Oceania Championships continue with Road and Mountain Bike
The 2017 Oceania Championships continue with the Oceania Road Championships in Canberra, ACT, March 9-11 and Oceania Continental MTB Championships, in Toowoomba, Queensland, March 12.
Starting Thursday March 9, more than 200 of Oceania’s best road cyclists will descend on Australia’s capital with 12 titles decided on the road over three days. Champions will be crowned in the time trials and road races, for men and women in the elite, under 23 and under 19 categories.
Thursday 9 March: Time Trials (All categories)
Friday 10 March: Road Races (Women U19, U23 and Elite)
Saturday 11 March: Road Race (Men U19, U23 and Elite)
Australia’s Sean Lake who claimed the time trial and road race double in 2016 returns looking to defend both. While Joseph Cooper (New Zealand) will be looking to reclaim the time trial title he won in 2014, with national championship medallists Jason Christie (New Zealand) and Ben Dyball (Australia) also looking for gold.
In the elite women’s category Shannon Malseed (Australia) is chasing back-to-back titles but will have strong competition from Lisen Hockings (Australia), Lucy Kennedy (Australia) and Ruby Livingstone (New Zealand) who are looking for their first.
The under 23 categories will be hotly contested with Lucas Hamilton (Australia) who claimed the Tour de l’Avenir mountains classification last year along with Jai Hindley (Australia) who finished second at the Herald Sun Tour and Robert Stannard (Australia).
The women’s under 23 category includes two former junior world champions on the track Danielle McKinnirey (Australia) and Madeleine Park (New Zealand).
“Over an exciting three days, we will be sure to witness exceptional performances from elite and aspiring athletes from across our region including from Australia, New Zealand, Guam and Tahiti in Under 19, Under 23 and Elite categories,” said Oceania Cycling Confederation President Tracey Gaudry.
“Many athletes will be competing in their first international event, while the more seasoned competitors including Rio 2016 Olympians will be aiming to represent their country at the 2017 World Road Cycling Championships in Norway this September.
“The Championships is positioned as the marquee event within the 2017 Oceania Tour, all carrying UCI status, providing an immense opportunity for athletes in the Oceania region to compete against some of the World’s best on home soil.
“The competition will be intense, heightened by the spectacular rugged terrain in Canberra and the surrounding Stromlo and Tidbinbilla regions.”
A day later in Toowoomba Oceania’s best mountain bikers will hit the dirt chasing not just the Oceania title but potential selection for the 2017 UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns.
Over 400 riders will battle it out for 10 titles at the Jubilee Mountain Bike Park in the Cross-country and Downhill disciplines.
Sunday 12 March:
Six Cross-country titles will be decided in elite, under 23 and under 19 categories. Defending champion Anton Cooper (New Zealand) is aiming to go back to back in the elite men’s Cross-country but will face competition from Daniel McConnell (Australia) and Cameron Ivory (Australia).
Rebecca Henderson (Australia) also returns looking to defend her elite women’s Cross-country title but with Peta Mullens (Australia), Samara Sheppard (New Zealand) and Eliza Kwan (Australia) she will have strong competition.
The downhill category will see four riders crowned Oceania Championships in the elite and junior men’s and women’s races.
“A major focus for many this year is qualification for the 2017 UCI MTB World Championships which this year will be held in Australia in Cairns from 5-10 September,” Gaudry said.
“The Oceania MTB Championships represents an important stepping stone for selection into National Teams for this pinnacle event and we look forward to seeing many of the riders competing this weekend qualifying for a rare ‘home’ World Championships.
“The Oceania Cycling Confederation sincerely thanks the event organisers Mountain Bike Australia in conjunction with Tourism & Events Queensland, Toowoomba Regional Council & Toowoomba Mountain Bike Club and their staff, support services, commissaires and volunteers, and supporting sponsors and organisations for hosting these Championships.
“The Championships were successfully hosted here in Toowoomba in 2015 and I’m sure they will be even bigger and better this weekend!”