The Australian National Mountain Bike Championships head to Mt. Stromlo, Canberra, this weekend from January 25 to 28. It will be the second consecutive year the nationals are held at Stromlo Forest Park which will also be the site for the upcoming World Cup in August. Then, international riders will return to Australia for the first time since the World Championships in 1996 in Cairns.
Held Saturday evening, the four cross race is expected to be a battle between Caroline Buchanan and Sarsha Huntington for the women and Leigh Darrell and Luke Madill in the men's race. The riders have been going head to head in the Australian 4X national series all season.
The Olympic cross country race will showcase potential Australian Olympians mid-day on Sunday including Tory Thomas, Dellys Starr, Rowena Fry, Zoe King, and Kate Potter. Fry is fresh off her win at the Wildside MTB race last weekend in Tasmania. Both Fry and King are in the "Dirt Roads to London" national talent identification program.
Sid Taberlay and Chris Jongewaard will be the men to beat in the cross country race, but they will get a tough run from Dan McConnell, Dylan Cooper, Shaun Lewis, and Aiden Lefmann.
The cross country race will play an important role, especially for the women riders. If no Australian woman meets the selection criteria at the upcoming World Cups and World Championships, the pick for the Olympic Games will fall back to the winner of the National Championships.
The action will wrap up Monday afternoon with the downhill race. Top international talent Tracey Hannah and Tracey Mosely will race the likes of Claire Whiteman. Jared Rando, Nathan Rennie, and Amiel Cavalier are the favorites for the men's race.
Riders from the United Kingdom and New Zealand will race alongside riders from all states in Australia. Mosely, from the UK, is one of those riders.