Bowden's Olympic flame lit in Sydney, set to roar in Rio
Published 27 July 2016 (AEDT)
CYCLING - MTB: Watching the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games mountain bike which featured Cadel Evans sparked an Olympic flame in Scott Bowden (TAS).
Sixteen years later, he has a chance to spark the next generation of Australia’s mountain bikers when he lines up in the men’s cross country final in Rio.
“Pure excitement,” said Tasmania’s Bowden when he realised his life’s dream had come true. “Having the opportunity to represent Australia at an Olympic Games is an absolute honour and privilege. I'm really looking forward to the race in Rio!”
Bowden secured his selection in 2016 with a host of results including claiming the under 23 national title, podium finishes in the elite Oceania and National titles and a top ten finish at the UCI World Cup in Cairns.
“2016 has had it's highs and lows already and hasn't gone exactly to plan,” revealed Bowden. “However I'd say the highs outweigh the lows, and the season isn't over yet. I'm still super motivated and really looking forward to putting in plenty more hard work leading into Rio, and feel as though I've still got my best performance to come.”
Bowden will line up with Australia’s Daniel McConnell (VIC) who becomes Australia’s first ever three-time Olympian in mountain biking. It was a runner up finish to McConnell two years ago that first had Bowden thinking Rio was a reality.
“At the end of 2014 I placed second in the elite race at the first National MTB Round of the season behind Dan, after riding with him until half a lap to go” Bowden explained. “Despite it still pretty much being his off-season, it gave me a huge confidence boost and I started to believe that Rio could be a realistic goal.
“Since then it's been my biggest goal and a huge motivation in training to try and work towards getting there.”
As far as how Scott can perform in Rio, he certainly will be leaving everything on the course.
“At this stage I haven't put a number or exact position on what I'm aiming for, however I'd like to be on the start line in the best shape of my life and want to cross the finish line without absolutely nothing left in the tank.
“Hopefully that will be enough for a solid result.”