Trio up for national mountain biking test
In a sport that continues to grow in the Great Southern, a trio of Albany mountain bike riders have set their sights on tackling the nation’s best competitors after earning State honours this month.
Siblings Lachlan and Jessica Waldron with Hamish Wilkes will all fly the Albany flag at the MTBA National Junior Championships in Victoria after the WA State cross-country and downhill teams were announced last week.
Not only will the trio compete at national level but the WA team will also have riders competing in the Oceania MTB Junior Championships.
Wilkes will represent WA for the first time after only taking up the downhill discipline three years ago.
The 13-year-old said he was training hard to prepare for a longer, tougher course than normal. “I found out (the team) when I was on the bus, a friend texted me,” he said.
“It’s pretty exciting. I’ve been watching YouTube videos and sussing out the track but it’s twice as long as what I’m used to. The aim is to get into the top 10.”
The North Albany Senior High School student will compete in the under-15 men’s division and admitted he spent as much time on his bike as possible.
National championships certainly are not foreign ground for the Waldron siblings, who attend St Joseph’s College, with both Lachlan and Jessica having been part of the WA team in the past two years. Jessica, 15, is in her final year of the under-17 age group.
“I just want to get more experience and ride proper trails,” she said.
“I’m riding every day of the week and it would be nice to finish top 10 if I can.”
This year is the last chance for Lachlan to be part of the WA junior team and he felt ready to face some tough competition with a large number of his rivals in the under-19 division racing and training at a high level. “I’m going for the experience; it’s still a focus point for me this year,” the 17-year-old said.
“I’ve been mid-pack the last couple of years but I’ve changed age categories and this will be much harder and faster competition.”
The national and Oceania championships will be held in Bright from April 2-11.
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