Gunnedah mountain bike competitor Rebecca Sams has her sights set on the national championships and potential Australian representation.
The 14-year-old is riding off the back of a stellar 2023 competition circuit where she won three of five rounds in the NSW State Enduro Series. She also finished first overall in the under 17 race division.
Bec similarly won three of the five Rocky Trail Superflow Series rounds earlier this year; won all three All Schools Championships contested and was first in the mixed team five-hour event at the NSW State MTB Series.
The competitions have taken her across the state – from Woolgoolga to Cooma, Ourimbah to Kempsey.
There is one event, however, which has consumed much of her focus in recent months – the AusCycling MTB Enduro National Championships at Red Hill (October 12-15). Success there would grant Bec a dream qualification to the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
“If I win nationals, I get a ticket to UCI which is overseas,” Bec said.
“Even to get a top 10 result would be awesome.”
The Gunnedah teenager has been a valuable part of the Northern Inland Academy of Sport’s mountain bike team for several years.
Rebecca combines gym training with trackwork in Tamworth where she regularly trains and competes against the boys.
In 2022, Rebecca was the only girls’ competitor in the NIAS squad that season. It is an anomaly which she believed enhanced her competitive edge.
“It pushes you much harder, I love it,” she said.
The best in the business require the best tools to compete at the sport’s highest level and Bec has able help in this department from Turner Cycles in Gunnedah.
Business owner Garry Turner has been overseeing maintenance on Bec’s Giant Reign advanced 29’er mountain bike, with servicing carried out by Bailey Harris who is in his second year apprenticeship as a bike technician.
Garry said Bec’s winning results reflected the skill and talent of riders in regional areas like Gunnedah.
Bec said the mountain bike sport was not only good fitness, it also offered the opportunity to travel and meet other like-minded competitors.
“[A highlight] is the people I meet and the places I travel to, like Green Valley (NSW south coast) that’s one of my favourites, it has a lot of spots to learn new skills,” she said.
Looking further ahead, Bec hoped to secure a big-name sponsor and travel the world with mountain biking.To order photos from this page click here