Three elite men will be representing Australia in the upcoming World MTB Orienteering Championships (WMTBOC) at Viborg, Denmark from July 26 – August 4th.
Team captain Ricky Thackray, from Western Australia, will be racing at his 5th WOC (World Orienteering Championships) after debuting in 2012. Queenslander Joel Young is looking forward to his 2nd WOC after his inaugural races last year in Austria were hampered by several mechanical problems. Tim Doman (Newcastle, NSW) is making his Australian debut after winning two of the three selection races at the NSW Championships in April. His background in mtb crosscountry and adventure racing, including a win at the recent GeoQuest Half, means that he brings good fitness and skills to the team.
Ricky & Joel are already in Europe and have competed in major events in both Lithuania and the Czech Republic. Ricky did exceptionally well winning 2 days and placing 5th overall in his age class at the Czech 5 Days. Tim flies out shortly to join them in Denmark on July 20th for a week’s training in preparation for the Championships. The Danish terrain should suit the Aussies as its relatively flat with an emphasis on technical decision making.
In the World Championships each rider competes in 4 individual events and a 3 person relay. The individual events differ in distances, planned winning times and technical difficulties. The “sprint” is only a 25 minute winning time for the optimal 11 kilometre course. However it is held in complex bush and urban terrain including the narrow laneways of old town Viborg, and requires riders to visit 31 control points and make many quick decisions. In contrast the winning time for the “long” course of 46 kilometres is 110 minutes, with some of the 27 controls being situated 3 or 4 kilometres apart, requiring good route choices and benefiting riders with elite fitness and endurance. The Australian team is especially keen to push for a top 10 finish in the “relay,” a 45 minute race for each rider, after finishing a disappointing 14th last year.
The team will be managed by Queenslander Andrea Harris, both a keen mtb and foot orienteer, who is a former foot O WOC team member herself. New Zealander Marquita Gelderman will be coach for both the Australian & NZ teams.