Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Cameron Wright is off to a strong start in 2019, scoring a trio of medals at the 2019 Mountain Bike Australia National Championships and Oceania Championships in Bright, Victoria, over the last week. In three races, Wright won a gold medal and two silver medals.
The 19-year-old joined the team this year, and he’s already seeing success in the Under-23 ranks. Racing at Mystic Park in Bright last week, he won a gold medal in the U23 short course XC and took silver in the U23 XCO (Olympic Distance) race. A few days later Wright added another silver medal at the Oceania MTB Championships in the U23 men’s race.
The 2017 XC junior world champion kicked things off with a strong ride in the Australian Nationals Olympic XC race on his Anthem Advanced Pro 29. With some rain the day before the race, the track at Mystic Park was slightly damp and in prime condition.
“I had a great start and led into the first singletrack,” said Wright, who wore the Giant Rev helmet for all three races. “I set the pace high as I normally do to split the field and managed to get a group of five off the front on the first climb.”
On the third of five laps, Wright and Matt Dinham separated themselves at the front. The two battled for the remainder of the race. “The final lap was full on from the first climb,” Wright said. “[Dinham] managed to pull away on the last half of the climb. I pulled back half the gap on the descent back to the finish, but it wasn’t enough. I still finished second, 20 seconds back, I’m happy with that!”
The short-track race combined U23 and elite riders, and Wright again was aggressive from the start. He attacked from the gun and managed to catch the Elite leader early on. “We started to work a little bit together but after realizing I had to race for the Oceania title in a few days I decided to settle back into the chase group.”
The strategy paid off as Wright ended up finishing second overall and first among the U23 riders to take the national title.
Next up was the Oceania Championships, which includes racers from other countries including New Zealand, Fiji and Guam. Wright was again in the mix at the front from the start, joining a lead group of five that was slowly whittled down during the five-lap race.
“There was just two of us left at the front on the final lap,” Wright said. “I went for it and hung with the lead rider until the final meters of the climb, where he managed to creep away slightly. I knew I could gain some time back on the descent. I went as fast as I could but fell just short with another second place, this time just 8 seconds back. Overall I am very happy with my consistent results on the weekend and I’m now looking forward to training hard and starting the World Cup season.”