Rebecca McConnell bags bronze at Mountain Bike World Championships

Canberra mountain bike cross country racer Rebecca McConnell stepped up on the world stage.
Canberra mountain bike cross country racer Rebecca McConnell stepped up on the world stage.

Canberra's Rebecca McConnell is on the verge of becoming a three-time Olympian after securing Australia's mountain bike ticket to the Tokyo Games next year.

McConnell finished third in the elite women's category at the world championships in Canada last weekend, which effectively guarantees Australia a place on the start line at the Olympics.

The 27-year-old led the cross country race for three of the six laps before she was overtaken by France's Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Swiss rider Jolanda Neff at the end of lap four.

McConnell lost competitive motivation last year, but has returned to the sport and is now set to compete at her third Olympics.

"It was as smooth as you can ask," McConnell said. "I was worried about fourth place. Apparently I had a minute but I didn't know that. I was totally blown. I was really focused on trying to get to the finish in third.

"I blew up a little bit with a lap or two to go and I really suffered to get to the finish, but that's what world championships is about, giving yourself a chance and finishing with nothing left."

Meanwhile, Erindale College's Kye A'Hern fulfilled his dream of winning a world championship by claiming gold in the junior downhill event.