Australia will hold it's inaugural cyclo-cross national championships this Saturday in Melbourne.
The championships will run on a new purpose-built course in Cranwell Park, Maribyrnong, with the elite male and female course including a number of technical sections.
A strong field of 137 riders will contest the race, including all of the main players from the 2013 National Cyclo-Cross Series (NCXS) including Paul Van der Ploeg, Adrian Jackson, Peter Hatton and Sid Taberlay. While in the elite women's field headline stars such as Rowena Fry, Sarah Holmes, Lindsay Gorrell and Melissa Anset will take part.
Also in attendance will be Lewis Rattray, the Australian representative at the World Cyclo-cross Championships in Belgium earlier this year. Lewis hasn't participated in any of the first four rounds of the NCXS due to being overseas on university exchange. Having recently returned to Australia and only just resumed full training, Rattray is playing down his chances.
"I'll be there on the weekend to enjoy myself and soak in the atmosphere. I'm hoping to have some fitness later on in the season, around the time of Victorian State Champs," said Rattray. "Regardless I'm extremely excited to be lining up for the first CX nationals, and perhaps a little disappointed I won't be mixing it with the pointy end of the field!"
The Schedule for the weekend is as follows
12pm Masters women
1pm Masters men
2pm Elite, U19 and U23 women
3pm Elite, U19 and U23 men