NZ team for the Oceania MTB champs

New Zealand is sending its largest-ever contingent of riders to compete in the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships, to be held in Lysterfield and Mt Buller in Victoria, Australia from April 2-3, 2005.

Today (Tuesday), 48 riders - comprised of elite men/women and junior men/women, across two disciplines - flew across the Tasman along with team manager Dereck McCarthy, to compete in both cross-country (April 2) and downhill (April 3) events.

New Zealand's best chance of success lies in the cross country with New Zealand national champions and national series winners Rosara Joseph in the women's competition and Michael Northcott in the men's. Joseph had a stunning first season competing at the pro-elite level, winning the national series title and the national championships early this year. Northcott finally managed to usurp Stuart Houltham's reign over the cross country series from the previous four years, with Northcott also taking the national XC title.

Justin Leov, the country's highest internationally-ranked mountain bike rider and national series winner and Nathan Rankin are New Zealand's best hope in the men's downhill. In the Junior age groups, Clinton Avery ,is expected to dominate the boys' cross country, while Sam Blenkinsop and Keiran Bennett are their best chances in the downhill.

2005 Oceania MTB Championships team roster:

Cross Country

Elite Men

Michael Northcott
Michael Gilbert
Darry Stevens
Mark Leishman
Jason Hill
Rodney Hill
Marcus Roy
Wayne Hiscock
Stuart Houltham
Timothy Madgwick
Timothy Elsmore

Elite Women

Rosara Joseph
Amanda Davies
Catherine Hamer
Angela Eccles
Sonia Foote
Robyn Wong
Rhonda Pearce
Genevieve Whitson

Junior Men

Andrew Hughson
Kerry Morgan
Luke Mills
Clinton Avery
Micheal Tomasevic
Aaron Perry
John Gray
Peter Joynt
Andrew MacDonald
Carl Jones

Junior Women

Monique Avery
Hayley Robertson
Kathryn Campbell
Chelsea Wills
Michelle Bellamy


Pro-Elite Men

James Barron
Justin Leov
Scott Sheldon
Glen Haden
Tim Mackersy
Nathan Rankin

Elite Women

Jenna Makgill

Junior Men

David Scandrett
Antony Jackson
Cameron Cole
Keiran Bennett
Wynn Masters
Samuel Blenkinsop
Joel Daniels
Zachary Williams

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