New Zealand Announces 25 Rider Team for MTB World Champs

Jul 24, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
A muddied MacDonald scrubs the drop down to the finish arch.

Cycling New Zealand is the first federation to announce its team for the 2019 World Championships in Mont Sainte Anne and it will be sending a 25 strong team for XC and downhill.

New Zealand's last senior World Champs win came from Vanessa Quin in the Les Gets downhill in 2004 but Anton Cooper and Sam Gaze are both two-time winners at junior level in the XC and Brook MacDonald also picked up a gold medal as a junior in 2009. Those three riders will likely hold New Zealand's medal hopes in Canada this year too, along with Kate Weatherly in the women's downhill. The full selection of riders is below:

Cueing up for the Mercedes drop.

Elite men

- Anton Cooper (North Canterbury, Trek Factory),
- Sam Gaze (Cambridge, Specialized),
- Ben Oliver (North Canterbury, Subway Hub).

Junior men

- Connor Johnston (Rotorua)
- Caleb Bottcher (Palmerston North)
- Matthew Wilson (Auckland).

Junior Women

- Sammie Maxwell (Taupo)
- Ruby Ryan (Rotorua).

Keegan Wright swooping in through the Swiss crowds.

Elite men
- Sam Blenkinsop (Christchurch, Norco Factory)
- George Brannigan (Hawkes Bay, GT Factory)
- Brook MacDonald (Hawkes Bay, MS Mondraker Team)
- Ed Masters (New Plymouth, Pivot Factory)
- Wyn Masters (New Plymouth, GT Factory)
- Matt Walker (Rotorua, Pivot Factory)
- Keegan Wright (Rotorua).

Junior men

- Alex Barke (Queenstown, Subway Performance Hub)
- Sam Gale (Queenstown, Subway Performance Hub)
- Finn Hawkesby-Brown (Christchurch)
- Finn Parsons (Rotorua)
- Blake Ross (Auckland, Subway Performance Hub)
- Tuhoto-Ariki Pene (Rotorua, Subway Performance Hub),
- Louis Vuleta (Cambridge).

Elite women

- Kate Weatherly (Auckland)
- Virginia Armstrong (Auckland).

Junior women

- Fiona Murray (Wanaka).

The UCI currently follows IOC rules that transgender athletes must have total testosterone levels below 10 nmol/L during and for at least 12 months before competition.

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Regions in Article
Mont-Sainte-Anne DH Park

Author Info:
jamessmurthwaite avatar

Member since Nov 14, 2018
1,770 articles

  • 29 4
 From an informational stand point, not personally attacking anyone at all here.. but taken from a recent study "Most females have testosterone levels ranging from 1.12 to 1.79 nmol/L " .. this seems like an extremely drastic difference from the UCI's required "below 10 nmol/l" that a trans athlete could have to compete. So how could a trans athlete with say 9 nmol/l of testosterone vs. a born female racer with testosterone with 1.79 nmol/l not be seen as an unfair competition?
link to the study:
  • 7 1
 It won't be seen as unfair advantage because it would be unfair in their eyes to deny accepting an individual's mind switch. They won't even come up with set of boundary values for specific parameters to distinguish females and males. The easiest solution for this in this crazy world would be setting up new category for transgender individuals.
  • 1 3
 Do you think there should be testing for endogenous testosterone levels across the whole field to make sure no one else has an advantage you consider unfair?

Either way, have a read here: this was a very carefully considered decision by the UCI
  • 1 1
 @mbikes1: No, I too think testosterone level is not a ticket for men to perform better than women, it's almost useless indicator but the one that can be very easily quantified and evaluated. And that's why it's being used. I think the difference of male and female bodies is very complex and simple hormone blocker doesn't solve the issue. But, please, please, let's not fool ourselves. Let's not pretend that one hormone-blocker is going to equalize Kate with (other) females. I'm feeling with these people because they are doing pretty difficult fight, but I think we shouldn't try to bend the universe because nature is playing its game with each one of us.
  • 1 0
 @mbikes1: Eitherway thanks for the lengthy article, I'll read it later.
  • 2 3
 Title of linked article: "Testosterone limits for female athletes based on 'flawed' research".

The article literally argues against the point you infer about decreasing the maximum testosterone limit to make it 'fair'.

For anyone who wants a quick wrap up of the article - 7 in 1000 female athletes have high testosterone levels. The research that recommended an upper limit on female testosterone levels contained results that could not be replicated - "17-32% of the data used in the original study was found to be in error".

There are women out there who might naturally be at levels close to 10nmol/l, should they be punished for being outliers? Isn't elite sport all about outliers?
  • 4 0
 @mbikes1: Another point to be made. Some doctor in that article mentioned there are not many differences between men and women in time-clock racing like downhill or car racing. Well, that's one sad buIIshit. If you compare only results in UCI DH WC here on PB you'll see there's massive difference. If you compare women performance in rally racing, you'll see anothe example. It's caused by brain, not muscles or hormones. Women statistically race more safely and (thanks to that) consistently while men are bulls always riksing on the edge of win and failure.
I don't know if there are drugs that could safely shift one's brain to opposite extreme.
  • 1 0
 @qman11 do you know about the levels of the woman in question here ? may be she is at 0.4 0.5... justsaying...
  • 2 0
 @Lagr1980: im not saying anything personally against the individual in this case, I did read up on some stuff about them and they are well below the UCI regulated number. I’m not against trans athletes competing , I just think that the level UCI allows is pretty high.
  • 4 0
 @qman11: ..that and there's a biological female Kiwi rider who just lost her spot to go racing, I think it's a huge injustice and very unfair for the whole female field...
  • 1 0
 @FastDHR: I do also agree with your comment, and that when it comes down to it there are multiple other factors that separate men from women biologically than just hormones. But outright saying they can’t have the opportunity to compete at all in sport is ridiculous
  • 1 2
 @FastDHR: if that was true (it's not) the irony would be that they would be there based on all the UCI points that Kate has earned for NZ.
  • 2 0
 @mbikes1: UCI points have zero to do with available spots in this case. UCI policy for both Womens Elite and Junior DH categories at World Championships allow for up to 7 riders per nation.
  • 1 0
 @webby01: But by transitioning you get a "free pass" to become one of the outliers and have to put in less work
  • 39 15
 Hmmmmm..... I think it’s cheating. But that’s just my opinion
  • 11 19
flag scott-townes (Jul 24, 2019 at 12:34) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, like so much cheating allowing the allowable number of athletes from your country to compete. You people are morons.
  • 24 0
 @scott-townes: Think hes talking about something else...?
  • 25 2
 @Lloydmeister: Weather he gets it or not is another thing.
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: bwaaaaha hell nah
  • 11 16
flag scott-townes (Jul 24, 2019 at 15:50) (Below Threshold)
 @Lloydmeister: Ah right, PB is about 5 years behind the rest of society.
  • 14 18
flag MikeStirrat (Jul 24, 2019 at 16:50) (Below Threshold)
 @excavator666: Weatherhe or Weathershe ??
@scott-townes could be either....or both......
  • 2 7
flag matiewz (Jul 25, 2019 at 3:24) (Below Threshold)
 @curtmuss: I'm sure you love guns too!
  • 2 1
 @matiewz: ...and I'm sure you just love Macron...
  • 17 4
 For all those who want to type about Kate, read her interview on Wide open.

" I started hormone blockers in May of 2015. I think ironically I could have competed in the female field long before I did actually choose to swap over.
The rule is just that you have to have a year with testosterone below a certain level and I’ve been below that level since November of 2015.
I have to take a blood test every three months to make sure I can compete, if I fail to register at the correct levels of testosterone then that resets and I need to wait another year before I can compete again.
But for me, there’s so much more about the transition than just the racing. So for me if my testosterone was to go up, it would lead to all the physical changes that I have tried to avoid, like facial hair.
I mean, since since November 2015 my Testosterone levels have never been above 1.4 nanomoles as a point of reference. The average female range is .5 to 2.5, so basically well within.
And my normal test result is, I think, .4 so basically well below the average range."
  • 9 1
 Shania Rawson? Is she injured?
  • 3 0
 It's interesting that Cycling New Zealand put out a press release with the athletes home towns and not the affiliated clubs that their Cycling NZ membership comes from. Queenstown would be much better represented in elite DH if this was the case.
  • 4 0
 The lengths they'll go to to beat the French Wink
  • 2 1
 Edit: realized this is for all WC not just DH. Facepalm oh well lol
  • 3 0
 Is Keegan no longer sponsored? DeVinci?
  • 1 1
 Does Devinci have a DH team?
  • 2 0
 Huge team of guys racing but where are the rest of the girls? Sam Shepard and Shania Rawson.
  • 1 0
 I think I read somewhere that Samara is injured.
  • 1 0
 @brewstmerr: I understand she's only just back on her bike after being hit by a car while training a few months back
  • 1 1
 Look out for Sammie in the next few years, known her since she was 4 years old, one of the hardest working and determined xc racers in the country
  • 1 0
 Shania never applied to be selected !
  • 2 0
 Both Josie Wilcox and Samara were unavailable for Elite XCO. Injury/Work/Study meant neither felt they could be at their best... and with the investment required to race Worlds thats understandable.

Unsure as to why no U23 XCO riders (Male or Female) were given a shot though
  • 13 12
 Katehe should not be allowed to race seems like katehe has a huge advantage over real woman .I mean woman don't change to men and compete because they would suck
  • 7 3
 She still gets beaten by real women on the world cup circuit.
  • 1 1
 Based on what?
  • 7 4
 Grow the fuck up
  • 3 0
 Just here for Eddie Masters. I'll leave now.
  • 4 2
 They need a third gender for DH champs called "Men who constantly complain"
  • 3 1
 Is there a limit? I'm sure there is
  • 4 2
 Great. Let's hope the UK take as many as they can.
  • 28 4
 Or just send 1 rider and change the rules to suit yourselves, worked in the cricket
  • 7 10
 @Otago: better luck next time
  • 3 1
 This has put me in the mood for a pork and beans dinner later.
  • 2 0
 Wicked! Punching well above our weight for a country of 5m people
  • 5 3
  • 3 3
 Society moves forward, good thing!
There are rules! They are respected: no cheating. End of debate!
  • 3 1
 Females hahaha
  • 1 0
hmm Frown
  • 1 0
 Cough Cam Cole cough
  • 6 7
 That must be close to about half the population of New Zealand, right?
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