The Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS) has been selected by Cycling Australia to host Australia's National Mountain Bike Program at the TIS Silverdome complex in Launceston during 2008. TIS becomes the first Cycling National Training Centre to support a National Olympic discipline program.
"The program will provide an excellent opportunity to help Tasmanian athletes currently striving for selection in the Australian Olympic team to compete in Beijing, in particular, Sid Taberlay and Rowena Fry, as well as the next generation of mountain bike athletes," said Minister for Sport and Recreation Michelle O'Byrne.
"The program will be coached by Neil Ross, an experienced, well credentialed coach, who was the Head Coach and Director of the National Cycling Centre and coach of the Canadian National Team. John Gregory, the TIS Sports Performance Manager and a former National Mountain Bike Cross Country Champion, will provide key sports science support to the program."
"We believe the program will produce the next generation of mountain bike athletes, rivalling some of the top Tasmanian mountain bike athletes produced in the past, such John Gregory, Eleanor Patterson and Sid Taberlay. Tasmania has an ideal training environment for mountain biking as the TIS is located next to the Kate Reid Reserve."
Tasmania is already known as the host of the Wildside mountain bike race, held on the west coast. Training camps will be held in Tasmania using the TIS in Launceston as a base over summer 2008, prior to the athletes heading overseas for competition from May onwards.