Generally Australia had mixed fortunes in the rough terrain at the World Mtbo champs in Portugal.
After a week of training and taming, the race week started with the Sprint. Juniors and first timers Lucy and Fergus Mackie both had great races. Fergus finished an impressive 17th given he is only 15. Lucy also had great splits and rode impressively in her first world champs, but sadly had one big hiccup close to the finish. Ricky had a steady race with a few too many small mistakes.
The middle saw our highlight. With an earlier and cooler start, Lucy put together an amazing ride and after a wait discovered she had finished on the podium in 5th place. A very proud moment for Dad Hamish, who had come to Portugal as manager, and the coach couldn’t have been prouder either.
Fergus had another good race, and although a little disappointed with a few small errors, finished 15th. Ricky was again disappointed with his ride.
In the Long distance, the organisers brought out their best area of the champs. This race had everything. Tough route choice, constantly changing navigation challenges and a big mixture of terrain.
Ricky pulled out one of his best ever rides and finished an impressive 38th in the very tough Elite field.
Fergus had another good ride, toughing it out with the worlds best and came 25th. Sadly Lucy was having another great ride, but slashed her tyre about as far from the finish as possible.
The week finished with the relay and Australia fielded a unique elite men’s team with 2 juniors and one Elite. Fergus impressively led the team out gaining valuable experience. They all had good rides and finished a very credible 14th. All riders are keen to race again in the 2017 Worlds and would welcome a few more team-mates.