WHEEL WOMAN: Lismore's mountainbike champion Hayley Oakes, 14, continued her track record when she took out a double win in the U17 Women's events at the Canberra Off-Road cyclists XCO and the XCC Tier 1 National Cup races in Stromlo Forest Park in March 2019.
WHEEL WOMAN: Lismore's mountainbike champion Hayley Oakes, 14, continued her track record when she took out a double win in the U17 Women's events at the Canberra Off-Road cyclists XCO and the XCC Tier 1 National Cup races in Stromlo Forest Park in March 2019. Peter Hosking / HIXIT

Hayley conquers Canberra course

NORTHERN Rivers nationally ranked mountain bike athlete Hayley Oakes took out a double first in Canberra last weekend on a highly technical course which included two metre boulder drops.

Hayley 14, took out first place in the U17 Women's events at the Canberra Off-Road cyclists XCO and the XCC Tier 1 National Cup races in Stromlo Forest Park.

Around 100 of the country's top mountain bike riders battled it out for glory and Hayley took prisoners as she hurtled around the course.

She said the action-packed weekend featured some complicated manoeuvres and really tested her skill and stamina.

"Friday's event was a short course of 15 minutes plus one lap and the track was pretty dry and dusty when we first got there,” she said.

"But it rained just enough to settle the dust and make the track a little bit tacky which was great.

"There were three big rock drops on the course of around two metres each drop and you can't really jump over over these obstacles, you do have to drop.”

Aft a rest day on Saturday, Sunday's event was held on a track used for the 2018 National Series and the 2009 World Cup.

"Sunday was three laps in about 48 minutes and it was on more of an open track which made for tight racing,” she said.

Now Hayley is focussing on a race at Castle Hill near Ipswich ahead of the National titles and the Oceania Championships featuring top Australian and New Zealand riders, will be held at Bright in Victoria.

"Currently I'm 14 and ranked second nationally in the U17 women's,” she aid.

"I turn 15 while I'm down competing at the nationals, so I'm really not that much younger than my competitors there only a year between us all.”

Hayley said she owed a great deal to her sponsors including the Ballina Bicycle Emporium and John Robinson Accounting

"I also owe a lot to my two coaches, Craig Quinn from Eleven Hills Adventures on the Sunshine Coast and (six-time Australian MTB champion) Jodie Willet in Tasmania.,” she said.

Mountain Bike Australia event coordinator Tim Gnech said they expect both events which will be held at Mystic Park at Bright in Victoria, to be well populated by elite riders.

"We expect to see approximately 250 competitors for Oceania Championships,” he said.

"And 500 plus the for the National Championships which are held four days prior.”