Cycling Mountain: Australia wins double gold in cross-country events at Oceania champs

Australia has shown that it is still the dominant nation in Oceania by winning gold in both the men’s and women’s cross-country event at the 2015 Oceania Mountain Biking Continental Championships held from February 26th to February 27th 2015. In terms of Olympic qualification the top two nations in the men’s cross-country race qualify while the top nation in the women’s cross-country race will also qualify.

In the men’s cross-country race it was Daniel McConnell from Australia that took the lead and won by over 3.5 minutes against his closest rival with a time of 1:29:50. The second Olympic quota place went to silver medalist Anton Copper from New Zealand. Bronze went to Cameron Ivory of Australia.

The women’s cross-country race was a closer affair with Rebecca Henderson of Australia winning and taking the Olympics quota by 50 seconds with a time of 1:28:10 over New Zealand’s Kate Fluker. New Zealand also took the bronze medal with Karen Hanlen.

However the Olympic quotas are not set in stone because in the Olympic qualification for mountain biking the world rankings will have priority over the continental championships so if Australia and/or New Zealand qualify through the rankings the next highest ranked nation will take the continental spot. Looking at the 2014 rankings both Australia and New Zealand have a great chance at qualifying in the men’s event while in the women’s event Australia will a decent chance at qualifying through the rankings.

Another interesting wrinkle in the reallocation is that only Australia and New Zealand competed at the continental championships so potentially we could have unused quotas. Looking at the qualification pathway any unused spots from the continental championship will go to the highest ranked Oceania country in the world rankings. Currently Guam in the men’s rankings is the only non-Australian/New Zealand Oceania nation present so unless another nation decides to take up mountain biking Guam will essentially have a free spot in the men’s cross-country. In the event that there are still unused quotas the next highest ranked nation in the world rankings regardless of continent will qualify.

Quotas by Nations

  • Australia – 2
  • New Zealand – 1

References

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