For 2017 the Australian National Series has taken a slightly different approach. Gone are some of the more standard locations like Mt Stromlo, the You Yangs, or even Pemberton. Instead, Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) are championing more double-headers, with 3 weekends of two races, then a standalone Oceania Championships at Toowoomba, and then National Championships at Canungra (it’s in Queensland).
The first two rounds head to Orange, in NSW. And while many XCO courses are becoming increasingly technical, in an effort to prepare our elite for World Cups, local rider and long time mountain bike promoter Rodney Farrell thinks the club have made the right choice for the first two rounds.
“I think for XCO to grow, to recapture at least some of its former glory then most tracks (domestic) need to be rideable for the masses,” said Farrell.
It is a valid point, and it is worth remembering that events need to cater for age groups and other categories, not just elites.
So if you’re looking to start your racing with a bang in 2017, why not make your way to Orange for 2 days of racing, sharpen up your race speed, and start your preparation for the big marathons that start from February?
Some XCO racing, and dedicated training, should help lift your acceleration, improve your bike handling, and might even assist with your lactic tolerance. None of these are bad things ahead of the marathon racing season.
Full event details are on the MTBA website.