Riders Roll In For Season Opener

Posted by mtba, January 6, 2017

More than 400 riders will be ripping through Kinross State Forest for the opening two rounds of Mountain Bike Australia’s (MTBA) 2017 XCO National Series in Orange, New South Wales this weekend.

It is the first time the Central West has hosted a national series round and riders have responded to the event with registrations well up on last year.  

Orange Mountain Bike Club race director Rodney Farrell says the club have ensured the course, which is located in Kinross State Forest, will be an exhilarating one.

“Race one is full of short punchy climbs whilst race two is old school, all up then all down,” he said.

“Our trails are fun, there’s a heap of reward for the riders effort, but enough technical features to offer the most complete rider the best chance of the win.”

Reigning elite national series champions Rebecca Henderson (ACT) and Dan McConnell (ACT) return to racing after the off season.

“We had over 40 days off the bike, it’s a great feeling to miss going training but it also throws you in the deep end when it’s time to get started again,” Henderson said.

“Backing up on the second day will be my second biggest challenge…  the first will be getting through my first race since September.”

It will be the first time the duo have raced at the venue.

“I have never been to Orange before so I’m looking forward to having a weekend away riding my bike on some new trails. I’m lucky that I get to ride many different locations around the world but I still get excited for somewhere new,” admitted McConnell.

The duo will have plenty of new blood snapping at their tyres with a number of the U23 riders stepping up to the elite ranks, especially in the men, with last years U23 national series winner Luke Brame (NSW) making his debut in the category.

“For me being the first round of the year, first race of the new season, there’s not to much pressure results wise this weekend however I do wanna be somewhere near the pointy end of the field.”
 
“Being in elite this season I think will be a positive thing, the elite guys have been racing for many more years then I have and I think it’ll be the perfect opportunity to learn and push myself further in order for me to not only become a better rider but also a better racer,” said Brame.

Brisbane based rider Cameron Wright (QLD), who took out last years junior mens national series leads a stacked field of 35, which includes Kian Lerch-Mackinnon (VIC) and Under 17 Australian and national series champion  Matthew Dinham (NSW) who has also moved up a category.

An incredible 42 riders have registered for the Under 17 category for the opening rounds highlighting the depth of cross-country racing in the age group at present.

MTBA President Russ Baker thanked the Orange Mountain Bike Club for their support of the first round of this years national series.

“It’s wonderful to see such a large number of entries with racing this season to be held in several new venues across both national series rounds.”

For more information/schedule of racing head HERE

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