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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

I try not to start my newsletter section with racing, because mountain biking for the vast majority of us is about riding, not racing - but the events of the past weekend make this an exception.  

We had the first round of your 2016 National XCM Series at the “Willo” at Wingello in NSW.   The Willo honours the memory of James Williamson, the second Australian after Craig Gordon to wear the stripes of The World Solo 24 Hour Champion.  

James won those stripes in 2008 in Canmore, Canada and tragically James passed away in 2010 while competing in the Cape Epic in South Africa.
But 2008 in Canmore was a good year for the Aussies, with the top 4 steps of the men’s podium filled with our riders, plus Katrin van der Spiegel 2nd in women.  

A PE teacher from Port Macquarie came in second behind James - and that day, 27 July 2008, is the last day that Jason English lost a solo 24 hour race.

Last weekend, at the WEMBO World Solo 24 Hour Championships on the famous Rotorua trails, Jason English won his 7th consecutive world solo 24 hour title. Prior to that race, he was tied with the USA’s Chris Eatough on 6 titles.  

Rotorua was the toughest competition he has had, being pressured by Australia’s Tobias Lestrell and Canada’s Cory Wallace with the lead changing throughout Sunday morning.

Jason English - the world's greatest solo 24 hour mountain biker - ever.

Jason’s achievement is extraordinary, over a wide range of terrain across 6 countries - but we also need to recognise the other Aussie performances which delivered us world titles at Rotorua. Jason won the Elite Men, with Tobias Lestrell 3rd.  

Liz Smith won Elite Women, with Kate Penglase 3rd.  

Age group champions were: David Grech (23-29 Men), Sam Moffitt (30-34 Men), Charlie McCabe (30-34 Women), Leah Childs (35-39 Women), Jason Archer (40-44 Men), Peter Selkrig (50-54 Men), Catherine Wood (50-54 Women), and Peter Bigaila (55-59 Men).    

Ed McDonald placed 2nd in Single Speed, with multiple world champion Brett Bellchambers absent after hitting a wallaby while training on the road and spending a few days in hospital.  He is recovering now, and our best wishes to Brett and his family.

MTBA’s National Championships are on in a few weeks in Bright, and Oceanias will follow before our best riders start their World Cup campaigns once again - including the Cairns World Cup in late April.

In this Olympic year, I encourage you all to support our riders if you can.  

You may have seen reports this week about the Federal Government opening a review of the Australian Institute of Sport and the support of sports by the Australian Sports Commission.  

Mountain Biking, despite being an Olympic sport, is not supported well by either body and I welcome this review.  

Both the MTBA CEO and myself frequently lobby the ASC for direct support of mountain biking and hopefully mountain biking can now get the recognition it deserves.

Russell Baker AM

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MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

It’s been an exciting few weeks for MTBA with our membership base now in excess of 12,000, with a further 1,500 free trial members and supporters.

It shows our growth this year has well surpassed the same time in 2015 with the biggest increase in recreational membership.

MTBA are now considering the option for members to be multi-club members, based on feedback that has been received.

If you wish to see the breakdown of our membership head to this link.

Congratulations and thank you to all clubs for helping us drive MTBA and club membership.

Club enthusiasm was very evident from my recent trip to Townsville. I was privileged to witness first hand the terrific work being done in clubs at junior level. It was a wonderful experience to watch the enjoyment for both the juniors and organisers involved.

 In recent days there has been quite a lot of national commentary surrounding the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) policy “Winning Edge” and it’s impact on smaller sports in the country.

Interestingly while road and track cycling receive over $9 million and BMX receives $1.2 million in ACS/AIS funding MTBA have been afforded no funding or recognition for our ongoing efforts.

MTB is of the few sports that compete at Olympics and Commonwealth Games and have a strong history of success at World Championships and World Cups in non-Olympic disciplines, including multiple World Champions in Downhill, Gravity Enduro, World 24hr, XCE and current World Trials Champion Janine Jungfels.

Currently MTB, as a sport, does not receive federal government support like numerous others and is not recognised as a National Sports Organisation (NSO) by the ASC. Yet MTBA is expected to deliver all the same services and opportunities as many other NSO’s.

There is no equitable reason for the current ASC’s decision regarding NSO recognition, which is the critical factor in MTBA receiving financial support from either the ASC or AIS.

MTBA and mountain biking as a sport has been disadvantaged by the current policy of the ASC and this position is substantially worsened under “Winning Edge which is focused on Olympic Gold Medal outcome, rather than overall sport performance.

An interesting fact is in 2015-2016 the ASC will invest approximately $123 million across 64 sports, with at least 22 of them are non-Olympic sports, and still mountain biking is ignored.

MTBA welcomes the review to highlight the current ASC “Winning Edge” program and its impact on Australian sports organisations.

MTBA will continue to lobby for support and we encourage you to get behind us at any opportunity to highlight the need for mountain biking to be recognised equal to other national sports, but most importantly with the other cycling organisations in Australia.

Another point of discussion is funding ethics.

MTBA, as a national sporting body, has always been very diligent in not aligning with any one MTB manufacturer or supplier and been very supportive of protecting local business and companies from international competitors.

The conundrum is that we don’t receive any true support - financial or product investment from local suppliers– to put towards our pathway programs or events and have in recent times been closing doors to approaches from large international companies who are in the throws of setting up shop in Australia.

In light of the recent funding conversations is international funding now something we need to potentially consider to ensure we can invest into our development programs and ensure the growth of our sport?

Shane Coppin 

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2016 AUSTRALIAN MTB CHAMPIONSHIPS 

 

 

Come and join us for the Latte MTB Fun Ride on Sunday 20th March starting from 7.15am.

You'll have up to 5 hours to ride the National XCO course at your own pace, stopping along the way for a coffee/cold drink,

When you finish pick up your ride T-Shirt and settle back into a day of watching championship racing in the XCC and DHI.

Day licence and insurance included in the cost.

Register: https://www.registernow.com.au/mtba/ERegister.aspx?E=2932

MTBA AWARDS

Last year at the Australian MTB Championships held in Bright, the inaugural MTBA Awards were launched. 

Nominations are open for the 2016 MTBA Awards in the following categories:

• Club Volunteer

•  Male & Female Coach of the Year

•  Male & Female Commissaire of the Year

•  Friends of the Trails

•  Event of the Year

•  Elite Male & Female XC Rider of the Year

•  Junior Male & Female XC Rider of the Year

•  Male & Female XC Endurance Rider of the Year

•  Male & Female Gravity Enduro Rider of the Year

•  Junior Male & Female Gravity Enduro Rider of the Year

•  Elite Male & Female DHI Rider of the Year

•  Junior Male & Female DHI Rider of the Year

•  Elite Male & Female CX Rider of the Year

•  Junior Male & Female CX Rider of the Year

•  Male & Female OT Rider of the Year

•  Male & Female Masters Rider of the Year

•  Peoples Choice (Rider)

•  MTB'er of the Year

To nominate fill out this form: http://bit.ly/219XR3p

Nominations close 29 February with awards presented to winners at the 2016 Australian MTB Championships in March at Bright.

WORKSHOP SERIES AT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

A series of workshops will again be held at the 2016 Australian MTB Championships in March at Bright.

The schedule is being finalised and is likely to include a Level 2 Commissaires course, sports psychology, sports dietician and Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) presentations.

Please email info@mtba.asn.au to register your interest.

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EVENT NEWS

WEMBO Results

World 24hr Solo Championships

It was double delight for the Australians as Jason English and Liz Smith took out the Elite Men and Women's title respectively at the World 24hr Solo Championships in Rotorua, NZ last weekend.

The title is English's seventh straight individual award as he completed 27 laps in just under the 24 hours. With that victory he has become the most successful world 24 solo mountain biker. Tobias Lestrell finished third

For Wollongong's Liz Smith it was her first world 24hr title, her best previous performance was a fourth place finish. Kate Penglase ensured the Aussies weren't done with the Elite podium rounding it out with bronze.

For all the results: http://bit.ly/1QsVSPO

2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series - Round 5 Thredbo

Graeme Mudd (NSW) and Tegan Molloy (NSW) were the fastest riders down the iconic cannonball track on their way to gold medals in the third downhill round of the series in Thredbo.

Mudd assumes the series leader title heading into the final round in Toowoomba.

Despite Molloy's win Danielle Beecroft’s retains a 15 point buffer into the final round.

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

Timing data showed that Ivory secured victory by an incredibly narrow .12s to Scott Bowden.

Henderson would make it three straight wins with a margin of .30s over Peta Mullens.

(Photos - Jaime Black)

2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series - Round 6 Toowoomba

The 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series comes to a exhilarating climax with the crowning of the Series champions in Toowoomba on the 4-5th of March.

While some category champions have been decided there are still a few where the overall winner will be decided on the day. None more exciting than the Elite Womens XCO where Jenni King and Bec Henderson are involved in a tight tussle with the winner of the race set to take home the spoils. 

And it's a similiar scenario in the Elite Women Downhill with the two young guns. Danielle Beecroft and Tegan Molloy will be dialled in for a screamer down the Jubilee Park DHI course.

Online Entries are open until March 2: https://www.mtba.asn.au/event/national-series/

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WORLD CUP CAIRNS NEWS

We have been receiving many inquiries regarding entry into the Cairns world Cup.

All applications for entries are to be made via the link on the MTBA Development/World Cup page https://www.mtba.asn.au/development/world-cup-world-champs/ 

Please read the page and then click on the appropriate links.

NOTE: The UCI rules for elite Downhill have changed. Riders are now required to have 30 points for guaranteed entry while each nation has only 3 wildcard entries. Only riders currently racing Elite in Downhill will be considered for these spots and allocation will be based on ability to achieve a top level performance at international level.

Entry for DH Junior men is by the National Team only. The documents outlining selection criteria are here:

 https://www.mtba.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2016-Section-B2-DHI-Selection-Criteria-FINAL_251115-1.pdf

XCO riders who have 20 UCI points will be guaranteed entry. Those without 20 UCI points may still apply for entry under the wildcard system.

MTBA may fill all, some or none of the wildcard entries available, depending on the quality of the applicant with respect to previous race results and ability to achieve a top level performance at international level.

There will be a UCI ranking update on 29 March after the Oceania championships. At this time wildcard entries will be considered and allocated. 

For further information please contact devcoach@mtba.asn.au

EXHIBITOR PACKAGES

As event organiser of the upcoming UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Cairns, Mountain Bike Australia are now seeking Expressions of Interest from businesses wishing to be apart of the World Cup Expo.

Situated within the event village, the World Cup Expo offers the opportunity to activate your brand in front of 20,000+ enthusiastic mountain bike fans.

Exhibitor information packages are now available from the Cairns World Cup website or by clicking here.

Expressions of interest must be submitted to Mountain Bike Australia by Friday, 18th March. 

For more information please call (07) 5268 0110.

VOLUNTEER POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Media Crew - Support TV Broadcaster with rigging and de-rigging of camera cables, support camera persons during event operations. Strong able-bodied people required.

Course Team Member - Course Marshals have the most direct role in ensuring safety on the course. Course Marshals stand at key points on the course to ensure safety, provide direction and communicating problems or injuries. 

Construction Team Member - Provide support in all construction aspects of the village and course construction. Tasks will vary from day to day. 

We require volunteers for the pre event planning / preparations from the 13 - 20 April, with the majority of volunteers required between 20 - 25 April 2016.

If this is something you are interested in helping with, please fill out the form: bit.ly/WC2016VolunteersEOI

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MEMBERSHIP NEWS

MTBA now offer bike insurance exclusively for members through insurer Aon.  Coverage is Australia wide and covers training, participating in ride events and includes:

• Accidental loss or damage for riding and racing

• Malicious damage

• Theft (excluding disappearance)

•  Loss or damage during transport

•  Cover will be new for old replacement up to 2 years

Four levels of cover are provided for bikes up to $2,500, $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000.  More information can be found on the Store section of the MTBA website.

Any questions please contact Matt or Lauren - members@mtba.asn.au or 07 5628 0110.

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TRAIL NEWS

The idea of developing some Australian Standards/Guidelines around the sustainable design and construction of mountain bike trails was raised with the mountain bike community by MTBA CEO, Shane Coppin at the 2014 Australian MTB Summit held at Mt Buller.

At the recent 2015 Australian MTB Summit a project initiation working group was established to investigate the options and methodology to develop and implement national mountain bike trail standards/guidelines and a professional trail builders certification framework.

Members of this working group are: Louise Wallace (President, WAMBA), Craig Stonestreet (Director, Natural Trails), SimonFrench (Director, DirtArt), Marty Kreig (Principal Consultant, Ediacara Consulting), Craig Meinicke (TouchPoint One) and Denise Cox (MTBA).

By November 2016, the working group will aim to have investigated a range of options to deliver national mountain bike trail standards/guidelines and a professional trail builders certification framework in line with registered training organisation requirements.

Key stakeholders and the wider MTB community will be consulted during this process with the results of these investigations and available options to be presented at a 2016 Australian MTB Summit.

The MTB community will be kept up to date via future editions of this newsletter and other communication opportunities.

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MTBA REWARDS

One of the benefits of being a member of MTBA is access to exclusive member only discounts across a range of products and stores. 

At the time of joining MTBA an email containing details on how to activate your MTBA Rewards and access discounts is sent to you. In addition to exclusive monthly discounts regular discounts are available on items such as movie tickets, fuel and travel.  

If you require your login email to be sent to you again, please contact Infinite Rewards at: customerservice@infinitrewards.com.au

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