It has only been a school sport for 12 months, but mountain bike riders from The Armidale School had great success at the NSW All Schools cross country championships in Sydney on 21-22 November, pedaling TAS to second place overall. Four TAS teams were among 200 riders competing in the championships, held at Yellowmundee Regional Park between Richmond and Springwood, with riders aiming to complete the highest number of laps of a designated course, in a four-hour period.
The junior TAS team of Tom Cannington, Alex Kirk and Duncan Chalmers placed first in the junior boys, with Nicholas Kirk completing the fastest lap in a time of 15:10. Meanwhile the team of Michael Harris, Lewis Taylor (both TAS) and Jack Feltham (Walcha Central) placed second in the senior boys category, staging a dramatic comeback after falling from first place with a lead of a minute to 14th position when they suffered a flat tyre in the fifth lap. With a strong sense of determination, they managed to claw back a 10 minute deficit in the last two and a half hours of the race, to finish second, with the best lap time of TAS rider Michael Harris (14:13) a mere four seconds behind the fastest lap time on the day.
As a result of the team’s performance, TAS was the second-placed school at the championship. “All the boys put their bodies on the line and dug deep to come up with such a fantastic result,” said TAS Director of Will Caldwell, who accompanied the boys to Sydney. “To achieve this success in just the first year of it being a school sport says a lot about the popularity of cross country mountain biking and the skill and commitment of the boys involved.”
Click on the images to view more photos from the championships – thanks to Mr Matt Benham.