2016 National Mountain Bike Series Round 5 Thredbo Summary

Post date: Feb 9, 2016 6:44:53 PM

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The fifth round of the National Mountain Bike Series was held over the weekend at Thredbo NSW.

A 7 strong contingent from the New England region headed to Thredbo to compete in the Cross Country Olympic format (XCO) and Cross Country Criterion (XCC) formats.

The first race day was on Saturday with the Cross Country Olympic (XCO) format which is the format raced at the Olympic Games. This style of racing involves a lap based race held on a 4 to 6 km track. On the Thredbo 5.2 km course it was taking between 14 to 20 minutes to complete a lap depending on age category. The Thredbo course was a very tough course with a lot of climbing which suited the Armidale competitors.

The highlight of the Saturday’s XCO racing was in the Junior Men division (U19) where Michael Harris (Armidale) and Jack Feltham (Walcha) achieved their best results for the season. The pair worked well together trying to pull back the two leaders and continue opening the gap on the remaining field. Michael Harris rode a very consistent 5 lap race to take his first podium for the season with a bronze medal. Three quarters of the way through the race, Jack Feltham was challenged by a New Zealand rider, who overtook Feltham to move into 4th position. Feltham managed to regain the 4th position on the final decent with a gutsy overtaking manoeuvre. This moves Feltham up in the series rankings from 11th to 7th. Harris is now ranked 5th in the series.

Katherine Hosking maintained her dominant position in the Junior Women (U19), racing up a grade, to take the 1st place and Holly Harris maintained her consistent racing season to place in 6th position, racing up in Elite Women and having to complete a gruelling 7 laps. Holly is now ranked 5th in the series.

Other regional results were Harry Wooster (Armidale) and Sam Feltham (Walcha) competing for the 3rd time in a national event in the U15. The boys completed the two laps of the 5km course to finish in a sprint with Wooster taking 6th place and Feltham 7th. Isabella Hosking (Armidale) competed in the U15 girls and took 2nd place. Fergus McQueen (Dorrigo) competed in the U17 to obtain 13th position while John McQueen (Dorrigo) competed in the Masters 1/2 to finish in 8th.

The competitors returned to the track on Sunday to compete in the XCC short course event. This event is a criterion style event held on a shorter 800m course raced for 15 to 25 minutes plus a number of laps depending on the age category.

The C Grade men competed first with Sam Feltham reversing the previous days finishing order taking a 6th position over Harry Wooster in 7th.

In the A Grade XCC women the Armidale girls Katherine Hosking, current series leader, and Holly Harris competed. After a very fierce start by the girl’s team mate, Emily Parkes (TORQ Merida), Hosking and Harris settled down to try and pull back a gap to the Commonwealth Games medallist Rebecca Henderson. The race further developed to a solid battle for 2nd place. With 4 minutes to go Harris attacked to opened a gap that Hosking couldn’t close. Harris finished 2nd and Hosking 3rd.

Jack Feltham and Michael Harris competed in the A Grade men’s event. This was a 25 minute race plus two laps. Feltham put in an aggressive attack on the field from the start, maintaining the lead for a lap and a half. This attack took its toll on Feltham, finishing 13th in the Elite field. Harris settled into 4th place for a majority of the race before finally finding the pace of the elite men too fast to hold, finishing 8th.

The next and final round of the National Mountain Bike Series will be held in four weeks’ time in Toowoomba.