The eighth and final round of the 2017 TERC Championship saw the annual 8-hour cross country take place at St Helens. The final round enables riders to team up in what is widely considered the premiere off-road race in Tasmania.
Tasmania’s international enduro superstar Matthew Phillips joined fellow Tasmanian Derek Grundy and Motul Pirelli Sherco Team lead rider Andy Wilksch to form an incredibly strong team.
“The race was awesome fun,” said Wilksch. “The track was technical and a long 16km loop consisting of 90 percent single trail, a few decent hill climbs and some technical rock garden sections and the parts of the motocross track.
Wilksch started the race for the three-man Sherco team doing is best to peg back a six-minute lead held by the front-runners.
“Once we hit the six-hour mark we started gaining back big margins,” Wilksch explained. “With an hour and a quarter to go Matty had clawed it back to be right behind the lead team then I went out for my last stint.”
Wilksch took the lead and proceed to stomp a three-minute lead on his rival team when they derailed a chain. Luck intervened and played havoc when Wilksch became stuck behind a lapped rider on a technical hill.
“I pretty well choked at this point and just couldn't get up the hill,” a dejected Wilksch explained. “This gave the other team a three-minute lead into the last lap where Matty took over and he pulled them back in and went for a pass in the dust and come off.”
The Sherco Team eventually finished in second place, a mere 10-second in arrears of the lead after a turbulent eight-hours of non-stop racing.