In a series of 'firsts' for Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA), the National Championships in 2006 move to a January time frame and will be split between XC and DH. The National XC Championships will be hosted by Team Mt. Beauty at the nationally famous Mt. Beauty MTB park on January 12-15, 2006. The National DH Championships will be hosted by RawNRG and Thredbo Range Rats in Thredbo the following week on January 19-22, 2006.
"2006 is a special year in many respects, said Tony Scott, CEO for MTBA. "The January date for the XC Championships was needed because of it being the final selection event for nomination of 2006 Commonwealth Games XC athletes. Nominations need to be finalized by the end of January and it takes two weeks for the Cycling Australia board to ratify the nominations and forward them to the Commonwealth Games secretariat.
"Unfortunately Team Mt. Beauty were not in the position of hosting an event of the size of a combined XC and DH plus the additional events of Mountain Cross and Bike Trials," he added. "They were however able to engage Dave Olle as event manager for the XC Championships alone, and together with members of Team Mt. Beauty will deliver an awesome event.
Thredbo was not able to host high level XC competition due to a focus of DH activity on the mountain. Thredbo does, however, hold a special place in the minds of Australia's DH'ers and is one of the most visited DH MTB destinations in Australia. The National MTN X Championships will also be hosted in Thredbo on a specially constructed course designed with the assistance of Glen Jacobs."
The 2005-2006 National Series dates and venues will be announced shortly.