Henderson holds off Kiwi challenge at Oceania Championships

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Australia and New Zealand shared the spoils of three titles each at the 2023 Oceania Cycling Confederation Mountain Bike Championships in hot and humid conditions in Brisbane.

Rebecca Henderson added another title to her 2023 collection with another elite women's title.

The field lined up in 30 plus degree heat for five laps on the 4.9km course at the Karingal Campgrounds.

The Australian champion had her hands full early with Kiwi champion Samara Maxwell pushing the pace.

Rebecca Henderson chasing New Zealands Samara Maxwell

“The girls went so fast on the first lap. I just tried to be patient and maintain a steady sustainable speed and with half a lap to go I saw Sammy and had to give it all..”

“Gave my best attack and got a gap and I was getting goosebumps with the heat and just trying to maintain the speed and she just kept coming back.”

Maxwell would close the gap to 11 seconds on Henderson, but the three-time World Cup winner would ensure her unblemished season continued.

Maxwell would take silver with Zoe Cuthbert rounding out the podium in third.

Holly Lubcke made it a Australian double when she claimed the gold in the Under 23 Women, while in the Junior women, Australian champion Ruby Dobson would settle for silver behind Maria Laurie from New Zealand.

Holly Lubcke racing U23 Women

When the elite men’s race came around it would be a Kiwi onslaught with Anton Cooper and Ben Oliver taking up the lead duties early in the six-lap contest.

Local Brisbane rider Cameron Wright would stick on the wheels of the visiting raiders in the opening laps.

Cameron Ivory would be the best of the Australians by the finish line as he picked his way from fifth into the bronze medal position behind Cooper and Oliver.

Cameron Ivory cooling down in the feed zone

“With this heat it was best not to follow those surges on the first lap keep a bit left in the legs and thankfully it worked for me.

It would also be a New Zealand gold in the U23 men with Joel Dodds the only Australian on the podium.

However, in the junior men it would be a clean sweep for the green and gold with Cohen Jessen, Harry Doye and Levi Dougherty on the podium.

Junior Men Podium

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