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Holly's Australian Championship Report

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Dad and I left for Adelaide last Wednesday for the Subaru Specialized 2012 Australian Mountain Bike Championships, we arrived in Radelaide that afternoon and went  to Eagle Mountain Bike Park to have a look around and register. Thursday morning we went out to Eagle Mountain Park and practiced the 4.9km XCO track. After riding the track a few times I loved it, the track consisted of a short fire road climb which led into some sweet single track then some fun downhill and one last climb up some shardy rocks to the finish. There were a few technical bits on the track such as short steep rocky climb and steep downhill switchbacks but nothing compared to some of tracks we raced on this year such as Goat Farm. There was a lot of climbing in the track which was made 10 times harder due to the heat, but in the end the climbs worked in my favour. On the Friday one of the races was the Masters Men which dad raced in, so I stayed in the feed zone while my dad rode 4 laps of the course in the middle of the day in extreme heat that we never get in Armidale which made it a little tougher, Dad had an awesome ride placing 11th from a field of over 20 other people. I raced on the Saturday, Elite women, U23 and U19 women which was my category. We raced at 9:30 that morning, which was good because it wasn't as hot as it was for most of the other races but the heat was still a major issue for many people, all the races on the Saturday where shortened by 1 lap because of the heat. Instead of having to ride 4 laps I only needed to do 3 which was good because it was a tough track with not much time to rest.At the end of each lap I was looking for dad with my water bottle at the feed station because I was thirsty the whole race just from the heat. I was able to get a good start which was awesome because I was able to hit the single track first which always helps. I kept my lead until towards the end of the second lap where I had a crash on some skatey rocks where I got overtaken by another girl in the U19 but I was able to catch her just before the last 10 meters of our second lap and I was able to create a gap between us on the first climb. The last lap was the hardest because when I fell off I did not realise I had lost my drink bottle and had to complete my last lap without it, luckily there was a feed station handing out cups of water at the top of one of the climbs. I was able to maintain my lead throughout the third lap and gain the U19 women National Title, which is most definitely the highlight of my mountain biking career! My S-Works Epic was awesome all weekend surviving the flight over and my crash during the race with no problems at all, and being fantastic to ride every time. Thanks to Dad for helping me all weekend, and a big thanks to the guys at Drift Bikes for all your support ! - Holly Harris Photo's by Russell Baker

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