Tracks looking good thanks to rain ahead of Cross Country Olympic series

The 2018 Mountain Bike Australia Cross Country National Season will arrive in Orange this weekend, and it will bring former Commonwealth Games and Olympic competitors with it. 

AND THEY'RE OFF: Ben Henderson leads the pack out of the gates at the start of round two of the National Cross Country Olympic series in Kinross State Forest last year. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

AND THEY'RE OFF: Ben Henderson leads the pack out of the gates at the start of round two of the National Cross Country Olympic series in Kinross State Forest last year. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

Over 150 riders are expected to take part, with exact numbers to be finalised on Wednesday night. 

Some of the big names riding in the elite women’s section include Queensland’s Megan Williams, who was the- 2017 U23 Oceania Champion, the 2017 National U23 Champion and came 27th at the UCI World Championship in Cairns, as well as Eliza Smyth, who came 3rd in both rounds in Orange last time.

Holly Harris, who was 2nd in both the Elite Women National Championships and Elite Women 2017 Oceania Championships, will also ride. 

For the men, 2017 Junior Men World Champion;  2017 Australian Champion and 2017 National Series Champion Cameron Wright will attend, as will Ben Bradley, the 2017 U23 Oceania Champion who also 3rd in Rd1 Orange and 2nd Rd 2 Orange 2017 last time in Orange. 

Orange Mountain Bike Club committee member Matt Corboy said Orange was set to show off its tracks to the rest of Australia.

“The recent rains have been very good for the tracks,” Corboy said.

He said the club had been out there on the weekend after the rains and track looked in good nick.

“Colesy’s descent is looking good our version of the Cairns drop will challenge most riders,” he said.

He said it was “exciting” to see big-name riders come to Orange and the town was starting to make its name as a mountain biking destination.

However, he said many riders were tied up in doing volunteer roles on the day to ensure the event ran smoothly, instead of riding for themselves. 

And MTBA spokeswoman said MTBA was hoping to see more riders join before closure of nominations. 

“MTBA are hopeful a number of local riders from the club will support the event and ensure the sport of mountain biking can continue to grow in the region,” she said.