Aussie Focus

Australian Mountain Bike 2021 Nationals Wrap

SBS Cycling Central brings you the highlights from the 2021 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships from 3.30pm AEDT on SBS, a tough series of events in Maydena, Tasmania.

2021 national MTB championships

Source: Matt Rousu / Auscycling

The downhill event is always fast, frenetic action and so it proved in the 2021 national championships.

Harriet Burbidge-Smith (ACT) did enough to secure a bronze medal with her timed run, while first year elite Cassie Voysey (NSW) put herself on the brink of the podium with only two riders left.

Shelley Flood (SA) was unable to topple the mark, and the 2020 defending champion Sian A’Hern was the only one left at the top of the hill.

The Canberra rider lit up course going 25 seconds clear with a clean run and became the first female under the four-minute mark on her way to her second national title.

“It was loose and I definitely wanted to send harder," said A'Hern, "but I wanted to be as safe as possible and get down and you gotta get down to win.”

The elite men’s field would feature World Cup winners Troy Brosnan (SA) and Dean Lucas (VIC), but it would be the Maydena local Dan Booker (TAS) who was a hot tip to cause one of the big upsets of the championships.

The first rider down the hill Josh Arcus (NSW), would watch 30 riders come and go before he was replaced on the hot seat by Darcy Coutts (TAS), breaking the 3minute 30 barrier.

He had little time to settle in as Baxter Maiwald (VIC) chewed 12 seconds off his time with the heavyweights to come down still.

Dean Lucas (VIC) pushed hard and put himself into a podium position with a 03:18:403, but it would take an inspired run from Brosnan to land him in the hot seat with three riders to come down the hill.

That left the 22-year-old Booker needing a flawless performance to knock off the reigning champion, but it wouldn’t be the fairytale for the local finishing with the silver.

“The first bit has been slippery all week and I just really wanted to get through that," said Brosnan, "and I felt like I hit that really well and as soon as I got onto the off-camber stuff I just felt the dust and attacked so hard and I’m stoked with my time and eighth title.”


2021 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships DH Results:

Elite Men's Downhill

1 Troy BROSNAN (#1) 00:03:12.607

2 Dan BOOKER (#61) 00:03:18.173

3 Dean LUCAS (#4) 00:03:18.403

Elite Women's Downhill

1 Sian A'HERN (#1) 00:03:56.743

2 Elise EMPEY (#205) 00:04:08.970

3 Lia LADBROOK (#208) 00:04:10.597


Daniel and Rebecca McConnell retained their titles as king and queen of the Cross-Country Olympic discipline on day six of the 2021 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships at Maydena Bike Park, Tasmania.

The snow that was predicted over-night made way for the rain, which meant most riders across all categories opted for wet weather tyres.

McConnell was not about the let go of the elite women's jersey she has held for the past seven years and took a five-minute gap to the field after the first of four loops.

The two-time World Championship bronze medalist proved a class above in the muddy conditions, which saw several riders struggling to gain traction on the climbs.

"The descent rode well so the biggest challenge was actually getting up the climb and up the flow trail," said McConnell. "Honestly, I think my bike was 40kg. When you had to walk, you were reefing on the bike just to get up the hill."

The elite men closed out the cross-country portion of the Championships, and like his wife before him, Dan McConnell (ACT) went straight to the front of the field, asking them to catch them if they can.

Tasmanian Ben Bradley did his best before being dropped, which left it to Cameron Ivory (NSW), Jared Graves (QLD) and Tasman Nankervis (VIC) to reel in McConnell.

Out front, the man they call "Diesel Dan" was powering up the climbs and skating down the descents as the rain made conditions tricky.

But it was a masterclass from McConnell riding his way to another green and gold jersey.

"It was pretty tough," said McConnell. "We didn't know at the start how wet it would get considering we had pretty dry conditions all week.

"It started to dry up, then it started to rain again and was such a tough hard climb. The descent was hard, but the climb was worse."


2021 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships XCO Results:

Eilte Men's Cross-Country (XCO)

1 Daniel MCCONNELL (#1) 01:30:55.350

2 Jared GRAVES (#9) 01:35:29.007

3 Cameron IVORY (#2) 01:36:08.273

Eilte Women's Cross-Country (XCO)

1 Rebecca MCCONNELL (#1) 01:43:18.303

2 Zoe CUTHBERT (#2) 01:54:35.090

3 Karen HILL (#5) 02:02:27.257

U23 Men's Cross-Country (XCO)

1 Sam FOX (#102) 01:13:53.657

2 Matthew DINHAM (#103) 01:14:18.117

3 Domenic PAOLILLI (#106) 01:14:35.623

U23 Women's Cross-Country (XCO)

1 Katherine HOSKING (#102) 01:25:29.160

2 Isabella FLINT (#104) 01:29:46.647

3 Holly LUBCKE (#106) 01:30:44.007

U19 Men's Cross-Country (XCO)

1 Joel DODDS (#203) 00:58:41.647

2 Isaac FLETCHER (#204) 00:59:12.137

3 Riley CORKE (#206) 01:00:41.677

U19 Women's Cross-Country (XCO)

1 Hayley OAKES (#205) 01:09:58.323

2 Lillee POLLOCK (#202) 01:15:09.133

3 Zoe DAVISON (#204) 01:22:43.887


A day after her dominant performance in the XCO, Rebecca McConnell again put her foot down to streak the field and stand top of the podium.

In the elite men XCC, the McConnell name would again appear on the top step, with husband Dan also claiming back-to-back gold medals.

Sam Fox (TAS) would make it double gold, outsprinting Matt Dinham (NSW) in the Under 23 XCC race while Katherine Hosking (NSW) added another national title to her resume.


2021 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships XCC Results:

Elite Men's Cross-country Short track (XCC)

1 Daniel MCCONNELL (#1) 00:24:03.783

2 Tasman Nankervis (#24) 00:24:18.823

3 Cameron IVORY (#2) 00:24:40.730

Elite Women's Cross-country Short track (XCC)

1 Rebecca MCCONNELL (#1) 00:22:54.420

2 Zoe CUTHBERT (#25) 00:23:36.460

3 Kathryn MCINERNEY (#4) 00:24:03.270

U23 Men's Cross-country Short track (XCC)

1 Sam FOX (#102) 00:24:15.803

2 Cameron WRIGHT (#101) 00:24:16.533

3 Matthew Dinham (#17) 00:24:17.387

U23 Women's Cross-country Short track (XCC)

1 Katherine HOSKING (#102) 00:23:48.443

2 Isabella FLINT (#104) 00:24:05.160

3 Holly LUBCKE (#106) 00:25:01.930

U19 Men's Cross-country Short track (XCC)

1 Joel DODDS (#203) 00:18:35.843

2 Luke SKELLY (#217) 00:18:38.413

3 Owen TOOLEY (#215) 00:18:40.063

U19 Women's Cross-country Short track (XCC)

1 Hayley OAKES (#205) 00:24:32.677

2 Lillee POLLOCK (#202) 00:25:42.403

3 Zoe DAVISON (#204) 00:26:07.550

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6 min read
Published 19 March 2021 at 11:54am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS