Reigning champs lead Aussie worlds charge

Reigning four cross world champions Jared Graves and Caroline Buchanan will lead a formidable 38-strong Australian team at the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canada this August.

The championships, to be held from August 31 to September 5 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, will celebrate 20 years of international mountain biking.

Graves will ride into the 2010 championships as the raging favourite, dominating the elite men's four cross event over the past two years. The 27-year-old is on track for consecutive UCI World Cup titles, securing three out of four possible wins and a 175-point lead over his closest rival, Tomas Slavik, at the half way point of the season.

Buchanan's preparations will take a different path, balancing training between both her mountain bike and BMX commitments. The 19-year-old will represent Australia at the BMX World Championships in South Africa in July before making her way to Canada in August.

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) high performance manager Chris Clarke said he was confident the squad will deliver some great results. "This is a very competitive team across the board, led by our two reigning world champions Caroline Buchanan and Jared Graves," said Clarke.

"We have a good mix of riders who have the experience and know what it takes to compete, and win, on the world stage, and those who will benefit greatly from the experience of these leaders and the international competition."

An exciting edition to the Australian lineup is young Troy Brosnan, the 17-year-old competing in the junior men's downhill in Canada during a season which has seen take the junior title at the Fort William round of the UCI Downhill World Cup.

Dual downhill world champion Sam Hill (2006 and 2007) has also been selected, the 24-year-old joining five teammates in the men's elite downhill, including Shaun O'Connor, who makes the transition to the elite men's division.

Australian team - 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

Elite men cross country: Andrew Blair (NSW), Lachlan Norris (VIC), Ben Henderson (ACT), Daniel McConnell (VIC)
Under 23 men cross country: Cal Britten (VIC), Paul van der Ploeg (VIC)
Junior men cross country: Kyle Ward (NSW), Mitchell Codner (NSW), Trenton Day (NSW), Cameron Ivory (NSW)
Elite women cross country: Rowena Fry (TAS), Heather Logie (ACT), Kate Potter (NSW), Katherine O’Shea (VIC)
Under 23 women cross country: Gracie Elvin (ACT), Therese Rhodes (SA), Rebecca Henderson (ACT)
Elite men four cross: Richard Levinson (QLD), David Habicht (VIC), Jared Graves (QLD), Randall Huntington (QLD)
Elite women four cross: Caroline Buchanan (ACT), Sarsha Huntington (QLD)
Elite men downhill: Shaun O'Connor (NSW), Bryn Atkinson (NSW), Mitchell Delfs (WA), Michael Hannah (QLD), Samuel Hill (WA), Chris Kovarik (QLD)
Junior men downhill: Troy Brosnan (SA), Ayden Wyber (VIC), Phillip Piazza (NSW), Antony Moore (QLD)
Junior women downhill: Holly Baarspul (WA), Emily Hockey (SA)
Elite men 26" trials: Joe Brewer (VIC), Andrew Dickey (VIC), Nathan Mummery (VIC)

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