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

Racing: Brosnan and Beecroft Break Through at Awaba

While the world number three was the main attraction on the final day in front a strong crowd of fans up and down the course, there were several other results that got spectators into a frenzy on a day perfectly suited for racing on what was described as a world class track.

Troy Brosnan.
Troy Brosnan.

Dannielle Beecroft (NSW) was one who didn’t hold back in her race run in the elite women.

Beecroft, who only one won round of the series in her come back year in 2016 after injury, was last down the course and dropped a winning time of 4:19:78, more than seven seconds ahead of  Tegan Molloy (NSW) and local veteran Sarah Booth (NSW).

“Yesterday I was too cautious hanging on the breaks to much and thinking about crashing but today I let it go and it paid off,” Beecroft said.

dannibeecroft
Danni Beecroft.

“I certainly didn’t think I’d be getting that time for sure.”

While time certainly wasn’t on Brosnan’s mind, it became the talking point of the strong supporter base at the finishing bowl as the South Australian rider clocked a 3:30:19.

“I really didn’t think I could go faster but pretty stoked with that.” 

Jake Newell (NSW), who had the local cheer squad, hardly had time to get into the hot-seat after his run of 3:36:00, before Brosnan crossed more than six seconds quicker to take the top of the podium ahead of Newell and Jackson Frew (ACT) who was competing in his first elite race.

“I was expecting the rocks to be a bit drier so was a little bit wild in there but was rolling down and having fun and there were a lot of people on the track and everyone cheering on,” Brosnan admitted.

It was a disappointing end for reigning national series holder Graeme Mudd (NSW) who was forced out through illness Sunday morning.

But the crowd still had plenty of locals to cheer for when Brunkerville local Patrick Butler (NSW) lit it up in the junior men, as he laid down the second fastest run overall with a 3:34:16 on the track which is 14 minutes from his home.

Pat Butler.
Pat Butler.

Butler took the lead in the series ahead of Joshua Clark (NSW) and Harry Parsons (NSW).

Ellie Smith (NSW) took out the junior women ahead of Sally Potter (NSW) while in the U17 Kye A’hern broke the 4 minute mark to win.

For full results head to Online Results.

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)

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.

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: http://onlineresults.com.au/Home

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: http://onlineresults.com.au/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:  http://onlineresults.com.au/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:

http://onlineresults.com.au/results/competition/e7141d4e-3922-4a90-8775-6fa28d351283

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

http://www.mtba.asn.au/event/national-series/

Racing: McConnell Wall to Wall Wins in WA

Dan McConnell has retained an unblemished record in the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series with a dominant Round 3 victory at Pemberton, Western Australia on Saturday.

Dan McConell - Credit Russell Baker

The dual Olympian ensured he would make it three straight W’s coming home in a time of 1:43:00 ahead of Cam Ivory and Scott Bowden who filled out the minor placing’s.

“I’ve done a fair bit of training since the last national round and the legs weren’t quite race fit at the start but I’m really happy with how the race went today,” McConnell said.

It was Ivory, who coincidently won Round 3 here last year, that got out of the blocks fastest with the current series leader in McConnell sitting comfortably back in fifth after lap one.

“I just wanted to try something different this weekend and try and be a lot more aggressive and lead out if possible.”

“When Dan came past me I just couldn’t hold him he’s just so strong,” said Ivory.

It would only take until the second lap for McConnell to lead the pack around the Pemberton course and ensure maximum UCI Category 1 points, as he rode un-rivalled to a convincing race victory.

“It’s pretty important for Australia to get some points and hopefully we can qualify two spots in the men for the Olympics.”

Bowden, who also had tasted victory on the course, proved he would be one to watch in coming rounds as on the final lap he moved up from fifth to his first podium place of the series.

“At the start I kind of wanted to go hard and I thought I was but the other guys were on fire and it took me each lap to come a bit stronger.

For full results: http://m.racetecresults.com/Search.aspx?R=2018 


Dan McConnell left his mark on Pemberton as still the best cross country rider in Australia with a command performance in Round 4 of the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series on Sunday.

McConnell drove the rest of the field into oblivion on the red dirt, as he showed no signs of fatigue backing up 24 hours after winning Saturday’s event.

“Yesterday I came in a little bit fresh sort of took me a little bit to find my legs, but today they were on song,” he said.

“It’s always hard backing up after the first lap I felt fairly comfortable.”

The 30 year old completed the seven lap race in 1:47:12, to win his fourth straight Elite Mens race.

“I sort of worked my way into it and half way into it felt really good.”

It was a bunched group two laps in to the second race of the weekend, with all the main players at the head. 

But when lap three rolled around, the two time Canberra Olympian in McConnell put the foot down to drop the pack.

The Mr Consistency of Australian XCO, produced then fastest lap of the day with a 14m27seconds which put a 56 second gap into Cameron Ivory who had settled into second in front of Bowden, who has spent plenty of time in the saddle recently.

“Really wasn’t sure how I’d back up today.”

“That’s the sixth race in nine days on the mountain bike and definitely a bit of fatigue in the legs but couldn’t have asked for a better race than that today,” said Bowden who finished 1min13sec behind McConnell.

With, the current series rankings leader well out front, it was left to the risings stars of the sport to battle it out for the minor placing’s.

“I could see Cam ahead and once I caught him there wasn’t just respite he started going full gas and we really had a good battle then,” Bowden said.

That would only last until midway through the fifth lap before, last year’s national series winner in Bowden found another gear to move away and claim silver.

There’ll be no rest for McConnell ahead of Round 5 at Thredbo in two weeks time, he’s off across the ditch to contest the “7 Day Epic” Pioneer MTB Stage Race with New Zealand rival Anton Cooper.

 “It should be pretty good training, cause we don’t get to have back to back races very often. Hopefully me and Anton can have a really good race next week and set our season up.”

For all results from Round 4: http://www.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16429&RId=63

Racing: Henderson Back on Top Winning Both Pemberton National Rounds

Olympian Rebecca Henderson claimed her first win in the Elite Womens XCO in Round 3 of the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series at Pemberton, Western Australia on Saturday.

RebeccaHenderson - Image Credit Russell Baker

The Australian champion completed the five lap race in 1:44:18, ahead of New Zealand’s Samara Sheppard and current series leader Jenni King in third.

“Definitely great to get a win which was back to racing my style which I like to go pretty hard pretty early and find my place from there,” said Henderson who’s ranked 20 in the world.

Henderson who finished third in the last round at Mt Stromlo in December behind King, held the rest of the field captive around the 4.8km course. 

“It’s a tough one there’s really not a lot of passing and I did try and use that to my advantage. It was very mentally draining and I had to be concentrating the whole time”

“I’ve been doing a lot of volume in my training at the moment and not so much speed work,” said Canberra based rider.

While the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was untroubled up front, King was embroiled in a struggle against the Kiwi for the minor placings.

King, who had won the opening two rounds in the Elite Women, admitted Saturday’s race was a struggle.

“The girls really put on a hot pace and it takes me a little while to warm up which hurt me a bit,” said King.

It would tell on the final lap, as Sheppard made her move and claimed her first podium finish of the series.

There was plenty more up for grabs than a podium place, with international ranking points up for grabs in the UCI Category 1 event.

“My ride I couldn’t fault it. As for my form I’m still building and don’t plan to peak until March, April and of course August,” said Henderson who is vying for her second Olympic Games spot in Rio later this year.

Riders will now back up tomorrow for Round 4 of the Series.

 For all results from Saturday’s racing:

http://www.racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=16429&RId=61


A gut busting ride by Rebecca Henderson handed her a second straight win in the Elite Women XCO at the double header round of the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series at Pemberton, Western Australia.

It was a decisive move on the fourth lap where the Olympian broke the hearts of Samara Sheppard and Jenni King who rounded out the minor placings, as she dropped a minute on her previous lap time to ride out the final lap around 4.5km course alone and record a 1:31:33 second victory.

“I had to work extremely hard for that one it was as much a test of my character as much as my legs,” the 24 year old remarked.

A shortened course greeted riders on Sunday morning and it looked as tho yesterday’s effort would take a toll on Henderson, as she found herself back in fifth early on.

“My legs were horrible on the early couple of laps, I tried to lead and I wasn’t foxing or bluffing that’s all I had. ”

“It definitely tested how much I love riding my bike,” Henderson said.

In a duel out front was current series leader King and New Zealand’s Sheppard, who resumed their battle from Round 3, as they put a 34 second gap into the Elite Women’s field.

But what-ever race plan the 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist was concocting it worked, the deficit was reduced to only 8 seconds.

“I caught them in a single track and and I just knew I had to attack at my first opportunity cause I was travelling a lot quicker and had to keep the momentum,” said the Trek rider.

On the fourth lap, Henderson, who is bidding to contest a second Olympics Cross Country at Rio in August, passed her weekend rivals with plenty of steam left in the tank.

“It’s a good show my form is definitely building to have that race speed especially in the later half of the race is a good sign.”  

For Sheppard, the course at Pemberton was a big learning curve as she took on the local wooden berm.

“I never practice the wall cause we don’t have wall rides in Wellington, and I didn’t think how beneficial it would be so I went into it full gas and snake down the middle but it wasn’t very efficient,” the second place getter said.

“Bec wound up another gear and I tried to hold on for two seconds.”

With her two gold medal wins from the weekend, Henderson has crept up to be second behind King who retains the series leaders ranking heading into Round 5 at Thredbo in a fortnight.

For full results head to: http://www.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16429&RId=63

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…

Duration

          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.

Expert

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.

Sport
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: http://www2.mtba.asn.au/calendar/

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 

Date

Location

Event(s)

Category

27th – 29th Nov, 2015

Mt Taylor, VIC

DHI, XCO, XCC

CAT 2

11th – 13th Dec, 2015

Mt Stromlo, ACT

DHI, XCO, XCC

CAT 2

23rd – 24th Jan, 2016

Pemberton, WA

XCO Double Header

CAT 1

5th – 7th Feb, 2016

2016 Thredbo, NSW

DHI, XCO, XCC

CAT 2

4th – 6th March, 2016

Toowoomba, QLD

DHI, XCO, XCC

CAT 1

17th – 20th March, 2016

Bright, VIC

DHI, XCO, XCE, XCC OT

National Championships        

Mullens and Ivory Impress in National Series #3, Pemberton, WA

Cameron Ivory (NSW) and Peta Mullens (VIC) have secured the gold at Round 3 of the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series in Pemberton, Western Australia, presented by Mountain Bike Australia.

Sunday’s race was the second leg of a double-header in the idyllic location in the South Western corner of Australia, with riders having to contend with tired legs and a brand new challenging course.In the Elite Men’s category, Ivory and Brendan Johnston (ACT) had an entertaining battle, with Johnston holding a small lead for the majority of the race.

Elite Men's Podium - Credit MTBA
Elite Men’s Podium

The riders came together on the final lap, with Ivory making the definitive move as they crossed the finish line for the second-last time. “That was so hard trying to chase down Trekky [Johnston],” said Ivory. “I kept getting him, then losing him, coming back, and with a few laps to go I just left it all out there. Luckily I caught him at the start of the last lap and just went for home from there.”

The 2013/14 National Series Champion is happy to return to the top step of the podium, and is looking forward to the challenge of keeping the position. “I had my European season last year and learned a lot so I’m trying to put it to use this year,” he explained. “Hopefully when Dan McConnell comes back I can see how I compare to him.”

Cam Ivory
Cam Ivory
Brendan Johnston
Brendan Johnston

In second place was Johnston, who set the initial pace for the race and held on to the lead until the very final lap. “I had pretty good legs so I wanted to make it as hard as I could,” said Johnston. “I thought I could hold Cam [Ivory] off but he never really got out of sight and with one lap to go he showed why he’s the rider he is. “I’m happy with a second place, for me today it wasn’t so much about the position but having a solid race, the course is a credit to the course designers and event hosts, it made for good racing both days.”

Third place went to 2013 Cross Country Eliminator World Champion Paul van der Ploeg (ACT) who pushed hard on the final laps to move through the field.

For the second day in a row, Liam Jeffries (VIC) took out the U19 Men’s title and now wears the Subaru Series Leader’s jersey.

Second place went to Luke Brame (NSW), with Bryan Dunkin (NSW) finishing third.

In an exciting Elite Women’s race, Peta Mullens (VIC) took the win and in the process claimed a rare victory in front of 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist Bec Henderson (ACT). In early running, both riders went hard to have a 36 second gap on the field after only the first lap. The two women would stay together until the end of lap three, when Mullens crossed the finish line 4 seconds in front of Henderson. “I was feeling pretty sick out there,” explained Henderson. “I was giving it everything on the first few laps but Peta marked me and she could tell I wasn’t on it. She probably didn’t even know that I was trying to attack, but I was and she rode amazingly.” On lap four, Mullens made the race her own, creating an unassailable lead of over two minutes, which she extended to almost five minutes on the way to the win.

Elite Women's Podium - Credit MTBA

“I think yesterday I left it all out there and today I wanted to do the same and I think I can be content with that,” said Mullens. “On the third lap she [Henderson] gave it a bit of stick and then didn’t really get the gap she wanted and started to suffer a bit. I thought that on the fourth lap it was my time to go when she was probably at her weakest and feeling yesterday’s race in her legs.”

Second place went to an ecstatic Jodie Willett (QLD) who again rode through the field to a result that surprised even herself. “Obviously Bec wasn’t having a good day and she really showed her class yesterday so don’t believe she’s down at my level,” said Willett. “Jenni and I had a great battle again and she kept me honest. We were both cramping for the last half of the race, which made it tough but I am stoked with second place.”

Bec Henderson
Bec Henderson

Jenni King (VIC) rode strongly to round out the top three.

The Under 19 Women were again in action today mixing it with the Elites, with West Australian local Sarah Tucknott (WA) taking both wins for the weekend and Megan Williams (QLD) scoring her second silver medal.

A special mention goes to Under 15 rider Zoe Cuthbert (ACT) who again won her category, remarkably finishing as the seventh rider on course at the time, with only Elite riders ahead.

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.

For all Series information, please visit:

http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/
For full race results, please visit:

http://www.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16429&RId=46&EId=21

 

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: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/2014-15-national-series-pemberton-wa/

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)

Brosnan and Booth Bring Home Gold in Downhill at the 2014/15 Subaru National Mountain Bike Series

Troy Brosnan and Sarah Booth have claimed downhill victory on the final day of Round 1 of the 2014/15 Subaru National Mountain Bike Series in the You Yangs, Victoria.

Brosnan (SA) had a breakout year in 2014, winning his first Downhill World Cup and finishing third in both the UCI World Cup Series and the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. Brosnan set the fastest seeding run of the weekend in the morning, but it would be Liam Panozzo (VIC) who set the the time to beat in the finals, spending significant time in the Subaru hot seat after suffering a flat tyre on his seeding run. Brosnan was the last rider to start for the event and was untouchable on the tough course, flying into first place with a time of 1:55.42, beating out second placed Graeme Mudd (NSW) by 0.56 of a second.

the track surface only held to a point.... Unkown rider, sequence available

“It was a little bit windy out there and required a lot of pedalling so I just tried to tuck a fair bit and pedal as hard as I could,” said Brosnan. “I sent all the drops to flat pretty much and was pretty stoked to come away with the win”.

tim eaton chased by andrew crimmins during practice.
Tim Eaton chased by Andrew Crimmins during practice.
Troy Brosnan, seeding
Troy Brosnan, in his seeding run.
You Yangs 60
Elite men podium.

Fellow South Australian Connor Fearon (1:56.85) finished third, with Panozzo ultimately claiming 4th place. In the Junior Men, Andrew Crimmins (NSW) had a great run to finish 1.65 seconds in front of Jackson Frew (ACT) in second and Max Warshawsky (QLD) in third.

In the Women’s race, Round 1 of the Subaru National Series was the first UCI race for Tegan Molloy to step up from the Juniors to the Elite category. Molloy claimed the Junior Women’s World Championship title just months ago in Norway, and today she would start last and ultimately finish second. Booth, who placed 19th in her home World Cup in Cairns earlier this year, was too strong for Molloy and the field in the You Yangs, finishing in 2:31.30.

sarah booth, seeding
Sarah Booth, winner of round one.

“I tried to keep a steady mind – eyes up – like how I train all my friends and girls and I just did what I knew I had to do,” reflected Booth. “I kept it low on some of those last jumps because of the wind but I knew I had to put power down.”

Third place and the bronze medal went to Michelle Crisp (NSW).

This first round of the Series was also the opening round of the highly successful Victorian Downhill Series (VDHS), with riders accruing points and prizes in both series.

Short Course Cross Country

Sunday also saw our cross country stars take on a technically challenging short course, one that was built specifically by the You Yangs MTB Club for the Subaru National Series.

For the second time this weekend, Dan McConnell (ACT) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT) took out wins, dominating the elite men and women’s categories.

In early racing, McConnell sat comfortably behind Tasmania’s Scott Bowden and ACT’s Brendan Johnson, before moving into first place with three laps to go and crossing the line with a clear lead over competitors.

In an exciting sprint finish, Bowden claimed second crossing the line not even a wheel in front of Johnston who finished third.

In the women’s race, Henderson and Emily Parkes (NSW) worked well together in early running, but the Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist is a career stage in front of the younger Parkes and rode away to the win.

Parkes rode solidly to claim second with Holly Harris (NSW) finishing third.

Special mention also goes to up and coming rider Zoe Cuthbert, who at only 13 years of age lapped the entire field of the Open Women’s riders to secure a unique win.

The Subaru National Series will continue with Round 2 in 2015 in Pemberton, Western Australia, where riders will be treated to two-days of back to back XCO races.

All event information can be found at the series website: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/

 

McConnell and Henderson Dominate at Round 1 of the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series

The opening round of the 2014/15 Subaru National Series presented by Mountain Bike Australia kicked off to an exciting start, with Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Dan McConnell and Rebecca Henderson taking out the Elite Men’s and Women’s Cross Country gold medals.

Dual Olympian Dan McConnell (ACT) went up against a fierce field of competitors, in a hot and windy six-lap race in the You Yangs.

You Yangs 13

Andrew Blair (ACT), Scott Bowden (TAS), Chris Hamilton (VIC), Adrian Jackson (VIC), Brendan Johnston (ACT) and McConnell finished the first lap within 1.9 seconds of each other, and stayed as a tight bunch for the first four of six laps.

On lap five, McConnell succeeded in breaking away from the group by making a surprise move on a downhill section, converting the bunch of six into a lead pair with Bowden. McConnell would ultimately take the win in just under two hours of tight and exciting racing, ahead of the young pairing of Bowden and Hamilton who finished in second and third place respectively. McConnell reflected on a tough race: “I was a little bit worried about them but I was able to ride fairly smart and I think that helped me get the wind today and just go to the front when the course suited me. “On lap 5 I thought I better pick it up a little bit and try and thin them down and see who’s got some legs. “Scotty (Bowden) was the only one who could come with me – he was riding really well and its really good to see some young guys like that coming up and giving it to the older boys”.

You Yangs 17

Scott Bowden in second place.
Scott Bowden in second place.

In the Under 19 men’s category, Luke Brame (NSW) reigned supreme, leading the pack in front of Michael Potter (NSW) and Liam Jeffries (VIC).

Rebecca Henderson (ACT), the 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist, battled against a strong and experienced field, including Commonwealth Games teammate Peta Mullens (VIC) and last year’s Series winner Jenni King (VIC). In her first UCI event since the World Championships in August, Henderson sat with Mullens and King for the first three laps before making a break in the fourth and developing a 14 second lead – one that couldn’t be closed. In the end, Mullens finished in second place with King in third.

You Yangs 1

Henderson said “I could see that Jenny was really enjoying a consistent pace and I knew that if I wanted to get away at any point I had to have the pace a little inconsistent. “When it got technical I really gave it everything I had and hit it and I opened the gap up quite quickly and was just able to grovel around and hold that gap”.

You Yangs 10

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

All event information can be found at the series website: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/youyangvic/

 

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 www.mtba.asn.au 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

 

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 www.mtba.asn.au

 

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

Racing: Fearon and Beecroft on fire at National DH Round 1

Connor Fearon (SA) and Danielle Beecroft (NSW) rode strong races on the technical Adelaide course to run away with the first DownHill elite wins of the season.

Fearon seeded fastest on Saturday and followed up with his first Elite win, on his birthday no less, since moving up to the Elite category in 2013, all while racing against a world-class field.

Racing took place on the downhill course at Eagle Mountain Bike Park in the hills of Adelaide, a venue that hosted the 2010-12 Australian Championships.

Early running saw both local Will Rischbeith (SA) and Joshua Button (NSW) spend time in the Subaru hot seat as the fastest rider, with Button’s time of 2:04.03 holding up for third place overall.

The Elite Men’s race, however, was always likely to feature both of the Adelaide prodigies Troy Brosnan (SA) and Connor Fearon. In the words of Brosnan, the pair have featured on podiums together “almost too many” times.

Brosnan, the 2010-11 Junior World Champion, has had an amazing year finishing in the top 10 of the UCI World Cup Season. He seeded second on Saturday, and was the second-last rider down his home track in Adelaide in the final.

With a clean run, managing to go 1.07 seconds faster than his seeding run on the Saturday, he found himself the fastest rider in a time of 2:02.33 with only Fearon left on track. This time would ultimately secure second place, and Brosnan said “I’ve had a pretty good off-season training, trying to improve and second place here at home behind Connor is pretty good”.

Brosnan spoke with confidence about his and Fearon’s place in the Australian downhill landscape in 2013. “Connor’s riding really fast at the moment and it’s hard – it’s likely to be between us two for the season”.

IMG_1911_Brosnan
Troy Brosnan will be looking to equalise in Buller.

Fearon knew since yesterday that he would be the last rider down the hill for the event, and as he came out of the rock garden the screams from the crowd let him know that he was in with a chance.

Keeping the final switchbacks low and smooth, he finished in a time of 2:00.89, 1.44 seconds clear of Brosnan and the field.

“It feels awesome to win, I raced all of last year in Elite and didn’t get a win, so I was super hungry, on my birthday, and it’s my home town as well”.

He spoke about the tough conditions. “It was a bit faster today but a few corners were sandy so I had to be cautious”.

He plans to contest the whole World Cup season this year. “I’ve been training really hard, both for the World Cups and the National season to be a bit fitter.

In the Elite Women’s race, a dominant performance by Danielle Beecroft saw her win her first national race at the elite level.

“I couldn’t be more excited – it’s a great way to start the year and hopefully I can keep it going”, said Beecroft.

Beecroft raced conservatively, today racing without jumping due to a small injury on Saturday. “I took it a bit easy today, kept it rubber side down and got down the track”.

In Under 19s Men’s racing, Andrew Crimmins (NSW) won in a time of 2:04.15, amazing still managing to win after a drivetrain malfunction in the final section of the track leaving him unable to pedal. Max Warshawsky (QLD) placed second, and Ben Hill (TAS) finished third.

In the Under 19s Women’s, rising junior Tegan Molloy (NSW) won in a time (2:25.79) that would see her claim the fastest female time of the day. Second place went to Ellie Wale (VIC).

Round 2 of the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike season will take place at Mt Buller, Victoria from 7-9 February and categories exist for riders of all levels to join in the national season action.
DH Group A Results_Page_1

DH Group A Results_Page_2

 

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
XCO, XCE, DHI XCO, XCE, DHI DHI

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.”

Specialized Debuts New Look Team At Mt Buller

This past weekend saw the debut of Specialized Australia’s newly formed mountainbike team, Swell-Specialized. The 6 member squad fought hard over the weekend to stamp their name on the opening round of the Real Insurance All Mountain and Gravity Cups.

Swell-Specialized MTB Team riders (L-R) David McMillan (Elite DH), Jackson Davis (U/19 DH), Andy Blair (Elite XCO/XCM), Shaun Lewis (Elite XCO/XCM), Jenny Fay (Elite XCM), Rhys Atkinson (Elite DH)

The Black Cockatoo Restaurant hosted the team’s official press introduction, with 25 media and invited guests enjoying drinks on the balcony of Mt Buller’s premium hotel.

Team introductions and a Q&A session entertained the who’s who of the MTB industry, with the Mt Stirling ranges providing a fitting backdrop for the powerhouse team.

Swell-Specialized’s marathon specialist, Jenny Fay made the trip down from Sydney especially for the team launch. “It’s really exciting to finally meet the entire Swell-Specialized team today! We have some super talent across XC, XCM & DH disciplines, I’m so proud to be part of the team for 2013”.

On Saturday it was down to business, with Cross Country athletes, Shaun Lewis and Andy Blair waging a hard fought battle against Chris Jongewaard and Jack Haig to take 3rd and 4th respectively in the Elite Men’s XCO race. The race was a great confidence builder for the Swell-Specialized duo, particularly Lewis whos focus is usually the marathon distance events.

“It’s great to get back onto the podium in these shorter events.” Said Lewis. “In the past few year my results have primarily been in the marathon events, but I still class the XCO as the blue ribbon of cross country, so it’s a great feeling to be back on the podium here at Mt Buller”.

Shaun Lewis and Andy Blair climbing in Saturday’s XCO Elite race

Saturday also saw official seeding runs for the Gravity Cup riders in the downhill event. Rhys Atkinson overcame some mechanical issues earlier in the day, to seed in 5th place in the elite men’s event, with newcomer to the Elite ranks, David McMillan, getting his first top 10 position in 8th on the seeding list against the blown out and rock laden course. 16 year old Jackson Davis who was having his debut in the hotly contested U/19 class seeded a respectable 11th .

With the smoke of the Gippsland bush fires clearing, Sunday’s grueling Point to Point XC race made it’s way down the mountain to tackle the World-Trail designed ‘Stone-Fly’ trail. Once again, Blair and Lewis planned a tactical race and worked together to take out the 3rd and 4th placing’s respectively, behind Jack Haig and eventual series leader, Chris Jongewaard.

Andy Blair (4th from left) and Shaun Lewis (1st from left) had a great start to the season, with a 3rd and 4th place overall finish at Mt Buller

Andy and Shaun now sit in 3rd and 4th overall going into Round 2 in Thredbo in 2 weeks time.

The gravity team had a tough day in their final runs, with Rhys Atkinson suffering 2 small crashes in the treacherous rock sections, but still managing a top 20 finish with 14th place. Jackson Davis made his way down incident free, finishing with a solid 12th place. Standout for the day was David McMillan who was having his first entry into the Elite ranks. David hit all the correct lines he was hoping for to retain his 8th place that was set during seeding. “It was pretty loose out there today!” proclaimed David, “the track was pretty beaten up but I managed to hit all the lines I wanted and am stoked to come away with a top 10 finish in my first Elite race!”.

David McMillan negotiating the rocky Mt Buller terrain in the Elite Men’s DH category

The Swell-Specialized team will move onto Thredbo on the 8th-10th of February for round 2 of the Real Insurance All Mountain and Gravity Cups.