Albany was hit with cycling fever at the weekend as the popular Southern Peaks bike festival returned in style. The 2023 edition of the festival was a huge success, attracting mountain biking enthusiasts and adrenaline-seekers from wide and far. The State Pump Track Championships launched Southern Peaks into action, as Albany’s Youth Challenge Park was swarmed by enthusiastic participants and hundreds of spectators. More than 60 keen riders competed in the inaugural Championships on Saturday. Cooper Dunlop (19:47sec.) topped the under-15 male division and was the only rider at the championships to finish with a time below 20sec. Abbey O’Donnell recorded the best time across all the female competitors, stopping the clock at 22.95 to win the under-17 female division. Global BMX star Shane Ellis and freestyle guru Luke Tooze were the headline acts of Saturday evening’s Jump Fest. An eager crowd waited to witness the action, along with the finals of the State championships which were also full of thrills and spills. The pace of the festival changed tack on Sunday as riders geared up for the gruelling XC marathon that started at Emu Point and finished at the Albany Senior High School oval.