27 Jul 2014 Cycling Australia
Cycling Australia looks at the Glasgow MTB event and the six Aussie riders who will tackle the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails.
Date Tuesday July 29
Time Women’s 11:31am (8.31pm AEST); Men's 14:01pm (11.01pm AEST)
Event Venue Cross Country at Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails [South Side]
Daniel McConnell, 28, who makes his Commonwealth Games team debut in 2014, brings a wealth of experience from two Olympic Games cross country campaigns in London and Beijing.
The Victorian had a breakthrough season in 2013, where he finished runner up in the UCI MTB World Cup series following victory in round one in Albstadt, Germany.
Reigning National and Oceania champion McConnell has had strong start to 2014 and is currently ranked third in the world and first in the Commonwealth, making him a hot contender for a medal in Glasgow.
22-year-old Cameron Ivory has been a dominant force in the under 23 mountain bike ranks, claiming the under 23 national XCO title, the U23 National Series and a second place at the Oceania championships.
A veteran on the Australian mountain biking scene, Canberra’s Andy Blair, 35, will make his debut at the 2014 Commonwealth Games but is no stranger to donning the green and gold, having represented Australia at multiple world championships - his first in 1996 as a junior in Cairns.
The reigning XCM national champion had a stellar performance returning to Cairns, finishing inside the top 30 at the recent UCI World Cup in April.
London Olympian Bec Henderson, 22, will headline the female contingent of the #Glasgow2014 Mountain Bike team, after making a successful transition so far in season 2014 from under 23 to elite international racing.
After finishing on top of the UCI U23 World Cup rankings in 2013, the reigning cross country national champion recorded her highest ever elite UCI World Cup result in Cairns with 10th place.
The Canberran is currently ranked third in the Commonwealth and is predicted to go head to head with Trek Factory Racing teammate Emily Batty (Canada, rank #2) and Luna Pro Team’s Catharine Pendrel (Canada, rank #3.
Peta Mullens, 26, will make her Commonwealth Games debut in 2014, taking a break from her road commitments with her Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team to focus on the dirt for Australia in Glasgow.
The reigning national eliminator (XCE) champion claimed her first UCI World Cup podium in 2014, placing fourth in the XCE at Nove Mesto. The Bendagonian's resume also includes Australian crowns in Cross Country (2013) and Marathon (2012),
Tory Thomas, 36, is a four-time XCM and one-time XCO national champion and is also a dual 24-hour Solo MTB national champion.
The MTB event is the only Commonwealth Games cycling event in which Australia has never won a gold medal - male or female - and is the only men's cycling event in which we have never won a medal.
The MTB has only been held at two Commonwealth Games - Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006.
The Cross-country only Commonwealth Games cycling event that we have never won a medal, and the only men's cycling event in which we have never won gold.
Cross-country is the only women's Commonwealth Games cycling event we have never won gold in. Mary Grigson is Australia's only MTB medallist of any gender with bronze in 2002.
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