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All eyes on Cairns next weekend for cross country, eliminator and downhill action
Cycling Australia (CA) and Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) announced the Australian contingent for the second round of the 2014 UCI World Cup Series to be held in Cairns on April 25-27.
In the cross country event, 2012 London Olympians Dan McConnell and Rebecca Henderson both had landmark years on the international scene in 2013 and will lead the way in Cairns.
Looking to the downhill, the brother and sister combination of Mick Hannah and Tracey Hannah are Cairns locals and will be hoping to beat the world in their own backyard. Young gun Troy Brosnan is also one to watch after joining Hannah on the World Cup podium in the opening round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season in South Africa.
In the eliminator, reigning world champion Paul Van De Ploeg will return to racing after injury and be the hot favourite for the men, and Emily Parkes will hope to continue her national championship medal-winning form in the women's event.
President of Mountain Bike Australia, Russ Baker AM, spoke of the significance of the event for the sport in Australia.
"The first MTB World Cup on Australian soil in six years sees a welcome and exciting return of this level of competition," Baker said. "While riders strive to be world champions, the standard of competition at World Cups can actually be higher and the races harder because more top level riders can enter."
"For our elite riders, Cairns is one race in a series to which they devote their entire year - some would say their lives. It is an incredible level of commitment from our riders, and from all the teams and sponsors who support them."
Dubbed the "Rumble in the Rainforest", the three-day Cairns event begins on April 25 and over 300 riders are expected to converge on tropical North Queensland along with tens of thousands of fans.
Australian riders racing in Cairns for the UCI World Cup round 2
Elite men cross country
Paul Van Der Ploeg
Elite women cross country
U23 men cross country
Elite men downhill
Elite women downhill
Junior men downhill
Junior women downhill
Elite men eliminator
Paul Van Der Ploeg
Elite women eliminator