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Jongewaard returns to Milka-Trek Team

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 8, 2011, 23:41,
Updated:
August 9, 2011, 00:41
Edition:
MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Chris Jongewaard descends a tricky part of the course as he heads towards another victory.

Chris Jongewaard descends a tricky part of the course as he heads towards another victory.

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Olympic ambitions for Australian mountain biker

Mountain biker Chris Jongewaard will again ride for the team managed by Bart Brentjens. The 32-year-old Australian cross country national champion has signed for Milka-Trek. He previously rode for the team in 2009.

"When I founded the team in 2009, Chris was one of our riders," said Brentjens. "It was good working with him and he had some great results that year (13th at the Offenburg World Cup, a stage win and second overall at the Cape Epic, 15th at world championships)."

"Unfortunately he had to stop his cycling career immediately due to private reasons. It feels very good that we can go on working together where we started in 2009. Chris won the national title this year and he has proven to be back in his old level. His motivation is not 100 percent, but 200 percent, and I am sure he can get more good results in upcoming races."

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to pick up where I left off in 2009," said Jongewaard, "and I am aiming to secure a spot in the London 2012 Olympic Games. I am super excited and motivated about rejoining Brentjens' team and can't wait to be back in Europe racing with such a professionally run team achieving great things."

Jongewaard lives in Adelaide, Australia, and his goal for 2011 has been to climb back up the international ranks. He reclaimed the green and gold stripes of the national champion's jersey after winning the title earlier this year in January. He described it as "an emotional victory" and dedicated it to those that stood by him in challenging times.

Those tough times included him being sentenced to nine months in jail over a hit-and-run incident involving former Australian representative rider Matthew Rex in 2007, which left the latter with serious injuries and Jongewaard facing an extensive break on the sidelines of the sport.

Jongewaard was also national champion in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was the Oceania champion in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011. His best-ever World Cup finish was 10th in Canberra in 2008, and his top finish at the Worlds was 15th in Australia in 2009.