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Major summer mountain bike races spread across the nation
Cycling Australia and Mountain Bike Australia's summer of mountain biking will encompass five states and territories across the nation this year - the first time all have been included in a season together.
Victoria and New South Wales will host rounds within the National Series during January and February, the Australian Championships heads to Canberra in February, while Tasmania will boast the Mountain Bike Oceania Championships in March and Queensland will round out the season with the Australian Marathon Championships in April.
2012 cross country national champion and All Mountain Cup overall series winner Jenni King (TORQ) will be looking to repeat her stellar season starting in round one of the National Series, Mt Buller on January 18.
King took the hat trick in 2012, winning all three rounds. The 33-year-old then carried her winning form into the Australian Cross Country National Championships - something which she says was a great honour.
"Winning the national cross country title in Adelaide was a definite highlight for me last year. Everything came together on the day, and I won quite convincingly so it made the win all the sweeter," King said of her two minute 35 second win over Rowena Fry and Jodie Willett.
"I travelled overseas and raced some of the world cups so to wear the national jersey was a great feeling.
"People look at you differently and respect you a little bit more when you have the green and gold colours on your back," the Victorian said.
King now has her sights set on claiming back-to-back national titles and will look to clinch victory in the Oceania Championships after finishing third at the event in New Zealand in 2012.
"I want my form to peak for nationals and the Oceania championships again this year. I really want to defend my national title. With the race being in Canberra I am hoping they will use the technical world class trails because they suit me quite well.
"To win a national title you need to be one of the fittest people out there and on top of your game both physiologically and technically - but to defend a title is harder I believe," King concluded.
New South Wales downhiller Rick Boyer (Orange Bicycles/Lusty Industries) will be looking to continue his recent success on the national circuit when he lines up for the National Gravity Cup as well as the Australian Downhill Championships and the Oceania Downhill Championships.
The 31-year-old finished the 2012 Gravity Cup series in third place behind world champions Troy Brosnan and Sam Hill, a result of which Boyer was proud.
"Getting third or any position behind Sam and Troy is always a pretty good position - it's never really a loss for someone like me who works nine to five for a living and racing is my second job," said Boyer who works for a bicycle parts and accessories importing company.
Boyer will be aiming for the Australian and Oceania Championships and says he loves riding both courses.
"Stromlo is somewhere I like riding," Boyer said of the Australian National Championships downhill track in Canberra.
"It's a pretty painful track to ride because you have to work hard to maintain your speed for a successful race run and one error can drop you down the rankings, it makes it interesting that's for sure" Boyer said.
However it is the Glenorchy track used for the Oceania Championships which holds a special place in the downhill veteran's heart.
"I love Tasmania and I got my first national round win there two years ago. I really enjoyed the track - it's probably one of my favourites and I can't wait to get back down there," the new dad concluded.
2013 Cycling Australia & Mountain Bike Australia All Mountain Cup & Gravity Cup National Series
January 18-20: Round 1 - Mt Buller, VIC
February 8-10: Round 2 - Thredbo, NSW
March 15-17: Round 3 - Bright, VIC
2013 MTB Australian Championships
February 20-24: Canberra, ACT
2013 MTB Oceania Championships
March 29-31: Glenorchy, TAS
2013 MTB Australian Marathon Championships
April 21: Atherton, QLD