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Australian Mountain Bike Champions

$6,965 of $12,000 goal

Raised by 83 people in 9 months
Created November 7, 2018

Raising Funds to support Australia's 2019 Australian Champion's to compete in the World Championships!

Help raise funds for the 2019 Cross Country Elite, Under 23 and Junior (Under 19) Male and Female National Champions to race at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, Canada.  5 - 9 September 2019.

2019 Australia Champions:

Junior (Under 19)
Zoe Cuthbert & Corey Smith

Under 23
Katherine Hosking & Matt Dinham

Elite
Bec McConnell & Dan McConnell

Riders on the Australian Team are self funded, responsible for their own travel and racing expenses.  The estimated cost to  each rider is $3,600 to represent Australia at the World Championships. The aim is to raise  $2,000 for each rider to subsidise their costs.

As an extra incentive the highest donation will win an Australian Team Jersey signed by the 2019 Champions.*

Australia has produced some of the best cyclists in the world, many whose passion for two wheels started on the dirt!  We have so many talented riders but unfortunately mountain biking in Australia has never been a well funded sport. We have riders with the potential to race at the highest level internationally, however are restricted financially.  It would be a shame to continue to have an Australian Team at the World Championships lacking one or more National Champions purely due financial difficulties.

All funds raised will be distributed equally between the six riders.  If a rider chooses not to race at the World Championships the funds will then be shared between the remaining riders.

If there are equal highest bids then one winner will be drawn at random.

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Katherine Hosking
Australian Under 23 National Champion
Age: 18
Hometown: Armidale, NSW
Club: New England Mountain Bikers (NEMTB)
Instagram: @katherine.hosking
Facebook: Katherine Hosking
Website: khosking.wixsite.com/profile

- You are the winner of the 2019 National Championships, that must feel amazing tell me more…

It is an incredible feeling being able to wear the green and gold stripes for a year! I had a year off the bike in 2018 recovering from an injury, so this being my first year back racing and also moving into the Under 23 category, I really wasn’t sure how my form would be. The format of the XCO racing this year also meant I had not had the opportunity to race against the other girls in the category prior to racing National Champs, which was quite daunting. On race day, I just had to treat it like any other race, keep my head clear and race my own race, and in the end, had an awesome battle with Sarah. It will definitely be a race I will never forget!


- Representing Australia at the World Championships is an honour, what is it that you are most looking forward about racing in Canada?

I am looking forward to lining up on the start line with the fastest girls in the world in the Australian colours! When you stop and think about it, there are not many people that get that opportunity. I am looking forward to the experience that I will receive and the things that I will be able to take away from the race and build upon in the future.


- Mont Sainte Anne is a famous venue, it has hosted the World Cup/World Championships every year for 25years, what do you know about Mont Sainte Anne, are you excited or nervous?

I have seen and heard Mont Sainte Anne is a very technical course which for me is both exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking! I think it will be a good challenge and I will be able to push myself. I am excited for the atmosphere that the World Championship brings, especially in places like Mont Sainte Anne.


- As an 18-year-old, what does your training look like? Are there any big sacrifices you’ve had to make to race at the level to be the National Champion?

I do a lot of high-intensity work leading up to an important race and have recently started incorporating a bit of gym work outside of normal training to help with core and overall body strength. In the off seasons, I do a bit more base and longer rides. There are definitely sacrifices and you definitely get good at time management. I have to constantly be thinking about what is coming up- if I have a later night will it impact on tomorrow’s training etc. At the end of the day, I really enjoy mountain biking and where it takes me, so these sacrifices don’t seem so big in comparison.


- The National Championships were in April and the World Championships are not until the end of August- what are you going to for the big gap in between? Do you have any big races coming up?

Since National Champs, I have bumped up the training volume a bit, but I am very excited to try a slightly different style of racing that I am used to and also riding new trails. I am also a full-time uni student so I will be spending a fair bit of time doing that.


- The mountain biking community has really got behind the fundraiser, what does it mean to you, personally to be able to receive financial support to race at the World Championships?

It is amazing to see how supportive the mountain biking community is. As most of you probably know, MTB is not a cheap sport and requires a lot of traveling to compete against the best athletes in Australia, let alone to travel internationally. I think it is even more incredible because mountain biking is a relatively small sport in Australia and therefore, seeing the number of people get behind this fundraiser is very amazing.


- What are your big goals, dreams, ambitions in the sport of mountain biking?

For me, it is all about having fun! As long as I am having fun, I will always be pushing myself to get better each day with every aspect of riding. My goal would be to get a top 20 at a World Championships.

- Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to say a massive thank you to the whole mountain biking community, the enthusiasm and kindness of everyone makes me even more excited to go to races. I am humbled that people, some that I may not even know, will help out to make my dreams come true and fly the Aussie flag.
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Matt Dinham
Australian Under 23 National Champion & Oceania Champion
Age: 19
Team: Trek Shimano Australia
Instagram: @matt_dinham

- You are the winner of the 2019 National Championships - that must make you feel amazing, tell me more…

Coming into the National Championships I was unsure of how I would perform against such a strong U23 field, especially with fewer races at the start of this year which usually let me level up the competition. I had started my season with more focus on the road and had only started getting back onto the mountain bike 3 weeks prior to the race. This left me feeling like I may have left it a little too late. Luckily the track in Bright was very physically demanding and I was able to use all the road racing to my advantage in the latter part of the race. The win had evaded me for the last few years, so to finally come out on top again was really rewarding for all the hard work I put in.


- Representing Australia at the World Championships is an honour, what is it you are most looking forward to about racing in Canada?

I always looking forward to pulling on the green and gold and World Champs this year won't be an exception. After last years World Champs in Switzerland where I crashed while leading the race, I'm very motivated and excited to try to redeem myself in Canada. Moving up age categories is undoubtedly going to make it a lot harder to get a result, but I think my biggest challenge will be not putting too much pressure on myself to perform coming into the race.


- Mont Sainte Anne is a famous venue, it will be the 30th time they have hosted the World Cup/World Championships, what do you know and how are you feeling about Mont Sainte Anne?

Being so passionate about the sport, I have memories over the last few years of staying up late at night to watch Nino and Absalon battling it out on the steep and technical course in Canada. The circuit has a reputation for its steep rocky descents which are definitely something I'm looking forward to tackling. To say I'm excited to get over there would be an understatement. But those rocky descents have a reputation for taking out some of the worlds best, like Sam Gaze last season so I can't help but be a little bit apprehensive.


- As a 19-year-old, what does your training look like? Are there any big sacrifices you’ve had to make to race at the level to be the National Champion?

Since finishing school last December, my training has been a major focus for me. Due to the limited mtb scene in Sydney, I spend most of my time training and racing on the road. Over the past few years, I've definitely had to make some significant sacrifices to maintain my training and ability to compete at the highest level. But I do think it's also about finding consistency in other areas of your life, after all, you can't spend 24/7 on your bike. So far this year I've thrown myself into the deep end a bit juggling training, full-time uni and work, but so far I seem to be surviving (just).


- The National Championships was in April and the World Championships are not until the end of August - what are you going to do for that big gap in between? Do you have any races coming up?

I planned my season out at the end of last year and always knew there was a nice big gap in the middle. Luckily, the organisers at Port to Port had the perfect solution and I will be racing their 4-day stage-race later this month. Obviously, UCI points play a major role in your ability to achieve a decent start position at the World Champs, so I will be travelling to my country of origin, South Africa, to compete in two C1 races. If all goes well I will be heading over to Europe in August for the last two European World Cups to get some speed in the legs before jumping over to Canada for the big show.


- The mountain bike community has really got behind the fundraiser, what does it mean to you, personally to be able to receive financial support to race at the World Championships?

It's been great to see the public support and the initiative from Bec and Dan helping out local Aussie riders through this fundraiser. As mountain bikers we make significant financial sacrifices to represent our country. Having members of the mountain bike community assist us means a lot and hopefully this is just the start of something bigger that will see Aussie mountain bike given opportunities. Lining up in Canada knowing that the community are backing me will no doubt be a huge motivator.


- What are your big goals, dreams, ambitions in the sport of mountain biking?

Ultimately I've been working and making sacrifices my entire life to make a career out of riding my bike and I'll continue persevering until that goal becomes a reality. But aside from that, you can count on the fact that I'll be #chasingrainbows which I'd like to think of more as a goal than a dream.
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Zoe Cuthbert
Australian Junior National Champion & Oceania Champion
Age: 18
Hometown: Canberra, ACT
Club: CORC (Canberra Off Road Cyclists)
Team: Trek Shimano Australia
Instagram: @flyingraccoononabike


- Zoe, you are the winner of the 2019 National Championships - that must make you feel amazing, tell me more…

I am super excited to wear Green and Gold and all the opportunities and experiences that come with it. In Canada I will be especially proud to wear the jersey alongside the other amazing National Champions including my Trek-Shimano Australia teamies, Matt and Corey.

Being National Champion this year is especially an honour because both the quality of racing and the number of girls in the races at Bright was high. The tracks were excellent, being consistently technical. I have enormous respect for all the other girls who were out there racing.

I was really happy with my training leading up to the National Championships, where I had focused on technical skills and learning race tactics - a strategy that turned out to be necessary with my races having two sprint finishes over the four races!


- Representing Australia at the World Championships is an honour, what is it you are most looking forward to about racing in Canada?

I am very excited to be able to again be racing on the World Stage again - last year I raced in Switzerland and it was an unforgettable experience. I am very proud to be part of the Australian Team and am looking forward to travelling, training and racing with the other Australian athletes. I really enjoy the adventure of travelling to new places and in particular to get the opportunity to ride challenging technical features each place offers.


- Mont Sainte Anne is a famous venue, it will be the 30th time they have hosted the World Cup/World Championships, what do you know and how are you feeling about Mont Sainte Anne?

Mont Sainte-Anne has always been my favourite track on the world cup circuit. I think I will really enjoy the challenge of the large rocky features and powerful climbs, and it and it is my dream to ride Jolanda Neffs line down La Beatrice!

- As 18 year old, what does your training look like? Are there any big sacrifices you’ve had to make to race at the level to be the National Champion?

My training is varied - I try to say yes to anything that is offered so I do a lot of overnight/all day adventure rides with friends and family, technical rides with the CORC juniors, occasionally a bit of road riding, and in the past even some bike polo. I race as much as I can, on as many different tracks as possible and on as many technical features as I can find.

At the moment I am studying at the Australian National University and am working part-time as a graphic designer for ANU Sport and as a coach for the CORC juniors, meaning that I have need to fit my training in along with my study and work. I am very lucky that both the university and my jobs support my training and racing by giving me flexible timelines and the opportunity to work remotely as required.


- The National Championships were in April and the World Championships are not until the end of August - what are you going to do for that big gap in between? Do you have any races coming up?

After Champs I have taken substantial time off both riding and study, going hiking and camping. Training in Winter in Canberra is cold and the days are short so I want to be well rested and very motivated in this last training block. It is often hard to find enough race time over winter so I have entered some road races as well as mountain bike races, to gain fitness and try something different. The main mountain bike races before World Championships are two Junior World Series events, one in June in South Africa and one in July in Mackay.


- The mountain bike community has really got behind the fundraiser, what does it mean to you personally to be able to receive financial support to race at the World Championships?

I am really humbled to know that people are giving money to support me to race in Canada. The mountain bike community is already so generous with many volunteers spending hours organising or running events and I really appreciate this. For me, financial support means two things: firstly that I do not have to work as many hours to afford the trip, which means that I can train more, and secondly I do not have to stress about how I am going to afford the trip in the first place, which makes it so much easier to training effectively.


- What are your big goals, dreams, ambitions in the sport of mountain biking?

I dream of being competitive on the world stage. I also want to try and ride every A-line, every time.


- Anything else you would like to add?

I really appreciate that Bec and Dan have organised this fundraiser. My technical skills come from Steve Hanley, Chris Giuliano, Mark Tupulski and Dylan Cooper (rideTECHNICS) and all the other CORC coaches and juniors that have put up with my obsession with new lines over the years. Thank you all for your help, not only have you improved my skills but you guys have always made riding fun! And thank you to all the people over all these years who have volunteered at events, wished me luck, cheered me on or just come and support the racing - every time it helps. Thanks to all my teamies at Trek Shimano Australia, and especially to Pete! Also thanks to my parents and lil sis, Ella - you guys are the best and always so inspiring.
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Corey Smith
Australian Junior National Champion & Oceania Champion
Age: 17
Hometown: Canberra, ACT
Club: CORC (Canberra Off Road Cyclists)
Team: Trek Shimano Australia
Instagram: @corey_smithmtb

- Corey, you are the winner of the 2019 National Championships - that must make you feel amazing, tell me more…

Coming into National champs I definitely had clear goals and knew what I wanted, this meant I had to work extremely hard, not only in training but balancing life. The week leading up to champs I felt the nerves and pressure especially with the competition I was going to face. The day of the race I tried to focus on my routines, and when it came down to the race I knew I had to stick to my plan and talk to my team manager to make sure it was right. After winning the National Champs it didn't sink in for a few days, but I am honoured to wear the green and gold and it makes my hard work worth it.

- Representing Australia at the World Championships is an honour, what is it you are most looking forward to about racing in Canada?

Representing your country in the biggest race on a world stage is definitely an honour. When travelling and racing overseas, I love being in a team environment and experiencing what my idols go through. Of course, I'm looking forward to racing and giving it my best but as a 17 year old I also look forward to the experience that travelling and racing overseas delivers, and hopefully do Australia and myself proud.

- Mont Sainte Anne is a famous venue, it will be the 30th time they have hosted the World Cup/World Championships, what do you know and how are you feeling about Mont Sainte Anne?

I know a few people who have raced there and I have watched the world cups held there multiple times on repeat. From what I can tell its definitely a more technical track then other tracks, which Aussies tend to like, but alongside technical features there is plenty of climbing which all round makes for a very tough course. I'm definitely excited to race on such a famous course but with every race there are nerves that come with it.

- As 17 year old, what does your training look like? Are there any big sacrifices you’ve had to make to race at the level to be the National Champion?

Training for me consists of 6 days a week plus I coach groups as well. Its really hard to manage everything that is going on for sure but during the week I tend to do 3-4 high intensity rides then 1 tempo ride and depending on the rest of the week 1-2 long rides. I quite enjoy riding in a group that I get coached in which is once a fortnight which is a bit of down time but also a bit of fun. There is definitely many sacrifices that I have had to make to be riding and training at this level. No partying for me, which is becoming a very popular thing to do in my social groups however I try to find other ways of catching up with friends, however I have to be quite selfish in what I do to allow time for training and recovery and yes that has meant I have lost friends but that’s what I need to do. Definitely diet is important, I have to fuel my body everyday with the right food, and anything extra doesn't really help me.

- The National Championships were in April and the World Championships are not until the end of August - what are you going to do for that big gap in between? Do you have any races coming up?

This gap allows time for a solid training block and within this gap I will also head overseas to South Africa for 2 Junior World races, I then come back and race a Junior World Series in Australia. I also have a few local club races that I will do.

- The mountain bike community has really got behind the fundraiser, what does it mean to you personally to be able to receive financial support to race at the World Championships?

For me and my family it means a lot to know people are willing to get behind us. Mountain biking at this level is not cheap and it has made it pretty hard for my family and we have had to make some big decisions to afford supporting me. I am very lucky to have such a kind and supportive community around me and whenever I can I want to give back, because in my situation the MTB community helped me progress and I couldn't ask for better people around me. With this fundraiser it has been overwhelming to see the support we have received.

- What are you big goals, dreams, ambitions in the sport of mountain biking?

My goal is to race for a factory team, move up in world rankings and hopefully I will get the results I dream for. I hope that I can represent my country at more World Champs and races, and also give back to the MTB community and help coach, and encourage more people to ride bikes.

- Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on my journey so far especially the wonderful team I am lucky enough to be apart of and of course all our sponsors. And I'm looking forward to wearing the Green and Gold while representing my country.
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$6,965 of $12,000 goal

Raised by 83 people in 9 months
Created November 7, 2018
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