Missing out on the Beijing Olympics was far from Chris Jongewaard's mind as he claimed his fourth Australian national cross country title in Canberra on Sunday. Jongewaard's win mades it his third consecutive title.
The Adelaide rider dominated from the start, and he posted an impressive finishing time of one hour and 57.08 seconds over the five-lap event. The 28-year-old annihilated his opposition from the start, and the race for second became a tussle between two Canberra riders Ben Henderson and Dylan Cooper. Henderson claimed second by five seconds over Cooper.
In the elite women's cross country, Launceston's Rowena Fry claimed her first national title. The 26-year-old faced stiff competition and was unable to break away from Bendigo's Jo Wall until the fourth and final lap.
"I'm really stoked," said a surprised Fry. "I was going to be happy with a top five. I've been dreaming about it for a year and a half now."
After recent return to training following a bout with chronic fatigue syndrome, Fry surprised herself with a national jersey in her first race back. "I haven't raced for quite a long time so I didn't know what to expect," she said. "I got a break a couple of times. In the last lap, I managed to get a break and hang onto it."
Wall finished just 35 seconds behind Fry to claim second. Brisbane's Jodie Willett placed third.
Monday brought more good news for both cross country national champions. Jongewaard and Fry won the short track titles, too.