From the outside, being part of a team looks like a sweet deal. There's factory bikes, probably someone there to work on your bike, new tyres every race, fresh kit for every event and oodles of support staff to do anything you want them to.

The reality is quite different. The majority of Australian mountain bike teams are instead a group of riders who have been selected, or banded together, as they are highly motivated hard working riders who want to achieve big goals. There is usually a team manager who may or may not be a team rider, and they will be the workhorse of the team. They will organise the equipment, manage relationships with sponsors, book the accommodation, organise transport and keep everything running. Of course this changes for every team, with some riders sharing roles. One thing is common across all the teams you'll see at Australian events – there is someone behind the scenes working really hard to help create great outcomes for the riders. 

We caught up with four teams who were at the 2022 AusCycling National Mountain Bike Championships, to get the down low on their squads.