McConnell leads the way for Australia at MTB World Champs
11 September 2017
CYCLING - MTB: Three-time Olympian Daniel McConnell (ACT) has produced a epic ride to finish ninth in the elite men UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns, Queensland on Saturday.
The Canberra rider, who started third on the grid smashed his way through the pack to make it into the top 10 for the first time in his career.
“Last couple of years have been pretty tough so to finish the season really strong and get back in the top 10 gives me confidence for next year,” a drained McConnell said.
“I just was able to chip away every lap and by about the third lap I was feeling pretty good and knew I could move up in the last few laps.”
McConnell is the third Australian to make the top 10 at the world championships this year along with Cameron Wright and Matt Dinham in the junior men’s ranks.
The Australian national champion said the amount of locals out on course cheering for the green and gold was a huge booster.
“It was cool everyone came out and cheered on all the Aussies today. It’s been a pretty good week for the Aussies already so hopefully tomorrow as well we can see a couple of guys on the podium to finish it off.
Cameron Ivory (NSW) the next best of the green and gold in 41st.
Nino Schuter (SUI) claimed the rainbow jersey in the elite men and made it a Switzerland double after Jolanda Neff (SUI) took out the elite women’s earlier in the day.
Rebecca Henderson (ACT), went into the race with the number 14 plate, but the multiple Australian champion would end the day in 20th.
“I dug deep with everything I had and was super appreciative of all the support out there that really did help me to get the best out of myself,” she said.
“The course hasn’t got much passing so if one rider drops a wheel it’s really hard to get past so that’s how the breaks happen.”
Fellow Aussie Peta Mullens (VIC) finished 38th while Eliza Kwan (ACT), Kathryn McInerney (NSW) and Anna Beck (QLD) would fill 47 to 49th place.
The morning’s racing started off with the U23 women with Holly Harris (NSW), Megan Williams (QLD) and Charlotte Culver (NSW) all on the start line against a strong women’s field.
Williams was pushing for a top 20 spot on the second lap before a mechanical saw her drop back in the field on lap 3 and finish 27th, while Culver, who stopped to help Williams would finish one place further behind.
Harris made her way through the pack with two laps to go and stopped the clock in 22nd position.
Mountain Bike Australia