Jongewaard & Willett claim victories at Australian series opener

Australian champion Chris Jongewaard and Jodie Willett won the opening cross country round of the...

Australian champion Chris Jongewaard and Jodie Willett won the opening cross country round of the Australian National Series in Adelaide last weekend.

Jongewaard secured a strong lead in the first of seven laps, and held on to claim victory. His win came in a course record time of 2.18.34, three and a half minutes clear of his nearest rival. Brisbane's Aiden Lefmann was in second place until the final lap when he was overtaken by Canberra young gun Ben Henderson.

Jongewaard praised the Adelaide organizers and said he will take a well deserved break from the sport and re-assess his season.

An unlucky puncture followed by a crash saw Canberra's Shaun Lewis exit from the race while in a fourth place.

After missing out on applying for the mountain bike talent squad for the London 2012 Olympics, Jodie Willett aimed to put herself up for selection after winning the first national series event in Adelaide today. The 31 year-old from Brisbane passed the early leaders Zoe King and Tory Thomas to claim victory.

Willett won by 30 seconds to beat former national champion Thomas after passing her just before the fourth lap. Willett secured a new course record in 1.33.42. After placing second in last year's national event in Adelaide, Willett was keen to make amends.

"I got second last year here last year and I really like the course so it was good to get the win," said Willett.

Even after passing Thomas with just one lap remaining Willett did not rest.

"She (Thomas) is not the sort of rider you can pass and she cracks," explained Willett. "I knew I had the win on the last climb."

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Australian National Series round #1 including short track, downhill and cross country races.

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