GUNNING IT: Josh Button will be in action in the first round of the MTBA Downhill National Series at Mt Coramba.
GUNNING IT: Josh Button will be in action in the first round of the MTBA Downhill National Series at Mt Coramba. Wayne Marsh Images

It's all downhill madness from here on

LOCAL Josh Button is eyeing out a comeback in downhill racing on his home track at Mt Coramba.

But the odds are stacked against him in the first round of the MTBA Downhill National Series this weekend.

He will be up against current Australian champion and world number four Jack Moir in the elite men's category.

Button returns to the physically-demanding sport from a year riddled with injury following a knee operation.

Pushing perhaps a little too hard, Button battled for results.

"I had a real shocker of a year,” Button said.

While he will be racing on the track he started out on 13 years ago, the 27-year-old said the field would be evened.

He said there would be little home advantage with the number of riders on the track creating different lines down Mt Coramba.

"Because we haven't had much rain it will blow out,” he said.

Coffs Downhill director and track builder Garth 'Dozer' Roberts agreed, saying : "Once you know a trail sometimes it can get a little detrimental.”

Button said making a good start would be pivotal for the rest of the season.

With just three rounds to the National Championships, which acts as a qualifier for the World Championships, there is little room for error.

"You have to get off to a good start,” Button said.

"You can't really make any mistakes.”

Button said the top seven or eight are selected to ride for Australia in the World Championships.

The next round of the series will be held in Awaba over February 3-4 while the final will be at Narbethong on March 17-19.

In Button's favour are the dry and dusty track conditions.

He said most Australian riders preferred such conditions because it was what they were used to.

Dozer said he had kept the track natural which meant it was flowing and fast.

"But it doesn't mean it's easy,” he said.

He said some of the best viewing points for spectators to catch riders soaring over jumps was just a few hundred metres from the rider village.

Coffs Downhill and Clarence Valley Mountain Bike Club teamed up to stage this weekend's action.

The event will be held in the Orara East State Forest off Mt Coramba Rd. Practice will be on Friday and Saturday, with racing on Sunday.

For more, visit www.mtba.asn.au.



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