Dinham And McConnell Reign In Elite XCO

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It was a Saturday special on Day 4 of the 2022 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships with the UCI Cross-Country Olympic races and downhill seeding the feature show at Maydena MTB Park.

It would be an upset in the Elite Men XCO while the steady reign of the Elite Women Champion continued in perfect track conditions.

Elite Men XCO

Local Sam Fox (Launceston Mountain Bike Club), who stepped up to Elite’s this year went out fast on the first lap but with six more to go there would be plenty to challenge his charge.

Sam Fox

By lap two there was a group of three including Fox, Matthew Dinham (Manly Warringah Cycling Club) and reigning champion Daniel McConnell (Canberra Off-Road Cyclists) who set a torrid pace in the hot conditions.

Jared Graves (Toowoomba Mountain BIke Club) who had high hopes for the top spot would see his race end at lap four after crashing hard and was unable to continue.

Jared Graves

Up front, McConnell and Dinham would be wheel on wheel before the New South Welshman made his move on the final descent to finish five seconds ahead of McConnell to ensure a new name would top the podium of the Elite Men for the first time since 2018.

Cameron Ivory (Adelaide Mountain Bike Club) would round out the podium in third.

Matthew Dinham

Elite Women XCO

The challengers lined up in the quest for the Elite Women XCO title, all in the hope of toppling the current defending champion Rebecca McConnell (Canberra Off-Road Cyclists) in the six-lap race.

Rebecca McConnell

The two-time bronze world champion medalist put the foot down early with the fastest lap of the race and by the halfway mark had put four and a half minutes into Zoe Cuthbert (Canberra Off-Road Cyclists) with Holly Harris (Armidale Cycling Club) the next closest in third.

Holly Harris

McConnell would find only the clock and the sounds of silence behind her as she forged away towards the finish line to continue her streak of National Championship titles.

Cuthbert finished just over five and a half minutes behind for silver with Harris picking up the bronze.

Zoe Cuthbert

See all the XCO results HERE

Other UCI XCO Categories

Cameron Wright (Rats Cycling Club) was untouchable in the Under 23 regaining the title he missed out on last year.

He would produce the fastest lap of the day 13:03:91 to claim the gold with Domenic Paollili (Hawthorn Cycling Club) in second and Tom Cheesman (Hobart Wheelers Dirt Club) third. Joel Dodds (Ipswich Cycling Club) would retain the Junior Men crown.

Katherine Hosking (New England Mountain BIke Club) would see the green and gold jersey back in her keeping taking the win just under a minute ahead of Holly Lubcke (Noosa Trailblazers MTB Club) and Izzy Flint (Launceston Mountain Bike Club) in the bronze position.

XCO Podium

Downhill Seeding

In the Elite Women Sian A’Hern (Canberra Off-Road Cyclists) ensured she would be last down the hill with the local Laura Craft (Toowoomba Mountain Bike Club) hot on her heels and Harriet Burbidge-Smith (GreenValleys Mountain Bike Club) also chasing the W.

Reining Elite Men champion Troy Brosnan (Inside Line Inc) put down the fastest qualifying time narrowly ahead of long time sparring mate Connor Fearon (Inside Line Inc) by +0:00.66.

Troy Brosnan

Elise Empey (Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club) and Remy Meier-Smith (Hasting Valley Mountain Bike Riders Inc) put down the fastest times in the Juniors.

See results HERE

Photo Credit: Matt Rousu Photography

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