Mackay Christian College Student Braith Vella, 15, is impressing after a year of Mountain Biking.
Mackay Christian College Student Braith Vella, 15, is impressing after a year of Mountain Biking. Sam O'Brien

Rowallan Park a battleground for MTB champions

DISCIPLINE, commitment, skills and a strong core --- that's what Mackay and District Mountain Bike Club vice president Peter Lister says set fierce competitor Braith Vella apart from his opposition.

The 15-year-old took to Mackay's Rowallan Park track across the weekend in the U15 division of the 2017 QLD State XCO Championships.

The home ride came after the Mackay Christian College student's recent success in the National Marathon Championships in Townsville where he achieved a top 3 finish. With a positive attitude to match his impressive skills, Lister, who coaches Braith, said big things await the prodigious talent.

"I have no doubt he will be a little superstar,” Lister said.

Lister said that Braith's base fitness, developed through martial arts, had primed him perfectly as a mountain bike athlete. However far from resting on his base skills, the junior remains committed to his training which is seeing him rapidly rising through the sport. While big noise is made around him, Braith maintains a level head seemingly unaware of the noise around his future. The junior is happy with his results to date but his eyes are set on where he wants to one day compete. "I've had some good results and I've been training hard,” he said.

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This year the Queensland XCO State Titles were run over two days with the under 11 and under 13 races on Saturday and the remainder on Sunday. Last year the races were all on the one day, which meant competitors were riding the technical course in the heat of the day and hydration was an issue for some of the riders. This year there were no races in the middle of the day Sunday with juniors, masters and women's races in the morning and the elite men's races starting at 2pm. Colthup Oliver won the under 11 mens while Alexandra Larsson won the under 11 womens category. Rory Larsson won the under 13 mens and Deborah Dodds won the under 13 womens category.



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