Two National Championships in two months.
That’s the calendar for several cross-country riders who are now setting their sights on the 2022 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships in Maydena, Tasmania early next month, after competing at the AusCycling Federation University Road Nationals a fortnight ago.
For Matt Dinham (Team Bridgelane), the 2019 Under 23 XCO National and Oceania Champion, he wasn’t at Ballarat to make up the numbers.
“This year I went into Road Nationals with the aim of winning the U23 road race and getting a podium in the TT, in the end, I came home with two-second places, so I wasn't far off.
“I think my form is probably as good as it's ever been and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the MTB to fine-tune those skills before heading to Maydena.”
Those skills according to the New South Welshman become very handy on the road, an asset some just don’t have.
“As a mountain biker, you're constantly sliding your tyres to get around corners and having to jump the bike over terrain which to most road riders is pretty foreign.
“I think these skills have saved me multiple times while racing on the road and having them gives you the confidence to really push the limits in racing.
“Whether that's avoiding crashes or jumping gutters for better line choices, being a mountain biker gives you an advantage and I think that's why we're seeing so many off-road discipline riders racing at the highest level now.”
Cameron Wright (Giant Off Road Factory Racing) is one who also appeared on the podium after claiming the Under 23 King of the Mountain jersey in Ballarat.
The former Junior XCO World Champion will be out to redeem himself in Maydena after a mechanical saw him finish without a medal for the first time in many years.
Along with Dinham, the Queenslander steps up to the elite category, with fitness to burn.
Ella Bloor (InForm TX Make) also found herself racing on the bitumen as she builds towards Maydena and an improvement from her 8th place in last years Elite Women’s XCO.
“With Nationals and Tour Down Under in my legs, the strength and fitness should be there heading into the MTB champs.
“Over the years, I've realised I just like riding bikes, regardless of what kind it is.
"Whilst the two disciplines largely compliment one another, they often feel like entirely different sports. I enjoy the contrast between the two. It keeps training exciting and opens the doors to so many various events."
After claiming the National Elite Men’s Criterium title in a powerhouse performance, Cameron Ivory will be out to add the XCO title to his luggage on the second last day of the MTB National Championships, after taking the bronze in 2021.
Ivory won the national crown back in 2018.
You can register for the 2022 AusCycling Mountain Bike National Championships HERE.