RECENTLY-ENGAGED Launceston couple Ben Mather and Rowena Fry will spearhead Tasmania's charge at Mount Stromlo in Canberra today as the national mountain bike championships reaches the elite categories.
After narrowly missing out on her long-term goal of the London Olympics, Fry has taken a year away from European competition where she also raced with GreenEDGE's women's road team, to concentrate on the Australian domestic cross-country mountain bike scene.
Having won six national titles across the disciplines of short-track, cross-country and marathon, the 30-year-old former Oceania champion will be hoping to take a step up the podium today after finishing second to Jenni King in Adelaide last year.
Also a former Wildside and Tour de Timor winner who scored a world cup eliminator podium result last year, Fry is targeting a return to a top-20 world ranking and a place at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"I have definitely under-performed the last couple of years," she said.
"I'm happy I've finally been able to string together a solid preseason. I'm feeling good and really looking forward to competing in all the great Australian races I've missed out on the last few years."
A year after winning the 2010 national MTB marathon championship, Mather won the Convict 100 and finished runner-up in the Ottway Odyssey, the James Williamson Enduro, Highland Fling and overall in the hotly- contested national marathon series.
Originally from Boobyalla in the North-East, the 31-year-old had a disappointing 2012 in which a major road race accident resulted in him breaking his collarbone and patella.
Blackmans Bay's 2004 Olympian Sid Taberlay, now representing New South Wales, is the only other Tasmanian in the elite categories.