Bright is right for three time champ

ARMIDALE mountain biker Holly Harris will have little time to celebrate another national title as she switches gears to chase Oceania success.

The recently-crowned national U23s champion is off to New Zealand this week to race in the Oceania Championships.

They start at Mt Hutt on Friday.

Harris heads into those fresh from claiming her third national title in a row at Bright on the weekend.

It capped off a fantastic National Championships for the New England Mountain Bikers with Harris and Katherine Hosking both winning gold.

Emily Wooster and Michael Harris also made it onto the podium in the Olympic distance cross-country events with both coming third in their respective divisions.

Hosking defended her U15s title on Friday with Wooster finishing third.

Harris then came out on Saturday and claimed the U23 title at first attempt. 

She was stepping up an age division after winning the U19s division the last two years.

The jump up didn’t seem to worry Harris. She led from the start and finished 30/40 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, and not far off the elite riders.

“She likes to lead,” NEMTB coach David Harris said.

They raced for between an-hour-and-a-quarter and an-hour-and-a-half, which turned out to be four laps of the course.

Harris said the course was about 13 minutes of climbing and five minutes descending.

“The climbing was tough,” Harris said.

It was where Holly though was really able to pull away.

Harris’ and Hosking’s wins means they can wear the Australian jersey for the next 12 months when they race.

Harris (coach) was also thrilled for Michael picking up bronze in the U17s. It was his first go at the nationals.

“He had a much more exciting race,” he said.

“We had two riders from here in that (with Jack Feltham joining Harris).

“Both got ordinary starts and were back in 13th and 14th.”

Harris made his move on the second lap of the three laps, riding himself into place contention.

“His second lap was incredible,” Harris said.

“He picked up about 10 places.”

He couldn’t quite bridge the gap though on the first two.

Feltham also rode a great last couple of laps and ended up coming in eighth out of a field of about 30.

It meant all of the NEMTB riders finished in the top 10.

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