What a February the ACT cycling community has enjoyed! In the past month, Canberra’s cyclists have been busy - really busy.
Congratulations to our large contingent of AusCycling - ACT members who made the trip to compete in the AusCycling 2021 Federation University Road National Championships in Ballarat. As a Territory, we achieved several standout performances, highlighted by young Cameron Rogers' (Canberra CC) winning the Junior Men National Criterium Championship and Matthew Rice (Canberra CC) claiming the U23 Men National Criterium Championship. Canberra-based Brendan Johnston (Elite) and Canberra CC's Harry Jones (U19) were both the kings of Mt Buninyong in their respective road races and took home an extra polka dot coloured jersey courtesy of their McCain King of the Mountain classification victory. Canberra CC's Chloe Hosking came oh so close to defending her Elite Women Criterium National Championships, but had to settle for 3rd. Congratulations also to Tristan Dimmock, Steve Crispin, Anthony Murfett and Anthony Willemsen (all Canberra CC) for winning the Masters 120 Men Club Time Trial National Championship.
Two stars of our Territory were acknowledged for their performances last year and were this week anointed 2020 AusCycling Cyclist of the Year Award winners. Congratulations to Rebecca McConnell (Female Australian Mountain Biker of the Year) and Nathan Hart (Joint Male Australian Track Cyclist of the Year). I look forward to seeing what both of these stars can produce in 2021 on the bike. Hopefully, we get the opportunity to see both of them compete at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
It was exciting to watch the AusCycling National Cup Tier 1 XCO, hosted by Canberra Off-Road Cyclists (CORC), at Stromlo Forest Park last weekend. The powerful McConnell duo of Bec and Dan asserted their dominance during the Elite races. It was great to watch two seasoned professionals on the UCI XCO World Cup scene go about their business in their 'backyard'. Hats off to CORC for a seamlessly run event. The positive feedback from both interstate and local competitors has been incredible.
The above achievements touch only the surface of what has been a great month for the ACT cycling community. It reinforces what a great place Canberra is to ride a bike and the high calibre of athletes living within our midst. Next time I am riding along a cycle track and someone rides by and disappears into the distance, I can take confidence in the fact I may have just been passed by one of Australia’s best.
Next month I am looking forward to seeing Canberra’s best athletes out at the Stephen Hodge Criterium Circuit at Stromlo Forest Park, competing to be crowned a 2021 AusCycling - ACT Criterium Champion. See you there!
Neil Skipper - General Manager AusCycling - ACT