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Hot course for Mountain Bikers

22 Mar 06 23:02

Canadian Cross-Country Cyclist Seamus McGrath in silver-medal action at the Manchester Games.

Canadian Cross-Country Cyclist Seamus McGrath in silver-medal action at the Manchester Games.

With temperatures expected to soar to 30C through the day, heat could be a deciding factor in the performances and results for the Men's and Women’s Cross Country Cycling events.

Among the Men’s race favourites are English duo Liam Killeen and Oli Beckingsale, and Canadian pair Geoff Kabush and Seamus McGrath. All of these cyclists are coming from a northern winter and may not yet be acclimatised for racing in such warm conditions.

The heat may just be enough to tip the scales in favour of southern hemisphere riders like New Zealand’s Kashi Leuchs and Australians Chris Jongewaard and Sid Taberlay who are in excellent form after a solid summer of racing and training ‘down under’.

The Women's Cross Country event in the Mountain Bike competition will have a ferocious start, despite having a small field of just 10 riders.

All of the riders will battle for the single track that allows just one rider at a time from the 1000m mark.

Canada's Marie-Helene Premont, who earned a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, is the race favourite, although the fast Lysterfield course may not be suited to her technical style.

New Zealand's Rosara Joseph, who won the recent Oceania championships, is showing her winning style at the right time of the year.

Australia’s Dellys Starr, Emma Colson and Claire Baxter plan to make good use of their hometown advantage, including their intimate knowledge of the Lysterfield course and the hot weather conditions expected during the event.

A crowd of 12,000 is anticipated at Lysterfield in the State Mountain Bike Park of Victoria for the event.

For event details and results, visit the Cycling Mountain Bike Schedule and Results section of this Website.

-Games News Service

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