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GIRL POWER: Two locals crowned National Champions!!

posted 24 Feb 2013, 04:18 by Stephen Chapman   [ updated 26 Feb 2013, 16:23 by Peter and Barbs ]

The National Mountain Bike Championships were held at Stromlo mtb park in Canberra on Feb 22 and 23.  6 members of New England Mountain Bikers from Armidale made the long journey down to test their skills.  The results were nothing short of fantastic with not one but TWO local riders winning national titles.  Katherine Hosking won the title in the Under 15 girls and Holly Harris won the Under 19's girls.  Holly successfully defended her national title from last year.  But for Katherine, the win is a first.  This is the first race of this caliber that she has entered, and at just 12 years of age she wasn't expecting much against older competition.  Well done Holly and Katherine!

The NEMTB Team were welcomed with an extremely technical course, which featured one of the most difficult world level sections in Cardiac Arrest and the Hammerhead.  Not even the hill repeats at the Fat Tyre Farm could prepare the riders for a track of this nature, it was like riding up angry eves for about 1km. The spectacle at Stromlo was fantastic with all the major suppliers showing their wares and all of the elite riders getting around on the latest and greatest bike gear.  For NEMTB to come away with 2 National Crowns is a great achievement and those riders should be very proud of themselves as we are of them.
 
Katherine’s race was well executed. She had a race plan to get into the single track first to maximise her chances of getting through the highly technical single track.  This involved a 1300m sprint from the start and climbing some 70 vertical metres within a group of 24 riders. She managed to pull this off. On the second lap she was able to visual the second place rider and continued to open up her lead to approximately 50 seconds finishing in a time of 44:18 min.
 
Holly and Emily Parkes (from Coffs Harbour) battled tooth and nail and the lead would have swapped at least 10 times as they scrambled over the rock on cardiac Arrest (the Stromlo World Cup Course). They managed to keep together for the entire race with Holly having enough legs to sprint away over the last 200m.  It was a different race for Holly with the added pressure of being the defending Champion, It was the first time we had seen her not leading for the first lap, albeit she was right on Emily's wheel. It was a nail biting race and the closest for the weekend.  It was great to watch.

Lisa Harris came 4th in the Masters female, Michael Harris came 15th in a large field in the under 17's (as a 15 year old) and Sean Bekkers came a credible 9th in the Vet Men.  Greg Manttan did not finish due to mechanical issues.


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