Kiwis Control MTBA Cross-Country on The Gold Coast

The current Oceania Champions dominated the fields on both days with commanding victories.

On Saturday Sheppard, devastated the women’s line-up winning in a time of 1:27:21, more than four minutes ahead of Australian champion Rebecca McConnell (ACT) and Holly Harris (NSW).

Samara Sheppard.

While Sunday the minor placing’s were filled by former Kiwi champion Kate Fluker (NZL) and Eliza Smyth (ACT).

The two wins put Sheppard on top of the national series ladder after her victories in Orange late last year.

“I’m really happy the way my season is going so far. Feeling really strong and good on the bike.”

“Tried to ride all the technical stuff really smooth and then the climbs worked to my strength,” the Wellington native said.

It was the first race back for McConnell who admitted she hasn’t been on a bike since the world championships in September.

Bec McConnell.

“That was a huge shock to the system.”

“You can’t bring your B game and expect to beat Samara and the only way I knew I would be a chance is to be at the top of the descent which I managed to do on the first lap but then we hit the start straight on lap 2 and she was gone,” said the Canberra rider.

In the elite men, Cooper showed his early season form is nothing but solid as he left the field in his wake on both days with Daniel McConnell (ACT) and Tasman Nankervis (ACT) on the podium on Saturday while Cameron Ivory (NSW) bounced back from a flat tyre in Round 3 to take second with Reece Tucknott (WA) in third.

Cameron Ivory.

“It was a lot cooler than Saturday’s race, which was brutal. ”
“I felt really good out there today and it is a great start to the season,” Cooper said.

For McConnell it was his first hit out of the year and was under no illusions about how tough it would be.

“I made so many mistakes on the single track but it was good to get that one under the belt and look forward to improving from here,” the multiple Australian champion commented.

Daniel McConnell.

The weekend racing also allowed the Kiwis and Australia’s two elite champions a look at the Commonwealth Games Course to be used in April.

“It’s a course that is really made for Aussies and I hope it gives us a great advantage,” the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games elite women’s bronze medallist commented after Saturday’s race.

Eliza Smyth.

Cameron Wright (QLD) once again was a cut above the rest of the field in the Junior men taking the double wins ahead of Matt Dinham (NSW) and Sam Fox (TAS).

Cameron Wright.

The next two rounds of the 2018 MTBA Cross-Country National Series will be held on the Australia Day long weekend in Pemberton, Western Australia.

Zoe Cuthbert

Photos – Element Photo & Video

Interview: MTBA gains Australian Sports Commission Recognition

Around a week ago, a rather innocuous looking email arrived in the Flow inbox, letting us know that Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA), the peak Australian MTB body, had gained official National Sporting Organisation status.

“So what?” you might ask. Well, there’s quite back story here! For a long time now, MTBA has operated in the shadow of Cycling Australia (CA) – all funding came via CA, and in a nutshell the situation has been rather complicated.

To shed a little more light on what gaining NSO status might mean for MTBA and Australian mountain bikers, we chatted with CEO of MTBA, Shane Coppin.

So Shane, for all of us out there who aren’t familiar with NSOs, the Australian Sports Commission or Cycling Australia, what does this all mean? 

Shane Coppin (SC): MTBA will now be able to officially promote the status that; “The Australian Government through the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) recognises Mountain Bike Australia to develop mountain biking in Australia”.

MTBA will now be able to deal directly with the ASC across all programs and initiatives conducted by the ASC, including being invited to attend applicable NSO forums, communications, workshops, initiatives and programs as offered by the ASC / AIS from time to time (this wasn’t offered to MTBA previously);

MTBA may be directly funded and supported by the ASC under investment plans or individual grant opportunities (previously any financial support had to be provided via CA);

MTBA can directly assist (sign-off) and support applications from our riders / members / clubs for any applicable ASC programs and grants (previously required lodgement / sign-off via CA);

MTBA can directly engage with the ASC for support/assistance with initiatives and/or innovation projects

The ASC may choose to work directly with MTBA for specific projects and offers the ASC a purely Unitarian National Sports model to work with in MTBA;

MTBA can directly coordinate coaching and officiating programs for MTB with the ASC (whilst, we currently were doing some of this, the process is now formalised)

MTBA will be recognised by State Governments, Agencies and other Forums as the recognised NSO for MTB, giving our organisation a new standing in these forums that may encompass funding, advocacy and program opportunities;

MTBA will be included in the “tent” with all other recognised NSO’s by the ASC

The ASC will undertake Annual Sport Performance reviews of MTBA focused on governance and organisation performance in relation to the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles with feedback being provided. The first is being conducted in December 2017.

Will this change the way the way that MTBA is funded? Can you tell us how? 

SC: Initially no, MTBA has been recognised as a unfunded NSO. CA and BMXA are currently funded NSO’s. However, there are opportunities for improved funding for MTBA into the future.

MTBA is hopeful that in the future ASC participation funding across all sports and lifestyle/participation activities/sports may alter/increase and that MTBA may be receive some direct funding benefit. However, funding and grant opportunities for MTBA, MTBA Affiliated Clubs and individual members may improve now with MTBA recognised as an NSO. This has recently been highlighted with opportunities for riders between 12-18 years now able to apply for ASC Local Sporting Champion grants to help attend MTBA National Championships.

Road, track and BMX have been recognised as NSOs for some time – given that mountain biking has been an Olympic sport for 20 years, why it taken so long for mountain biking to gain that same recognition?

SC: There is a long history here and one that goes beyond my time. MTBA is quite unique as we operate under a unitarian governance structure rather than a federated model, that provided a new element for the ASC to consider.

The situation has involved unfortunately many challenges impacted through the politics of cycling governance in Australia and a desire at various times to have all cycling administered under one body for all disciplines.

Some sports are very clean in their nature; one sport (discipline) means they are the only form of the sport in the Country and easily recognised international. Whereas water sports, shooting and cycling face challenges in so far as; multiple and very different activities or disciplines operating under one international body, yet operating as individual sports and entities in their respective marketplaces. For example; in cycling BMX, MTB, Road & Track all operate under the UCI, the UCI recognises one National Federation per Country, in Australia that is Cycling Australia; yet BMX and Road & Track were recognised independently as NSO’s by the ASC. MTB has now be recognised equally by the ASC, placing us at parity with the other cycling disciplines in Australia.

What are your hopes that gaining NSO status all mean for Aussie mountain biking?

SC: Through this opportunity, numerous support from funding and resources will be available to MTBA and MTB groups to further develop opportunities for this great sport and lifestyle activity. In the past, MTBA was unable to be directly funded by pretty much most government groups or agencies. Historically, the few support grants the ASC provided in the past needed to be distributed to MTBA via CA. That has all now changed and MTBA can be funded directly. The new recognition will provide validity to our sport in future negotiations and elevates MTBA’s role as the recognised National Sporting Organisation for MTB in Australia.

Will recognition as an NSO give MTBA more leverage lobbying for trail access, and funding to our racers? 

SC: Recognition will provide numerous opportunities for MTBA across multiple areas of the organisation; including sport development, lobbying for funding, advocacy, coaching and officiating development, digital development, participation and innovation opportunities as well as access to a significant network of data (including AusPlay) and information workshops, forums and industry networking. There is assistance with sports governance and specific MTB projects. Hopefully, in time, funding opportunities for the sports development, pathways and riders will improve.

Under the current Australia’s Winning Edge (AWE) model only XCO is recognised and funding is provided against a relentless performance criteria aimed at podium achievements. This provides a very real challenge for MTB, given there are numerous disciplines some of which Australian’s perform exceptionally well at the highest level, yet under AWE they remain unrecognised and subsequently unlikely to receive funding under the current AIS model. NSO recognition will provide MTBA with improved recognition at State levels as the Nationally recognised sporting organisation.

Interview: 2017 Enduro National Champs, Brosnan and Fry

Take one World Cup downhiller and one cross-country National Champion, mix them with a little Fox Creek grit, and then stick them in the Adelaide oven for two days… Voila! They emerge as Enduro National Champs!

Rowena Fry adds another National Champion title to her collection, this time in Enduro.
Troy Brosnan proved that it doesn’t matter what travel bike you put him on, he’s damn quick.

Troy Brosnan and Rowena Fry harken from completely opposite ends of the mountain bike spectrum, and given their niche backgrounds in mountain biking, you might have thought them a pretty unlikely pair to be donning the Enduro National Champs jersey for 2017. But that’s what’s great about this discipline; it allows riders to bring to bear experience from all areas of mountain biking, rewarding those with the full basket of skills and fitness.

We caught up with Troy and Rowena to chat with them about taking the win over two great days of racing in Fox Creek, Adelaide.

Troy Brosnan, hometown hero, had a close battle with fellow World Cup racer and Adelaide lad Connor Fearon at Fox Creek. Fearon had the edge on day 1, but Troy edged ahead on the final four stages. 

Flow: Firstly, congrats on a great season – second overall in the World Cup, and now a National Enduro Champs jersey too. 

TB: Yep, I’m super proud of how the season went. Obviously it worked well for me in terms of the team and the bike, it was my best season ever, and I’m super excited to have been the first rider to take a Canyon to the top step of a World Cup.

Flow: And then to come out in the off season and win the Enduro Champs too. Was that a focus for you at all?

TB: It certainly wasn’t something I’d planned to do or was training for, in fact I only entered a week or so before because it’s right in my backyard and the trails out there are pretty fun. I actually thought it was a one day race, so I when I found out it was two I thought about pulling out. Even though it was pretty painful, I’m glad I did it in the end!

Flow: It looked like a great battle with Connor, another hometown rider. Do you guys ride together very much?

TB: Yeah it was good racing him. We don’t actually ride together very much in the off season – I mean, if we both end up riding at the same place we do, but it’s not something we plan. We have talked about it a bit in the past, but with our training both being on different schedules it hasn’t worked out.

Flow: So what bike did you decide to ride for the Champs? 

Just my usual trail bike, it’s a Canyon Spectral (read our review here). I prefer it to the Strive, it seems to stay planted a little better, and I prefer less travel on a trail bike. It’s completely stock other than the Rockshox and shock, but otherwise it’s the very same bike you can buy off the website. It’s pretty cool, you can buy a stock bike and then race it to a National Championship!

Flow: So, National Champ, we’re not going to see you stepping into the ranks of the EWS any time soon? 

TB: No, EWS rounds are off the cards for me, it’s a bit too hectic with the World Cup too, and it’s not something I really enjoy doing. I love riding my trail bike, but when it comes to the EWS it’s a bit of semi shit show I feel, and it doesn’t really excite me. Maybe when I’m all washed up like all the other old downhillers I’ll think about it!

Flow: Haha! Are you calling Sam Hill washed up.

TB: I’d better not! He almost beat me at the World Champs!

Rowena Fry is a name you’ve probably seen at the top of cross-country, marathon and stage race results sheets a lot over the past decade. The Launceston local has shifted her focus to Enduro this year, and after a good result in Derby stoked the fire, she’s stepped up to beat some impressive names to win the Champs.

Row Fry nabbed the very first Scott Genius 900 Tuned to arrive in Australia, and put it to good use straight away!

Flow: Congratulations on the win. There are a lot of fast bike riders from Tassie.

Rowena: Yeah, we probably punch above our weight for that. We’ve got heaps of good roads and forests to ride in; and we don’t need to spend lots of time travelling in traffic anywhere!

Flow: Which local trails do you ride the most?

Rowena: We go out in Derby a fair bit; it’s only an hour from our place. The local Lonnie trails are more XC focused so we ride up Kate Reed and Trevallyn but they’re getting more gravity trails in now.

Flow: We see people coming to enduro from downhill backgrounds as well as cross country. Having been one of Australia’s top cross country racers, what brought you to enduro?

Rowena: Ummm, you don’t have to train as much! Enduro’s sort of just the best bits of cross country without as much of the not-so-nice bits – having to train for the hill climbs. I was probably one of the better cross country riders on technical trails. I’m trying to teach myself to jump at the ripe old age of 34, whereas the liaison and uphill or pedally stages come a lot more naturally to me than a lot of the downhillers.

Flow: You had a close battle with Philippa and Shelly. How did you feel coming to this race against these local women, both with quite a lot of downhill and enduro experience?

Rowena: I was feeling pretty good and then I saw the trails, and realised there was a fair old advantage if you know them. They were really hard trails to race on because they were so loose, so they were pretty demanding. I actually would’ve liked a few extra days practice, so will remember that for next time! Only practicing stages once or twice each was really hard work from my side of things. You also had to be conservative too because the trails were fairly unpredictable, if you were pinning it you could easily crash and loose massive chunks of time as well, so it was quite a tactical event in those regards.

We’re hoping to see Row at all the major Aussie enduro events next year, even if she’s not likely to head overseas to contest the EWS.

Flow: Can you tell us about the bike you were racing?

Rowena: I was lucky enough to have the first new Scott Genius Tuned 900 to arrive in Australia. Scott didn’t really have a true enduro trail bike before this. It’s bang on; super light, 65.6 degree head angle. I run it mostly stock. I use the integrated bar and stem which is only 760mm wide, which is what I was running anyway. The new SRAM Eagle is so good; the get out of gaol gear at the top is really amazing. I swapped out the tyres to a Maxxis Minion on the front and Aggressor on the rear which I’m running at about 17/21 PSI without any rim protection.

Flow: Earlier in the year we saw you race at the Derby EWS and finish 10th. How was that race for you?

Rowena: I loved it. That was my first enduro race so I really didn’t know what to expect. Obviously, training was super dry and dusty and then it pissed down in the race. That was actually the most fun I’ve ever had in a thunder storm for seven hours, completely saturated, I’ve never had so much fun! I was actually a bit disappointed with my result. I hadn’t done the first round in Rotorua so I didn’t have a ranking which meant I had a lot of issues with traffic and because of the riding conditions it was just so hard to pass the girls I was catching. To be honest, I was actually trying to plug for a top 5 down there. I was obviously still stoked to get 10th but it made me a bit hungry to do a couple more.

Yeah, I think I’ll do more enduro races. I haven’t raced national level cross country for a number of years because the enjoyment wasn’t quite there for me after racing it for so long.

Flow: So what are your plans for next year? Will we see you take on more enduro national series races?

Rowena: Yeah, I think I’ll do more enduro races. I haven’t raced national level cross country for a number of years because the enjoyment wasn’t quite there for me after racing it for so long. But this is like a new sport; it makes me want to get out there and push my skills, learn to jump and go bigger and further. If they fit in with what I’m doing in life then I’ll certainly try and do a few more.

Flow: What does fill up the rest of your life?

Rowena: My husband, Ben, and I own the Avanti Plus bike shop in Lonnie, but I’m a physio as well so work as a physio full time. We’re into fishing as well.

Flow: Despite being awarded the best EWS trail of 2017, Tassie doesn’t have a round of the EWS next year. Australia and NZ completely miss out. Are we likely to see you venture further abroad to race any EWS rounds?

Rowena: I’d love to but it’s probably going to be too expensive, I think. I’d love to race Whistler, but it is so hard for Australians, if you are self-funded, to get across to those events. Especially after doing it for so long with XC; I’d love to, but I don’t think it’s realistic. That said, there are some good races in New Zealand that look fun to go and do as well.



Cairns World Champs: 2017 Australian Team Announced

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) are pleased to confirm the following riders selected to contest the 2017 UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns, Queensland 5th-10th September 2017. A team of 64 Australian cross-country and downhill riders will compete against the worlds best at the season ending event, held in Australia for the third time.

Join in the fun; come and cheer on the Aussies!

Leading the cross-country athletes will be national elite champion’s Daniel McConnell (ACT) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT).

Elite XC National Champ, Dan McConnell
Bec Henderson lead for the first lap at the 2016 Cairns World Cup

While spearheading the downhillers is Troy Brosnan (SA) and Tracey Hannah (QLD), who have won World Cups this season in Andorra and Fort William respectively.

SA’s Troy Brosnan is a hot favourite to take the win in Cairns.
Cairns local Tracey Hannah is having a great World Cup season, and is focused on the top step at Worlds.

This year welcomes the return of downhill legend Sam Hill (WA), a five-time world champion.

Currently dominating the Enduro World Series, WA’s Sam Hill will make a comeback to DH this September.

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin expects the Aussies to make their mark over the five-day competition, “Australia can be very proud of the team that has been selected and we know they will certainly be giving it a red hot crack in front of a very vocal home crowd.”

Troy Brosnan (SA)
Jack Moir (NSW)
Connor Fearon (SA)
Michael Hannah (QLD)
Dean Lucas (VIC)
Sam Hill (WA)
Joshua Button (NSW)
Jake Newell (NSW)
Reserves: Jackson Frew; Graeme Mudd

Tracey Hannah (QLD)
Ronja Hill-Wright (ACT)
Danielle Beecroft (NSW)
Tegan Molloy (NSW)
Kellie Weinert (NSW)
Sian A’Hern (NSW)
Katie Lawlor (QLD)
Shelly Flood (SA)

Josh Button had a long stint in the hot seat in the 2016 Cairns World Cup and finished on the podium in 5th.
Shark Attack Jack (Moir) is currently 5th in the World Cup overall and placed 2nd in Fort William. Another Aussie to watch in Cairns!
South Australia’s Connor Fearon had a strong start to the 2017 World Cup season.
Dean Lucas had his best World Cup result ever in Mont Sainte Anne, 2nd to Aaron Gwin.
Mick Hannah will be motivated for another strong performance in his home town.
Danni Beecroft

Daniel McConnell (ACT)
Cameron Ivory (NSW)
Kyle Ward (NSW)
Mark Tupalski (ACT)
Adrian Jackson (VIC)
Russell Nankervis (VIC)
Sebastian Jayne (VIC)

Tasman Nankervis (VIC)
Reece Tucknott (WA)
Ben Bradley (TAS)
Alex Lack (TAS)
Callum Carson (NSW)
Nick Pedler (QLD)
Michael Potter (NSW)
Luke Brame (NSW)
Reserve: Michael Denton

Dan McConnell is confident descending in Cairns, especially with a dropper seat post!
Cam Ivory had a rear flat in Cairns World Cup last year but still got a great result. Can be better 37th at the World Champs?
Michael Potter (front) and Callum Carson (rear) from NSW will be lining up in the U23 XCO
Callum Carson sails off the Rodeo Drop at the 2016 Cairns World Cup
Luke Brame adding his style to the U23 XCO
Victoria’s Tas Nankervis is familiar with the Cairns rocks
WA’s Reece Tucknott

Rebecca Henderson (ACT)
Peta Mullens (VIC)
Kathryn McInerney (VIC)
Eliza Kwan (ACT)
Sarah Riley (VIC)
Anna Beck (QLD)
Tory Thomas (VIC)

Holly Harris (NSW)
Megan Williams (QLD)
Charlotte Culver (NSW)

Recently crowned Australian Cyclocross National Champion, Peta Mullens, is always popular with the Aussie crowd
Holly Harris was the sole U23 Woman at the 2016 Cairns World Cup. This year she’ll be accompanied by Charlotte Culver, also from NSW, and Queensland’s Megan Williams
Bec Henderson has stood on the podium in Cairns. Let’s cheer her on again!

A number of riders will contest the final round of the World Cup season at Val di Sole, Italy 26-27 August, before returning to Australia for the world championships.

Team Aussie


If you missed it, we announced the Junior Downhill Worlds Team here.

Cairns World Champs: 2017 Australian Junior DHI Team Announced

The team includes Junior National champions Baxter Maiwald (VIC) and Ellie Smith (NSW) and Oceania Champion Joshua Clark (NSW), as well as a number of world championship debutants.

Baxter Maiwald
Joshy Clark
Ellie Smith at the 2017 Australian Downhill National Championships, Mt Joyce QLD. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

In the lead up to the world championships, a number of the squad will attend a four day training camp in Cairns with national team staff.


Baxter Maiwald (VIC)
Patrick Butler (NSW)
Joshua Clark (NSW)
Ben Zwar (VIC)
Harry Parsons (NSW)
Bryce Heathcote (VIC)
Darcy Coutts (VIC)
Matt Carter (VIC)
Reserves: Niki Barber; Aaron Gungl


Ellie Smith (NSW)
Sally Potter (NSW)

Baxter Maiwald
Harry Parsons

The remainder of the Australian team for the world championships will be released early next month.

National Champs: Dan McConnell Claims Sixth Title

The three-time Olympian produced a gutsy performance to claim the title in a time of 1:21:41 after seven laps on a punishing course.

“It’s probably the most rewarding Aussie champs I’ve won and came into the village arms pumping and felt pretty good on this climb and for Bec to win this morning tops off the week.”

McConnell held off Cameron Ivory (NSW), a further three minutes back, and Mark Tupalski (ACT) who took bronze in his first major race in 15 months.

Cam Ivory
Cam Ivory

It was an emotional McConnell who crossed the line after admitting earlier in the week that it would be a struggle to retain his Australian title.

“I was pretty intimidated cause Cam’s been in good form and tried to save myself on the climb if that was possible on this course.”

“It’s the first time in six months I’ve actually felt comfortable and I’ll definitely soak this up for a few days,” McConnell admitted.

Cam Wright
Cam Wright

It was a brutal test for the 21 rider field, and while conditions had improved after the early morning downpour,  there were plenty of mind games out in front as Ivory came hunting for the coveted green and gold jersey.

The duo sat on each others wheel in the early exchanges before McConnell took the lead on the third lap and made his move on the fifth, recording a lap time of 11min30 which blew the competition apart.

“We were just testing each other out there and a few little moves here and there and Dan launched a big one with a few laps to go and I still felt good and thought I’ll let him sit just in front of me few seconds and I blinked and I couldn’t get anything back,” Ivory said.

The race also saw the return of Tupalski, who fought his way through the field with two laps to go to earn a bronze medal at the national championship.Nose Crash OT Riders

“I really don’t know how that happened, I’m actually speechless for a change.”

Tasman Nankervis (VIC) had plenty to say as he took charge from the first of his six laps, to claim the U23 title for the first time after finishing second last year.

“There are no easy laps, I’m happy to be mixing it up with the elites in lap times and finally feel as if I’m producing what I can do,” Nankervis said.

It was a story of redemption in the Junior Men for Cameron Wright (QLD), after a bronze at the Oceania, the Brisbane rider made amends as he ripped around the course to claim his first Australian title in 1:01:08 ahead of Kian Lerch-Mackinnon (VIC) and newly crowned Oceania champion Sam Fox (TAS).

“I’ve been pretty angry leading into this one and really wanted it that bad.”

“I just felt better until the last lap before I get to the tops and felt the cramps coming but I made it and tried to keep safe down the hill.”

National Champs: Bec Henderson Wins in Canungra

A morning downpour just before the race start would add an extra element of difficulty for the riders during their six-lap race.

Henderson, who by her own admission has not been in the best form, contradicted herself as she produced a vintage performance in the muddy, slick conditions to finish more 1:17:58, than three minutes ahead of Holly Harris (NSW) and Katherine McInerney (NSW).

“I’m really happy to call them (green and gold jersey) mine for another 12 months.”

“It was a real mountain bike course and a climbers course and there was certainly no hiding out there today.”

Henderson put the hammer down on lap one, despite taking a hit on the infamous rock garden, which claimed a number of riders during the morning.

“I didn’t quite have the confidence on the first lap and I took the B line in the rock garden and managed to crash so after that I took the A Line,” Henderson remarked.

It was a similar story for Harris, who was riding in the elite category at a national championship for the first time.

Holly Harris
Holly Harris

“I came to the A line and you know what I’m riding elite I may as well risk it all.”

2017 has been the coming of age for Harris, who after wins in the National Series and silver at Oceania is now confident of the next step.

“It’s so exciting especially against someone like Bec one of the world’s best riders,” Harris said.

The big mover through the field was McInerney, who after getting away to a bad start which saw her fifth in the field after lap two, move up into third where she would hold until the finish.

“On the third lap I started to take different lines so I didn’t have to walk on that pinch section of the course and that helped me to stay smooth, and that’s where I ended up overtaking Peta and Tori.”

While in the Under 23 women Megan Williams (QLD) made it a one-woman show as she collected the green and gold jersey ahead of Charlotte Culver.

“I think everyone was having a tough day out there, and getting down the slippery slopes was challenging,” Williams admitted.

Katherine Hosking (NSW) was also fearless on a course which tested the very best, the Armidale rider completed her three laps in a time of 52:48 taking gold in the Junior Women ahead of Tegan Atherstone (VIC) and Sarah Tucknott (WA).

Racing: Josh Button and Dani Beecroft Oceania Champions

After a 2016 that saw Button reach the heights of a world cup podium in April, before crashing to a horrible low breaking his hip in June, Button made it back to racing and the top step with a surprising run to take gold.

“I thought I could have gone a bit faster but I’ll take it, really stoked.” “Just great to be back racing and can’t wait for next weekend,” he said.

Qualifying in fourth spot on Saturday, Button had a nervous wait as Graeme Mudd, was last down the hill.

But the Newcastle rider couldn’t top the 2:46:05 laid down by Button only moments earlier.

Mudd, who would end up fourth behind New Zealanders Keegan Wright and Wyn Masters, still produced the fastest time of the weekend in his qualifying run.

Wyn Masters
Wyn Masters

“I felt a bit flat as I didn’t eat enough in the hot weather, a rookie error.”

While in the women Danielle Beecroft added the Oceania Elite Women Downhill title to her 2017 national series victory, more than two seconds faster than Lisa Mathison (QLD) and Ronja Hill-Wright (NZL) who claimed the silver and bronze.

Four years ago, Beecroft from New South Wales, took out the U19 women’s category when the event was held in Glenorchy, Tasmania, but has never competed in an elite Oceania race.

“The run was great I made up a bit of time at the top so am really happy,” Beecroft said.

“It’s quite a simple course but hard to race cause it’s slippery and go too fast you could end up with a crash.”

Mathison, who finished second at last year’s national championship, turned up the heat on the regular national series riders and found herself again taking home silver.

Lisa Mathieson.
Lisa Mathieson.

“Haven’t been able to put in too much training so really don’t know how I would go but it’s great to be up amongst it,” the former cross-country Olympian admitted.

“I was conservative after a crash in practice yesterday but I knew there were areas you could stay off the brakes in some sections and it was a nice clean run.”

For Tegan Molloy (NSW) it was hardly the weekend that went to plan with the Thredbo rider struggling to put together a clean race run after her flat on Saturday and finishing seventh.

“I was going all out today and paid the price.”

“I rode off the track, hit a loose rock and rode off track and got caught in the bunting and lost a lot of time,” the current

Despite having notched up the wins at the recent national series, Baxter Maiwald (VIC) would have to play second fiddle by the barest of margins .1 to Joshua Clark (NSW) in the Junior Men with Josh Oxenham (NZL) third.


“Haven’t been on the bike much lately but it’s great to come back with a win and heading into Canungra.”

Full results

Racing: Cross Country Kiwis Claim Oceania Bragging Rights

Cooper, who was defending his jersey from last year, produced one of the rides of the day to fight his way back from a crash, which saw him drop to sixth on lap one to take the title in a time of 1:25:31 ahead of Cameron Ivory (NSW) and Daniel McConnell (ACT).

“I just went wide and the front wheel washed out and I went over the bar. That wasn’t a big deal but more the fact my chain came off then and it got tangled up so I had to run to the tech zone,” the Christchurch native said.

Anton Cooper.
Anton Cooper.

“It’s the first time I’ve been able to win Oceania’s and nationals in the same year and get all those points in the bag.”

The race also continued to see the rise of Ivory, as he battled to hold off the New Zealander.

“When I went pass Anton in the feed zone I thought he’s not only small but strong and he’s angry and he’s going to come back hard towards the end.”

“He was back buzzing on my tyre with a lap to go and I just couldn’t match him on the last lap,” said Ivory who now heads into the National Championships at Canungra next weekend with plenty of confidence.

Cam Ivory.
Cam Ivory.

While it has been a slow start for the 5 time Australian champion in Daniel McConnell, the Canberra based rider was pleased to fight his way back into the bronze medal position.

“It was always going to be hard race for me today and I was really happy to finish third and still get some good points for the rest of the season.”

“And the form is sort of coming back,”

Local favourite Jared Graves (QLD) put his foot down early to test the legs of the field, but even he admitted it wasn’t the best strategy in the five-lap race.

“I think I rode the rookie race of my life,” Graves admitted.

“Even though the body felt amazing the first two laps and thought I was in a really good spot then lap 3 I had a crash on the corner and don’t know what happened, I just started cramping from there.”

For Shepard, who along with Cooper was coming off victory at the New Zealand Championships a fortnight earlier, made the most of a mechanical by Rebecca Henderson (ACT) on the first lap to take the lead, which she held on to for the remaining three laps and win in a time of 1:23:03, more than 2 minutes in front of Holly Harris (NSW) and Henderson.

“I got out pretty well and I think Bec had an issue so I got to sneak past her and find my rhythm and ride as smooth as I could,”

“It is an unbelievable start to 2017. I’ve never had this good a result at an elite level and I’m planning a bit of a campaign to qualify at Commonwealth Games,” said Sheppard who finished fifth in the same race at Queenstown last year.

It was a huge result for Harris, who was given special dispensation from the UCI to ride up in the elite category.

The Armidale rider has found a burst of form, with two national series wins and now an elite silver medal at the Oceania Championships.

“I just can’t believe it.”

Holly Harris.
Holly Harris.

“I really am trying to wind it up this year and really get myself ready for World Championships in Cairns,” said Harris.

For Henderson, who got out to a strong lead before she her chain came off right at the feed zone, then faced more problems only a few hundred metres down the course.

“But then had to do the re-fit with the derailleur and the gears and trying to get instructions on how to do that without getting help.”

“This and next week are the two big races of the domestic summer and they really mean a lot to me and to get a bit of a sting losing my Oceania title so really hoping I can retain my national champs jersey,” said the two time Olympian.

In the Junior Men, Sam Fox (TAS) produced the upset of the season so far taking out the title ahead Matt Dinham (NSW) and the previously undefeated Cameron Wright (QLD) in third.

New Zealand again featured on top of the podium, as Jessica Manchester (NZL) was more than five minutes in front of Katherine Hosking (NSW) and fellow Kiwi Liv Bishop (NZL).

Full results

Harris And Johnston Break National Elite Series Drought

It also marked the continued dominance of Cameron Wright (QLD) in the Junior Men, as the 16 year old again produced a scintillating ride to make it five straight victories.

For Harris, who is competing in her first year of elite competition, it was the win she’d been waiting for as the Armidale rider took up the challenge to defending series champion Rebecca Henderson.

“I was sitting in behind Bec feeling alright and my team-mate Kathryn (McInerney) made a big attack and I sort of followed her and then somehow I took off on the front.”

However, Harris had to hold off more than the challenges from the chasing pack as the final of the five laps approached on a dry and dusty Mt Taylor course.

“I sort of remembered the mistake I make every single race and that’s blowing up so I tried to not do that.”

Hunting her down was Jodie Willett (QLD), who made her move on the fourth lap and was closing.

“I’ve been here helping with the MTBA junior squad and I think it’s a bit inspiring, I was riding on inspiration as it’s their first race and it inspired me to get involved and give it a go.”

The last time Willett medalled in the national series was at Pemberton two years ago.

Harris finished in a time of 1:29:52 ahead of Willett and McInerney, with Henderson more than three minutes back in fourth.

It’s been a big week for the dual Olympian, having signed on with a new bike sponsor Scott earlier in the week.

“There’s been a lot going on and it’s been a pretty stressful time trying to get everything together, and today I was just really low on energy.”

“These back to back races aren’t doing me any favours, and I’m just struggling to recover and it’s taking its toll the next couple of weeks.”

No such trouble for Johnston, who in only his third race this series stormed off the start line and held his place at the front of the 25 man field.

“I was lucky to be at the front and fortunate not to consume too much dust,” he remarked.

After back to back seconds at Armidale, Johnston again attacked from the race gun and this time it would pay off with Tasman Nankervis (VIC) and Reece Tucknott (WA) unable to real the Canberran back in as he crossed the line in a time of 1:26:47, more than 30 seconds in front of the minor places.

“It’s my first ever elite win and it’s something I’ve maybe thought it was out of the question in the era of Dan McConnell, but the rest of us are starting to really challenge him and I’m just really happy.”

Nankervis, who finished second here last year, tried to match it with Johnston early in the six lap race.

“First lap was ok, then I had a stack into a tree and Trekky was going that solid I couldn’t catch him again.”

“Lately I’ve been doing a lot of training for these types of races and haven’t tapered at all, and I think it might work in my favour,” warned Nankervis ahead of Round 6 on Sunday.

In the junior men, Wright’s purple patch of form continued, as he produced the third fastest overall lap time of the day and accounted for another stacked junior men’s field.

Despite his untarnished record this season, the Brisbane-based rider wasn’t expecting to again dominate a talented field.

“Going into the season I’ve been feeling really strong but I actually had my doubts today.”

Cameron Wright once again won the Junior Men's category.
Cameron Wright once again won the Junior Men’s category.

Another junior relishing the Australian season is New Zealand’s Jessica Manchester (NZL).

The diminutive Kiwi was again unstoppable as she racked up another victory on foreign soil and is heavily backed to claim the Oceania title in two weeks time.

Dry, Dusty Racing In Orange As The XCO National Series Kicks Off

Riders faced hot, dry and dusty conditions at Kinross State Forest for the first two rounds of the season at the venue, which played host to a national series for the first time.

In the opening round of the elite women Rebecca Henderson (ACT) picked up where she left off last season, and clocked 1:35:45 over the five laps on what was a short, punchier 4.7km Saturday loop, ahead of Kathryn McInerney (NSW) and Eliza Kwan (ACT).

But the reigning national series holder struggled to back up on Sunday, on the steeper 6km loop, with a hard earned second.

“Today I was super flat and rusty and was suffering and couldn’t just find a good speed,” said Henderson.

“Finally on the fourth and final lap I had a little target and was feeling good and I could hear that Anna wasn’t that far ahead and sort of gave it what I had and almost got there,” Henderson remarked.

On Sunday Beck held a two minute lead heading into the final lap over McInerney and Henderson.

“I think I had more to prove today having a mechanical yesterday in second and everyone had sore legs so I tried to go out early and get a visual gap which worked.”

Anna beck took the win in the Elite Women's race on Sunday.
Anna Beck took the win in the Elite Women’s race on Sunday.

“It was super hard; the course got more blown out, the climbs just seemed to get steeper and that whole last lap I was thinking just ride consistent and safe and not crash,” Beck said.

The Brisbane based cross-country rider crossed the line in 1:40:02 with Henderson six seconds behind.

Despite the likes of Cam Ivory, Brendan Johnston and Kyle Ward missing, McConnell would still dominate the clock in the opening rounds of the series with an average 16minute lap time to finish 1:38:31 ahead of Russ Nankervis (VIC) and Ben Bradley (TAS) who rounded out the podium in round one, before holding off Bradley and Ethan Kelly (QLD) on day two.

“It’s always hard the first race of the season and you never really know where you are at, so to come away with two race wins I’m pretty happy and I can build that lead into a good season,” McConnell said.

“I think over the next few rounds you will see few more guys come back and the rest of the season will get more competitive.”

In a stacked Junior men’s field, Cameron Wright (QLD) would take top spot on the podium both days with some scorching lap times to ensure an early lead in the series over Matthew Dinham (NSW) and Kian Lerch-Mackinnon (VIC).

“Definitely having a shorter race you can push a lot harder a lot sooner.”

“I’m looking forward to the rest of the national series and felt great round one and two, so round three and four will be full on with the boys on my heels.”

Katherine Hosking (NSW) claimed wins on both days in the Junior female category. She beat second-placed Olivia Nendick by about 10 minutes on both loops.

Riley King (NSW) was superb in the Under 17s, winning comfortably by 16 seconds on both loops, with Charlie Todd (NSW) coming second in both races.

MTBA Funding Slashed

This recovery has been made possible through the good working relationships that MTBA’s leadership and management team have built with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

The original decision came from CA following a review of cycling performances at the recent Rio Olympics and in accordance with the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) “Winning Edge” Funding initiative. Previously CA had provided MTBA with $300,000 for the development of future elite mountain bikers, with the focus on Olympic cross-country racing under the “Winning Edge” program for the MTB Olympic discipline.

This figure has now been drastically reduced to $50,000 per year to fund future development. CA imposed over 50% of the total ASC cuts to cycling on to MTBA. CA have also advised that the inclusion of a MTB high-performance program will require an additional funding allocation, on top of any committed high-performance funding, to ensure a successful program into the future.

MTBA used the funds in a range of rider development and support programs and initiatives, including areas such as coach education, junior development programs, junior national team support and direct athlete support.

The loss of financial support for mountain biking is a disappointing and frustrating outcome for a sport that continues to grow rapidly in appeal as a lifestyle and a healthy family activity. As a result of MTBA’s negotiations, the ASC has stepped in and agreed to provide MTBA with $75,000 as a one-off funding until June 2017 to help transition such a significant reduction, an outcome MTBA are appreciative of.

Unlike road, track cycling and BMX, MTBA are currently not recognised independently as a National Sports Organisation (NSO), therefore the ASC cannot currently fund or support MTBA directly under the NSO program.

This leaves MTBA vulnerable to CA’s decisions on funding and is one of the many positive reasons that MTBA intends to move to Company Limited by Guarantee status – a requirement of the ASC Guidelines for NSO’s. NSO recognition will allow MTBA to deal directly with the ASC for funding which potentially could result in the organisation receiving a significant portion of the funds through the ASC’s sports participation investment program, as the other recognised cycling bodies currently do.

MTBA is charged with supporting a number of MTB disciplines including cross-country, downhill, enduro, cyclocross, observed trials, marathon and others, and not just at the elite level, but also right down to the grassroots of mountain biking.

MTBA President Russ Baker thanked the ASC for their support of mountain biking in this difficult operating environment.

“We have worked hard to develop sound sporting and personal relationships with the ASC and demonstrate that MTBA is a well-run and financially stable organisation.”

“I am extremely grateful to them for their support at a time when the development of participation, coaching and junior development has never been greater. I want to ensure that development continues for our next generation.”

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin admitted the cuts from CA had been a major setback.

“We needed to look pragmatically at solutions, rather than see the negatives, and with the assistance of the ASC we were able to do just that.”

“There exists tremendous support and opportunities for MTB in Australia and the sport continues to grow with over 24% membership increase in the past 15 months.”

“In the absence of a CA-HPU supported MTB program, MTBA will continue to explore opportunities to expand support into a fully fledged high-performance program for mountain biking, under which Australian riders can be assured of career support with the high-level sports science that is needed at that level.”

“It’s a significant challenge, but one we intend to take on for the benefit of our sport, and the benefits will flow down to all levels of mountain biking,” Coppin stated.

MTBA will continue to lobby the ASC to endorse and support the pending NSO application, which will enable the sport and organisation to seek numerous new funding channels including various ASC programs.

This latest decision by CA comes on the back of a recent decision not to actively pursue engagement with MTBA to deliver the 2017 UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns in lieu of other CA commercial partners, despite MTBA delivering the 2016 Cairns World Cup on behalf of CA at short notice and within budget.

Racing: MTBA Announces 2017 Gravity Enduro Series Dates

Next year will see riders tackle all new courses for the national series, which visits four states and one territory from April to August 2017.

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin said the enduro discipline continues to grow every year. “We are seeing so many more opportunities for riders and events to go to new trails and places, and it goes to show just how much this discipline is gaining momentum.”I think we are going to be in for an exciting year in enduro,” Coppin said.

Falls Creek will host the first round of the series on the 22-23 April. “The resort has spent the last four years developing 40km+ of single track trail, constructed by World Trail, and is seeing year on year increase in rider numbers.”

“There will be a shuttle service available for the practice day and heaps of fun and activities for everyone as it’s the mountain bike closing weekend.” said Marketing and Communication Manager, Jo Prothero.

Round two will head to Stromlo MTB Park, no stranger to hosting national series rounds in other disciplines.

In June the series heads over to the west coast where the crew from the Western Australia Gravity Enduro will host round three at Linga Longa. “Once again, we are very excited to showcase WA Gravity Enduro racing on the national stage and we are thrilled to take the event to a new regional location which will test competitors skills and endurance on a number of varying special stages.” said race director Steve Janiec.

“This event is not only one for the competitors, but spectators will also appreciate easy access and magnificent views across the valley.”

Four weeks later enduro racing will breathe life into Rockhampton, Queensland for the first time ever, for the penultimate round of the 2017 series on July 9. “Regional Queensland has a long history of staging some great mountain bike events such as the Mt Perry Mountain Cup, Cairns World Cup and the Townsville Paluma Push. The Rockhampton Enduro will add to this list.” said Event Management Solutions Managing Director Ian Harwood.

“Utilising the trails in the First Turkey Mountain Bike Park there will be a mix of some old natural and tech stages, mixed in with newer flow trails. This event is coming on the back of an announcement of a $500,000 commitment to trail development in the area which means that the sport is looking good in Central Queensland.”

The series returns to New South Wales for the fifth and final round at another new venue.  “Woodford Island is full of natural features, rock gardens, step up and step downs and nice flowing trail. The stages are divided by a tar/gravel road, with stages running off either side of the mountain from the road”

“Each stage runs from 2.5 minutes to 3.5 minutes which we are aiming to extend for the event,” said White Lightning Events director Mark White.

Gravity Enduro National Series Rounds

GE National Series Rounds

Round 1             22/23  April 2017               Falls Creek Resort              Falls Creek (VIC)

Round 2            20/21  May 2017                 CORC                                    Stromlo Forest Park (ACT)

Round 3            10/11    June 2017               WAGE                                   Linga Longa (WA)

Round 4            8/9    July 2017                   EMS                                       Rockhampton (QLD)

Round 5            12/13   August 2017            WLE                                      Woodford Island, North MacLean (NSW)

Buchanan and English MTB Riders of the year, 2016 Jayco Cycling Australia Awards

Buchanan received the prestigious award ahead of fellow nominees, world champion downhill bronze medallist Tracey Hannah (QLD) and world championship Trials silver medallist Janine Jungfels (QLD).

The Canberra rider clinched her fourth Four-Cross World Championship title in Italy in September adding to the bronze she won in the dual slalom at Sea Otter 2016.caroline-award

“It was a bitter sweet year for me. To bounce back like I did the rainbow jersey means a lot especially being in this room tonight,” Buchanan said.

English was awarded the male equivalent in a tough field, which included downhiller Troy Brosnan (SA) who claimed six top ten finishes on the world cup circuit and Sam Hill (WA) who won a round of the Enduro World Series and finished second in two others.

The Port Macquarie teacher won the 2016 World Solo 24hr title for the seventh consecutive time, a record unmatched by any rider in the history of the sport.

“It takes a lot to get this far and I couldn’t do it without my family supporting me so it means a lot,” he said.

After a 2016 which saw him claim silver in the junior men downhill at the Australian Championships in March, and a bronze medal at the Fort William round of the world cup circuit Jackson Frew (ACT) was named the MTB Junior Male Rider of the year.

Caroline Buchanan and Jackson Frew.
Caroline Buchanan and Jackson Frew.

“My very high personal expectations weren’t met this year, but that’s the way it is in this sport and it is certainly an honour to be sitting in this room with such amazing names.”

Fellow nominees were Remy Morton (QLD) and Joshua Clark (NSW).

Sian A’Hern (ACT) along with Sarah I’Ons (NSW) and Ruby Wilson (ACT) were nominated in the Junior MTB Female category, and it was the downhiller A’Hern who took home the award after a season which saw her win the junior women’s world cup as well as the national championship and series.

Sian Ahern and Jackson Frew.
Sian Ahern and Jackson Frew.

“Definitely learnt a lot this year and had amazing experiences and feeling more hungry and motivated more than ever.”

In the Masters MTB Categories, Sharon Heap (QLD) was honoured with the female award for her world championship cross country win in Italy, while Jason Archer (VIC) claimed the male award after he took out the world championship title in the Solo 24hr Masters 40-44 category in New Zealand.

“Massive honour, and to be recognised for mountain biking in a room full of epic people is awesome,” Archer remarked.

“I’m pretty excited and I’ve been chasing this award for three years and now I’ve finally cracked it,” an emotional Heap said.

Mary Daubert (nee Grigson) was also inducted into the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame, becoming the first mountain biker to be honoured.

Daubert, who lives in the United State and was unable to attend the ceremony, is still the only Australian female to have won an elite cross-country world cup race.

MTBA Announces 2017 National XCO and DHI Series

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is excited to announce the 2017 National Series dates and locations for Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) and Downhill (DHI).

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin announced the 2017 National Series would see a split in DHI and XCO rounds.

“The upcoming 2017 season welcomes a range of new event partners and locations which we hope will be both exciting and enjoyable for all participants”, Mr Coppin said.

The 2017 XCO National Series will commence with a double-header in Orange, NSW on January 7th & 8th, hosted by Orange Mountain Bike Club. Kinross State Forest is one of NSW mountain biking’s best kept secrets. The mountain biking trails include over 20km’s of purpose built singletrack through lush pine forest and over varied terrain. The area offers a large percentage of singletrack suited to riders of all abilities, with a good combination of easy flowing smooth sections teamed with some more technical short and sharp hills, fast descents and a few fun surprises thrown in along the way.

The DHI National Series commences the following weekend of January 14th & 15th in Awaba State Forest, NSW. Awaba’s Monkey DHI track has long been considered the best downhill track in NSW. Hunter Mountain Bike Club has been one of the MTBA National Series strongest supporters and is looking forward to again supporting this event.

Rounds 3 & 4 of the XCO National Series will be held in Armidale, NSW on the weekend of January 28th & 29th with the series’ second double-header, hosted by New England Mountain Bike Club. Described as a “beautiful thing”, the University of New England Sports facilities provides the village and purpose built mountain bike tracks that are sure to provide great racing for the National Series.

February racing kicks off with the second round of the DHI National Series in Thredbo, NSW from February 3rd to 5th. Thredbo Mountain Bike has hosted a round of the National Series since 1992 and that legacy continues with Thredbo constantly upgrading its track and keeping it fresh. As a place to ride downhill, there are few destinations in Australia that get close to Thredbo with the Kosciusko Express chairlift providing the gravity assistance.

MTBA travel south to Mt Taylor, VIC for the final XCO double-header round on February 11th & 12th, supported by the East Gippsland cycling community. All new courses will be offered utilising existing sections of the XCO trail, portions of the all mountain and downhill track and some all new trails. The venue is looking forward to getting the World Trail treatment that will place it on the top shelf for racing venues in south-east Australia.

Round 3 of the DHI National Series will be held at Mt Beauty, VIC from February 17th – 19th. The park offers iconic tracks including Big Hill which has burned a place in the hearts of the downhill community. MTBA is very excited by the opportunity to return in 2017 for this event, hosted by Team Mt Beauty.

The final rounds of the National Series will be held in Toowoomba, QLD between March 10th & 12th. For the third year in a row, MTBA is taking the National Series to Jubilee Park, home of Toowoomba

Mountain Bike Club. This round of the National Series will also support the 2017 Oceania Continental Championships. The final round of the series will bring together both XCO & DHI, providing a spectacular end to the 2017 National Series, just one week before the National Championships in Canungra, QLD. This also provides a great opportunity for riders and their families to combine two great MTB events with a QLD holiday. MTBA are investigating opportunities to incorporate a family friendly destination activity to tie the two events together.

Our 2017 National Season provides a great mix of established and new locations”, said MTBA President Russ Baker.

“It will be great to return to Mt Beauty – the home of the 2006 National Championships – after many years. The season also offer riders the opportunity to earn valuable UCI points for those who plan on heading overseas for the World Cups.”

A full breakdown of the 2017 XCO & DHI National Series is below:Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 5.19.43 PM

MTBA reserves the right in conjunction with host venues to upgrade UCI category listings for the 2017 National Series. Any changes to UCI category listings will be communicated to members through the MTBA website and social media platforms.

The 2017 National Series will see more than 1,250 riders from across the country compete in events in seven different regional locations.

MTBA Announces World Champs Junior Team

Mountain Bike Australia is pleased to announce the Australian XCO and DHI junior team to take part at their respective 2016 World Championships.

Eight riders have been selected to represent Australia in the U19 Downhill team for the World Championships to be held in Val Di Sole, Italy in September, while six athletes were selected for the U19 Cross Country team for their World Championships in Nové Mësto, Czech Republic in late June.


JUNIOR MEN: Michael Harris, Kian Lerch-Mackinnon, Luke Pankhurst, Jack Feltham, Nick Pedlar

JUNIOR WOMEN: Sarah I’ions


Remy Morton is amongst a very strong junior DH contingent.

JUNIOR MEN: Jackson Frew, Joshua Clark, Remy Morton, Harry Bush, Baxter Miawald, Harry Parsons, Ben Zwar


The selection committee took into account the riders results from the recent National Championships and National Series. National Development coach Jodie Willet believes the pathways implemented by MTBA are paying dividends.

“It’s all fresh faces this year for the U19 XCO team, although half of them have come through the MTBA Under 17 development program so that makes the transition a lot smoother.”

“The DHI team includes riders who experienced international competition with the MTBA program last year and are looking to build on that in 2016.  We’re all looking forward to our first camp in Cairns, in conjunction with the World Cup later this month.”

Mountain Bike Australia President Russell Baker also congratulated the 14 athletes who’ll be representing Australia in coming months.

“It is a great honour for you to be able to wear the green and gold stripes – a mark of cycling known and respected around the world. My thanks also go to all the Parents, Clubs, Coaches and Sponsors who have supported these riders throughout their development.”

“For many, this will be their first step onto the world stage at this level and irrespective of the result, the experience gained will be a huge benefit to the riders and to mountain biking in Australia into the future.”  Well done on your selection and my best wishes to you as you represent Australia.

Brosnan Again Proves He’s The Best In Bright

Troy Brosnan (SA) has claimed his fourth consecutive Elite Men’s Downhill title with a nail-biting win on the final day of the 2016 Subaru Australian Championships at Bright, Victoria on Sunday.


It was an anxious wait for the third ranked rider in the world as Connor Fearon (SA) had the opportunity to knock his mate off top spot, but couldn’t better Brosnan’s 3:45:46 to again take silver behind his fellow South Australian, with Josh Button (NSW) in third.


“Its been such tough battle between Connor and I, we’re really good friends and I thought he might’ve had this one this year,” Brosnan said.

Connor Fearon
Connor Fearon

“It was hard to get down in one piece to be honest.”


Plenty of talk surrounded the big time battle between Brosnan and five time World Champion Sam Hill (WA), but it was Fearon who threw himself into the mix with the fastest seeding run to ensure he’d be last down the hill for the final.


With sister Tracey having claimed the Elite Women only moments before, Mick Hannah, was keen to add to his national title haul of four, the last won back in 2013. The Cairns kid would finish fifth.


As hundreds lined the course to get a chance to see Hill in action, the West Aussie wonder couldn’t produce, with a time of 4:01:79 seeing him finish 8th.


Sam Hill
Sam Hill

Button, who last finished on the podium back in 2009, produced a sensational run of 3:51:59 to tighten the screws on the last two on the course in Brosnan and Fearon.


And despite only getting back on his downhill bike for the first time since he crashed and dislocated his shoulder in Thredbo earlier in the week, the 22 year old was dialled in.

Elite Men DHI Podium 

“I was coming to ride for fun but felt good this weekend and thought I’d give it a crack and put it all in the back of my head of what’s happened before this race and it all worked out.”


For Fearon, it’s the third straight year he’s been out-classed by Brosnan to the Australian jersey.


“It always seems Troy is one step ahead, but still trying to catch him and hope to beat him one day.”

Nine Is Fine For Tracey Hannah

Tracey Hannah has won her ninth Elite Women Downhill Australian Championships with a flawless run on the final day of the 2016 Subaru Australian MTB Championships in Bright, Victoria.

Tracey Hannah


The 27-year-old proved just why she has reigned in her division since taking her first title back in 2004, with Lisa Mathison (QLD) and Danielle Beecroft (NSW) rounding out the podium.


“It’s good take that form overseas with me and to fly the Aussie flag over there makes me really proud to race for this country.”


It would be Hannah’s only Australian competition ahead of the Cairns World Cup next month, and the Queenslander didn’t let the huge contingent of fans down that cheered her down the course.


Danielle Beecroft
Danielle Beecroft

“Everybody knows my name and my nickname.”

“It’s really good the support and look forward to that when we have the world cup it’s gonna be a million times that in my home town can’t wait.”


Despite a hiccup at the start of the seeding run on Saturday which saw her flip over the handlebars, the world number three would still record the fastest time for the finals.


“I put a lot of pressure on myself to have a good run.”


With world number 12 Tegan Molloy missing with a broken collarbone, it was left to the returning Beecroft to throw the down the gauntlet, and the New South Wales rider held the hot-seat with a 5:15:87 run.


That was until 2004 Athens Cross Country Olympian Lisa Mathieson, tossed age aside and took the top spot by 10seconds, showing she’s revelling in being back on the big stage.

Lisa Mathieson
Lisa Mathieson


“Wicked to be back to have a crack at this level of racing, and a bonus to come back and face riders like Tracey at the Nationals and be amongst this atmosphere.”


However Hannah was tearing down Mystic Mountain and left no doubt as to who would be taking home the gold for record ninth time.


She clocked 4:39:12 more than 16 seconds ahead of her fellow Queenslander.

Dan McConnell Wins Fifth Australian Championships in Bright

The ironman of Australian Cross Country racing Dan McConnell (VIC) claimed his fifth National Title with a block-buster performance at the 2016 Subaru Australian MTB Championships at Bright, Victoria on Saturday.

With a second Olympic selection beckoning and a World Cup in Cairns next month, McConnell showed just why he’s been the dominant figure in XCO for the past 5 years in Australia.


The Victorian with the gold ahead of Cameron Ivory (NSW) and Kyle Ward (NSW).


“That one is pretty high I think to come here and get a national title hopefully can set myself up for a good year.”


“Today is the best I’ve felt in a long time, and it was great to feel such smoothness on the bike.”


After an opening lap of 21:12 seconds the 30-year-old Victorian, would produce 4 sub 20-minute laps around the course, which featured plenty of climbing.


Ivory and Ward, who have showed during the national series they will be the biggest threat to McConnell in future years, worked together in order to peg back any advantage the four time Australian champion.


“He’s really strong. He pulled away on the second climb of the first lap and we never saw him again,” said Ivory who is aiming for the second spot with McConnell on the Australian Olympic team to go to Rio.

Cameron Ivory.
Cameron Ivory.


Ward took the spoils over Ivory at Mt Stromlo last December in the second round of the National Seres, but it wouldn’t repeat itself as the Newcastle rider found an extra gear on the final lap.


“I thought I’d tag him early and I thought he’d just have a bit too much sharpness there at the end and he proved it.”


Kyle Ward.
Kyle Ward.

The two young bulls would still be chipping away as McConnell rode solo across the line to the cheers of fans to record a time of 1:37:51 seconds.

For full results:

Rebecca Henderson Makes it Three Straight at Australian Championships in Bright

Rebecca Henderson (ACT) couldn’t have produced a more stunning performance to win the 2016 Subaru Australian MTB Championships at Bright, Victoria on Saturday.

 Rebecca Henderson Finishing

The now three time Australian Cross Country Champion blew her rivals away on the first lap to put no doubt in anyone’s mind that she would be Rio bound in September, and finish in a time of 1:34:33seconds.


“The green and gold is something you don’t want to let go of that easy.”


Lined up to try and spoil the Henderson party was 2013 champion Peta Mullens (VIC) and 2012 title holder Jenni King (VIC) in what was perfect riding condition.


But they would only see the back of the Trek sponsored rider as soon as the gun went for the four laps around the Mystic Mountain Bike Park course.


Henderson, who had wrapped up the National Series title at Toowoomba a fortnight earlier, went through her first lap in 25:05secs before ramping it up second time around and extending the lead.


“For me I race pretty similar and I like to go out pretty hard I was just able to get a lucky break from Peta on one of the early climbs, and I just took that advantage.”


Mullens, admitted she knew from the gun it would be hard to stay with the defending champion, and then had to stave off the battle of King who sat on her wheel stalking the fellow Victorian.


Peta Mullens.
Peta Mullens.

“I knew straight away on the start loop that my legs didn’t have it I think as a bike rider you kind of know early on and I tried to put that aside and just power on as much as I can but she just had the better of me by far.”


Mullens eventually shook King off her wheel on the final lap to sustain a 19 second gap to the finish line to claim silver.


“It was bloody hard I gave it everything to try and stick with Peta mid-way and she broke me on the second last lap,” King said.

Elite Women Podium 

With plenty left in the tank, the 24 year Henderson would complete the final two laps in a time just over 23minutes.


It’ll be a busy month for the 2016 Australian Champion who will have to back up for Oceania’s next week before heading to Cairns for the first World Cup of the cross-country season.


For full results:

Tegan Molloy Wins Battle with Danielle Beecroft for the Overall Series Crown

The final round of the Elite Women Downhill saw the retirement of a veteran and the consolidation of the next wave as Tegan Molloy (NSW) wrapped up the race and the 2015-16 Subaru National MTB Series title at Jubilee Park, Toowoomba on Sunday.


Molloy was locked in a battle with Danielle Beecroft (NSW) for the overall crown, which would be decided in the series finale on the testing Darling Downs descent, which was blown out after two torrid days.

Danielle Beecroft.
Danielle Beecroft.

After recording the fastest time in seeding, the 8th ranked rider in the world would again find herself with the number one next to her name after a near faultless run in the final with a time of 3min19:30seconds, beating Lisa Mathieson and Beecroft in third.


“It was relatively clean, so I tried to push but not too hard so I didn’t make mistakes and am overall pretty happy.”


It was the second straight series win for the Jindabyne based downhiller as she builds momentum towards the 2016 Australian MTB Championships in a fortnight, where she’s hoping to give current Aussie champ Tracey Hannah a scare.


“Definitely slowly getting the fitness up ahead of National Champs and World Cup so I can’t wait.”


For Beecroft who was back riding in the series after missing most of 2015 with injury, hoped her poor seeding run would be replaced in Sunday’s final.


But, the 15 point buffer she held looked shakey after Beecroft could only manage a run of 3min22:47seconds.


“Really devastated but I’m proud of myself, first season back and where I ended I’m happy with so can’t complain.”


In a surprise podium place former 2004 cross-country Olympian Mathieson who held the hot-seat until Molloy rocketed down the 2.2km course and took the gold.


The event also marked the retirement of Sarah Booth from the National scene after 22 years riding in downhill.


Booth would finish fourth.

Sarah Booth.
Sarah Booth.

Riders now head to Bright, Victoria for the 2016 Subaru Australian MTB Championships from 17-20th March.


For full results:

Richie Rude Wins Final National DH Round, Toowoomba

An American swept the locals aside in the final round of the Elite Men’s Downhill at the 2015-16 Subaru National MTB Series at Jubilee Park, Toowoomba on Sunday.


2015 World Enduro Series Champion Richie Rude (USA) produced a sub 2min50second ride to defeat, home-town favourite Jared Graves (QLD) and Thomas Crimmins (NSW).

Jared Graves.
Jared Graves.


Rude, who was using the event as training for the up-coming Enduro World Series, qualified second fastest in seeding behind his former Yeti team-mate in Graves, and then produced a clean run to achieve his goal for the weekend.


“Finally beat Jared after he got me last weekend.”


 “It’s great we have a friendly rivalry but pretty happy I beat him on his home track.”


Graves, was more than two seconds faster than the American during Saturday’s seeding, but couldn’t match Rude’s effort when it counted, finishing with silver less than a second behind.


“Can’t complain I had a clean run just wasn’t fast enough, but happy especially how tricky conditions were.”


Crimmins recorded his best result of the series with a third.

Thomas Crimmins.
Thomas Crimmins.

Despite having wrapped up the series after his thrilling Thredbo run, Graeme Mudd (NSW) was still hoping to cap things off with a top of the podium placing, but would finish fifth, six seconds behind the winner.


“Had a really good series up until today. And bit bummed would’ve been nice to finish on a good note but that’s racing.”


Mudd, tho has two weeks to turn it around ahead of the 2016 Subaru Australian Championships in Bright, where he’ll come up against third ranked rider in the world South Australian Troy Brosnan.


Graeme Mudd.
Graeme Mudd.

“I guess it’s made me more keen and more aggressive with my preparation ahead of champs in a couple of weeks.”


In the Junior Men, Jackson Frew (NSW) again had the better of Remy Morton (QLD) in their battle down the hill with the GT Factory rider crossing the finish line in 2min51:05seconds more than a second ahead of his rival. 

Full results:

Daniel McConnell Finishes the 2015-16 National MTB Series Undefeated

Daniel McConnell (ACT) finished the 2015-16 National MTB Series undefeated with a hard fought win in the final round at Jubilee Park, Toowoomba on Saturday.


While he had already wrapped up the Series crown with four straight victories, the defending champion wanted to press home his credentials as the best cross country rider in Australia.


But despite completing the 6 lap race in 1:32:29secs, nearly two minutes in front of second placed Cameron Ivory (NSW), McConnell still played hard task-master.


“It was a pretty hard race and I’m sure have a few things to work on.”


The 30 year old had to contend with Ivory on his wheel early in the race, as conditions heated up.


“I wouldn’t call it too comfortable I was not feeling too good for the first three laps.”


“I thought I either got to get away at my own pace or I’m in a bit of trouble so I sort of had a quick lap and was able to get a gap and with the heat he started to struggle a bit and hold a little bit of a gap.”


For Ivory, who is desperately chasing the second Australian spot on the XCO team to Rio, it wasn’t just the course that got him in the end.


“Once he dropped the hammer I couldn’t’ follow.”


McConnell’s attention now turns towards the 2016 Australian MTB Championships in Bright, Victoria in a fortnight, as he looks to retain his Aussie jersey.


“Olympic year is a really big one for everyone I think we’ll be lucky enough to qualify for two spots the second spot is up for grabs and making everyone work that little bit harder.”


“I think it’s bringing the best out of everyone.”


Brendan Johnston rounded out the podium in third.


For full results: 

Rebecca Henderson takes out the 2015-16 Subaru National MTB Series

Not even the heat could stop Rebecca Henderson (ACT) from taking out the 2015-16 Subaru National MTB Series after another dominant victory in the Elite Women’s XCO race at Jubilee Park, Toowoomba on Saturday.

With the series title in the balance, Henderson needed a win and series leader Jenni King (VIC) to finish lower than fourth if she was to claim back-to-back National Series crowns.


The London Olympian had won three straight prior to Saturday’s race and started cautiously letting New Zealand’s Samara Sheppard take the lead wheel.


“Samara set a cracking pace at the start and I wasn’t that willing to go that fast so she probably got a 10 second gap on the first climb.”


“Descending is one of my strengths specially in these conditions so I was able to close the gap.”


And like she had done previously the Canberra rider continued to edge the gap before romping home in a time of 1:34:07secs.


There was plenty of interest in the minor placing’s with Sheppard and King battling away on the technical course.


But things went horribly wrong for King on the fourth when her chain broke forcing to her to pull-out of the race.


“I attacked on the second last lap and had a good gap on her before the chain broke and was feeling really good at that stage.”


“And was ready to give it a good go on the last lap.”


While disappointed to end the series on low, King was looking further ahead.


“Glad it happened now and not in a few weeks at National Champs.”


That left Sheppard alone in second, while Anna Beck ensured she’d get on the podium for the final time for the series in third.


For Henderson, the win will see her head into the 2016 Australian MTB Championships in Bright confident of keeping the green and yellow stripes.


“I’ve been lucky to have Aussie champs stripes in U23 and U19 actually every race I’ve done these ones are extra special when racing in the elite


The 2016 Australian MTB Championships will be held from the 17-20th March in Bright, Victoria.


Full results:

Henderson and Ivory Record Thrilling Thredbo Wins

Cameron Ivory (NSW) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT) have both recorded exciting race wins at Round 5 of the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series held in Thredbo, NSW.

Cross country mountain bike action took place on a challenging 5 kilometre course, with riders battling for supremacy in the penultimate round of the series presented by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA). With dual Olympian, National Champion and series leader, Dan McConnell (ACT), absent while racing the Pioneer MTB stage race in New Zealand, the race was wide open for the Elite Men.

Today’s race started steadily, but was quickly broken open on the second of eight laps, when a trio comprised of Ivory, Scott Bowden (TAS) and Brendan Johnston (ACT) surged at the front. The group worked together during Lap 3 to increase their lead over Kyle Ward (NSW) and the field, building a gap that would never be bridged.

Ivory talked through the race pattern: “I took the lead on the second lap and led until the last lap, when Scott got past me, and then he attacked me a few times and I was able to just hold his wheel.” With the group of mates staying together for the duration, it looked like the Thredbo crowd would witness a classic sprint finish, and today the riders did not disappoint.

“Coming into the finish I knew I had quite a good kick”, said Ivory. “I was kind of confident that I could come past him (Bowden), but then he opened up a small gap into the finish and that scared me, but I think I got him by just under a bike length in the end.”

Timing data showed that Ivory secured the win by an incredibly narrow .12s. He was impressively confident post-race when discussing his biggest goal for the year: “To qualify for the Olympics, that’s what I’m focusing my season around.”

Bowden was gracious in second place. “I gave it everything on the last lap and tried to get a gap, and it came down to the last couple of metres. Hats off to Cam, he rode super-strong today and just got over me on the line.” 

Johnston, who had been in the lead group all race, rounded out the podium with a well-earned Bronze medal. 

Dan McConnell retains the series lead heading into the final round next month in Toowoomba, QLD.

In the Elite Women’s race, Olympian Bec Henderson (ACT) was the form rider coming into the round, having recorded wins in both races of the double-header just two weeks prior in Pemberton, WA. 

Bec Henderson

After finishing the first lap in 3rd place in a tight bunch with Samara Sheppard (NZL) and Peta Mullens (VIC), Henderson was able to make a solo move during Lap 2.

“I got a bit of a lucky break. I was first, Samara second and Peta third, and then Samara dropped Mullens’ wheel and I took advantage of that, with this giving me a little gap over Peta.”

Henderson continued to build her lead through the middle of the race.

“I knew I had to get away with a good amount to spare. With 7 laps it was always going to be a hard last section of the race. I just tried to get a sustainable gap and then I would hopefully be able to hang on” reflected Henderson.

She would eventually win by 30s, making it three wins from three races for the reigning National Champion. 

Peta Mullens came into summer as the defending National Road champion and has spent much of her season racing road, having only competed once in the Subaru National Mountain Bike series, earning Silver in Stromlo. 

“Today wasn’t just ‘back to the series’ to me, it was back on a mountain bike. I was pretty surprised and happy to finish just 30s behind Bec” exclaimed a happy Mullens. 

She rode a consistent race to 2nd place, Sheppard took 3rd, and Jenni King (VIC) finished 4th today to maintain her lead in the series.

Turning to junior racing, in the Under 19s Men’s race, Cameron Wright (QLD) once again “rode up” from the Under 17s and recorded another remarkable win, with Nick Pedler (QLD) and Michael Harris (NSW) rounding out the podium. 

Katherine Hosking (NSW) was exceptionally strong in the Under 19 Women’s race, winning from Sarah I’ons (NSW) with Ruby Wilson (ACT) in third. 

Full results from the racing can be found at:

All information for the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series can be found at:

Dan McConnell and Jenni King Take Out Stromlo National Series XCO

Dan McConnell had to push his bike over the line to win Round 2 of the 2015/16 National Mountain Bike Series after dropping his chain 400 metres out from the finish at Mt Stromlo, in the Elite Men’s XCO in Canberra Saturday.

It could’ve been a major upset for the defending series champion as second placed Kyle Ward tore home to be 14 seconds behind.

“That’s the closest that anyone’s been to me in last couple of years,” McConnell admitted.

On his home track and with an enviable record at the former world cup venue, the notoriously slow starter shot off the line and was never challenged over the 7 laps. It was nearly the perfect race plan, minus the mechanical issues with his chain.

“Dropped the first time with two to go and I didn’t sort of panic too much but when it came to the last time, it was mostly downhill so I had to just try and keep it low and speed up to the finish.”

In the Elite Women, even with Australia’s two top riders in the cross country field lining up, Jenni King would remain unbeaten with a dominant victory on Saturday.

Jenni King on the Stromlo Hammerhead.
Jenni King on the Stromlo Hammerhead.

After opening up her campaign with a flawless display in Mt Taylor a fortnight ago, King left the 2014 National Champion Peta Mullens and defending National Champ Bec Henderson in her wake – to finish the six lap event in 1hr 33minutes 32.66seconds, on what was a hot and dusty day of racing at the Canberra course.

“I always like coming back here because of the technical aspect and it’s a world cup course and I’m very pleased to have won,” King said.

Mullens along with Henderson were making their return to the Series in the UCI Category 1 race, after an extended layoff. Henderson took away some positives, as she continues to build up her race fitness. “Early in the race I didn’t feel too bad and normally when I want put a bit of pressure on the other girls and I wasn’t able to do that today,” Henderson said.


The series now heads to Pemberton, Western Australia for Round 3 and 4 on the 23-24th January 2016.

For all results head to: Online Results

Entries Are Now Open for The 2015/16 MTBA National Series

Entries are now open for the 2015/16 MTBA National Series, with the upcoming edition promising to deliver absorbing racing at some of the most revered mountain biking venues in Australia. 

The six-stop season will commence in Mount Taylor, Victoria, with the iconic venue set to host a round for the first time. The season will be held in no less than four states and a territory, before culminating at the National Championships in breathtaking Bright, Victoria.

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin highlighted some of the exciting new additions to this year’s series, before encouraging riders of all skill levels to get involved.

“MTBA are happy to build upon the National Series success of last year,” Coppin said.

“With the upcoming edition set to feature visits to new venues, the return of the XCO to Thredbo and the introduction of some UCI category one events.

“Ultimately the National Series is not only suited to elite riders, but to riders of all levels.”

Once again, the 2015/16 series will feature the popular Cross Country Criterium (XCC, short track) format, which provides riders with more race time, and spectators with some action-packed racing.

The following table outlines the categories available within the XCC format in the upcoming series, and the event restrictions associated. Please note that races will typically be the minimum distance +1 lap or +3 laps, depending on course length; +1 lap for long courses, +3 laps for short courses.

XCC categories 


Open to…


          Entry restrictions

Elite Men

Male riders 17yo+

25-30 min

  • · Riders entered in XCO Elite men may only enter XCC Elite men and no other category.
  • · Masters riders may elect to race this category.
  • · Under 19 riders are permitted to enter should they wish to do so for a higher level competition.

Elite Women

Female riders of any age.

25-30 min

  • · Riders entered in XCO Elite women may only enter XCC Elite women and no other category.
  • · No other restrictions.


Any rider 17yo+

20-25 min

  • · Under 17 riders may enter this category with special permission only.
  • · All Masters and Under 19 riders are expected to enter this category.

Includes U15

Any other riders subject to performance restrictions

15-20 min

  • · All Under 17 and Under 15 riders may enter this category.
  • · Other entrants (for example, Masters 5 riders) are only permitted if their average lap time is slower than the winning XCO Under 15 men’s lap time.
  • · The highest placed Under 15 riders will be awarded medals, but will not be a separate race.  Series points will be from overall placing.

MTBA President Russ Baker echoed the words of Coppin, emphasising how inclusive the National Series had become.

“The National Series provides everyone with the opportunity to participate in top-level competition that will both reward and test all riders,” Baker said. 

“MTBA has chosen a range of locations around the country that will ensure the National Series is available to all riders. We have also made two rounds as UCI C1 events, which provides our best riders with the opportunity to gain valuable UCI points on their home tracks, without the level of financial commitment required to race overseas.   

“The National Series is not just about the Elites, with a large range of Junior and Masters categories, it provides something for every mountain biker.”

To enter any event in the 2015/16 National Series, please visit the MTBA calendar via this link:

Please note that those with series discounts only need to add their membership number this year, not their name and number as advised.

2015/16 MTBA Season Schedule 





27th – 29th Nov, 2015

Mt Taylor, VIC



11th – 13th Dec, 2015

Mt Stromlo, ACT



23rd – 24th Jan, 2016

Pemberton, WA

XCO Double Header


5th – 7th Feb, 2016

2016 Thredbo, NSW



4th – 6th March, 2016

Toowoomba, QLD



17th – 20th March, 2016

Bright, VIC


National Championships        

MTBA Announces Relocation to The Gold Coast

MTBA is proud to announce that it has partnered with the City of Gold Coast and Bond University to relocate to the Gold Coast at the end of October, in what will herald an exciting new phase for the sport in Australia.

The move is set to offer fantastic opportunity, and endless possibility to grow the sport of mountain biking in the region, particularly in the lead up to the 2017 MTBA National Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will both be held on the Gold Coast.

MTBA President Russ Baker welcomed the move, highlighting the region’s historical ties with the sport and the fantastic opportunities that lay ahead.

“While MTBA has a history of events in the Gold Coast hinterland and recent international events in Queensland, this move offers MTBA a home and the opportunity to partner with the Gold Coast community and Bond University,” Baker said.

“It will be the complete package, with administration sitting alongside training, development camps, trails and sports science.

“I expect this national focus for mountain biking to deliver improvements across all levels of our sport, strengthening MTBA’s identity for us all.”

The location itself is ideal for MTBA, who will be hoping to become a major part of the community. Located on the campus, the three-year partnership with Bond University is set to provide internship and research opportunities, whilst helping to develop our elite and national team riders via sports and social science programs.

Bond University’s Executive Director of Sport, Mr Garry Nucifora, said the partnership would bring significant benefits to MBTA, Bond University and the wider Gold Coast City.

“We are very pleased to have partnered with MBTA, one of the significant growth sports in Australia,” said Mr Nucifora.

“The collaboration between Bond University and MBTA is an excellent fit as MBTA’s development trajectory closely aligns with Bond’s own burgeoning sport story.

“The mountain biking partnership will provide outstanding research and testing opportunities for Bond students along with internship potential of great value to the university, while MBTA will have full access to Bond’s elite sporting facilities, such as the High Performance Training Centre, and its associated resources.”

As part of the relocation, MTBA will also receive a grant from the City of Gold Coast, which has helped with relocation expenses.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the move was a win for the city.

“This is a direct result of our Sport Plan which aims to make the Gold Coast the adventure sports capital of Australia,” he said.

“It means we’ll see growth in all aspects of mountain biking which will benefit our city from an economic, social and reputation perspective.”

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin said the relocation was set to benefit the sport in countless ways, ensuring strong foundations that will ultimately see the sport flourish into the future.

“This relocation provides a significant opportunity for the future evolution and development of MTBA and mountain biking in Australia. Having access to sports science and social research, training facilities and testing for our growing pool of developing and elite riders is a major step towards establishing a professional training environment for MTB,” Coppin said.

“Linkages to university students, a very supportive and proactive city further opens up opportunities for our sport especially in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“MTBA can now further promote this great sport from our new mountain bike headquarters, which will strengthen our brand and identity.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and I am very passionate and excited by what this means for shaping mountain biking in the future. Thank you to both the City of Gold Coast and Bond University for their passion and support in enabling this opportunity.”

Aussies Primed for UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships

Australia will this week be represented by 37 of our very best riders, as they get set to take on the rest of the world at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra. 

Andorra is no stranger to international mountain bike events having already hosted three World Cups, in 2008, 2009 and most recently in 2013.  The XCO track designed to test the riders’ strength and stamina with the high altitude will play a critical role, while the acclaimed downhill track has been redesigned and will be more physically demanding than ever.

Headlining Australia in the elite men’s downhill will be Troy Brosnan, who recently finished third in the UCI World Cup season, and will be hoping to improve on his third placed medal last year in Hafjell. Brosnan heads into the event primed for success, whilst acknowledging how incredible it feels to represent his country.

“My preparation coming into the World’s has been great, I feel really strong and fast. After having a really good race in Val Di Sole I am excited and keen to race here in Andorra,” Brosnan said.

“Ultimately there is only one thing I will be happy with here this week, and that would be winning.

“It feels amazing to be representing my country, knowing I have the whole of Australia behind me. I just have to make them proud.”

In the elite women’s downhill, Tracey Hannah will be looking to replicate the form that saw her grab bronze two years ago in Pietermaritzburg, while reigning junior world champion Tegan Molloy has made the step up to the elite class and will no doubt keep her opponents on their toes.

Australia boasts a strong contingent of medal chances in the men’s junior downhill competition, most notably with Thredbo’s Andrew Crimmins, who finished second in this year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season.

In the elite men’s cross country, Daniel McConnell will be chasing his first world championships medal, buoyed by his fifth placed performance at the penultimate World Cup round in Windham, USA. Although McConnell acknowledges his World Cup season wasn’t as strong as he had hoped, he is confident that a medal is not out of the question.  

“I have been feeling really good in training, so now just have to put it all together in the race situation,” McConnell said. 

“I have specifically done multiple altitude camps this year to prepare myself for the course in Andorra, so I really hope it pays off.

“It’s been a tough year for me in the World Cup’s, so I would love to finish the season on a high. If I have a good day, the podium is not out of reach.”

In the elite women’s cross country, Rebecca Henderson will fly the Aussie flag solo as she looks to improve on her 15th place finish last year.

Another strong medal prospect for Australia comes in the form of Janine Jungfels who will compete in the women’s Observed Trial. Jungfels is coming off an impressive second place in the recent World Cup in Albertville, France, with the result well and truly stoking her competitive fire.

“Having finished 2nd by just 1 point recently in Albertville, I’m looking forward to putting in a good fight for the title this week in Andorra,” Jungfels said.

“I want to be World Champion.”

You will be able to stream some of the action this week via with the schedule as follows:

Elite Women’s Cross Country Final: Saturday, September 5 at 7.50pm EST 

Elite Men’s Cross Country Final: Saturday, September 5 at 10.20pm EST 

Downhill Finals: Sunday, September 6 at 8.25pm EST 

A full schedule of the week’s racing can be found here:

Australian Team




















































































































MTBA Announce World Champs Team

MTBA is pleased to announce those riders selected to represent Australia at the upcoming UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra from August 31 to September 6.

Headlining the strong 39-member Australian team, will be downhill sensation Troy Brosnan, who has been in the mix all season long in the UCI World Cup, and will be hoping to improve on his third placed medal last year in Hafjell. In the junior men, Australia boasts a strong contingent of medal chances, most notably Andrew Crimmins and Jackson Frew. 

























































































DH (Reserve)
































In the elite women’s downhill, Tracey Hannah will be looking to replicate the form that saw her grab bronze two years ago in Pietermaritzburg, while reigning junior world champion Tegan Molloy will keep everyone on their toes having made the step up to the elite class. 

In the elite men’s cross country, Daniel McConnell will be chasing his first world championships medal, buoyed by his fifth placed performance at the World Cup round in Windham last weekend. Rebecca Henderson will lead the charge in the elite women, looking to improve on her 15th place last year.

Finally, Janine Jungfels offers another strong medal prospect for Australia in the women’s Observed Trials, after coming off an impressive second place in last weekend’s World Cup, and will be our only female OT representative.  

MTBA President Russ Baker congratulated the members of the Australian Team on their selection and emphasised the importance on competing on the world stage.   

“It is a great honour to be selected to represent your country and this team of our best riders provides a mix of experienced world-level campaigners together with some for whom this will be the first time they wear the green and gold,” Baker said.

“I would like to congratulate all the riders on their achievement in making the team and wish them well in Andorra. While we have medal prospects in all disciplines, all these Australians will benefit from the exposure to the highest level of competition available, and we will all be supporting you from back home. Good luck.”

Please note that any appeal against a decision of the selectors, “must be lodged within 48 hours of the public announcement of the selections on the MTBA website,” as dictated under section 6.2 of the ‘General Selection Eligibility Criteria and Appeals Guide.’ 

However, because of the impending weekend, MTBA is prepared to extend this period by a further 48 hours. As such all appeals must be lodged no later than 6pm EST, Tuesday August 18, 2015.

For more information, please visit this link:

You can follow the fortunes of our Aussie time as they take on the world via our website and social media platforms.

Gold for Blair and Johnston at the Mountain Bike Marathon Championships in Blue Derby

ACT riders Brendan Johnston and Jenny Blair claimed maiden Australian titles today, winning gold at the 2015 Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Championships in Derby, Tasmania, presented by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

The weekend saw two days of exciting mountain bike racing, with age-group riders competing on the Saturday and Elite riders battling for gold on the Sunday, resulting in hundreds of riders and spectators descending on the picturesque riverside town of DerbyMark Tupalski (ACT) and Brendan Johsnton (ACT) led the Elite Men’s race after lap one, with 2014 champion Andy Blair (ACT) sitting in third.

Johnston leads Tupalski.
Elite Men Winner Brendan Johnston crosses the line.

In what may mark a handover to the next generation of marathon riders, young guns Tupalski and Johnston sat neck and neck for the first two laps.

Descending hard on the final lap, Johnston built an insurmountable lead and rode away with the win.

“I wasn’t overly confident coming in to today,” said Johnston. “I’ve been on it for awhile, since the beginning of the National Series, so I’m getting towards the end of my peak I think and I was worried I might be over the hill but I was able to pull this one out so I’m really happy.

Tupalski and Blair finished in second and third respectively. 

Mens podium. Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships.
Mens podium. Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships.

In the Elite Women’s race, Jenny Blair (ACT) led the pack from the get go, securing herself a two minute lead by the second lap, which she extended to almost 10 minutes on her way to the title. 

“I took advantage of the climb at the start and got away,” Blair explained.  “The girls got back to me a bit but I knew that I’d been training with a change of pace recently so if I could just keep changing the pace I’d wear them out and keep going on my own and that’s exactly what happened.” Irish-born Blair spoke highly of the Blue Derby trails and said she was happy to now have jerseys from both Australia and Ireland.

Elite womens winner Jenny Blair and elite mens winner Brendan Johnston at the podium_Credit_Heath_Holden
Elite women winner Jenny Blair and elite mens winner Brendan Johnston at the podium.

“It is hard racing on them [the Blue Derby Trails] but for the everyday person who wants to come here for the weekend, it’s just amazing.  “The trails are just so manicured – you can really rail it or you can just enjoy it.”

Eliza Kwan (ACT) and Rebecca Locke (VIC) rounded out the podium in second and third. 

Elite women winner, Jenny Blair finishes the Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships at Derby on Sunday.
Elite women winner, Jenny Blair finishes the Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships at Derby on Sunday.
Elite women second place getter, Eliza Kwan is congratulated by third place getter Rebecca Locke.
Elite women second place getter, Eliza Kwan is congratulated by third place getter Rebecca Locke.

In Saturday’s action, local favourite Alex Lack (TAS) dealt well with the pressure of riding at home, taking out the Junior Men’s Marathon title, while Mikayla Wolfe (VIC) won the Under 17 Women’s title.  Spectators were treated to a variety of entertainment over the weekend, including local food stalls and live music.

This is the first time a National race has been held on the Blue Derby trails, with the former mining town enjoying a resurgence, forming a new identity around an ever-expanding mountain bike trail network.

This weekend’s Championship race was also Round 7 of the World Mountain Bike Marathon Series, presented by the UCI, and is a key qualifying criteria for riders to be named on the Australian team for the annual UCI Marathon World Championships.

The Dance with the Devil – XCM National Championships was delivered by a joint partnership between MTBA, Dorset Council and Launceston Mountain Bike Club and MTBA will be returning to Derby next year for the 2016 XCM National Championships. 

Full results can be found at

Get more info on Derby’s amazing new mountain bike trails here – Flow Nation, Derby, Tasmania.

Cairns to host 2015 Enduro National Mountain Bike Championships

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is excited to announce that Cairns, Queensland, will host the inaugural 2015 Enduro National Mountain Bike Championships from 17-18 October.

The two-day race will be a standalone event separate to the 2015 Enduro Series and will be run on the Smithfield Mountain Bike Trails, under the guidance and hosting of the Cairns Mountain Bike Club, with the event hub located at the iconic palm fringed beach location of Palm Cove.

Flow Mountain Bike’s guide to Cairns and nearby region.

This is the first time a National Championships race will be held for the Enduro discipline in Australia, and the event will see riders return to the amazing venue that hosted a round of the 2014 UCI World Cup. 

MTBA President Russ Baker welcomed the choice of Cairns to host the country’s first Enduro National Championships.    “October will be a big month for Queensland and for Australian mountain biking, with several national events in that period,” he said.    “Cairns, with its world-level history and future, is a fantastic location for our first National Enduro Championships and I thank all those involved in setting up and supporting this prestigious event in the newest discipline of our sport.”

CEO of MTBA Shane Coppin echoed this sentiment and said he is excited to see Enduro racing gain more recognition in Australia.  “Gravity Enduro is one of the most talked about race activities on the mountain bike scene,” he said.  “The discipline has seen significant growth in recent years, combining the thrills and excitement of downhill, with the fitness elements of cross country racing. “We are very pleased to be working with Cairns Regional Council, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns MTB Club on this event, and I personally look forward to watching the growth of this exciting and popular discipline”.

The event is expected to attract a large number of domestic riders and their families, injecting sports tourism and spending into the area.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning also welcomed the announcement and the impending descent of riders on the city. “We’re very much looking forward to hosting the competitors and support crews of this international-level event here in Cairns,” Cr Manning said. “The sport of mountain biking is growing here in Cairns and our spectacular natural rainforest terrain provides an ideal backdrop. “I congratulate and thank Mountain Bike Australia and the Cairns MTB Club for bringing this event to Cairns.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal welcomed the addition of the 2015 Enduro National Mountain Bike Championships to Tropical North Queensland’s growing list of must-do mountain biking events. “Through our Ride Cairns brand we are building Tropical North Queensland’s profile as a mountain biking destination for recreational riders with more than 550km of trails throughout the region,” he said. “A National Championship of this calibre will further draw attention to the excellent mountain biking in Tropical North Queensland and support TTNQ’s events strategy to further diversify our calendar of sporting, cultural and lifestyle events for the region.”

Australia boasts the reigning Enduro World Champion and World Series Champion, Jared Graves of Toowoomba Queensland, and he will definitely be one to watch this October.

The 2015 Enduro National Mountain Bike Championships will be UCI Cat. 3 listed and modelled on European events like the Super Gravity Enduro in Finale Ligure, Italy.

Further information on the event, including schedules and entry information, will be available in the coming months via

2015 Australian U19 Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Bike Teams Announced

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is delighted to announce the 2015 Australian U19 Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Bike athletes that will represent Australia at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra from the 1 – 6 September. 

Cross Country

Liam Jeffries (VIC) will headline the U19 Men’s Cross Country Team following a great start to the year that saw him take home gold medals in both the Subaru National Mountain Bike Championships and the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships.

Alongside Jeffries will be Bryan Dunkin (NSW), Luke Brame (NSW) and Alex Lack (TAS) who placed second, third and fourth respectively in this year’s Subaru National Championships, as well as Michael Potter (NSW), who took home silver in this year’s Oceania Championships.

Fourth placed junior rider in the Oceania Championships, Callum Carson (NSW), rounds out the Men’s team.

2015 Junior National Champion Megan Williams (QLD) will represent Australia in the U19 Women’s Cross Country category. 


The seven-member U19 Men’s Downhill team is stacked with talented athletes, including this year’s Junior Oceania Champion, Junior National Champion and National Series winner Andrew Crimmins (NSW), as well as Max Warshawsky (QLD) who placed second in the National Series.

Accompanying them to Andorra will be Remy Morton (QLD), who placed second in the National Championships earlier this month, Jackson Frew (ACT), Joel Willis (NSW), Harry Bush (QLD) and Dan Booker (TAS). 

Multi-disciplined rider and Junior National Downhill Champion Ellie Wale (VIC) will be representing the U19 Women.

MTBA President Russ Baker congratulated the riders, “It is a great honour to be selected to represent your Country. I congratulate all these riders on their achievements and hard work, and also thank the parents and supporters who encourage and support them in mountain biking.” 

The full list of riders is below.


2015 Australian U19 Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Bike Teams

U19 Men’s Cross Country Team

  • Liam Jeffries (VIC)
  • Bryan Dunkin (NSW)
  • Luke Brame (NSW)
  • Alex Lack (TAS)
  • Michael Potter (NSW)
  • Callum Carson (NSW)


  • Foley Lachal (VIC)
  • Guy Frail (NSW)

U19 Women’s Cross Country Team

  • Megan Williams (QLD)

U19 Men’s Downhill Team

  • Andrew Crimmins (NSW)
  • Max Warshawsky (QLD)
  • Remy Morton (QLD)
  • Jackson Frew (ACT)
  • Joel Willis (NSW)
  • Harry Bush (QLD)
  • Dan Booker (TAS) 

U19 Women’s Downhill Team

  • Ellie Wale (VIC)

Juniors Light Up Bright at the Subaru National Mountain Bike Championships

Friday was day two of the Subaru National Mountain Bike Championships in Bright, Victoria seeing cross country riders battling it out on a dusty course in the sun.

Friday covered the first half of the Olympic Cross Country race program, with riders racing lap-based events on a 5.16 kilometre trail.

In the U17 Men’s Cross Country, Kian Lerch-Mackinnon (VIC) and Cam Wright (QLD) sped away from the pack early on, creating a 28.1 second gap from the rest of the field on the first lap.

KianLerch-McKinnon_Credit_JiriCech (1)

Lerch-Mackinnon was able to extend this lead even further and on the third and final lap he really put the pedal down, finishing an impressive 42.3 seconds in front of second placed rider Wright.

“It’s very nice on my birthday to win the Champs, I’m very happy,” said Lerch-Mckinnon.

“It was pretty hard, I didn’t have the best start going in to the first fireroad in third. But I managed to get past Cam and Dean and I just basically led from there.”


Dean Cane (QLD) took third ahead of a talented field.

New South Wales rider Charlie Todd bagged the U15 Men’s National Champion jersey, creating a huge lead and finishing over a minute in front of Riley King (NSW) and Fergus McQueen (NSW), who placed second and third respectively.

“I’ve been training hard all season and to be National Champion feels really good,” said Todd.


“I didn’t have the start that I wanted, I slipped on the first corner but on the first fire road section I was able to get into the lead and I just pushed on from there”.

In men’s masters racing action, legend of the sport Rob Eva (VIC) added yet another national title to his collection that spans both decades and disciplines, this time winning the Masters 5 crown.

In the U17 Women’s Cross Country race, Katherine Hosking (NSW) took out the National Championships title, battling hard against 2015 Subaru National Series Winner Sarah Tucknott (WA).


“I’m super stoked about the race and super happy,” said Hosking in her after-race interview.

“In the past few races her [Tucknnott’s] last lap has been her fastest so I really had it in my mind to just keep thinking she’s going to catch up, so I had to go hard for the whole race.”

This was Hosking’s third National Championships title, but the first one in the U17 category.


Western Australia’s Tucknott rode into second place and local Tegan Atherstone (VIC) was third.

In the U15’s race, it was all about last night’s winner of the Junior Cross Country Rider of the Year award – Zoe Cuthbert (ACT) – who added yet another title to what has been an amazing start to the year for the young rider.

Emily Wooster (NSW) placed second and Isabella Hosking (NSW) third.


Special mention goes to Sharon Heap (QLD), who added yet another National title to her huge collection, taking out the Masters 5+ category.

Heap was also the recipient of the Female Masters Mountain Biker of the Year Award last night at MTBA’s inaugural Awards Function in Bright.


Racing will continue tomorrow with the Elite Male and Female Olympic Cross Country races, Downhill seeding and Observed Trials action.

Spectators are welcome free of charge here at Mystic MTB Park in Bright, Victoria.

All information about the event can be found online at:

Grant Programs Launched To Support Australian Mountain Bikers To World And Olympic Success

With the aim of supporting our best Elite and Junior Mountain Bike riders to their best performances on the world stage, two grant programs are announced by the National body for the sport, Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

The programs are the Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program and the Under 19 Athlete Grant Program. Across both programs this exciting initiative is expected to support up to 30 eligible riders in 2015 with a total pool of over $50,000 available. The Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program has been developed to assist selected riders with the costs of international competition. It is a tiered program targeted at riders who have shown the results and potential to accrue additional international ranking (UCI) points, which in turn will elevate Australia’s international ranking as a country and our ability to secure Olympic Games places for 2016.

Funding for this program is sourced from the Cycling Australia Elite Development contribution made to MTBA to assist mountain biking in achieving representation at the Olympic Games under the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) Winning Edge program.

The separate Under 19 Athlete Grant Program will assist junior riders with the costs of international competition, including, if they are selected, at the 2015 MTB World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra. The program is aimed at riders in the Cross Country and Downhill disciplines, who have shown consistent results and potential within the MTBA National Series competition for this age-group. Funding for the Cross Country grant recipients is again sourced from the Cycling Australia Elite Development Contribution as above. Funding for the Downhill grant recipients comes directly from MTBA.

MTBA President Mr Russ Baker AM spoke of the aims of the program.

“We all take a huge amount of pride in the performance of our riders on the international stage. This MTBA initiative provides benefits for our better performing Elite and Under 23 cross country riders, for developing riders and for Australia. As we lead up to the Rio Olympics and beyond, it is important that we support riders who improve Australia’s international ranking and ensure that Australia is on the start line in Rio. This program will do that, while making it a little bit easier for our riders to travel to competitions and recognising their performances. But it also supports our developing junior riders who will one day take over the reins in the Elite fields.” 

“Its not just about the Olympics. While Downhill is not an Olympic discipline, we are making some support available to the junior downhill riders so that Australia can maintain our very high international status in downhill into the future.”

“In addition to family support, many of our riders receive support from Pro Teams, Australian teams, businesses and individuals. I thank you all for your support. I encourage all Australians to support our riders in whatever fashion they can as we approach an Olympic year. MTBA will soon be introducing a support framework for riders across all disciplines at world-level events and Australians will also be able to support our mountain bikers in a tax-deductible fashion similar to the Pursuit for Gold initiative.”

MTBA CEO, Mr Shane Coppin, focused on the dual goals of athlete and organisation support.

“I have day to day contact with our Elite athletes and any additional funding is a great help to them in achieving their goals. “This program has been developed in consultation with a broad range of parties including our committee, staff, athletes and professional teams. “It is important that, while we work towards the ultimate goal of direct ASC funding for our sport, we as the National body support our athletes to continued success on the world stage”.

Athletes should be aware that the Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program requires applications to be considered for funding whereas the Under 19 Athlete Grant program does not require an application and grants will be automatically issued to riders meeting the criteria.

All further information on these exciting initiatives can be found in a detailed PDF document on the MTBA Website.

Applications for the Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program can be made by clicking this link:

To find this article online, please see the news article on the MTBA Website:

Henderson & McConnell Monopolise Mountain Bike Action on Stromlo Trails

Canberra mountain bike power-duo Rebecca Henderson (ACT) and Daniel McConnell (ACT) have monopolised the tough Stromlo course in Canberra at Cross Country Round 4 of the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series presented by Mountain Bike Australia. 

On Saturday, the Elite Women raced the Cross Country, with dual Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Henderson turning on the power from the very beginning.

Bec Henderson - Credit Jaime Black
Bec Henderson

After just one lap, Henderson had put a 32 second gap between herself and the rest of the field, which was led by Peta Mullens (VIC). This lead more than doubled to 1 minute 10 seconds after lap two, and by lap three, her lead had virtually guaranteed her the win, Henderson regaining the Series Leader jersey in the process. “I couldn’t have asked for a better result or a better ride for me,” Henderson said. “It’s a really challenging and technical course, which works in my favour and obviously I’ve got a bit of extra time to practice on it being a home course. “I’m really trying to peak for the Oceania Championships, that’s pretty important to me, and then the National Champs.”

Peta Mullens
Peta Mullens

Jenni King (VIC) rode consistently to maintain a third place position for the entirety of the race, while Jodie Willett (QLD) and Em Parkes (ACT) battled it out in the final few laps, with Willett finishing the victor in the battle for fourth.

In the U19’s, Sarah Tucknott (WA) secured victory in the heat ahead of Ebony Tanzen (VIC).

Once again, of notable mention is local 13 year-old rider Zoe Cuthbert (ACT), who rode to another Under 15 Women’s gold medal, finishing her second and final lap ranked 7th outright across all women’s fields.

The Elite Men did battle at midday, riding the same number of laps as the Elite Women due to the ever increasing heat, with McConnell gunning it from the start to complete the first lap in just 12 minutes 19 seconds. Riding in front of current Series Leader Scott Bowden (TAS), McConnell created a gap early that would never be breached, riding to yet another win as the other riders battled for their spot on the podium. “It was the first hot day we’ve had for a few weeks so it was a bit of a shock to the system,” said McConnell.   “I really wanted to set my own pace and go out really hard, then sort of hold onto it and then get into some good lap times in the back half of the race. “I had a fairly aggressive set up,” he added. “I was running the 36 tooth chain ring on the front, which is pretty hard on the climb so it was really important to me to dictate the pace and not be in a bunch, which is harder, but it all panned out really well.”

Scott Bowden
Scott Bowden
Cam Ivory
Cam Ivory

At the half-way mark, Bowden and Brendan Johnston (ACT) were neck and neck, and they would stay this close until the final corner of the race. A tough sprint that would last the length of the finish straight saw Johnston secure the silver in front of Bowden who retains the Subaru Series Leader jersey. Fourth place went to 2014 Subaru National Series winner Cameron Ivory (NSW) with perennially fast Andy Blair (ACT) recording fifth.

Series Leader Liam Jeffries (VIC) took out gold to record his third Subaru National Series round win a row in the Under 19s, followed by Luke Brame (NSW) and Alex Lack (TAS).

Short Course Cross Country – Friday 

Kicking off the weekend with Short Course Cross Country races on Friday night, McConnell was the hot favourite in the Elite Men’s competition and he did not disappoint the crowd. McConnell rode hard from the start, working with Brendan Johnston (ACT) and building a lead from the rest of the pack. This lead would see the two riding together for the thirty minutes of standard race time but on the final lap McConnell put the hammer down, riding away to a convincing win.

In an intense and exciting battle for third place, Tristan Ward (NSW) proved to be the best of the chasing group, sprinting for the bronze medal after a technicality meant that third place was awarded before the overall race had even been won.

In the Elite Women’s race, Naomi Williams (VIC) and Rebecca Locke (VIC) pushed hard through the heat for the duration of the race.

While Williams sat in the lead for each lap, Locke sprinted on the final Subaru arch corner to take the win in front of a cheering crowd.

The 2014/15 Subaru National Series comes to an end in three weeks, with the final round held in Toowoomba, QLD from 27 February – 1 March, in conjunction with the Oceania Championships, which will run 25 – 27 February 2015.

For all Series information, please visit:

For full race results, please visit:

Henderson and Bowden Power to National Round #2 Wins at Pemberton, WA

Olympian Bec Henderson (ACT) and Scott Bowden (TAS) have powered to Cross Country wins at Round 2 of the 2014/15 Subaru National Mountain Bike Series, run by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

Scott Bowden
Scott Bowden

Bowden signalled his arrival in this year’s Series with a second place in You Yangs, and today he confirmed this with his maiden National Series win. He led the field from Lap 1, with Cameron Ivory (NSW) and Brendan Johnston (ACT) hot on his heels.

Many riders mounted a challenge but Bowden was untouchable today, increasing his lead every lap for the first four. “After You Yangs I had fairly high expectations of myself but I also didn’t really know what to expect, but I’m over the moon,” said Bowden. “I just tried to push the descents and keep the legs as fresh as I could – it was such a hard course, fair bit of a climbing but I just tried to ride to my strengths.”

Second place went to Cameron Ivory (NSW) who recovered from an early incident to have an outstanding second half of the race, moving up from fourth place to give himself a genuine winning chance. “I had a little bit of bad luck on the second lap, I hit something pretty hard on one of the descents and I think I might have burped my tyre,” said Ivory. “I got to the top of the descent and I thought it was still ok but over the doubles it was just all over the place so I thought I better pull in and fix it, I tried to settle back in and not go out too hard but on that last lap I was just corked, especially up the climb.”

Cam Ivory
Cam Ivory

Brendan Johnston (ACT) rode strongly into third place and is already looking forward to tomorrow’s race. “I’m really happy with third – I knew second was out of reach so I tried to shut it down for the last lap and save a bit for tomorrow which I’m looking forward to. “There’s strong guys that turn up to every round and it’s good to see a lot of them travelled over here to Pemberton. It’s a long way but as I think everyone today would say, it’s worth it.”

Winner of the Under 19 Men’s, Liam Jeffries (VIC) rode an epic race setting a pace equal to the Elite men early on.

Luke Brame (NSW) and Guy Frail (NSW) went head to head in a fight for second place, with Brame edging out Frail in a sprint finish to retain the Series Leader’s jersey.

In the Elite Women’s race, Henderson took an early lead, accelerating to be clear of the field by Woodcutters Climb half-way around Lap 2, which turned out to be the decisive move. “I didn’t have a race plan today which is kind of unusual for me,” said Henderson who is undefeated in the series. “I got a little gap on the first lap and Peta closed it down. I could hear her puffing behind me starting the climb so I thought I better pounce and I was just able to open it up from there.”

Bec Henderson
Bec Henderson

Recently crowned 2015 Subaru National Road Series Champion Peta Mullens (VIC) had a great race to secure the silver medal, pushing Henderson early. “I wanted a hard race today,” said Mullens. “At You Yangs we all went out a little slower because it was hot and we knew it would be a long race. But today I felt a little bit fitter and I wanted to go out and have a hard race. “Bec went from the gun and put the pressure on and I was trying to chase her on that second lap and she just kept getting out of the saddle on those little pinch climbs”.

MTBA Junior Development Coach Jodie Willett (QLD) closed the gap to Jenni King on Lap four, riding into third place. “I did a triathlon last weekend and I’ve just been doing random stuff, lots of endurance but nothing hard,” said Willett. “I knew if I went out too quick I would just blow up so I sat behind Em [Parkes] for a while and just worked my way through the field”.

Elite Women's Podium
Elite Women’s Podium

In the Under 19 women’s race, local Sarah Tucknott (WA) rode strongly to take the win ahead of Queensland’s Megan Williams.

Tomorrow will see the men and women take to the tracks in Pemberton once again for Round three of the series.

Bec Henderson spoke of the challenges that await: “There’s even more single track and not that long, gruelling climb – it should be fun and hopefully we will have a little bit left in the legs!”

Pemberton Mountain Bike Park is a new location for the 2014/15 series, with Perth Mountain Bike Club combining some of Australia’s most challenging and enjoyable mountain bike trails with some fantastic leisure facilities including a natural swimming pool.

Ben Walkerden
Ben Walkerden

Spectators are welcome free of charge.

For all information please visit:

The Subaru National Series continues in two weeks from 6 – 8 February with Cross Country Round 4 and Short Course Cross Country Round 2 in Stromlo, ACT and Downhill Round 2 in Thredbo, NSW.

Follow the 2014/15 Subaru National Series online:

Series Dates:

  • 6 – 7 Feb 2015 — Mt Stromlo, ACT (XCO)
  • 6 – 8 Feb 2015 — Thredbo, NSW (DHI)
  • 25 Feb – 27 Mar 2015 — Toowoomba, QLD (2015 Oceania Championships – DHI, XCO, XCC, XCE)
  • 27 Feb – 1 Mar 2015 — Toowoomba, QLD (XCO, DHI, XCC)
  • 12 Mar – 15 Mar 2015 — Bright, VIC (National Champs – XCO, XCE, XCC, DHI, XCR, OT)

MTBA Announces Inaugural Enduro National Series

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is thrilled to announce the inaugural Enduro National Series in 2015.

The Gravity Enduro discipline has seen significant growth in recent years, combining the thrills and excitement of downhill with the fitness elements of cross country racing. The series is comprised of a mix of landmark events in some of Australia’s best mountain bike destinations.

Beginning in early February, the first two rounds visit the hotly-contested RockShox Enduro Challenge events in Mt Buller and Toowoomba.

Round three sees riders head to South Australia, racing with the active Inside Line Mountain Bike Club.

In round four, the action will take place in the West Australian Gravity Enduro event on the challenging trails of the popular Goat Farm mountain bike park in Perth.

The series concludes in the ACT with Canberra Off-Road Cyclists Club at Stromlo Forest Park, the home of the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships. 


“The Enduro format has really taken off in recent years and I am proud that MTBA is now able to present a truly national series of established events for all riders,” said MTBA President Russell Baker. “In addition to being a great fun part of mountain biking, having our own Australian series will provide more opportunities for our riders to experience this level of competition at home and lead to the development of more world-class Australians.”

Australia boasts the reigning Enduro World Champion and World Series Champion, Jared Graves of Toowoomba in Queensland.

Graves, known as the “swiss army knife of mountain biking” due to his cross-discipline success, rode a truly amazing season on the way to the title. Racing in the opening round, the RockShox Enduro Challenge on Jan 31-Feb 1, will see reigning Champion Jared Graves race 2013 Champion Jerome Clementz (FRA), with downhill legends Troy Brosnan (SA) and Sam Hill (WA) adding even more superstar power to an amazing weekend.

Riders competing in the series will race for over $9000 in prize money, as well as the coveted title of National Series Champion and the Green and Gold jersey.

“We’ve had significant demand for the creation of National level events in this domain, and I’m pleased that MTBA has been able to respond to this demand,” said MTBA CEO Shane Coppin. “The Series is comprised of some of the discipline’s most iconic destinations and events and riders and fans alike can look forward to fantastic Enduro action”.

The inaugural Enduro National Championships will be held in Cairns, QLD based out of iconic Palm Cove in October as a standalone event separate to the series.

More information about the Series will be be available on the Enduro Nation Series website to be launched in mid-January.

Round 1 : Rockshox Enduro Challenge – January 31 & February 1 – Mt Buller, VIC

Round 2 : Rockshox Enduro Challenge – March 7 & 8 – Toowoomba, QLD

Round 3 : SA Inside Line Enduro – May 23 & 24 – Fox Creek, SA  (online information coming soon)

Round 4 : WA Gravity Enduro – June 13 & 14 – Goat Farm MTB Park – Perth, WA (new website coming soon)

Round 5 : CORC Enduro – July 25 & 26 – Stromlo Forest Park (online information coming soon)


National Mountain Bike Marathon Series Set To Explode In 2015

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is excited to announce the 2015 National Cross Country Marathon (XCM) series.

The truly National series spans four states and both territories, offering riders almost 600 kilometres of Australia’s best mountain bike trails. Racing in the XCM format extends the traditional Olympic Cross Country discipline, with winning racers battling head-to-head for an incredible three to five hours.

Beginning in Alice Springs with the Easter in the Alice event, the series then heads to the landmark pair of the Wombat 100 in Victoria and the Convict 100 in New South Wales. With a break over the winter months, racing resumes at the picturesque Dwellingup 100 in Western Australia, moving to the nation’s capital for the iconic Kowalski Classic before wrapping up at the Bayview Blast event in Queensland.

Riders in the Elite Category will compete for a prize pool of over $16,000, with the male and female winners receiving $5000 each. In 2015 the series is being organised and overseen by the MTBA Events Team after challenges were experienced with a different model in 2014. Individual races will be delivered by a mix of highly respected promoters and clubs who all have significant experience in their regions.

Mr Shane Coppin, CEO of MTBA, has been instrumental in assembling what will be Australia’s largest and most expansive cycling series.

“It has been a worthwhile challenge to deliver our members and all Australian mountain bikers a package of events that is of a truly global standard” said Mr Coppin.

“Significant effort was invested to ensure that our riders could experience some of the best trails all across our great country and I’m looking forward to racing starting in Alice Springs on Easter Saturday”.

Riders should head to for more information, or follow links to the individual events below. A dedicated website for the series will be launched at the start of 2015.

The 2015 National Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Series presented by Mountain Bike Australia

  1. Easter in Alice – Bunny Buster Stage – 4 April 2015 – Alice Springs, NT

  2. Wombat 100 – 12 April 2015 – Woodend, VIC

  3. Convict 100 – 2 May 2015 – St Albans, NSW

  4. Dwellingup 100 – 5 Sept 2015 – Dwellingup, WA

  5. Kowalski Classic – 20 Sept 2015 – East Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill, ACT

  6. Bayview Blast – 24 Oct – South Brisbane, QLD (Event-specific website coming soon).

Easter in the Alice – Bunny Buster Stage

“The BUNNY BUSTER 90km EPIC stage of the Lasseters Easter In The Alice Mountain Bike Muster 3 day stage race will become the first national series event to be held in the Northern Territory. The worlds only $100 stage race is run in the shadows of the mighty Macdonnell Ranges under a blanket of blue sky”

John Pyper, Race Director – Easter in the Alice

Wombat 100 & Convict 100

We are excited to have two events form part of the MTBA National XCM Series.  We believe the XCM discipline needs the leadership and structure of a national body to administer the sport, and private promoters willing to support that structure to the benefit of all riders.

Henry van Heerden, Race Director Wombat 100 & Convict 100 – Maximum Adventure

Dwellingup 100 MTB Classic

The Dwellingup 100 MTB Classic is very excited to be a part of the MTBA XC Marathon Series. Our involvement gives us the opportunity to showcase one of WA’s iconic mountain biking destinations. We’re looking forward to attracting riders from all over Australia to participate in our great event.

Dave Budge, Managing Director, Trievents

Kowalski Classic

Self Propelled Enterprises look forward to the Kowalski Classic being part of the National XCM Series for 2015. We support Shane Coppin’s (MTBA CEO) plans for the series and MTBA more broadly. The iconic single track adventure that is the Kowalski Classic is an ideal fit with these aims.

Alan Vogt, Director – Self Propelled Events

Redlands Bayview Blast

“Redlands Bayview Blast” race it or ride it for your own challenge. After only one year this event is already being spoken about amongst riders as the “must do” race for South East Qld.  Held in Redland Bay, 35 minutes from the Brisbane CBD and held in October the “Blast” is a feast of prime single track and friendly club atmosphere.

Tony Hancock, President – Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club


Interview: MTBA’s new CEO, Shane Coppin

From our perspective here at Flow, we’ve struggled to understand what it is that MTBA actually does and how it serves the mountain biking public. But with a new CEO at the helm we thought it was time to get a better understanding of the direction MTBA is heading, as well as giving MTBA a chance to answer some of the questions and criticisms that we so often hear about the organisation.

We asked you, our audience, to submit your questions and we put them to Shane Coppin recently over a couple of hours at Flow HQ. What are our overall thoughts? Shane Coppin is a realist; he knows that MTBA has lost its relevance for many riders, and he’s thinking about long-term solutions. Read on to learn more about how MTBA plans of righting its course.

So Shane, how did you come to be the new Chief Executive Officer of MTBA? What’s your background?


I studied sports science many years ago, worked in basketball, volleyball and commercial gym environments, before I moved into family businesses, construction mainly. I spent 15 plus years in the commercial sector, which teaches you a lot.

Shane Coppin 2


You’re pretty upfront about the fact you’re not from a cycling background. Why do you think this will be of benefit in this role?


Well sport is business, let’s be honest about it. It’s a service business, mountain biking is the vehicle we use for delivering the service. Times change and I think you need to have a much more commercial approach to running the sport. A lot of the partners you deal with in this role are running commercial businesses too, so it helps to have that understanding, that likeminded attitude. I think it gives you that external perspective.

Also, I don’t bring any baggage into this role. I don’t have a past, or any preconceptions or predefined ambition except to make the organisation as a whole function better.


So if MTBA provides a service, what is it?


The value of a national sporting body is that they should be a facilitator for the sport, the whole sport. They shouldn’t be consumed with just the high-end, the athletes going to the Olympics; the eight year old, the sixteen year old, the sixty year old – they’re as much a part of the sport as any athlete at the elite level. Our job is to ascertain what they want, so we can deliver the services important to them – this could be education, coaching, pathways for development, commissaires, opportunities to participate at a national and international level, insurance, providing a safe environment for racing. Our job is to centralise the sport around one point, so we can speak with one voice.

We’re going through the process of establishing loyalty programs, member discounts and the like. And those are things that we can leverage with volume. But they’re not what membership is all about; membership is about trying to create a national voice for mountain biking. Because without a national body, no one else will take those responsibilities for rider development or developing the sport. All the big promoters run great events, but they don’t have that responsibility of developing the sport, and that’s the ‘hidden’ side of membership that people don’t sometimes really see.


Late last year it was indicated to us the MTBA was on the way out, and CA was taking over. But then suddenly there was an about-face and MTBA was back running the national series. What happened?


Well I think it’s been on the agenda for many years to form one single cycling body for all the disciplines – similar to what all the other overseas nations have done. I think there was just a belief that this would just happen. But you’re dealing with three individual boards, with different corporate structures. MTBA doesn’t have state bodies, it’s a national membership body, whereas for the other disciplines they have state intermediary bodies which make decisions. With us, it’s the membership direct. So the theory of having one body is good, but how you go about it isn’t simple.

Last year there was no intention that Cycling Australia was going to consume mountain bike, I’m sure there weren’t some people in CA who thought this was the case.

MTBA had been struggling with the National Series so they had given the running of the National Series back to CA because it was losing money. Then of course CA also did a poor job of it and had lost money too, and financially they weren’t in a position to run the National Series again, so it was passed back to MTBA. It was obvious that it was happening – red flags should have been seen far earlier. Anyhow, CA terminated the agreement to deliver the events and the series was handed back to MTBA.


If CA and MTBA have both been losing money running the National Series, is it really viable to continue to do so?


It’s true that at the moment we don’t make money on National Series events. But it’s one of those hidden investments that mountain biking needs to make for its membership, so its members can attain UCI points to compete at international events. We’d love to get these events profitable, but we have a commitment to allow our riders opportunities to attain UCI points, and I think this needs to be recognised a little more.

We’ve gone for a very different model now which we think will reduce the costs. We’re working with suppliers now across the series, rather than ad hoc. Last year was terrible because we had no time. We’re trying to identify venues that can cope with the needs better, and we’re trying to make sure the financial risk is entirely with our organisation and not with the clubs at all. In fact, we’re making sure the clubs will walk away with something in their pocket at the end of the day. We want them to run these events and finish up with a few thousand dollars which they can then reinvest back into the sport. I can tell you, the National Champs at Bright, that club walked away with a lot of money. We’re not into trying to financially cripple clubs.


You did mention venues then. We hear a lot about the south-east centric nature of the series.

 It’s not currently a National Series – two states do not make a National Series

Oh yeah, it’s terrible. It’s not currently a National Series – two states do not make a National Series. Moving forward, we want to have every state and territory involved between the National Series and National Marathon Series. The thing is getting from where we are, with two or three states, to making it truly national. The next thing is trying to lock actual weekends away, so people and promoters will 100% know that there will be a national event on that weekend and can plan as such.


When we started out racing, the Nationsl Sereies was huge, but now it is much, much smaller, particularly amongst the non-elite riders. Why?


It’s lost its appeal. These events will only be a success if they’re supported by the general rider base – the juniors, masters, the general public. Why they lost their appeal, I don’t know. How do we regain that appeal?

As a first step, it has to be about running a cost-effective, more-affordable event for the masses. We have already lowered entry costs, and we’re offering discounts for people who enter all events. We’re taking the approach of making the events more family-friendly too. We want stuff for the kids to do, jumping castles, entertainment – I want to see clubs get inventive to see what they can bring to the table to make the events more appealing for families too.

Notice periods around the race calendar have been terrible too. We want to improve this, so people can actually plan their lives. As part of this we’re overhauling the calendar aspect of our website too. I mean this year has been hard, I spent almost three weeks purely negotiating with other events around the dates for our national rounds. In the past I think we had a very arrogant approach: ‘we’re the national body, you fit in with us’. That doesn’t work, we need to be far more coordinated with other events.


On the events side of things, there is now quite notably two competing marathon series in Australia – the National Marathon series and the Maverick Marathon Series. What are your views on that, and is this a realistic state of affairs?


It’s a bit of a shame. I think I can understand why it’s happened. I think it’s a bit of national level arrogance, and I think there are some personality clashes too. I don’t know all the players; I do know one event promoter well, Alan Vogt, and he has now re-affiliated his events with MTBA. And I put out an offer through Alan to the other event promoters to see if they wished to talk about aligning. Unfortunately nothing has come back at this stage.

Ideally of course I’d prefer to see one series. We want to deliver a great National Marathon Series, these people run extremely good events; it makes sense to be aligned, we just need to find away we can work together. We need to sit together at the table, and I’m open to it. Marathon fell apart, it needs to be rebuilt.

On the subject of series, I see someone asked about Gravity Enduro. We’re not interested in running a National Gravity Enduro series – we may look at a National Gravity Enduro Championship, but not a series, we just don’t have the manpower to do it.


Now, trails, a matter close to every mountain biker’s heart. What happened to IMBA Australia, and what’s happening in this area going forward?


Along the way I think IMBA Australia lost its core focus of what it was about, and we ended up in trail development, it became commercial. And no disrespect to Nick Bowman, I think he did a fantastic job, but I don’t think IMBA Australia becoming commercial was necessarily the right fit. It was all a bit disjointed, and with the commercial aspect it was perhaps a bit murky how it all fitted with MTBA.

In the past, IMBA was competing commercially with the same trail builders they were meant to police, and it wasn’t working. To me, that’s why IMBA lost a bit of respect. We’re the national body – what are we doing trying to build trails?

When I first came to this job, I realised the commercial trail building space wasn’t the area that IMBA should necessarily be in. In the end, Nick moved on, but the whole experience allowed us to ask if the program was really doing what it’s supposed to do, is there a need for IMBA Aus to be out there on its own?

In the past, IMBA was competing commercially with the same trail builders they were meant to police, and it wasn’t working. To me, that’s why IMBA lost a bit of respect. We’re the national body – what are we doing trying to build trails? There are dozens of companies that can do that, we don’t need to be there. I think as a national body, we’re far better off helping clubs understand the process of, say, leasing land, or promoting the great trail building work that has already been done in so many destination across Australia. We need to sit above the commercial aspect and make things better for everybody.

Ultimately we’ve decided that we’re not going to go with the IMBA name – Australia has progressed to a point that it’s entitled to have its own representative trails and advocacy body. So we’re bringing things right back under MTBA’s umbrella. Every member of MTBA will be a member of our trails and advocacy body. But our core focus now is to try and legitimise the governance of the trail building industry. We want to establish guidelines and standards around trail development and sustainability and the like. And that way, the curriculums of any trail building courses can be related back to that, and certifications can be related back to that.

From there, we want to recognise all those who work in the trail building industry, create a service directory or trail builders that will be provided to clubs. We’re less interested in master-plans and trail concept plans, and more focused on building a consensus around trail building standards.


For many riders, their only interaction with MTBA is as a provider of insurance so they can race. But what is the situation with MTBA’s insurance? What does it cover?


We have a combined policy with Cycling Australia, which means we can leverage pretty good premiums and cover. If you’re a member, you are covered for $5000 personal accident insurance, and that is a 24/7 policy. If you fall off riding to work you will be covered for that up to $5000. There’s a public liability aspect, so if you run into someone’s car or a pedestrian, you will be covered. There’s an element of income protection too. From November, we’ll be giving people the option of boosting up their own levels of cover too, if they want more than the standard $5000 cover.

Where you aren’t covered as an MTBA member, is if you’re racing at a non-MTBA sanctioned event. You’re covered to and from the event, but not when you’re racing.

In terms of day licenses, they also cover personal accident and public liability. The model of day licenses is changing though, so the pricing will increase. The idea is to recognise and reward our members more, so the day licence price will probably be doubling. At the moment, you can ride five or six events a year and it may still be cheaper to use day licenses, but that is changing and if you ride two or three events a year, a full membership will be the cheaper option.

We want people to feel and understand that by being a member, they’re helping facilitate the development of the sport, in racing, in trails, in every area.

We felt the model was wrong – it should be more valuable to become a member than use day license – so we’re trying to make membership more valuable. For instance, members now get other benefits, like clothing vouchers from Scody and discounted movie tickets. The aim is to encourage people to become MTBA members, not just buy day licenses.

A few people on your Facebook asked about dual licenses for mountain bike and road. We’d love to offer that, and we’re trying to work towards that. There are lots of things in play, and one of the difficulties is that CA has state bodies and we don’t; we’re trying to work out a way that doesn’t increase the costs for either party too much.


A more basic question; how is MTBA funded?


MTBA is funded 100% from members. There’s no government money directly. We don’t receive any funding from the sports commission. We receive a very minor amount via Cycling Australia, but it’s miniscule. MTBA is really quite unique – most national sporting bodies would receive 60%+ of their funding from the government.


We hear often that enough money isn’t spent by MTBA on supporting high-performance riders. Where does this funding come from, and how is it allocated?


Under the government’s Winning Edge concept, it’s all about results. Mountain bike is unique as the government only really recognises the cross-country discipline as it’s the only one you can win Olympic or Commonwealth Games medals in. Australia does extremely well in downhill, but we don’t receive any high performance funding, as it’s not an Olympic Sport. Even in Olympic XCO we didn’t receive any funding as the powers-that-be deemed that we didn’t have a strong enough chance at a medal.

I liken mountain biking a lot to surfing or snow boarding. Surfing does get funding, even though it’s not an Olympic sport, so we continue to lobby for that same kind of recognition.

So in theory, we don’t have a funding pool to contribute to all these developing athletes, which is why we lose so many to road teams. There aren’t so many big mountain bike teams that can afford to support developing Australian athletes as there are on the road either, so the lure of the road is strong. I don’t blame the riders for going.

But basically, your day license fees, your membership fees, they’re what gets used to support these elite riders. There is no separate source of funding for the elite program, so we’re trying to create a balance between supporting these people, creating a pathway underneath for development, at the same time as delivering everything else. You have to have a balanced approach to high performance. In the past, I feel there wasn’t enough money being put into development, I couldn’t even guess where the money was spent.

What we want to do is run upwards of 10 state-based junior development camps, from there we run an Australian camp, from there we run a National junior development camp

Our approach now is to invest significant funds back towards the grass roots level, so this year we’ll be employing one or maybe two development coaches. The role of these coaches will be to work with kids in this country and not spend all their time overseas travelling with one or two particular athletes.

These development coaches will work with riders all across the country, particularly juniors who may not have their own coaches, and they’ll be MTBA funded, not user paid. Through these coaches we can establish a database of promising junior riders all across the country; rather than just seeing these promising juniors once a year at the National Champs, we can go out to them, and have more regular contact

What we want to do is run upwards of 10 state-based junior development camps, from there we run an Australian camp, from there we run a National junior development camp. Now a lot of these camps will still be user-pays, but hopefully these camps will allow us to bring all our talented juniors together and will give us a groundswell pushing up, and that will give us more ammunition when it comes to lobbying government for funding, we can say ‘look at this, look at what’s coming, look at the swell of junior talent – we need you to step in with some high-performance funding’.


So there is no high-performance coach as such any more?


Yes and no. We did have Donna Dall and Jared Rando on contract, not full-time like Chris Clarke was, but on a more casual contracted basis. In truth, we don’t coach a lot of elite athletes – most of the riders we’re working with have their own coaches and we don’t want to force them to work with anyone.

So our coaching focus will be on the development coaching I mentioned before, and having a head coach at events like the World Championships.


One of our questions from our audience was about the split of how member funds are used. Can you provide some detail?


MTBA would spend, on insurance, staffing, organisation structure/operations, about 35% of its funds. 65% is then spent on camps, programs, events, payment for commissaires, trail development, everything else. So it’s a normal sort of business split. We have a small reserve, just like every business, to ensure longevity.


A lot of our audience commented on MTBA’s poor communication.


Yes, I’ll be the first to admit that MTBA has been very bad at communicating. In fairness, before my time, MTBA was really Tony Scott, Una Mackay and Nick Bowman. So things were stretched very thin, trying to service a wide range of activities. So I’ve made a conscious effort to expand our staff base. And communication is one of the first things we’re working on; I’ve engaged Stu Plant, and we’ve bought one of the CA communications staff across, so we now have a full time communications department. We now issue a fortnightly newsletter, our social media is now properly utilised. We’re making some big steps forward here; in everything we do, communication is key.

But I also want to stress, MTBA doesn’t have secrets, we’re a transparent organisation – if you want to know something, just ask – we work for members, and that’s who we answer to.


Finally, why should someone who is not a member become a member?


I believe in a wider community – I don’t like to get lost in the discipline splits of cross country, downhill, trials etc – the value of membership is creating an atmosphere that every member is part of something.

We want to create value for our members, by helping them know what’s happening in the sport, but keeping them informed about events, by making them feel part of the achievements of our elite athletes. Yes, there are insurance benefits and loyalty benefits of being a member, but it’s much bigger than that. We want people to feel and understand that by being a member, they’re helping facilitate the development of the sport, in racing, in trails, in every area.

Rescheduled Australian Mountain Bike Series Dates Announced

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) wishes to announce some adjusted dates and details for the 2014-15 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Series and the 2015 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships.

The 2015 Oceania Championships, in conjunction with the final round of the Subaru National Series, has been rescheduled and will now be held from 26 February to 1 March, 2015.

The Oceania Championships were initially announced in July this year, with the Subaru Australian Series announced in early August.

The subsequent announcement a month later of the Crankworx festival to be held in Rotorua, New Zealand on the same weekend as the Oceania Championships caused a scheduling conflict in the Oceania region.

On becoming aware of the conflict, MTBA initiated discussions immediately with all parties involved, including the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Oceania Cycling Confederation (OCC), Crankworx, BikeNZ, Rotorua Council and Toowoomba Council.

Further to the Oceania Championships date change, the planned event at Mt Stromlo in the ACT during February will not go ahead as potential dates are not available as part of a series of date adjustments to allow the best possible overall outcome to occur.

Unfortunately it was not possible to add a multi-discipline round due to the very crowded major Gravity event calendar in early 2015.

Significant effort was invested by all to work towards the best outcome for riders and fans.

Unfortunately, it was not possible for the Crankworx festival to adjust their announced date.

A large number of alternate options were considered, including many that were suggested by the mountain bike community.

The concept of positioning the Oceania Championships immediately before or after the Crankworx event to allow international riders to participate in both races was seriously considered but unfortunately it was not logistically possible, nor did such options align well with the start of the 2015 UCI World Cup schedule.

MTBA would like to especially thank the Victorian Downhill Series and Event Management Solutions Australia for their cooperation in rescheduling their own events to make the overall changes possible.

The primary objective of the process was to ensure fairness to all riders and give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate and spectate at all of the major events in the Oceania region in 2015.

The season for 2016 will go ahead as announced and in consideration for cooperation from MTBA in regard to 2015 dates, New Zealand organisations have agreed to work around our already announced and further expanded 2016 National Season.

Further, these discussions have further opened channels of communication between both countries and Australia and New Zealand organisations have agreed to meet regularly to ensure coordinated scheduling for major events in the region in the future.

Mr Shane Coppin, CEO of MTBA, worked with all stakeholders on the change.

“It was a challenging situation, but after significant discussions including several meetings in New Zealand, we have reached the best possible outcome for all parties.

“The newly announced Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Series and Oceania Championships present our riders with an excellent season of high quality racing.

“The removal of the date conflict with the Crankworx festival will also allow our riders and spectators to attend that event as it ventures into the Southern Hemisphere for the very first time”.

Ms Tracey Gaudry, President of Oceania Cycling Confederation and Vice President Union Cycliste Internationale, expressed her thanks to all parties involved.

“Mountain Bike is a great cycling discipline which continues to grow in popularity worldwide, and in the Oceania region. The new date for the Oceania MTB Championships confirms it as a priority event for MTB riders in this region aiming to peak early in the season where they can gain valuable UCI points in the lead up to the 2015 UCI World Cup series.”


Detailed information on all events will be available shortly via


2014/15 Series and Championships

2014-2015 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Series

12th – 14th Dec 2014 – You Yangs, VIC – DHI, XCO, XCE
24th – 25th Jan 2015 – Pemberton, WA – XCO (Double-header – two rounds – one each day)
6th – 8th Feb 2015 – Thredbo, NSW – DHI
26th Feb – 1st Mar 2015 – Toowoomba, QLD – DHI, XCO, XCE – In assoc. w/ ‘15 Oceania Championships

Note: All National Series rounds will be UCI Cat 2 events


2015 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships

12th – 15th Mar 2015 – Bright, VIC – DHI, XCO, XCE, Trials


2015 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships

26th Feb – 1st Mar 2015 – Toowoomba, QLD – DHI, XCO, XCE


2015/16 Series and Championships

2015-2016 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Series

13th – 15th Nov 2015 – Adelaide, SA – DHI
27th – 29th Nov 2015 – You Yangs, VIC – DHI, XCO, XCE
11th – 13th Dec 2015 – Mt Stromlo, ACT – DHI, XCO, XCE
23rd – 24th Jan 2016 – Pemberton, WA – XCO (Double-header – two rounds – one each day)
5th – 7th Feb 2016 – Thredbo, NSW – DHI, XCO, XCE
4th – 6th Mar 2016 – Toowoomba, QLD – DHI, XCO, XCE

Note: All National Series rounds will be either UCI Cat 1 or Cat 2 events


2016 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships

17th – 20th Mar 2016 – Bright, VIC – DHI, XCO, XCE, Trials

Alice Springs joins the XCM National Series

Mountain biking in the Northern Territory is set to make its debut on the National Series race circuit.

John Pyper from the Central Australian Rough Riders (CARR) mountain bike club and Mountain Biking Australia executive officer Shane Coppin announced today that the Lasseters Easter in the Alice Mountain Bike Muster will be a part Australia’s National Cross Country Marathon Mountain Bike Series.

The Lasseters Easter in the Alice (LEITA) is a three-day, four-stage mountain biking event that utilises the mountain bike tracks around Alice Springs, NT. It is run by the local mountain bike club, the Central Australian Rough Riders (CARR).

From next year, the first stage of the LEITA will also be the first round of the National Marathon Mountain Bike Series. This is the first time in mountain bike history that the NT will host a round of a mountain biking national series.

Mr Pyper said: ‘This news is huge! It’s massive!’

‘The only other sport to hold a national series event in the NT that I know of is the Tatts Finke Desert Race.’ The Tatts Finke Desert Race, a two-day motorsports event, is part of the Australian Off Road Racing Series.

My Pyper said: ‘Adding Lasseters Easter in the Alice to the National Marathon Series will make our club-run event one the pre-eminent mountain bike events in the country.’

Mr Coppin from Mountain Biking Australia (MTBA) visited Alice Springs in the wake of this year’s LEITA event to discuss the recent mountain biking developments in the Red Centre and to discuss ways MTBA could support and further enhance that development. He was full of praise for the riding scene in Alice Springs and the Lasseters Easter in the Alice event, with its trademark emphasis on participation and Territory-style hospitality.

‘It’s a very active scene,’ Mr Coppin said. ‘There’s a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of support from council and local tourism bodies.

‘JP (Pyper) is a very passionate character, and he and the club are putting on a great event.’

Mr Coppin hopes the NT round of the National Marathon Mountain Bike Series will attract riders of all skill levels and abilities.

‘As executive office of MTBA, one of my goals is to host a national event in every state, to ensure that as a national body, we’re putting on a truly national series, taking mountain bikers to as many points across the country as possible.

‘MTBA recognises the challenges of hosting events like this in a place like Alice Springs. Linking a national series like this to a national holiday gives people a chance to travel to these places and to ride in these events.

‘I encourage riders to travel to Alice Springs to ride in the National Marathon Series and associated events.

‘The quality of the event and the hospitality you will receive in Alice Springs is impressive. I enjoyed my time in Alice Springs,’ Mr Coppin said.


About Easter in the Alice Mountain Bike Muster

The Lasseters Easter in the Alice MTB Muster is a three-day, four-stage mountain biking event, plus a kids ride. It is run by the Central Australian Rough Riders (CARR), and it is held in Alice Springs from the Saturday to the Monday of the Easter long weekend.


To learn more about this, please contact

John Pyper

Race director – Lassters Easter in the Alice Mountain Bike Muster

President – Central Australian Rough Riders (CARR) mountain bike club

[email protected]

Racing: Australian Junior Team nominations revealed

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is pleased to announce nominations for the 2014 Junior National Mountain Bike Team. This team will have the honour of representing Australia at the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships being staged in Hafjell, Norway, 2nd to the 7th September 2014.

The 2014 juniors will follow in the steps of many successful athletes over the years, with current and former mountain bike Olympians Bec Henderson (ACT), Dan McConnell (ACT), Lisa Mathison (QLD) and Cadel Evans (NT) all being former National junior team members.

Athletes selected to the National team will have the chance to represent Australia at the sport’s highest level – the World Championships, and compete for the title of World Champion.

Athletes selected to the development team will have the chance to work with national level coaches and learn how to specifically prepare for major competition in the future, as well as be reserves for the National team.

Donna Dall, MTBA Cross-Country National Coach, said “It’s fantastic to have a promising and dedicated group of athletes selected to the 2014 Junior National Team and Development Squad. Both Jared Rando, the DownHill coach and myself are looking forward to working with the stars of tomorrow”.

Details of athletes nominated are below. For more information on the team, selection criteria and more, see .

MTBA – Junior National Team – 2014

Junior Men – National Team (Cross Country Olympic – XCO)

Reece Tucknott (WA)

Mitchell Greenway (VIC)

Michael Potter (NSW)

Felix Smalley (VIC)

Jayden Ward (NSW)


Junior Women – National Team (XCO)

Megan Williams (QLD)

Elle Wale (VIC)


Junior Men – National Team (DownHill – DHI)

Andrew Crimmins (NSW)

Ben Hill (TAS)

Aiden Varley (VIC)

Max Warshawsky (QLD)

Matthew McCorkell (ACT)

Jackson Davies (VIC)

Ben Dengate (ACT)



Junior Women – National Team (DHI)

Tegan Molloy (NSW)

MTBA – Junior Development Squad – 2014 

Development Squad (XCO)

Sara Mills (NSW)

Luke Brame (NSW)

Foley Lachal (VIC)

Guy Frail (NSW)

Callum Carson (NSW)


Development Squad (DHI)

Ellie Wale (VIC)

Dan Booker (TAS)

Joel Willis (NSW)

Dru Berryman (VIC)

Racing: 2014 MTBA National Series – All Rounds Now Opened for Entry

We are pleased to be able to advise that all rounds for the 2014 MTB National Series are now open for entry.

MTBA are very pleased to be able to say that the 2014 MTB National Series rounds will be conducted in partnership with a number of local organisers and clubs. The support, assistance and cooperation we have received from organisers and the mountain biking community has been invaluable. The passion displayed by all those I have meet has been extremely positive and highlights the vast opportunities and potential for the sport through mutual cooperation.


We are delighted to still be able to honour a commitment made to host a round of the 2014 MTB National Series at Echuca/Moama. The new Moama Mountain Bike Park, near Echuca is the site for a series of races in Round 3. Local organisers are very excited at the opportunity to showcase the wonderful sport of mountain bike and our community of National level riders. The track should prove fast and physically challenging. With a number of activities planned, including an XCC, Come’n’Try activities and the track’s official opening, I feel sure that this round will prove extremely exciting and I encourage as many riders as possible to attend.

The 2014 Australian National MTB Championships will be held as announced in Bright VIC on 6-10 March.

Please visit MTBA to register for all races.

MTBA Takes Control of 2014 National Mountain Bike Series

Mountain Bike Australia announced today that the 2014 National Mountain Bike Series will be brought back under MTBA control and delivery.

The recent re-structure of Cycling Australia’s (CA) Commercial and Events team means that the arrangement under which CA delivered the previous National Series is no longer a financially viable option.

“This provides a great opportunity for MTBA to engage with our clubs and our members to ensure that a series is delivered which meets the needs of mountain bikers while providing top-level competition for our best riders as they prepare for the international season.” said MTBA President Russ Baker. “I am confident that the future development of this delivery model by MTBA will see a better progression of club, state and national events which will provide fun, development and competition opportunities for all mountain bikers.”

“Our focus will be on providing great races for the riders, in many ways it will be getting back to the basics of our sport and providing what our riders want. It is those very basics that make mountain biking what we all love. I look forward to a successful first round in Adelaide in the new year.”
The 2014 National Mountain Bike Series will use the established venues and dates for rounds 1 and 2, and the downhill component of round 3. There will be no need to change travel plans for those events. XCO riders will still be able to earn valuable UCI points from all races in the series.

The current MTB National Series Schedule is:
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
17-19 January 7-9 February 21-23 February
Eagle Park SA Mt Buller VIC Thredbo NSW

The date and location for the third XCO/XCE round is subject to a final confirmation of the suitability of the course and venue. Some of Australia’s best Elite XC riders and MTBA Staff will be inspecting courses in the next week and an announcement will be made on the MTBA website as soon as a decision is made, along with entry details. Russ Baker said, “We must make sure that the course is worthy of our riders and the standard of competition. The best advice MTBA can currently give our riders for planning purposes for Round 3 XCO/XCE is that the dates will be either 22-23 Feb or 1-2 March.”

The 2014 Australian National MTB Championships will be held as announced in Bright VIC on 6- 10 March.

In announcing the transfer of responsibility for delivery of the series, Cycling Australia Interim CEO Adrian Anderson said, “These changes have been undertaken with the best interests of CA, the sport and the mountain bike community top of mind. We would like to thank MTBA for their understanding and willingness to ensure the continuation of the series.”

Bright, VIC To Host 2014 And 2015 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships

The beautiful township of Bright in Victoria will host the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships in 2014 and 2015.

Long the season’s focus of elite and amateur riders throughout the country, all roads now lead to Bright. With the majestic Ovens River running through its centre and the Victorian Alps looming large over a collection of brew pubs, cafes and accommodation, Bright has a distinguished history of embracing cycling from across all disciplines.

World Cup champion Bec Henderson at last years National Round in Bright.
World Cup champion Bec Henderson at last years National Round in Bright.

“Alpine Shire has aspirations to secure a reputation as the standard for national, and potentially international, mountain biking.” Mayor of Alpine Shire, Cr Peter Roper, says. “The opportunity to secure the Australian Champs is achieving our greater ambitions for the sport in the Alpine Shire. We are looking forward to working with CA and the mountain bike community to run a successful event.”

With a change of venue reflecting the changes afoot in the sport, Cycling Australia’s Technical Director of Mountain Biking, Tim Sheedy, sees this announcement as a key step in the evolution of the sport.

“The introduction of a new venue as host of the National Champs for the next two years breathes new life into mountain biking.” he says. “The integration of the Real Insurance XCM series into this event is a key development in the evolution of the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships. I am thrilled for all MTBA members and the broader mountain bike community who are sure to have the time of their lives next March in Bright, a spectacular location to host MTB’s flagship event. There’s a lot planned for mountain biking at Cycling Australia.”

Hailing from the hill overlooking Bright, Australia’s newly crowned Cross Country Eliminator World Champion, Paul van der Ploeg, clearly sees the potential of this marquee event.

“You could turn up to the champs with your mountain bike, your road bike, your children’s’ bikes and a tent and have the weekend of your life.” he says. “You’ll do some racing, watch the big dogs go round, swim in a river with your kids and eat great food. It’s mountain bike heaven.”

David McMillan in the downhill, the dust and the rocky terrain is so very unique to Bright.
David McMillan in the downhill, the dust and the rocky terrain is so very unique to Bright.

As the sport of mountain biking grows throughout the world, so does the need for trail development.

Mountain Bike Australia President Russ Baker congratulated Alpine Shire for securing the National Championships stating, “Bright is a location that our members love to visit and compete at. I’m particularly pleased that the arrangement secured by Cycling Australia includes trail development funds which will further enhance the growing reputation of Bright as a MTB destination and are a welcome injection for the Alpine Cycling Club. I can’t wait to attend the event and enjoy all that Bright has to offer.”

President of Alpine Cycling Club, Aaron Smith, says. “This announcement is a crucial step in securing funding for trail development which the entire mountain bike community will benefit from. It creates a direct connection between the grass roots and the top flight of the sport.”
All five UCI World Championship formats will be on offer for all Australian mountain bikers to dip their toe in. Trials, XCO, XCE, DHI and XCM on a range of world class trails and across all categories.

Autumn in the High Country never looked this good.

Calling All Women! Take The MTBA Survey And Win A $200 Gift Card

Women who ride bikes are being called on to give their comments in the Cycling Australia and Mountain Bike Australia 2013 Female Member Survey.

The highly active Cycling Australia Women’s Commission, re-established in April and headed up by Chair, Monique Hanley, are focused on improving conditions for women who ride; from women riding their bike their local community through to women competing in the sport of cycling from club to international level.

Since their inception, the Women’s Commission have established operational procedures, set out a two year project program and now invite you to be part of the process of making positive changes for women in cycling.

The survey, to be introduced as an annual process, asks why you cycle, what you enjoy about your membership, and what could be further improved in terms of membership, CA/MTBA operations, recreational riding and racing. All feedback, good and bad, is welcome so we can work on improving all aspects of our sport.

Survey responses are anonymous and they close on 8 November 2013.

As a Christmas bonus, when you complete the survey you have the opportunity to go into the draw to win a $200 Myer Gift Card.

The survey can be found at MEMBER SURVEY

Should you wish to provide further feedback, please send an email to the Women’s Commission secretariat Alex Bright or Chair of the CA Women’s Commission Monique Hanley.

Find out more about the CA Women’s Commission at or read more at

2013 MTBA Annual General Meeting – Notification

Notice is hereby given that the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Association (MTBA) will be held on Saturday 16th November 2013 at 9.30am at the Airport Best Western, 33 Ardlie St, Attwood, Victoria 3049.

The following documents are available on the MTBA website in the Resources tab under the General resources section;

  • 2013 MTBA AGM Agenda
  • Management Committee Nomination  Form
  • State/Territory Council Nomination form
  •  Nomination Policy
  • MTBA Management Committee Code of Conduct
  • Proxy form

In accordance with the MTBA constitution, business conducted at the AGM will be limited to the items on the agenda.

All times in this notification and all the nomination and proxy documents are Australian Eastern Daylight time.

Nominations are now open and sought for the MTBA Management Committee Positions of:

  • Vice-President
  • Gravity Rider Representative
  • Bicycle Trials Rider Representative

Nominations are also open and sought for members to represent their State or Territory on the State and Territory Council.

Nominations are to be received by the MTBA Secretary by 5:00pm, Friday 8th November 2013 at one of the following addresses:

  • By Email: [email protected]
  • By Post: MTBA AGM Nomination, c/o PO Box 6310, Alexandria, NSW 2015

All forms associated with the AGM can be downloaded from here.

Executive Officer,Tony Scott And Head Coach, Chris Clarke Finish Up At MTBA

The MTBA Management Committee announced today that the long serving Executive Officer and the Head Coach have completed their tenure at MTBA.

The MTBA President, Russell Baker explained, “We are looking to go in a new direction.  We have changed from a club like operation many years ago to a national sporting body with a significant budget and many members. Consequently our leadership style needs to change to suit the organisation we have become, and will develop into in the future.”

Commenting on the immediate goals Baker said “The MTBA Management Committee wants to change how we help develop elite athletes and to also restructure operations to better service our members and stakeholders.”

The MTBA Management Committee wishes to thank Tony for his significant contribution to Australian mountain biking. Russell Baker “Tony Scott has put in many years of service right from the beginning of the MTBA and the committee recognises the significance of his contribution.”

The MTBA Management Committee wishes to thank Chris Clarke for his contribution to the development of our junior and elite athletes.

Baker said “There are exciting times ahead for mountain biking.  We are going to create a new era of cooperation with stakeholders – members, clubs, elite athletes, coaches, MTB teams, sports institutes, and promoters. While change is always difficult, there are also great opportunities and we are committed to working closely with Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission towards the creation of a new peak body integrating the multiple cycling disciplines.”

The MTBA Management Committee today appointed a nominations committee who will oversee a recruitment process and make recommendations to the Management Committee to fill these vacancies.

For further information contact MTBA on 02 9339 5800 or [email protected]

The MTBA President can be contacted at [email protected]

MTBA Head Coach Announces the 4th National Junior Development Camp

To be conducted out of the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from Friday 1st November – Monday 4th November, the camp will be the first of several to be conducted before next year’s World MTB Cup and Championships.

Introduced in 2010 to address the concerns of our high performance coaches to ensure athletes had the required knowledge and understanding of what it will take to gain selection for Australia and perform at the World MTB Championships.

In 2012 over forty riders came to improve their talent physically, tactically, technically and excelled working together as a team at the third successful National Skills Development camp.  Riders across 5 States & 2 territories proudly represented their local club of which included; Red Hill Riders, Canberra Off Road Cyclists, Darwin Off Road Cyclists, Brisbane MTBC, Noosa Trail Blazers, Western Sydney MTBC, Dirt Riders and Central Australian Rough Riders.

Essentially, if you are aiming at representing Australia at the MTB World Championships in the coming years in Cross Country and or Down Hill and you are a U19 or U17 MTB athlete in 2013 then this camp is for you!

The camp is aimed at preparing our male and female MTB athletes towards World Championships and professional careers in the sport of mountain biking by introducing a long term approach to rider holistic development.

So successful have the camps been that the majority of selected Team members for World Championships in XCO and DHI from 2011to 2013 attended the camps.

The camp will be run by National Head Coach Chris Clarke, Junior XC coach Tim Ellison and DH Coach Jared Rando.  Other leading coaches will also be on hand to assist all athletes through a multitude of tasks aimed at developing MTB skills, personal development techniques and guiding athletes through the expectations placed on elite level athletes.

“We encourage a culture of excellence. Our riders take this weekend and apply all they have learnt to their training, goal setting and opportunities for a successful riding career’, Chris Clarke.

All attendees must be current and full MTBA members and this camp will assist them in their preparation for their own 2014 competition including rounds of the 2014 National MTB Series.

Application forms and full details regarding the camp can be obtained by emailing Una McKay at [email protected]

Please note, camp places come on a first come first served basis.

Applications close COB on Monday, 14th October 2013.

MTBA Provides Funds for World Championships Athletes

With less than a week to go till the biggest show on earth for MTB this year – the UCI MTB and Trials World Championships – MTBA has agreed to assist our highest performing Athletes who have gained selection to represent Australia in Pietermaritzburg.

A total of $18,000 will be awarded to nine Athletes who have achieved exceptional recent results and qualified under the top group of selection criteria. Each athlete will receive $2,000 to help them offset their personal expenses in representing Australia.

Russell Baker, President of MTBA, whose committee decided the payments said, “MTBA is very happy to be able to provide some direct assistance to these riders, who have committed so much of their own time and resources in pursuing excellence in their sport. We hope to be in a position to continue to offer support in future, through a performance based system which will be announced in sufficient time to allow the riders to prepare for next season. But, for now, the MTBA Committee and I wish all of our Australian Team, not only those riders named below, all the best for the 2013 World Championships. For many of the team it will be their first time representing their country at this level. It is an honour for them to be able to do so, and an experience which will last their lifetime.”

The Athletes and their recent achievements are:

Down Hill

Troy Brosnan (Top 10 SA World Cup 2012; Top 30 Vail di Sole and Andorra)
Sam Hill (Top 10 2012 World Championships; Top 5 2012 World Cup Series; top 30 Fort William and Andorra)
Mitchell Delfs (Top 30 Fort William)
Jared Graves (6th South African World Cup 2012)
Michael Hannah (Top 10 2012 World Championships; Top 30 Fort William, Val di Sole and Andorra)
Tracey Hannah (4th in 2012 World Cup Series; 1st South African World Cup in 2012; Top 15 Fort William and Val di sole)

Cross Country

Dan Mc Connell (1st Albstadt; 5th Mont St Anne; 6th Val di Sole, currently ranked 3rd in 2013 World Cup series, Oceania Champion)
Rebecca Henderson (Currently leading 2013 World Cup series; 1st Albstadt, 1st Mont St Anne, plus 2nd at all other 2013 World Cup events so far; Oceania Champion; Elite Nat Series Winner, Ranked 2nd in 2012 World Cup Series)

Bicycle Trials

Janine Jungfels (1st women in 2013 National Championships; 6th in 2012 World Championships, winner of a 2012 world cup, 2nd and 3rd in 2013 world cups)

MTBA Signs Up to Vote4Cycling

As Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott sprint to the election finish, a lead‐out team has joined them on the road to make sure cycling policies on are on the winner’s podium on election night.

Australia’s major cycling organisations have joined forces to create an election platform and give Australia’s four million bike riders a voice in the 2013 election.

The Vote4Cycling election campaign was launched today by the first ever partnership of 22 national, state and community cycling organisations from around the country.

Read all about this initiative here:

Sign the petition here:

Sid Taberlay: Frustrations, Promises and a Path Forward for MTBA

As one of Australia’s leading mountain bikers, Sid Taberlay has had more involvement with MTBA than most. He wrote to Flow recently explain his views on where things have gone wrong and, more positively, how riders and MTBA are now working on a path forward.


Please note: These are Sid’s opinions and thoughts – Flow welcomes a response or counter opinion.


Sid, just prior to the XCE racing at the 2013 National Champs at Stromlo.

Perhaps I should start with a little background. I raced nine World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympics up until 2008, at which time I had lost the love for racing in Europe. Don’t get me wrong – I still loved riding my bike, I was simply emotionally tired.

So I stepped back and started racing events I really enjoyed and wanted to race, primarily in the USA since my wife was working in LA. Over that time I became distanced from what was happening with the Australian National MTB program. Then in 2011, with the Olympics just around the corner, I decided that making the Olympic team would perhaps be a nice way to sign off from competitive racing. This decision brought me back into contact with MTBA and has lead to where I am today, like many other athletes, frustrated. Here’s why.

MTBA was formed back in the late 90s in response to a feeling that mountain biking was being neglected by Cycling Australia. It was supposedly an organisation “by the members, for the members”. But from where I stand today, I have to question the relevance and role of MTBA, both for the masses and for elite riders.

MTBA has several thousand members, but what does it really offer? Trail advocacy? Yes – and it does a good job on this front –  though by no means is MTBA the only avenue available for local clubs and riders to secure legal trails. Event support? Most of the country’s biggest events are run without MTBA involvement. Regulation? The rules that govern competition are really set by the UCI, and merely passed on by MTBA. Insurance? Perhaps this is MTBA’s biggest reason for existence. As an MTBA member, you’re covered should you have a serious accident at any MTBA sanctioned event. In my mind, this is why most people are members – they are just buying an insurance policy to be involved in their local club, they don’t have any real understanding of what MTBA is or does.

From an elite perspective, it’s no secret that there has been considerable friction between elite riders and MTBA of late. It’s a very complicated scenario, but from my perspective, it all comes down to feeling that MTBA have not given sufficient support to our best elite riders in a logistical, monetary or coaching support sense.

Back in 2011, when I became re-involved with MTBA, I was dismayed by the lack of communication given to riders about the selection process or logistical arrangements for the World Champs. I’ve relived that experience again recently, as I’ve been coaching my cousin-in-law Ben Bradley. Ben has World Champs aspirations and so we’ve been targeting races that will garner him the points needed to secure a good starting position at Worlds. Unfortunately this has created tension with MTBA as it was not ‘their’ way of doing things.

This is a story I’ve heard time and time again from the parents of junior racers; riders are largely uninformed of what is expected of them – there is no transparency surrounding the National Team selection. But if riders should choose to work out a personalised program of racing, or choose to work with coaches other than MTBA’s coaching staff, then they are disadvantaged at selection time. To me, this is crazy; junior riders need flexibility to balance riding, education and work, and this is exactly what personalised coaching offers them.

This attitude of poor communication and inflexibility was best demonstrated recently with the Oceanias (to be held in Tasmania, over the Easter long weekend). With just weeks to go, riders were given information about a pre-Oceanias Junior Team Camp. For one, many riders had already booked flights, accommodation etc, unaware of the camps, but more importantly, the camp was to include a huge training workload that had the potential to seriously undermine months of coaching preparation for the Oceanias. As one of the events that has the biggest bearing on UCI points, changing training plans so close to the Oceanias could have a huge bearing on a rider’s World Champs chances.

The costs of racing for your National Team and allocation of funds is also a source of contention. Most junior riders (or their families) can expect to be around $10,000 out of pocket should they be lucky enough to be selected to attend the World Champs and associated pre-World team camps. While some families will find a way to make this happen, for others it’s simply too big an ask – what a pity it would be if the next Australian World Champ was unable to fulfill their potential because of the costs involved.

This doesn’t just effect juniors too, of course. While MTBA spent $55,000 on staff at the 2012 World Champs, every athlete involved (including our Olympic representatives) was handed a bill to pay to cover the costs of representing their country. This raises some serious questions – should it really cost you thousands and thousands of dollars to race for your country?

When I first raced at Worlds, back in the year 2000, it did cost me, but less than $1000 all up. If things operated back then as they have been recently, I would’ve abandoned my elite racing hopes long ago.

Things are looking like they may be on the up, however. Of the back of a very heated meeting just prior to the National Champs at Stromlo, it looks like the wheels are turning to change the way things operate at MTBA. Here are some of the changes that have been promised:

  • Riders are allowed to keep their existing Oceanias arrangements without ramification for their World Champs selection chances.
  • There will be additional freedoms for riders to make their own arrangements for travel to Worlds (hopefully allowing them to reduce their own costs)
  • Selection criteria for the National Team will be communicated more clearly.
  • Junior training camp structure, timing and costs will be communicated long in advance.
  • The World Champs team structure will be determined and communicated well in advance.
  • MTBA will set up a committee with team and rider representation to help shape the future direction of the National Program support.
  • MTBA will survey all 2012 World Champs team members about how the organisation can best address athlete needs for 2013.

While these might all seem like very basic elements (and they are), these are key areas where MTBA has let elite riders down in the past. Getting these basics right at least gives our riders a chance of knowing where they stand with regard to progressing through to the National Team and preparing themselves properly for competing at a World Champs level.

Hopefully in four years time we can turn the TV on and see our current generation of young guns lining up at the Olympics. If not, we may be turning the TV on to watch those same riders lining up for their first Grand Tour on the road while we talking about what good young mountain bikers they used to be.

Richard Peil Interview: ‘We don’t have the talent to compete internationally? That’s bull crap’

‘My absolute mandate is that I want the three or four top male and female riders to be getting paid thirty to forty grand a year, plus all their travel and expenses, to race overseas.’


‘Not many people know this, but I personally, from my own pocket, contributed over $60,000 to Dan and Bec’s Olympic campaign.’ No wonder Richard Peil has some strong opinions on the state of MTBA, the organisation with the mandate to support our elite riders. This is the man behind the champions. Richard Peil has poured his life and funds into supporting our top athletes. His opinions are strong, but this is a man worth listening to.

Richard Peil has dedicated the last few years of his life and hundreds of thousands of dollars to supporting our country’s best cross country racers. A successful businessman, Richard Peil came to mountain biking late in life, racing in four and six-man teams at 24hr races. It didn’t take him long to realise two things: that he liked mountain bikers – “they’re good people” – and that mountain biking lacked a business base to grow the sport, in particular elite level racing. ‘There was hardly any support in place for these elite riders, apart from some dedicated individuals like Dean (Clarke) from Torq,’ says Richard, and so he took the matter into his own hands.

Richard Peil is the man behind the former Anytime Fitness / Trek Team, now the Target Trek Mountain Bike Team. He formed the team, funding it himself, with the aim of giving our elite riders the backing they need to compete around the country and internationally, and to offer a genuine pathway for promising juniors to develop into successful professional riders.

It’s a team that is simply bursting with talent; five National Cross Country Champions, Marathon Champions and Olympians. Yet, says Richard, there is virtually no recognition given to these athletes. ‘Two-time Olympian Dan McConnell can walk through the pits at the Scott 24hr and maybe one in every two or three people will know who he is – tell me any other sport where that happens.’ The mountain bike media is partly to blame, he says, not placing enough emphasis on covering the achievements of those at the top of the sport. ‘This makes it hard to secure sponsorship, not being able to take that coverage to a brand and say ‘look, here’s 10 photos of such and such from the last three issues’’

He may be be a familiar face but Dan McConnell is a two-time Olympiad and a king of cross country racing for Australia.

But that’s only part of the story, Peil feels; more fundamentally, our elite riders are not getting the support they need from MTBA, and this is why Richard has stepped in, providing riders with financial, logistical and equipment support. The partnership with Target will allow him to continue to expand this support. ‘Running the team costs in excess of $250,000 annually with a low “tangible” commercial return for my particular business,’ says Richard. Without external financial support it’s a pretty tough pill to swallow. Alongside Target, Trek are a key part of this relationship too, providing not only excellent equipment, but access to the Trek Factory Teams for riders who step up and show they have what it takes to challenge for podiums internationally.

‘…our riders don’t get the support they need from MTBA…’


So, why do Australians find it so hard to break into the top ranks of international cross-country racing? ‘People say we don’t have the talent to compete internationally, that’s bull crap,’ says Richard. ‘We’ve got the talent, but in my opinion our riders don’t get the support they need from MTBA and so they end up on the road instead.’ He reels off a list of former mountain bikers now performing to great acclaim on the road – Lachlan Norris and Steele van Hoff amongst them. ‘Australia has always produced great athletes, and it’s no different in cycling, just look at the road or track. We have exceptional mountain bike talent but we don’t have the structure in place for these riders to progress and become pro riders,’ says Peil.

We can be the top of the world at XC, we are at other forms of cycling.

He elaborates: ‘I am sure MTBA members out there believe the organisation is doing the right thing and supporting our best riders financially at World Cups, but the opposite is actually the case. Our best riders don’t get any financial support. Furthermore, they pay to represent their sport and their country at the World Championships. It’s unbelievable – McConnell, Bec Henderson, Taberlay – none of these guys get any of the near $2,000,000 MTBA budget to help them in their quest to perform on the World stage. And trust me, they work hard to raise the funds, and live sparingly, to stay on the World Cup circuit.’

‘Surely out of an annual budget of nearly $2,000,000, funded predominantly from membership fees, we should be able to find just $5,000 to $10,000 each for our best male and female…riders…’


‘The irony is the MTBA Head Coach recently told me one of the key performance indicators for his role is to get three males and two females to the Rio Olympics. The only way that can happen is to get our male world ranking into the top eight nations and our female rankings into the top 12. It’s not rocket science – we need our best riders racing consistently at international races that offer the most UCI points right now, for two reasons. Firstly, this will give them the international experience and competition they need and get their personal international rankings up. Secondly, it ensures that when the qualification period starts to determine how many Olympic spots we will get, our best riders will have the experience and momentum to compete at their best. Even more important, this will allow them to be well positioned on the starting grids – it’s hard to get good results starting at 150 on the grid.’ Peil goes on, ‘Surely out of an annual budget of nearly $2,000,000, funded predominantly from membership fees, we should be able to find just $5,000 to $10,000 each for our best male and female cross country riders, downhillers and the same for our best male and female marathon riders?’

‘When I spoke to the MTBA Head Coach, he told me that he simply had no money left in his budget to help our best riders! Then I find out through MTBA Chief Executive Officer Tony Scott that in 2012 he (the Head Coach) spent over $45,000 on staff at the World Championships, and $60,000 on three U23 riders throughout the year, who failed to crack a top 50 finish in any U23 World Cup and were outside the top 70 at the U23 2012 World Championships. I am not saying take all that money away from those riders, but surely a proportion of that $105,000 would have served Australian mountain biking better by helping out the riders who have proven they can race at the pointy end of international competition.’

‘I am committed to the team (Target Trek) and to trying to force change, for the next two years, leading to the Commonwealth Games.’


‘The thing is, I won’t keep putting money in forever unless there is change. I am committed to the team (Target Trek) and to trying to force change, for the next two years, leading to the Commonwealth Games. If there is no change at MTBA, I will simply pull most of my funding out and just privately sponsor a few riders who I have friendships with because in my view, unless MTBA makes some changes in the way it uses its funds, we’ll continue to perform well below our capacity on the world stage.’

The National Series is another area where Richard is outspoken – he sees the series’ failure to attract large number of both racers and crowds as a huge barrier to riders gaining support from potential sponsors. ‘You’re never going to get big numbers to National Series races because the perception is that it is for elite riders only. Yet if you look around, nearly every weekend there’s a race attracting 500-800 riders on somewhere.’ What MTBA needs to try, says Richard, is combining the two. ‘Imagine an XC Eliminator under lights on the rego night before a big marathon race. You can’t tell me Paul Van Der Ploeg and Chris Jongewaard wouldn’t get a kick out of racing in front of 500 screaming spectators, something in line with the famous Bundanoon Dash held at the Highland Fling.’ What is certain is that without large crowds and without all the best riders in attendance to ensure the best possible competition, then coverage and therefore sponsor support isn’t likely to be forthcoming.

‘Imagine an XC Eliminator under lights on the rego night before a big marathon race.’

So then, the real question underpinning it all is, why are we in a situation where private individuals like Richard Peil (and Dean Clarke from Torq) are supporting our elite riders? This is clearly not a sustainable state of affairs. ‘My absolute mandate is that I want the three or four top male and female riders to be getting paid thirty to forty grand a year, plus all their travel and expenses, to race overseas. With the right people in place, in a few years’ time, other countries could be referring to our mountain bike program as they refer to Switzerland’s now, because I believe we do have the raw talent.’

It can happen, but will it be up to the likes of Richard Peil to ensure that it does?

The Target Trek team has big goals, and it’s not just about winning races.  With the assistance of Richard Peil, they may just change the spotlight of the sport and the support the athletes get.


Response from Tony Scott, Executive Officer, MTBA.


‘We believe that the EDP is the best process available to us within the limited funding we have to deliver very significant outcomes.’


‘MTBA welcomes the faith that commercial interests – both within and outside the bicycling industry – have in the future of MTB in Australia. Never before can I recall so many commercial entities being prepared to support Australia’s emerging MTB athletes to the extent that is evident now.

We certainly welcome that support – MTBA can’t do it alone.

Personally I think that we all need to be working in unison to develop MTB athletes for the future not only as good citizens in society but also people who can excel in their chosen sporting endeavour.

In regard to Richard Peil’s statements on the way MTBA is attempting to achieve this aim it is – as is the case most of the time – more complex than he has possibly contemplated. One example of this is the thought that we could spend less on World Championships and apply those funds elsewhere.

Richard Peil has stated that we spent $45,000 of member’s funds on the 2012 World Championships. In actual fact we spent closer to about $55,000 of Elite Development Program (EDP) funds on the 2012 World Championship Team support. The Worlds are the pinnacle of the MTB calendar and as such we treat them very seriously, not only from ensuring that our best athletes attend to represent Australia but also in the depth to which we provide support to our representative athletes. And we do that by ensuring that we commit staffing appropriate to the size of the athlete team attending – for 2012 about 30 athletes. The staff involved are a combination of European based staff and Australians who take on roles as diverse as massage specialists, bike mechanics, team managers, coaches and assistant coaches.  For the 2012 Worlds there were 9 team Staff members in all, split between responsibility in DH, 4X, XCO and OT. Of course the split Gravity/Endurance weekends in Austria in 2012 contributed somewhat to a less than beneficial economy of scale for staffing.

MTBA pays for the Team’s staff totally. We did this so that the athletes that represent Australia don’t have to pay any more than their travel and their share of accommodation and ancillary support. To not do so would add – on a simple average (based on 30 athletes) – about an additional $1800 to the athlete’s expenses for the privilege of representing Australia. Of course that is worse case extrapolation but the main message remains. MTBA supports the notion of athletes representing Australia to pay the least amount possible.

We believe that the EDP is the best process available to us within the limited funding we have to deliver very significant outcomes. Of course others may not agree with that statement – that is fine by me – there are many ways a small pie can be divided. But in the end we are all looking for the same thing. And the best way to achieve that is for all interested parties to work together. What is most important in the final analysis is what is best for the athlete. We are certainly focused on that now and into the future.’

Australian National Series Round 1 Results

Subaru Gravity Cup – Downhill:


Sam Hill 3:22.02
Chris Kovarik 3:23.68
Connor Fearon 3:24.08
Ben Cory 3:26.31
Graeme Mudd 3:27.66


Caroline Buchanan 4:06.42
Claire Buchar 4:07.14
Lisa Mathison 4:16.32
Madeline Taylor 4:23.80
Shelly Flood 4:42.75

Subaru All-Mountain Cup – XCO:


Chris Jongewaard 1:41:19.2
Jack Haig 1:41:41.2
Shaun Lewis 1:44:34.5
Andrew Blair 1:44:39.4
Luke Fetch 1:45:32.8


Peta Mullens 1:46:01.4
Nathalie Schneitter 1:50:02.4
Tory Thomas 1:50:31.5
Katherine O’Shea 1:51:53.5
Melissa Anset 1:57:19.8

Mt Buller Video Collection

Filmed and edited by JL Media
Song: Weapons of Mass Distortion – Crystal Method
Follow the Kona Factory team –
Follow JL media –

Yeti cycles ride Jack Moir's weekend at Mt Buller for the first Australian Gravity Cup of 2013
Filmed and edited By Jake Lucas
Additional shots provided by Joe Killen
Song: Echo – Luke Dzierzek

A letter from the President of MTBA

In my message to you on 30 September, I flagged potential changes to the way that your association is led and managed.

These would have required constitutional change and these proposed changes had been prepared, leading towards a Special General Meeting of the association on 10 November. During their preparation, the sport of cycling has been rocked by the drugs-in-sport revelations about Lance Armstrong and closer to home, Matt White and Stephen Hodge. Cycling Australia has taken prompt and decisive action in those matters and while I applaud that action the reputation damage to cycling should not be underestimated.

However, in that process, certain shortcomings in the MTBA constitution have been identified and we now need to take prompt action to rectify them. Accordingly, the Special General Meeting scheduled for 10 November has been delayed to 8 December. This will allow us to properly prepare the additional changes, with legal advice from ASADA and the Australian Sports Commission, and to advise the membership in sufficient time to hold this meeting. These additional changes will reflect matters dealing with the use and/or supply of performance enhancing drugs in sport and the ineligibility of people with such a history for office within MTBA. This delay also means that the 2012 Annual General Meeting will now take place in early 2013.

I wish to make my position on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport abundantly clear. I abhor them and they represent a tarnishing blight on sport, creating an environment in which drug cheats damage the reputation of the whole sport and deny rightful team placings and professional careers to clean athletes. In short, I would rather our riders come 50th clean, than win dirty. Cheating is not the Australian way.

While mountain biking is an international sport in its own right, it is also an introductory and pathway sport to road cycling for many riders. We have an obligation to young riders entering our sport, and to their parents, to provide them with a safe and drug-free environment in which to begin their sporting careers and develop their personal sporting values. We must never forget that we are the first exposure to competitive cycling for many young Australians. We also have obligations to those who support our sport, from Governments through Sponsors to the countless volunteers without whom mountain biking would not happen in Australia.

I will be proposing to the MTBA Management Committee for their approval, that the MTBA Management Committee, Staff, Selectors, Coaches, Managers and Contractors sign statements reflecting their non- involvement in performance enhancing drugs. We will also look to those who act as role models and mentors for our riders as they enter the top-level competitive ranks, and seek the same commitment from them. We already require similar commitment from our riders when they are selected to national teams and development squads. We should have no issue in asking for the same commitment from those who influence them, manage them and manage their sport.

In advance of this, I take pride in making my declaration that; I have never taken performance enhancing drugs, I have not been involved in their supply or distribution, nor have I promoted their use. Should the subsequent legal advice from ASADA or the ASC require a different or stronger statement, I will sign that.

Should you wish to contact me directly on these matters, or any other matters to do with our great sport, my email address is below.


Russell Baker AM
President, Mountain Bike Australia [email protected]

24 October 2012