McConnell wins men's cross country

King prevails in women's event

Dan McConnell and Jenni King backed up their Olympic-format cross country wins in Mt Buller with wins in round 3 at Stromlo Forest Park in the ACT. Both riders contested tough, exciting races on their way to the top of the podium.

The elite men started at a furious pace, with McConnell leading the pack out onto the fast, flowing course. The race quickly developed a lead group of four, with McConnell, Paul Van Der Ploeg, Sid Taberlay and Jongewaard putting a small gap between themselves and the field early in the race, and staying together for some time.

2008 Olympian McConnell was the first rider in the group to make a significant move on lap 5. This move would ultimately prove decisive, and not only give him the win but also served to separate the top four.

"I felt fairly strong early on. I was struggling a bit early on technically, but I put it together on the climb - I was able to open up a bit of a gap and then hold them off on the descent," said McConnell.

With Jongewaard back, today's field will likely be a mirror image of the field expected at the Australian national championships. "It's good to have everyone here who'll be at nationals, and to come home with the win is a positive sign," said McConnell.

Paul Van Der Ploeg, riding in only his second cross country race in the elite field is proving quickly that he belongs. Van Der Ploeg placed himself in the top four early and finished with an excellent second place. "It was another really good race. A bit more pack racing, at one point the front four of us were separated by only two seconds, so it was also very exciting."

When asked about how he felt to be mixing it up with some of our most well-known racers, van der Ploeg said, "I remember when I was in U15 or U17 watching Chris and Sid race race in (the national season in) Eildon, so it's really good to be up there with them and fighting it out for the podium."

Taberlay is almost the elder statesman of the elite field, and has been racing mountain bikes at a national level for 15 years. Third was a good result for Taberlay today given that he had to stop on course to rectify mechanical issues. "I guess I took a couple of laps to find a bit of a rhythm and get going. After closing the gap to the front three riders, I had a little bit of a mechanical issue that I had to stop to fix, and then I had to close the gap again."

In the elite women's race, Canberra local young gun Bec Hendseron blasted off the start to take a commanding lead for the first two laps. "I wanted to have a good strong start, to try riding off the front, I wanted to go out hard and put the pressure on the other girls."

Tragedy struck during lap two, with Henderson having the first of what would eventually be four tyre issues during the six-lap race. "I'm not sure, I must have been a bit rough through a couple of the rock sections on the longer descent. I changed the front tyre, and then the back went flat." Henderson would end up in a credible fourth despite spending much time stopped working on her bike.

Jenni King was second to Henderson for the first two laps, and rode on to the win after riding past a stationary Henderson during one of the mechanical issues. While dominant on paper, today felt tough to King, "I really struggled with that course actually, it's kind of a power course. I think Bec would have had a really good day, I was a bit lucky to get the win today."

The win is somewhat amazingly King's seventh win from the eight starts during this All Mountain Cup season. "It's good to see my form is pretty good two weeks out from the national championships".

Katherine O'Shea, the reigning national champion finished in second place. "Positions changed quite a bit, Jenni Fay and I had a really good battle - it was pretty much a sprint race every fire road, and it was a good track out there."

Fay came in third, and also talked of the to-and-fro battle with O'Shea. "It was pretty hard actually. I wasn't expecting such a fast race, it was so close with Katherine, we had quite a fun race."

In the under 23 men's category, Luke Fetch had a sprint-finish win by 0.4 of a second from Robbie Hucker, with Jack Haig in third place. In the women's under 23, Amy Austin had a confident win from Jacinta Aitken.

In the youngest of the international categories, the under 19 Male, Billy Sewell rode his way to a win by over a minute from Ben Bradley and Benjamin Forbes.

In the under 19 women's race, Holly Harris won from Emily Parkes by just under a second after a race-long battle culminating in a sprint finish. Local rider Kyna Millan finished in third place.

On Sunday, racers will compete in the final stage of round 3, with a 25km point-to-point race starting at 9:00 am.

Elite men
1Daniel McConnell (Anytime Fitness-Shimano)1:29:15 
2Paul Van Der Ploeg (Felt Otztal - X-bionic)0:00:36 
3Sid Taberlay (Kenda - H20 Overdrive)0:01:19 
4Chris Jongewaard0:01:34 
5Andrew Blair (Swell Redshift MTB Team-Felt)0:03:34 
6Joshua Carlson (Australian Giant Factory team - 
7Lachlan Norris (Giant Factory Off-Road Team - Drapac Professional)0:04:18 
8Neil Van Der Ploeg0:05:24 
9Adrian Jackson (Merida Flight Centre MTB Team)0:07:21 
10Matthew Fleming (Rock star Racing - Giant)0:08:00 
11Andrew Arthur (Endeavour Cycles)0:09:10 
12Nick Both (Swell-Redshift Racing)0:09:21 
13Shaun Lewis0:09:56 
14James Downing (Cannondale Australia)0:10:15 
15Ben Hogarth (Giant Exact MTB Team)0:10:52 
16Peter Kutschera (Apollo Bikes Bikes Direct)0:11:45 
17Michael Vanos (MSC Bikes - Blackmans Bicycles)0:12:17 
18Anthony Shippard0:12:56 
19Chad Gossert0:13:09 
20Evan Jeffery  -1lap 
21Sean Martin  -2laps 
22Matt Ligtermoet (Rush Racing Specialized)  -3laps 
23Dylan Cooper (Trek -  -5laps 
DNFAndrew Fellows  
DNFJarrod Moroni (Moronis Bikes Bendigo)  
DNFJohn Groves (Apollo Bikes)  
DNSTravis Frisby  
DNSOndrej Slezak (Bernard Beer)  
Elite women
1Jenni King (Torq Nutrition)1:32:23 
2Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition)0:01:00 
3Jenny Fay0:01:24 
4Rebecca Henderson (Anytime Fitness-Shimano)0:03:41 
5Tory Thomas0:04:25 
6Peta Mullens (Team Merida Moronis Bikes Bendigo)0:05:31 
7Catherine Kelaher0:08:22 
8Lindsay Gorrell0:09:29 
9Kelly Bartlett0:10:16 
10Jaclyn Schapel (Giant Australia)0:11:55 
11Rosemary Barnes (Swell-Redshift)0:12:06 
12Nicola Hogan (Drift Bikes)0:12:37 
13Sally Gabriel0:17:34 
DNSNiki Fisher (Giant)  
Under 23 men
1Luke Fetch (Search2Retain - Felt)1:19:27 
2Robbie Hucker0:00:01 
3Jack Haig0:00:17 
4Kyle Ward (Jet Racing - Specialized Bikes)0:04:50 
5Sebastian Jayne (Bikeminded)0:05:59 
6Nelson Tilley (Top Brand Cycles - Townsville)0:08:00 
7Blake Polverino0:08:44 
8James Hanus (Scott Australia - Mitcham Cycle Centre)0:10:24 
9Alexander Meyland (MTBA Specialized EDP Team)0:10:49 
10Cameron Ivory0:11:50 
11Trenton Day (Drift Bikes-Specialized)  
12Daniel McDonald0:13:24 
13Michael Crosbie  -1lap 
DNFJosh Cunneen  
DNSRobert Kell  
DNSWilliam Orchard  
Under 23 women
1Amy Austin (Stevens Bikes)1:34:33 
2Jacinta Aitken0:15:08 
Under 19 men
1Billy Sewell (Torq MTB Team - Continental)1:08:54 
2Ben Bradley (Specialized Bicycle Components - H2O)0:01:27 
3Benjamin Forbes (Kenmore Cycles)0:01:53 
4Ben Comfort (TLC Cycles - Geoff Comfort Photography)0:02:26 
5Chris Hamilton0:04:10 
6Tasman Nankervis0:04:40 
7Cameron Prosser (Anytime Fitness)0:05:38 
8Jack Lavis (Batemans Bay Cycles)0:05:54 
9Jason Lowndes (BCS Rising Sun)0:06:27 
10Rodger Pogson-Manning (Ay Up - Silverback)0:06:29 
11Harry Lindsay0:08:22 
12Toby Stewart0:09:32 
13Peter McKellar Stewart0:09:40 
14Christopher Aitken (Breakaway Cycles - 
15Joey Vejvoda0:14:10 
16Luke Ellison0:14:13 
17Harry Herne0:14:42 
DNSConor Bullard (Bilt Bikes)  
DNSJordan Butler  
Under 19 women
1Holly Harris1:12:20 
2Emily Parkes0:00:01 
3Kyna Millan (TLC Cycles - MSL)0:01:24 
4Karuna Henderson0:06:16 
DNFBrooke Tranter  
Under 17 men
1Hamish Prosser (Mal Adjusted - Apollo Bicycles)0:59:31 
2Jayden Ward (Jet Racing - Specialized Bicycles)0:00:49 
3Simon Harrington (Scott Bikes)0:01:18 
4Callum Carson0:01:44 
5Benjamin Green0:01:55 
6Mitchell Greenway (All Terrain Cycles)  
7Jack Jude (Cognition Bikes - Specialized)0:02:27 
8David Bleakley0:03:22 
9Roly Stewart0:07:34 
10Jack Booth0:07:43 
11Josh Abbey0:10:04 
12Cosi Hofman0:10:06 
13Toby Orchard0:10:55 
14Tom Green0:13:05 
15Bryan Dunkin0:14:12 
DNFJackson Streeter  
DNFRong Min (Global Track Warehouse)  
DNFDean Madden (Specialized - Bike Nirvana)  
DNSConnor O'Dwyer  
Under 17 women
1Zoe Binder (Crowne Plaza Canberra)0:57:05 
2Lucy Burton0:02:19 
Under 15 men
1Griffin Layton-Scheld (OnyaBike - Belco & Civic)0:54:14 
2Charlie Brodie0:00:37 
3Ben Metcalfe0:01:52 
4Matthew Dinham0:01:53 
5Jackson Frew (Lennock Motors - Commencal)0:07:07 
6Declan Prosser0:07:21 
7Joseph Simpson0:11:54 
Under 15 Female
1Gabrielle Millan0:49:12 
Veteran men
1Bradley Morton (ONYA Bike - Belconnen and Civic)1:11:04 
2Jason Chalker0:03:01 
3Michal Kafka (Bernard Riders)0:05:32 
4Gavin Burwood0:05:53 
5Damien Enderby (Thule Team Australia - Cranks Bikestores)0:06:31 
6James Collins (Trek - Bontrager)0:06:52 
7Dion Blair0:07:04 
8Liam O'Dea0:08:59 
9Fabian Guerrero0:11:56 
10Pablo Santa  -1lap 
Master men
1Matthew Rizzuto0:59:09 
2Mark Fenner0:00:52 
3Douglas Pollock0:02:35 
4Troy Fisher (Stevens Bikes)0:03:39 
5Evan James (Giant Adelaide)0:03:59 
6Richard Peil0:04:07 
7David Harris0:05:48 
8Luis Severino0:07:07 
9Luke Ingram0:16:40 
DNFDavid Medlock  
Super-Master men
1John Henderson1:00:56 
2John Allison0:05:33 
3David Wilson0:05:51 
4Mark Codner (FRS - Rotor BBK Bikes)0:06:08 
5Paul Sloan0:10:34 
6Nathan Carroll0:10:35 
7Neil Dall0:12:24 
DNSSteven Bullard  
Super-Master women
1Alison Forbes0:56:19 
2Bev Anderson-Tranter0:10:41 
Ultra-Master men
1Fil Giles1:13:09 
DNSPeter Heywood  
Expert men
1Michael Hogan (Bicycle Garage Lilyfield)1:17:24 
2Phillip Bardsley-Smith0:02:42 
3Marc De Geoffroy0:03:09 
Sport men
1Michael Brice1:00:59 
2Devin Sando0:04:13 
3Daniel Van Der Ploeg (Felt Bikes)0:05:35 
4Andrew Wood0:08:45 
5Tim Bardsley Smith0:08:48 
6Jason Head (Project 63)0:09:45 


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