Elite contenders emerge in Olympic riders’ absence

HEIR APPARENT: Commonwealth Games veteran Cam Ivory, pictured in Armidale last year, looks the obvious men's favourite. Photo: ELLEN DUNGER
HEIR APPARENT: Commonwealth Games veteran Cam Ivory, pictured in Armidale last year, looks the obvious men's favourite. Photo: ELLEN DUNGER

With Olympians Dan McConnell and Bec Henderson not racing at this weekend’s MTBA XCO National Series at Kinross State Forest, a new batch of elite men’s and women’s title contenders have come to the fore.

For the men, Commonwealth Games rider Cam Ivory has to be considered the heir apparent.

He didn’t race at Orange last year but won both legs at Armidale, had he qualified for a series finish he would’ve come sixth despite those two races being the only ones he contested.

Tasmania’s Ben Bradley finished third overall last summer too, and is returning. He came third, then second behind McConnell at Orange last year.

CONTENDER: Ben Bradley rode superbly at Orange last year, that knowledge will help this weekend. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

CONTENDER: Ben Bradley rode superbly at Orange last year, that knowledge will help this weekend. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

Holly Harris looks the obvious favourite in the women’s races, after finishing second overall behind Henderson last summer.

She rode to fourth on both days at Orange last year and along with Megan Williams and Kelly Bartlett, is one of just three top 10 finishing riders from 2016-17 who will contest this summer’s Kinross State Forest leg.

WHEELY GOOD CHANCE: Holly Harris came second overall last year behind Bec Henderson, who won't ride this weekend. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

WHEELY GOOD CHANCE: Holly Harris came second overall last year behind Bec Henderson, who won't ride this weekend. Photo: MATT FINDLAY