TAS Dragon Trail Derby to St Helens , March 16-18 2023.


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Entries open today for the Dragon Trail March 16-18 2023.
It's a 3 day bike race from Derby to St Helens in Tasmania.

Basically It's a mini BC Bike Race with camping each night and racing during the day.
I did this event this year and thought it was well organised and accomodating with airport transfers, tents and some cooking facillities/ food trucks. With photographers on course there is heaps of race photos's as well.
If you're a regular racer/rider you enjoy the challenge. If you're an average joe rider it is a tough tough challenge but do-able. Some competitors also turned into a father son/daughter event.

Course changes next year means more time riding in Derby and less gravel grinding. And only 1 campsite transfer to St Helens.

I recommend you take you take up the machanics package. It's worth a lot more than the cost. It was soo much easier to roll in hand over your dirty bike and complain about your brakes, drivetrain and have it all fixed ready to go the next day. And If you do have to get your bike fixed or tuned it will cost you just as much anyway.
A trail bike would be my pick but XC, enduro and hardtails were used, all with their advantages and disadvantages.

I thought some Burner's might be interested? If anything It's something to train for or just look forward to next year.

(**Note - have no affilliation with the event apart from competing this year)
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Likes Bikes
Another Dragon Trail race and the numbers were declining down to 230 riders from 300 pervious year.
While the event went on without too much trouble, then were a few things that could be improved on, one being the lack of food vans, which seems to be the common issue for the past few years.

The event organisers looked un-enthusiastic this year and it was comfirmed when they announced that 2024 was not going ahead.
No mention of why, maybe a clash of dates with EWS? Maybe not enough people to cover the costs?
With only a couple pro riders turn up, which means its either too hard, too expensive to get to, or lacks of prize money, therefore it doesn't gain much traction in social media circle.

As mentioned before it is a tough event. The second time was a little easier because you knew what was coming, but the first time could put you off from coming back. Riding the trails is one part of it (its a long day in the saddle). Camping next to a couple hundred people (with sound of a thousand zippers) is another element, then throw in the lack of quality food only adds the cherry on top.
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in me vL comy
While not the same as the Dragon Trail, I had some great experiences doing the Blue Dragon about a decade or so ago. The years I did it, it was well supported with about 200 teams (pairs) and a really good vibe.

Quite a different event in that it was all self supported and you raced with a partner.
Only a two day race around the blue tier mostly on fire trails and a bit of single track, well before the Blue Derby trails were built.


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I did the Dragon Trail this year along with the first one. You're spot on @smiffy it is tough. I think people underestimate it, and just look at the distances. But purpose built singletrack is very taxing to race - there's a lot of concentration and a lot of input. You need to be fit!

I think the cost and lack of prize money does keep a few more top riders away. Some can access travel budgets from sponsors that can help, but most 'pros' work full time, or study, or do a mix of both. Some have worked hard to now enjoy the time to go to the races they want - but some financial reward for a result helps.

I agree on the food, it was way too light on this year. I wonder if 2025 will see the camp go, and you organise your own accommodation, or camp in public areas? Derby would be set up for that anyway, and St Helens. It would cut a huge amount of costs for the organisers, but I think once you commit to the camp it's a good vibe. I'd certainly go again. It took me a week to recover though!


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Did the 1st Dragon, +my first stage race + first time riding over 30km & 1st time camping in 30 years.
A very tough 3 days, but got better each day.
Camping was ordinary, food very lacking, service poor, but great riding.