I love both the styles of trails (from the opening two days) but this is my favourite, just being able to go so fast on the single track, you just have to concentrate the whole time because it’s so easy to make a small mistake and end up on the ground, we were pretty lucky out there, no crashes, no mechanicals so touch wood we can keep it going,” he said. 

Green said that his job was an easy one for day two, just keep right on Lane Welsh’s tail. 

“My job was pretty simple today and that was just to follow Tali’s wheel, I knew that as long as I could sit on the wheel we would be pretty safe because Tali is going really well at the moment,” said Green. “We got off to a pretty early lead which was pretty surprising, on the first climb we started to not hear anyone behind us, we’ve got a gap and from then on we just committed and it was like an hour and a half time trial. 

“We’ve got a fair gap now so we can probably be a bit more conservative but I think every day we’re just going to do out best like in any other race,” he said.

Mixed pair leaders Emma Viotto and Karl Michelin-Beard put their previous racing experience at Reef to Reef to good use, finishing the stage more than four minutes in front of second place getters Kirsty McCallum and Max Williams, with Michael Denton and Emily Hill a further two minutes back.

“It was really fun, it was a bit harder than last year, the trails are a bit washed out but it was really fun,” said Michelin-Beard. “Em had a bit of a nap in the dirt halfway through, we had to reassess ourselves but overall it was a really good day. 

“It was an interesting one because we started in the black wave and I think the other mixed pairs were in the blue wave so we had a couple of dudes to ride with for a while which was nice but there was still that impending feeling that someone was coming from behind,” he said. 

Viotto said that while she had a spill in Friday’s stage it didn’t slow them down too much. 

“It’s quite gravely out there but quite thick and I just hit a boulder and it washed my front wheel out but I got back up, went through the river crossing and washed my knee. It was pretty hard out there so I really enjoyed that last bit of single track, it was really fast, a bit skatey, but a lot of fun,” she said. “But those climbs, I had to walk one of them because my wheel just kept spinning as it’s quite thick but I really enjoyed it out there.” 

In the women’s pairs mother and daughter duo Meaghan Stanton and Zoe Binder continued to dominate the event, returning to the finish line in Davies Creek in 2:22:38, 22 minutes ahead of Karis Aplin and Sarah Dunnage, with Kathryn Deed and Alex Hall third. 

“It was awesome, the last 10km was probably the best, it was pretty flowy towards the end, it was nice and fast which is what we’re after, it was a great day out,” said Binder. “Today definitely suited my kind of riding, I’m more of a roady, Mum was much better yesterday on all the tight and technical stuff but a mix is nice, we got into our groove today and worked out how to ride together.” 

Stanton said that the pair are enjoying taking on the trails of Reef to Reef for the first time. 

“I loved it, the last 10km was just smooth, we haven’t ridden here before so it was exciting not knowing what was around each corner and just going on an adventure,” she said. “We just rode what came under our wheels, it was fun. We each took turns going in front at different times and learning how to race together was really fun. 

“We’ve ridden together once before but this is the first time we’ve done it when we’re riding well and we’re really well matched too so for me as a Mum it’s very empowering and I’m so proud of her and proud to be able to keep up with her as well, equally proud both ways,” said Stanton. 

The third day of racing will see the event head to Mount Molloy, with riders taking in some incredible rainforest trails during the longest stage of this year’s Reef to Reef. 

The final day of the event also features the famous Triple-R with riders starting in Mount Molloy before heading down the Bump Track before finishing on Four Mile Beach in front of the Port Douglas Surf Club. 

Reef to Reef is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.


Reef to Reef – Stage 2 Results

Men’s Pairs

  1. Commtel Coast Off Road – Joel Green & Tali Lane Welsh – 1:48:29
  2. Insert Team Name Here – Cameron Wright & Aden De Jager – 1:57:15
  3. LaBiles – Lachlan Allison & Benjamin Iles- 1:58:40

Mixed Pairs

  1. Shimano MyRide - Emma Viotto & Karl Michelin-Beard – 2:13:57
  2. #SparkThatChat – Kirsty McCallum & Max Williams – 2:18:04
  3. Salt Shakers – Emily Hill & Michael Denton – 2:20:20

Women’s Pairs

  1. Trek Shimano Australia – Meaghan Stanton & Zoe Binder – 2:22:38
  2. Western Reefers – Karis Aplin & Sarah Dunnage – 2:44:33
  3. Kath and Al – Kathryn Deed & Alex Hall – 2:57:48


Reef to Reef – General Classification

Men’s Pairs

  1. Commtel Coast Off Road – Joel Green & Tali Lane Welsh – 2:39:32
  2. Insert Team Name Here – Cameron Wright & Aden De Jager – 2:51:44
  3. LaBiles – Lachlan Allison & Benjamin Iles- 2:55:08

Mixed Pairs

  1. Shimano MyRide - Emma Viotto & Karl Michelin-Beard – 3:16:11
  2. #SparkThatChat – Kirsty McCallum & Max Williams – 3:26:08
  3. Salt Shakes – Emily Hill & Michael Denton – 3:27:44

Women’s Pairs

  1. Trek Shimano Australia – Meaghan Stanton & Zoe Binder – 3:30:46
  2. Western Reefers – Karis Aplin & Sarah Dunnage – 4:15:49
  3. Kath and Al – Kathryn Deed & Alex Hall – 4:18:13