3 May 2024

Wagga riders gear up for AusCycling Marathon National Championships

| Jarryd Rowley
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2016 Olympian Scott Bowden will be making the trip to Pomingalarna this weekend for the AusCycling Marathon National Championships. Photo: Supplied.

The best riders from across the country will soon hit the trails of Pomingalarna Reserve for the 2024 AusCycling Marathon National Championships.

The testing trail will host a super talented line-up this weekend (4-5 May), all looking to secure a green and gold jersey, including 2024 XCO national champion Cameron Ivory, 2023 Marathon National Championships silver medallist Tasman Nankervis, and five-time marathon national champion Brendan Johnston.

Also fighting for this year’s crown is Scott Bowden, who represented Australia at the Rio Olympics for cross-country.

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“I’m feeling excited to race in Wagga again, on what I believe to be a course that provides exciting racing,” Mr Bowden said.

“I always like to race for the win but am also realistic that there are a lot of guys fitting in a lot more hours of training than me and you can get found out pretty quick over a 100-km MTB race. I just hope to find myself at the front of the race deep into the race and then who knows.

“I really like that the course has a bit of everything. Lots of single track but also a good amount of fire trail to drink and eat, and I really enjoyed the BMX track section, and the finish on the velodrome, Paris Roubaix-style is a nice touch.”

The championship’s elite women’s race will also see a stacked field including 2022 champion Emma Viotto and defending champ Peta Mullens.

Ms Mullens said last year’s win was special, and while she would be at the start line again this year, she was keeping her expectations in check following a disrupted training schedule due to some health issues.

“The win in 2023 was my 12th individual national title,” Ms Mullens said.

“It actually meant a lot to me at this point in my career. I raced a four-hour gravel event the week prior and could hardly move all week. In the race, I was dropped multiple times so to come back from that type of start after such a tumultuous week was pretty emotional. I was really proud of my fight that day.

“I don’t expect to defend my jersey, but I love the course and I love watching other women race fast so I’ll be there to support the event and give it my best.”

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Wagg Mayor Dallas Tout expressed his excitement about the return of the championships to Wagga.

“It’s great to have the AusCycling Marathon National Championships returning to Wagga Wagga for the third year in a row,” Mayor Tout said.

“The Multisport Cycling Complex and cycling precinct at Pomingalarna is an excellent facility that Council has put a lot of effort into upgrading in recent years, so it bodes well for Wagga Wagga and its surrounds that it is attracting events of this calibre.

“I encourage the local community to go to the event on Sunday to see these elite cyclists in action.”

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