The Australian 2010 MTBO Team:

Men: Steven Cusworth, Grant LebbinkAdrian Jackson, Alex Randall

Women: Mary Fien, Melanie Simpson

And Australia´s first ever junior MTBO team (only junior men for 2010): Chris Firman, Marc Gluskie, Luke Polland

Officials: Kay Haasma (coach),Brihony Lebbink (team assistance)

2010 Archives
Junior men finish 5th in the relay Monday, 19 July 2010
Long Final Saturday, 17 July 2010
JWOC Middle Final and WOC Long Qualification Thursday, 15 July 2010
Middle Distance Photos Thursday, 15 July 2010
Middle distance final Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Photos and maps from the sprint Tuesday, 13 July 2010 Some photos of the sprint and copies of the maps can be found via the official website...
Sprint Gold from AJ Monday, 12 July 2010
World Champion, again! Monday, 12 July 2010
WOC starts tomorrow! Sunday, 11 July 2010
Anecdotes from the team Thursday, 8 July 2010
More about the races... Wednesday, 7 July 2010 A summary of how the Aussie team did and what they thought aboud the races.
And training continues... Wednesday, 7 July 2010 More about the Aussie team training camp in stinking hot Portugal.
Training camp begins Monday, 5 July 2010 Now all the Australian team has safely arrived and got their first taste of Portuguese terrain.
Less that a fortnight to go!! Monday, 28 June 2010 With less than a fortnight to go, the Australian team has begun arriving in Europe and will be meeting up next weekend for some warm up races in Portugal.
Long and Middle distance races: Gdansk Wednesday, 9 June 2010 Melanie´s wrap up of World cup round two held in Gdansk, Poland.
Round two of the World MTBO Cup: Gdansk, Poland Friday, 4 June 2010 The second round of the 2010 MTBO world cup begins tomorrow in the forests around Gdansk, Poland.
Melanie Simpson Saturday, 29 May 2010
World ranking events in Denmark Tuesday, 25 May 2010 Melanie´s experiences at the recent WREs in Denmark.
Welcome to the blog of the 2010 Australian MTBO team Monday, 17 May 2010

More about the races...

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

As promised I have a few results from the races over the weekend.  It was hard to judge how seriously the small collection of international riders were taking these races or how hard they were racing.  I guess what I`m trying to say is that the results from the weekend are, at best, a rough guide to how well we and they are riding and navigating.

Both races started and finished in the small village of Tinhela. The middle distance on Saturday was physically demanding because of the steep hills and rocky tracks.  (As an idea, in the womens course we had 17,6km and 500m of climb).  The route choices in the long distance (Sunday) involved a lot more sealed road sections, which meant that the courses did not feel so much more physically demanding as we were anticipating.  AJ was even expecting a second map at the end of the long!.

 Both days were hot, dusty and rocky.

 Junior Boys
Marc was the only one of the Aussiejunior boys to complete two full races and finished in a very commendable 6th overall.  He eased into the races, taking Saturday steadily to get used to the map and terrain and he finished in 9th in 85mins and improved on this result on Sunday finishing in 101mins and 5th place.

As previously mentioned, Luke didn`t arrive in time for the event on Saturday. He organised himself and rode on Sunday, finishing in 123mins in 16th place. He tells me it took him a while to get into the map and get use to the animals (dogs, cows, goats, donkey) and local farmers who were out and about on the map.

Chris mispunched at a control that was on a similar feature and was a sequential number.  He otherwise had a good ride and would have been in about 6th place.  On Sunday, Chris was suffering from the effects of the start of a cold, he drank his way through 2 bottles and found the second half of the course very draining.  He finished in 130mins and came straight back to the car for more water. 

 Senior Men
AJ , he finished 2nd overall behind Denmark`s Erik Skovgard Knudsen.   His time on Saturday was a mere 2 seconds behind Erik in about 65mins and he then relaxed the pace a bit for Sunday`s ride.   Alex finished 5th overall having riden solidly both days.  Like the rest of us, his main comments about the races included adjectives such as "hot", "steep" etc.

Grant ended up in 13th place overall.  He had the closest encounter with the local animals on Saturday when a dog was chasing him and literally nipping at his heels.  Steve rode solidly on the first day, but had some trouble with one of the controls and finished in 89mins.  At one point on Saturday`s course he was brave enough to go through a herd of cows with rather large horns - an international junior who had been too scared to disturb the cows gingerly followed him through.  Unfortunately, Steve had a flat and then a crash in the long distance and didn`t end up finishing the course.  (Update on Steve`s damaged bike: You will be pleased to know that his spare parts are on their way and the bike will soon be fixed).

Senior Women 
I (Mel) had reasonable rides coming 9th and 3rd in the individual races and 4th overall. There were several route choices on both days and it was interesting to compare with the other girls afterwards. Mary (who is currently en route to Porto to collect her bike!! yay!) borrowed my bike on Saturday and did the course a minute quicker in 66mins.  By Sunday she had aquired the hire bike which, as I wrote before, was not the most highly spec`ed of bikes. Even before reaching the start line she`d resigned herself to the fact that it would be an entertaining experience. Despite the bike`s best efforts she finished the race in 104mins in 9th position!! At one point a local bloke rode up a hill to catch up and ask where he was, to which she pointed out that this was orienteering and he should work it out himself.  Several of us saw the locals out discussing route choice or where they were

 Rikke Kornvig from Denmark won both days in the Senior womens category.  The Danish womens team (Rikke, Line Brun Stallknecht nee Pedersen and Ann Dorthe Lisbygd) will be hot contendors in the relay and individual events next week. 

And finally, we`d like to congratulate the junior foot o team and wish them all the best over the remainder of JWOC in Denmark.  (If you aren`t already you can follow their results and blog at