Australia holds mountain bike nationals this weekend

Tory Thomas

Tory Thomas (Image credit: Mark Gunter)

Many of Australia's top mountain bike athletes will converge upon Canberra for the 2007 MTBA Australian Mountain Bike Championships from January 26-28. The five-day festival includes cross country, downhill, mountain cross events, observed trials, and a crit.

The races are being held at a purpose-built mountain bike park, Mt. Stromlo Forest Park, designed by Glen Jacobs. Entry for spectators will be free; however a parking fee, which will go toward charity, will be charged.

World Champion Sam Hill will race downhill for the first time in Australia since winning the gold medal in New Zealand last August. He will take on defending national champion and bronze medalist from the world championships, Nathan Rennie.

Recovered from a serious injury in 2005, after which she was told she would never race again, Tory Thomas will race a tough field in the cross country race, including Kate Potter and defending national champion Dellys Starr. Sid Taberlay, 1996 Olympian, will race against fellow Commonwealth Games rider Chris Jongewaard, an in form Aiden Lefmann, current national series leader, and locals Dylan Cooper and Shaun Lewis.

In the mountain cross, Luke Madill and overall national series winner Terrance Scarrare the favorites. On the women's side, look out for national series winner Caroline Buchanan (Canberra), who hopes to defend her national title.

On Friday, racers and fans alike will receive news of the UCI's choice for the 2009 world mountain bike championships venue. Canberra is one candidate still in the running.

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