Riley King (NSW) and Zoe Cuthbert (ACT) were the shining lights on Day 2 of racing at the 2017 MTB National Championships at Canungra, Saturday.
While dark storm clouds loomed above the event village, the future in the junior ranks was incredibly bright, with a huge field in the junior men’s field with 50 entrants.
But it would again be one rider who would dominate, just as he did in the National Series and at the Oceania titles.
King took the Junior Men’s Australian title in a time of 40:03 after three laps and was more than 33 seconds ahead of Johnathon Dodds (QLD) and Max Hobson (NSW).
It topped off what has been an impressive few weeks for King.
“I’ve been riding for so long, and I never had the XCO and really wanted to get that so I’m really proud,” the 17 year old said.
“I was at max heart-rate the whole climb and I just had to keep telling myself that everyone else is feeling it too and go as hard as I can.”
It was a similar story in the Junior Women with Zoe Cuthbert (ACT) continuing her supremacy in the division taking the gold medal ahead of Isabelle Hosking (NSW) and Holly Lubcke (QLD).
Cuthbert, who stopped the clock in 48:43, put on a 20 second gap not even half way into the first lap, and was hardly challenged around the 4km course with a time four minutes faster than second and third.
“That course was so hard I was just so happy to make it up the first climb.
It was left to Hosking and Lubcke to battle out the minor placings, and it was on the final lap where Hosking made her move on the final lap to take the silver back to Armidale.
With the rainbow stripes on the jersey, Sharon Heap (QLD) added another national title to an already impressive medal cabinet, as she took out the Masters Women’s 6+, and recorded the fastest time of all the masters women on course.
David Penhaligon (QLD) couldn’t hide his joy crossing the line for victory in Masters 2 Men, in his first ever National Championship race.
It wasn’t just the cross-country titles that were decided with the Elite Observed Trials crown going to Joe Brewer with only 16 penalties.
The Victorian was unflappable on the trials course, with sections that included four wheel drive cars and concrete pipes.
However the heat did cause a few issues for the southerner.
“I was suffering a bit of cramping in the earlier sections but came good towards the end,”
“The spool was really difficult, I nearly came a cropper on it multiple times,” Brewer said.
Andrew Dickie finished second with Nathan Mummery rounding out the podium in third.
Janine Jungfels took out expert while Connor Aves claimed the Sport category.
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