NA­TIONAL SE­RIES MOVERS AND SHAK­ERS

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents -

The Subaru MTBA Na­tional Se­ries was one of the best yet, and it’s been an amaz­ing sum­mer of rac­ing. We speak to those who helped make it so ex­cit­ing to find out what drives them to com­pete, and how high they are aim­ing.

SCOTT BOW­DeN WON THe XCO NA­TIONAL Se­rIeS AS WeLL US SCHOOL­INg THe WHOLe U23 FIeLD AT THe NA­TIONAL CHAM­pI­ONSHIpS. WHere’S THe LIMIT FOr THe YOUNg TAS­MA­NIAN? AMB: In late 2014 you re­ally made a big leap – first win­ning Hell­fire Cup and then com­ing 2nd at You Yangs. What changed?

SB: Noth­ing re­ally changed other than the fact I was able to achieve a lot more con­sis­tency in my train­ing through­out the du­ra­tion of the year; partly due to the fact I’d had a year off study­ing af­ter fin­ish­ing year 12 which al­lowed me to fo­cus a lot more on do­ing what I love. AMB: There seems to be a real gen­er­a­tion split in XCO at the mo­ment, with the likes of Dan McConnell, Andy Blair, Adrian Jack­son, Shaun Lewis etc at one end, and count­less strong U23 rac­ers com­ing through. Who else do you think has re­ally been shin­ing this sea­son?

SB: Look­ing at the start list prior to any Na­tional Se­ries race there is al­ways a long list of names of very strong and ac­com­plished rid­ers as well as oth­ers who have shown great po­ten­tial. De­spite be­ing an ob­vi­ous pick Dan McConnell has shown he is in a league of his own and it is great to have some­one like that to look up to and chase. Also in the U19 cat­e­gory there is a num­ber of strong rid­ers con­tin­u­ally shift­ing po­si­tions on the podium – in par­tic­u­lar first year U19 rider, Liam Jef­fries be­ing a big one to watch. AMB: XCO, Short track, elim­i­na­tor – there’s a fair bit mixed through the se­ries and Ocea­nia and Na­tional Champs – what’s your fo­cus?

SB: Def­i­nitely XCO – I’m prob­a­bly not overly well suited to the other two how­ever both XCC and XCE pro­vide some se­ri­ously painful, in­tense and ex­cit­ing rac­ing and it’s good to have them a part of the pro­gram. AMB: Tas­ma­nia nur­tures some strong cy­clists – what is it about the is­land state that breeds great rid­ers?

SB: The in­cred­i­ble land­scape for one – of­fer­ing world-class roads and trails to train on is a big part of it I be­lieve. Also I think the pre­vi­ous and cur­rent suc­cess of so many Tas­ma­nian cy­clists over road, track and moun­tain bik­ing is a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor for all rid­ers as there are peo­ple close to home to look up to and see that any­thing is pos­si­ble with a bit of hard work.

AMB: How did you get into cy­cling?

SB: Firstly through BMX. The na­tional cham­pi­onships were held at the lo­cal track when I was in pri­mary school and I went down to watch. Not long af­ter I started rac­ing. At the be­gin­ning of high school I got a 650b road bike as I was tiny and started triathlon. A year later I got one of the moun­tain bikes used in the Mark Web­ber Chal­lenge and started do­ing some rid­ing through school. I loved go­ing out and ex­plor­ing on my bike through high school and did a lit­tle bit of rac­ing be­fore start­ing to get a bit more se­ri­ous at the end of year 10 and things gained mo­men­tum from there.

AMB: What mo­ti­vates you to travel around the coun­try, and the globe, to chase your sport – what’s the big goal that gets you out of bed each morn­ing?

SB: There are a num­ber of fac­tors in­clud­ing en­joy­ment of the sport, which would have to be one of the big­gest things and prob­a­bly the most ob­vi­ous! When the weather is te­dious (quite of­ten the case in Tassie) and you have to go and train it’s the drive to be the best I can that mo­ti­vates me the most. The de­sire for the feel­ing of turn­ing up to a race know­ing you have given 110% in train­ing and done ev­ery­thing right in the lead up. I would love to be able to rep­re­sent Australia at a Com­mon­wealth or Olympic Games and to be a pro­fes­sional moun­tain biker – those would be the big­gest goals for sure. AMB: You’re mix­ing road and moun­tain bike this year – what does your cal­en­dar look like for the rest of 2015?

SB: I’m still plan­ning this year’s cal­en­dar how­ever ide­ally I would like to do a 6 week block of rac­ing in Europe around May/ June in­clud­ing some World Cups and other UCI races. I hope to also do a few NRS races on the road in­clud­ing some tours and the longer one-day races to­wards the end of the year. Around Au­gust/Septem­ber I would love to go back to Europe and race the fi­nal World Cup in Italy and World Champs in An­dorra if all things go to plan!

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