The stars of the Australian team at the World MTBO Championships today were certainly the Junior Men. This was the first junior team that Australia has sent to an international MTBO competition and these boys used the experience that they gained through a week of racing to bring our team into a magnificent podium place finishing 5th in the relay competition.
Chris Firman led the team off and returned in 5th place just a few seconds ahead of Finland 2. He was backed up next by Marc Gluskie then Luke Poland who both held on to that position (despite some order changes in the teams before and after them). All 3 boys showed their sprinting prowess, each finishing just seconds ahead of their rival teams. The race was won by the Czech Republic in a time of 2:56:32, this team leading the race from start to finish. They were followed by Russia and Finland. Demonstrating the depth of this event, both the Russian and Finnish teams winning medals were their number 2 teams. WELL DONE BOYS!
Unfortunately our number 1 men’s team were disqualified after a great start by Steven Cuswoth. Steven had finished the first leg in 9th place but our second rider Alex Randall appears to have been disqualified. Our number 2 team of Grant Lebbink, Mary Fien and Mel Simpson finished in 28th place (17th nation).
I’m sure that the team will report on the inside story on their Blog.
I recommend taking a look at the official MTBO WOC site – it is a useful resource with maps from all the events as well as results, splits, videos and photos. Full Relay results, splits, maps and photos*
*website has since closed down