Craig Avenell takes on the 2016 Cross Country Olympics at Rowallan Park. Photo: Contributed
Craig Avenell takes on the 2016 Cross Country Olympics at Rowallan Park. Photo: Contributed Robert Conroy

Mackay to host state mountain bike championships

MACKAY'S Mad Mountain Bike Club has won the right to host the 2017 Cross Country Olympics (XCO) following a successful state title event in October last year.

The course boasts a generous five kilometres of cross country terrain at Rowallan Park, which entrants can opt to tackle in either the Olympic or Marathon categories.

Last year's state title winner was Michael England from Gladstone, who conquered the course as part of the elite Olympic category.

Mad Mountain Bike president, Iain Masters said the club was thrilled to be chosen as hosts and were surprised to have been picked over much larger entrants like the Gold Coast club.

 

"We put forward our proposal because there aren't many of this kind of event up this way, most of the XCO racing is down in south east Queensland," Mr Masters said.

"We had about 150 competitors at our last event, who all went away saying how happy they were with it and how excellent the course was so we decided to try host it again.

"We put forward our application and were shocked to see we even beat the Gold Coast who have the Commonwealth Games course."

According to Mr Masters, approximately 260 members make up the Mackay club, which was established over 25 years ago.

"We have had about half a dozen local members get state titles in their various categories and have three current national champs," Mr Masters said.

"Peter Lister in the 2015 Masters category, Sophie McAuley in the 2016 Under 15's and Eva Plessing in the women's category.

"We're very excited about it all, we're going ahead in leaps and bounds and have lots of major projects in the pipeline."

The club hope to reach the 400 member mark over the next six months and have got their eyes set on hosting the 2019 national competition next.



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