Australia’s elite mountain bike riders have a final opportunity to qualify for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at Round 3 & 4 of the 2018 Mountain Bike Australia Cross- Country National Series in Nerang, Queensland this weekend.
Current Australian elite men’s and women’s champions Daniel McConnell (ACT) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT) open their season on Saturday after an off-season which saw them get married.
The duo, have already secured a spot on the Australian team for April’s Games, however the opportunity to race the course prior is a massive advantage.
“Of course it helps to be racing on the Commonwealth Games course. You always know a course the best once you have raced on it. You know where you need to suffer and where its time to recover,” the 2014 Commonwealth Games women’s bronze medallist said.
“I have no idea how I’m going to feel coming into this racing, I’ve taken it a little easier over the last couple of weeks, there is a big year ahead and January is not the time to be on form.”
Commonwealth Games MTB Sport Ambassador Cameron Ivory (NSW) currently leads the elite men after taking the opening two rounds in Orange a month ago.
Riders from across the ditch will also be making their presence felt with 2017 Oceania men’s and women’s champion Anton Cooper (NZL) and Samara Sheppard (NZL) getting acquainted with the Games course.
“Rounds 3 and 4 of the MTBA National Series in Nerang will be a great opportunity to put together a week of preparation and two race days on the course of the 2018 Commonwealth Games MTB event,” Sheppard said.
2017 world cross-country eliminator champion Kathrin Stirnemann (SUI) will also compete to make up a stellar women’s field.
In the junior men, world champion Cameron Wright (QLD) will be out to make it four straight wins in the national series after claiming dominant victories in the opening rounds.
Riders raging from Under 15 to Masters from across Australia will descend on the Gold Coast for the weekend as part of the 2018 MTBA Cross-Country National Series.
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