and enjoy the benefits
The Australian Cross Country relay team provided a solid performance today as they sought to battle the odds against some formidable opposition. Competing against the best in the world, it was always going to be a hard ask for the Australian team to pull out a performance above their 14th place.
2012 Olympian Dan McConnell led the way gaining a brilliant start to be placed 4th as the riders left the stadium. However the quality of the first-up competitors including Marco Fontana from Italy and Canadian Geoff Kabush saw McConnell come in at 7th position at the first change, 49 seconds down on the leader Fontana.
First year Junior Ben Bradley from Hobart was the second Australian to take to the circuit, showing all the qualities that has brought him to the World Championships in his first attempt at such an event at a World Championships. Chasing hard, Bradley came down in a very slippery section of the course – unable to control the steep descent as a slower rider in front of him stalled his progress. Undaunted, Ben showed some real fight to register a time of 14:06 on the circuit and come in at 10th position.
Rowena Fry was Australia’s next representative and showed some tremendous courage and excellent skills throughout the tricky circuit. Trying to gain some form in the lead up to her race in on Saturday, Rowena used the team relay to get a very good feel for the circuit. The final rider was the Men’s U23 representative of Jack Haig, posting an excellent time of 13:12 to place Australia in 14th position. Jack will team up with fellow U23 rider Michael Crosby tomorrow in the Men’s U23 XCO event.
(Report from John Armstrong, Team manager, Photo of Dan Mc Connell courtesy of Frank Bodenmuller, Frank Bodenmuller Photography)