Merry Christmas from the Oceania Cycling Confederation

The Oceania Cycling Confederation Executive Board wishes you health and happiness over the festive season.

It is fair to say 2020 has been a challenging year for us all. For those of us in sport it has seen the rescheduling, postponement of cancellation of many events, including the Tokyo Olympic Games, which have been rescheduled for 2021.

Growing cycling in the Pacific continues to be a focus of the Oceania Cycling Confederation, with solidarity funding from the UCI allowing the further development of coaches and officials. A Pacific Cup will be a major feature next year and allow athletes from the Pacific region to hone their skills.

Oceania riders continued to excel on the bike with world champions crowned and outstanding performances in international events. At the UCI Track World Championships in Germany in February, riders from Australia and New Zealand won six medals. Corbin Strong won his maiden world title in the points race. Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton claimed silver in the team sprint, with silver also going to Campbell Stewart and Aaron Gate in the Madison, who were also part of the silver medal winning team pursuit line-up with Strong, Jordan Kerby and Regan Gough. Morton added another medal with bronze in the sprint and Thomas Cornish, Nathan Hart and Matthew Richardson won team sprint bronze.

On the dirt Rebecca McConnell backed up her 2019 world championship medal with bronze at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, Austria. Grace Brown, Michael Matthews and Rohan Dennis earned top 10 finished at the UCI Road World Championships in Imola, Italy. The UCI BMX World Championships were not held.

There was success in Grand Tours on the road for both men and women. Mikayla Harvey claimed the young rider classification at the Giro Rosa, finishing fifth overall. Australia’s Richie Porte and Jai Hindley became the second and third riders from Oceania to finish on the podium in a men’s grand tour with Porte third at the Tour de France and Hindley second at the Giro d’Italia.

On the UCI Women’s World Tour Brown and Amanda Spratt both found podium success. As did Porte, Hindley, George Bennett and Michael Matthews. The UCI BMX Supercross World Cup returned to Oceania with Saya Sakakibara, Anthony Dean and Izaac Kennedy earning podium finishes in Shepparton.

Oceania Champions were crowned in January at the 2020 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Dunedin, New Zealand. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the BMX and road championships were cancelled.

The traditional start to the international cycling season in Australia and New Zealand, will unfortunately look different due to COVID-19. Australia and New Zealand will both hold their national championships, which will include the opening round of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series in Ballarat.

We are excited to see the quest for Oceania titles return in 2021, with an announcement to be made early in the new year.

Enjoy your holiday period, and we hope you stay safe on and off the bike and look forward to seeing you in 2021.

Tracey Gaudry, Tony Mitchell, Eric Tydingco,
Patrick Keenan, Glen Pearsall
OCC Executive Board