National mountain bike champion Blair hitting the road for Oceania Champs

Jenny Blair should be racing in the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Toowoomba this weekend, but decided a babysitter is cheaper than a flight to Queensland.

Instead the Canberran will compete in her back yard on Friday at the Oceania Road Championships, to be raced on the Cotter Uriarra loop.

Blair hails from Ireland where she won a national mountain bike cross-country marathon title, a feat she matched in Australia, and is looking forward to racing on a familiar route on Friday.

“I’m trying to get back to that elite fitness and I ride the loop twice a week so it’s very familiar. It’s called extras to the locals because it’s the extra loop after brunch on Saturday,” Blair said.

“However it’s three laps on Friday which is about 100km, so that’s a lot different to training over it once, but there’s no expectation on me and I’m just happy to get to the start line.

“There are some really good riders in strong teams and I’m riding by myself, so I just need to be smart and sometimes it’s just luck, other times you need the fitness to follow the moves.”

After giving birth last year, Blair is getting back into the competitive swing of things and said she simply couldn’t pass up racing in such a prestigious event so close to home.

“I’m a mountain biker but I still ride most mornings with the Canberra Cycling Club. I’m racing on Friday because it’s on my doorstep, that and and a babysitter is cheaper than flying to Toowoomba,” Blair said.

“My fitness is good considering I haven’t raced over the summer and that my 10-month-old dictates my training, but he comes along in the back seat sometimes.”

Women’s favourite is Lucy Kennedy took out the individual time trial on Thursday after negotiating a difficult course at Tidbinbilla National Park.

The 28-year-old National Capital Tour yellow jersey winner admitted she was surprised when drug testers told her they needed a sample.

“The drug testers came along and said ‘you’ve won, now come and get tested’, I guess that was my prize,” Kennedy laughed.

“It was a big surprise because I didn’t think I’d gone that well. It’s a hard course and it’s never a good feeling coming off, but I descended really well and I climbed well so it all just came together,” Kennedy said.

Sean Lake took out the men’s time trial on Thursday with the teams event to be raced on Saturday.

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