Henderson, McConnell hunt leads of Mullens and Jongewaard
The Alpine Shire region is set to host an enthralling finale to the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike National Series this weekend when the nation's best head to the picturesque town of Bright, Victoria.
2013 National cross country champions Chris Jongewaard and Peta Mullens hold commanding leads in the All Mountain Cup series after the pair claimed round wins in Mount Buller and Thredbo. Jongewaard will be looking to consolidate his season of dominance against cross country challengers Daniel McConnell, Sid Taberlay and Mark Tupalski.
Mullens on the other hand, will be a notable absence as she takes her stellar form to South Africa for the annual Absa Cape Epic, paving the way for round two winner Rebecca Henderson and second placed in the series Tory Thomas.
Both McConnell and Henderson will be fresh from claiming victories in the opening round of the American US Pro XCT series in Texas earlier this month.
"I've got good feelings coming into this weekend," Henderson noted. "I was so surprised to win the Pro XCT, but it's great motivation leading into the first World Cup. I'm feeling a little tired after the travel, but I'm hoping that won’t affect my legs too much."
A notable inclusion into the men’s All Mountain Cup this weekend is former pro tour rider and 2008 Tour de France contender Trent Lowe, who is set to return to competition following a lengthy period away from the sport.
In the Gravity Cup, Sam Hill and Caroline Buchanan have shown their class - their series win count currently two from two in the downhill format.
Hill holds a commanding lead in the men’s series from 19-year-old Connor Fearon and Chris Kovarik – the pair have just 15 points between them on the overall rankings ensuring the battle for the minor placings will be fierce.
The battle of the women sees Buchanan currently leading Canadian Claire Buchar and Lisa Mathison in the rankings, however as the only woman to head to the final round, Mathison has the series all but secured.
Buchanan has returned to her preferred sport of BMX to compete in the American series while Buchar suffered a broken wrist while training at the Australian Mountain Bike National Championships in Canberra last month.
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