Saturday 19th February, Maydena - Tasmania. It has been a fruitful start for the team's new OFF-ROAD program as Matt Dinham took out the Australian Elite XCO National Championship in Maydena on Saturday!

Making the feat more impressive, the 21-year-old was riding up a grade, having won the U23 in 2020.

Things got off to a rocky start for Dinham, getting held up on the start line in a small tangle, but he quickly set a blistering pace as he cut his way back through the field. It only took two laps of the 14-minute course before he found himself on the front.

The remaining five laps became a battle of wits and power as he and prior nine-time champ Dan McConnell duked it out for the green and gold bands.

Biding his time, it was on the final climb that Dinham made the winning move. Lighting it up on the loose earth ascent, he gapped McConnell and never looked back.

This achievement is the jewel in the crown of what has been Dinham's 2022 season so far, having been in flying form, coming second at nationals and the GC at the Santos Festival of Cycling, where he also picked up the Young Riders Jersey.

Newcomer to the team, Sam Fox, also moved up into elite, having won the U23 in 2021. Would also make the podium; having led the race early on, he suffered from cramps but would valiantly battle through to cross the line in fourth

Becoming national champ is always something you aim to do in your time on a bike, said Dinham.

"You always look up to the elite riders, and to be finally racing them, even as an under 23 and then winning my title in my first year, is something pretty special".

"To follow in the footsteps of my biggest role model Burry Stander, who also won the Elite South African Championships as a U23, is also something genuinely special".

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