Double green and gold for Hayley
NERVOUS and "really relieved".
That's how talented mountain bike athlete Hayley Oakes is feeling after she successfully defended her U17 national title on the weekend.
"A whole year's training goes into these events so I was really nervous and really relieved."
"I rode my Trek Top Fuel 9.9 in both events and felt really relieved," the 15-year-old said.
"Because a whole year's work is tested in just a few minutes."
While cool conditions were on hand for competitors, Oakes' cycling was sizzling with the Trek Shimano racer taking the lead from the start.
The Year 11 Emmanuel Anglican College student, who turns 16 next month, was stoked when she crossed the line a good six minutes ahead of her nearest rival.
She said the race ‒ officially known at Cross-Country Olympic ‒ was exciting.
"The XCO was challenging with lots of climbing with some pretty technical obstacles," Oakes said.
"I was able to get to the front early on and managed to hold the gap."
Oakes finished four laps of the course in 56:48, leaving rival Ruby Dobson to languish some 6:46 behind her with Millie Chester third in the category.
On Sunday Oakes then won U17 XXC (Cross Country Criterium) event, making her double champion.
"The XXC was a one kilometre long course and was pretty fast," she said.
Again Oakes put Dobson in second place, this time by 52 seconds.
Currently the highest ranked athlete in her category by MTBA, Oakes said she was "super proud" to defend the U17 National Title.
"Wearing the green and gold is such an honour," she said.
"I want to thank my amazing team and my coach Donna Dall."
But Oakes has decided not to defend her XCM (cross country marathon) title in Western Australia later this year.
"It's not really my focus at the moment," she said.
"Next year I move up into the Juniors which is the first step to competing in world championships."