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

Junior men finish 5th in the relay

Monday, 19 July 2010

A brief report by Luke Poland:

Our final race, the MTB WOC Relay Championships turned out to be an excitement filled day, keeping us all on the edges of our saddles! The morning began with a short ride to the assembly area, and at 10am the Senior Mens teams began. Steve was the first leg rider for our first team, and Grant took a place on the line too, to ride for the second "mens" team (which included Mel and Mary). At 10:20 our Junior Boys began with Chris bravely nominating for the first leg. Chris returned in a fantastic time, and Marc headed out, also returning after a great ride. Luke was the final rider and kept up the pace, crossing the line in fifth position, just in front of a frantic Russian. The course was physical, with a big fat hill on the way to most peoples second control, and another just before the finish. Highlights of the day included Super Bock (local VB) at the finish line, some stellar muddy sections on course, and a great repetoire of Grunge music. 

And continued by Mel...

We were all really proud and pleased to see the junior men string together three of their better rides to get a podium place in the relay. Very pleasing for them individually, but also very promising for the future of the sport. The senior teams had mechanical and gender disadvantages.  In the first leg, Steve had a solid ride and sent Alex out around mid-field. Alex unfortunately had a flat on the way to the first control which he fixed promptly and continued smoothly through the course until just before the spectator control where he had yet another flat.  Not wanting to run the remaining loop, which was taking about 15mins to ride, Alex got a tube from some the spectators.  Their team was subsequently disqualified because you are unable to accept outside help even when two flats has definitely put you at a disadvantage.  AJ had a couple of small mistakes, but otherwise had a speedy ride.  So, what now of the "Mens B team" who are still in contention?  Well, with two women in a strong field of men we were hardly ever in contention.  All three of us had good rides with minimal small mistakes and we finished in 28th position out of 34 or so (and 18th nation).

Performances of note from the day include:

1. The Czech juniors who took out both the mens and womens relay classes

2. Danish senior women who at the end of the second leg had a mere 2 or 3 second lead which Rikke Kornvig managed to extend to about 5minutes, and the Finish senior women who pulled themselves from 6th to 2nd in the final leg.

3. Mechanical tantrums were greatly entertaining.  Second place went to Per Frost of Sweden who, after his second flat, declared that "I hate this f#cking sport, my tube is broken again" *all in a swedish accent*.  However, he was well outclassed by the German first leg rider who ran up to the spectator control with a flat rear tyre apparently ready to complete the last loop on foot.  When someone pointed out that he had just run 2 or 3 meters past the (blatantly obvious) spectator control it was the absolute last straw... he commenced to swear and curse, threw his bike at the control, picked it up threw it over the fence towards the spectators, lept over the fence and preceded to kick the sh!t out of his bike before turning on the nearest tree.  I would like to say that I have photos to share of this episode, but Briohny was too scared of her own safety to take any, despite having a truely advantageous view.  

The team has now left Montalegre after the final hurrah at the banquet last night.  Luke and I are currently hanging out in Porto before flying out to the UK tomorrow, Mary and Marc are headed back to Aus, while the rest of the team are spending a bit of time in Europe (AJ-racing, Alex-riding, Kay-touring, Grant and Briohny-following the tour) except for Steve who is holidaying in Thailand on the way home.  

All in all it was a successful championships for the Aussie team.  And equally/more importantly it was an enjoyable time with some very entertaining moments and a great group of people.