New England pair start strongly in national series

NEW England Mountain Bikers – Holly Harris and Greg Manttan – have made a strong start to the  All Mountain Cup National Series.

The two, along with club coach David Harris, travelled down to Mt Buller for the opening round striving for gold in a series made up of three different styles of racing – Cross Country (XCO), Cross Country Eliminator (XCE) and a Point to Point race (XCP).

Riders compete across three rounds during January and February to be crowned the national All Mountain Cup champion, NEMTB publicity officer Steve Chapman said.

“The Cross Country Eliminator (XCE), is a sprint style mountain bike race over a short course of around 1km and usually in an urban environment with stairs and climbs found from around the town,” he said.

“It is a real sprinters’ event and is run with four competitors racing each other. 

“The first two in each round work their way up to the next round. 

“The Cross Country Olympic (XCO) format is raced on a 4-6km lap course with elite riders completing multiple laps, normally around six to seven, which takes around 1hr 40mins.”

The final event was the Cross Country Point to Point (XCP). 

This event, like the name suggests, is completed on a course that starts and finishes at different locations and does not utilise standard lap arrangement, and is normally around 25 km long.

Harris is the defending  National U19 Cross Country (Olympic format) champion, and performed very strongly in all the events over the weekend. 

She was first in the Cross Country Eliminator in the U19s and came fourth overall as she competed in the final with three other elite competitors. 

She had a very strong finish in the Cross Country Olympic event on Saturday to take out first place and sixth overall, again up against the elite women.

“In Sunday’s Point to Point she was second behind Emily Parkes by a mere seven seconds following a couple of frustrating mechanical issues with her bike,” Chapman said.

It saw her take the Round 1 Overall All Mountain Cup win in her category.

Manttan was having his initiation at a National Series and was impressive, taking line honours in the Expert Class, and finishing second in the Eliminator, second in the XCO and first in the Point to Point.

The second round will be held at Thredbo from February 8-10.

“On another note David Harris (club coach) also went to the National Round 1 not only as coach and support person, but also to complete his practical component of the Class 2 Commissaire Course which is now required to hold non-club events,”Chapman said.

“This will allow David to fill the position of Chief Commissaire for our up and coming UNE 12 Hours In The Piney event which will be held in Armidale on March 23.”

Holly Harris competing in last weekend's first round of the All Mountain Cup.

Holly Harris competing in last weekend's first round of the All Mountain Cup.