Parkes is rising fast
COFFS Harbour mountain biker Emily Parkes is quickly making a name for herself in international circles after a big start to the year.
Parkes, 16, was recently crowned under-19 Australian National Series champion after some impressive rides in Perth, Mt Buller, Mt Stromlo and Awaba.
Her form throughout the series resulted in the Coffs local being selected to represent Australia at the Oceania MTB Cross Country Championships.
Up against tough Kiwi opposition and a difficult course, Parkes recorded the fastest time of the Australian U-19s to finish fourth overall.
Although happy with her time, Parkes was disappointed that a technical rock garden was removed from the race because of safety concerns.
The Bishop Druitt student was looking forward to the section as her favourite part of the race, because technical racing is her forte.
In February Parkes also competed at the MTBA Australian XCO Championships in Adelaide.
Despite battling crippling stomach cramps in sweltering temperatures, she finished third overall.
Currently a rider for The Torq Team alongside other elite and future elite cyclists, Parkes is hoping to be included in this season's World Cup team.
At a local level, the Mid North Coast Mountain Bike series will start soon, with races scheduled in Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Nambucca, Kempsey, Taree, Port Macquarie and Armidale.
The series was where Parkes got her start in the sport and she is looking forward to competing in this year's competition.