A LO­CAL CHAM­PION

Australian Mountain Bike - - Between The Tape -

Those in the know wouldn’t have been too sur­prised to see Bris­bane-based Cameron Wright win the Ju­nior XCO World Cham­pi­onships in Cairns - and we caught up with the tal­ented teenager after he won the Queens­land State XCO ti­tle for U19s in Mackay on October 1. “This is the first race with the rain­bow jersey on,” said Wright post-race. “It felt pretty good, with ev­ery­one shout­ing ‘rainbows’ on the course and not shout­ing my name like they used to! It was a pretty cool ex­pe­ri­ence, and I’m look­ing for­ward to wear­ing it for the next year.” Speak­ing of which, with high school now fin­ished, there’s ev­ery chance that Wright can capi­tilise on his 2017 sea­son in the next 12 months. The new Ju­nior XCO MTB World Cham­pion will have a lot more opportunities to train, re­cover and race in 2018 - his sec­ond year rac­ing as a Ju­nior. “I’ll have a bit more time to train, which is go­ing to be ben­e­fi­cial, and I’ll be able to head over to Europe for a bit be­fore World Cham­pi­onships at Len­z­er­heide in Septem­ber to de­fend my ti­tle.” But that doesn’t mean things will be easy – he’s got the Aus­tralian Na­tional Se­ries to con­tend with first. “Next year is go­ing to be pretty dif­fi­cult. I’ve got to smash out the Na­tional Se­ries again and hope­fully have a clean sweep like I did this year – which was pretty dif­fi­cult.” From there, Wright will have his sights set on Europe. There are no World Cup races for Ju­niors, so Cameron is left to tar­get high-rank­ing UCI races and Ju­nior World Se­ries races to com­ple­ment his build-up for de­fend­ing his world ti­tle. “I’ll do a couple of Swiss Cups, and what­ever is over there re­ally,” he ex­plained. “A couple of Ju­nior World Se­ries races and hope­fully get some points and be on the front row again.” The rac­ing in Mackay was awash with U15 and U17 tal­ent, with all the young rid­ers rac­ing strongly on the de­mand­ing course. Wright is cer­tain there are more cham­pi­ons to come. “There’s def­i­nitely a lot of tal­ent com­ing through from the younger ranks, and hope­fully Aus­tralia can get a couple more Ju­nior World Cham­pi­ons in the com­ing years.”

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