Results: Australian National XC Championships 2023

Feb 12, 2023 at 4:47
by Ed Spratt  
The results are in from the Australian XC National Championships in Thredbo, with Sam Fox, Rebecca Henderson, Domenic Paolilli and Izzy Flint taking the Elite and U23 titles for 2022.

Rebecca Henderson secured her tenth consecutive Elite national title with a win of nearly three minutes on second-placed Zoe Cuthbert. After winning again this year, Rebecca McConnell has now reached a 17-year winning streak at the National Championships that goes back to her time as a Junior.

Sam Fox managed to take the national title in the Elite Men's racing, with Daniel McConnell coming across the line in second place. Check out the full results below.


Elite Men (6 Laps):

1st. Sam Fox: 1:28:49.01
2nd. Daniel McConnell: +10.66
3rd. Cameron Ivory: +25.23
4th. Brendan Johnston: +47.93
5th. Tasman Nankervis: +1:07.99

Elite Women (5 Laps):

1st. Rebecca Henderson: 1:28:20.77
2nd. Zoe Cuthbert: +2:57
3rd. Peta Mullens: +4:32
4th. Katherine Hosking: +7:56
5th. Kathryn Mcinerney: +10:33

U23 Men (5 Laps):

1st. Domenic Paolilli: 1:18:32.02
2nd. Isaac Fletcher: +1:36.09
3rd. Joel Dodds: +1:41.81
4th. Riley Corke: +2:54.84
5th. Daniel Aurik: +5:09.02

U23 Women (4 Laps):

1st. Izzy Flint: 1:17:27.76
2nd. Hayley Oakes: +3:42
3rd. Lillee Pollock: +10:23
4th. Talia Simpson: +12:16
5th. Anook Simpson: +13:30

Full Results:

Elite Men:


Elite Women:


U23 Men:


U23 Women:


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,129 articles

  • 8 0
 Watched these on catch up on GCN/Eurosport; Where are the rest of the riders? I knew XC racing in Australia struggled for riders, media coverage, etc but I couldn't believe how few riders there were in each category. It's not great at all....

And whilst winning 10 in a row is a great achievement, it's very like Compton & Cant winning similar titles in CX; very little competition; there doesn't look to be many future world class talents to follow Rebecca.
  • 9 0
 Similar numbers here in New Zullie. But make it a 100km race, and they have to start turning people away. It's quite a weird dynamic.
  • 3 0
 @handynzl: You dont see as many pros at the NZ/AU XC stuff because its the wrong time of the season for the ones who are wanting to compete in UCI events. The national XC series is usually racers who are still seeking proper sponsorship
  • 7 0
 The issue is Aus Cycling or whatever their name is this week. Because according to them, if they tyres have knobs.... it doesn't exist to them.
  • 2 0
 @Sn0rk: I think @handynzl raises a very important point. It's simply the XCO format racing is far less appealing to people, than XC held on singular loops or longer laps. Which are more closely aligned to how people would normally ride, and therefore be interested in racing.

If you look at those Australian National Champs results..... who are the pro's that are missing? They were all there. Will be the same at NZ Nationals next weekend. We only have 2 x Pro's in NZ. Almost all active "Elite" riders will be at National Champs (the only one missing will be Sam Gaze... who has commitments with his Pro team in Europe)
  • 2 0
 @Cabin: When you look back at what we had on the go in the late 90's / early 2000's, we would regularly get 400-riders at Auckland Champs XC races; heck even at smaller events that I would dream up for the club to put on, we would have 300-hundred'ish. The Kennett brothers had Karapoti as possibly the only long distance MTB ride / race through the 90's (exlcuding say, the Cateye Moonride, or the night relay put on by Taupo), so maybe back then it was more of all there was rather than competing for bums against the likes of Whaka100, Highlander, The Prospector, Motu Challenge, Huka Steamer etc etc.

People these days seem to either want to race Enduro (closer to what is done by most people when they go for a ride), or a marathon that pushes them to personal goals. There aren't too many people entering Whaka100 to win it (well, maybe you do Mark Razz ), more just to push themselves. XC racing on the other hand is very much a race!

It's a pity that the Replublic XC race series never found it's legs.
  • 2 0
 @handynzl: You're right XC is very much a race. But at least with things like the Whaka, hundreds can do it, but only that handful will "race"... but everyone enjoys it. Caters to all. Wheras XCO? Thats no fun to complete... no one really wants to ride 6-8 laps of the same tracks.

These are the frequent conversations in our house. Those events are what engaged people and got them enjoying (?) XC. That still fed a certain percentage of those riders into national stuff.

But... since the powers that be made the purpose/focus of national events to "prepare riders for international racing" the interest dropped, numbers diminished, and so did the events.

So unless someone at MTBNZ/CNZ decides they should put on events that are more aligned with the events people want to do; the interest in XC will stay very low
  • 1 0
 @Brasher: Yes, I think that's true. Yet where did Cadel Evans first have success? On the MTB, winning back to back World Cups in 1998/99.....
  • 1 0
 @Cabin: it's a shame Gaze is always absent. No slight against him and his commitments overseas, but it highly devalues the Jersey as cooper has pretty much a free title.
Not much sympathy for the national body though
  • 1 0
 @Madfella: Yip. No sympathy for national body. They often make things worse. The current CNZ Worlds selection policy for MTB has zero value placed on national champs. The only performance criteria for Elite/U23 are related to World Cups. So, um, yeah... way to support and promote NZ events....
  • 1 0
 @handynzl: The PNP XCO series here in Welly gets a great turnout for its Spring series. ChcSingletrack also get a good turnout for their Tues night series and even the Canterbury series at Bottle Lake (expensive Boring slog) gets great numbers.
A 1hr race for $70ish in "Oamaru"... No thanks. Same with Nationals in the most expensive location in NZ... That being said, Im heading to do the Coronet Loop/Mototapu next weekend for a $200 "race". ha ha.
I would have gone to Nationals if it was in CHCH/WLG/Rotorua ( so would a few others I ride with)
As much as it hurts to say it, XCO style (1-1.5hr) races need to be in locations where the population is, or can at least get to easily/affordably.
  • 6 2
 It’s XCO format why nobody enters the race. 5-8 laps on bad groomed trails. World Cups have a few pass or fail features for the cameras but it’s 98% cart paths. The top riders are SO fast that if you aren’t training 20 plus hours per week with a 80 V02 max you will be lapped. XC is still popular, if the event uses real trails and a welcoming fun event.
  • 11 0
 Auscycling only cares about road and track. They put the bare minimum of support into MTB. They don’t even consider Rebecca worthy of support for world championships as she’s not a ‘podium contender’.

TLDR all the best riders in Australia are on road because that’s where the money and support is.
  • 1 0
 @UphillGuy: That makes absolutely no sense at all; all it proves they have no idea about MTB racing......

Who is to come after Rebecca? It's not great, is it?
  • 4 0
 Those numbers are sad.
  • 3 1
 I still think it is lame the elite men and women don't race the same number of laps.
  • 3 1
 Is Rebecca McConnell injured?
  • 32 0
 No, just divorced
  • 8 0
 @canow18: oh, oops. Thanks.
  • 2 3
 @canow18: Did the divorce come because she got a new trainer prior to her excellent 2022 year? That explains why I see the name Henderson more. Did she get divorced mid-season last yea and would that explain some of the problems she experience in the second part of the season?
  • 3 1
 @KingPooPing: I’m a sucker for drama, so went to IG- in reading both of their 2022 year-end Instagram posts, seems like it came mid-season. Light on the details, understandably. Hope they both find happiness and success going forward.
  • 3 0
 @SangamonTaylor: I am pretty sure she did an interview in Brazil, if not the very next round, on Red Bull TV where she said her and Dan had broken up - it was all pre-season.
  • 3 0
 @SangamonTaylor: I wish the same for both as well.
  • 1 0
 @KingPooPing: I think the new trainer was a factor in her winning not just her first World Cup but winning a few in a row. And also recall she mentioned the breakup early on in the season.
Loana lecomte also cited kind of burn out after a winning streak the previous year. She just had enough points to keep competitors away for the remainder of the season
  • 1 0
 listed as Rebecca Henderson (no more McConnell)
  • 1 0
 @KingPooPing: I think the second half had more to do with the difficulties of staying in peak form throughout the year. It's tough to maintain that kind of form for a period of 6 months.
  • 1 0
 Same thing is South Africa, Marathon is more popular than XC, which is more popular than Enduro or DH
  • 1 1
 All this gender stuff is confusing, like how did an ex page 3 girl win the mens race?
*This was a joke*
  • 2 5
 Jeez bro really won by 10+ minutes
  • 3 0
 5th place already over 1 hour behind ;o)
  • 7 0
 If it’s separated by a . then seconds.
If it’s separated by a : then minutes.
Good luck
  • 1 1
 @broscience: Sorry, we're focused on the common core math stuff over here.
  • 2 0
 Sorry everyone. I have a nasty cold today. I see my mistake hahaha. 10 seconds is still respectable
  • 2 2
 @danielfloyd: Is this why Alaskans are bad at maths?

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