Longest day on a bike

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Queenstown’s Mark Williams has two secret weapons for his tilt at one of the world’s toughest mountain bike races – rice pudding and butt butter. 

The gutsy R&R Sport shop boss tackles the World Solo 24 Hour MTB Championship in Canberra, Australia, on Saturday. 

And to keep him going on some 24 non-stop laps of a 20km loop course, his support crew will throw him tubes of his favourite rice pudding for energy – and butt butter called Sweet Cheeks to soothe his aching behind. 

“I’ll just have to be careful I don’t get the two mixed up – that would be a disaster,” Williams jokes. 

It’s the racing veteran’s first stab at the endurance champs, where he’ll be joined by Queenstown ski patroller Erin Green, who’s competing in the women’s category. 

More than 450 of the world’s top riders are in the solo race with another 2000 competitors also taking part in a massive team event. 

“I’ll be up against some of the very best on the planet, including the professionals, but I’m in the best condition 
I’ve been in for a while and aiming to finish among the leaders,” Williams, 36, says.