Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Pilley Classic; Invitation to Design Two Races Makes 2014 One of Pilley's Best

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Pilley Classic; Invitation to Design Two Races Makes 2014 One of Pilley's Best

Article excerpt

Byline: sports journalist sport@dailyexaminer.com.au

BACK HOME: Endurance mountain bike rider Morgan Pilley takes some time out from road training around his home town of Yamba. Pilley is back after a successful 2013 campaign, and is helping design two big races for next year. Photo: Adam Hourigan

HE MAY be one of Australia's least recognised sporting champions but Morgan Pilley can barely cover a few hundred metres in his home town of Yamba without being noticed.

Pilley's been back in town for just over a month, enjoying a few months off following a tough season tackling some of the toughest environments in Europe.

The world-class endurance mountain-biker started the season late because of a few travel issues, making his transition from 24-hour races to marathons that little bit more difficult.

But that did not stop the 27-year-old from turning in a good season, chalking up several solid results in the marathons and winning the Rome 24 hour - and the accompanying Roman Legionnaire sword - for the second time.

If his 2013 campaign registers as a good year on his scale, 2014 could be his biggest yet - and not just from a results perspective.

Pilley's profile is set to gain an enormous boost next year, with a new six-hour race he designed which may also be named in his honour.

"It still feels a bit bizarre," Pilley said. "It's good to have people see me in that respect.

"Last year I raced the Xterra Italy (off-road triathlon) in a team, and the race organiser approached me about a few mountain bike projects.

"It's a very good, professional organisation behind it so I'm confident of delivering a quality event."

Pilley will serve as technical director for the course, using his years of experience to help design a challenging race.

"I was a bit nervous at first - I'm not sure I've done enough in the sport to have a race named after me," Pilley said. …

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