Dan McConnell and Jenni King wrapped up overall wins on Sunday in round 3 of the Real Insurance All Mountain Cup, with McConnell winning the final point-to-point stage and King securing her win with a second to Bec Henderson.
Event hosts, the Canberra Off-Road Cycling Club, laid out a blindingly fast 20-kilometre course for the final stage of the weekend, which led to around an hour of exciting point-to-point action for the elite categories.
McConnell carried his form from Saturday's win in the Olympic cross country race, starting hard off the front and then maintaining his first place throughout the race.
"It's good to back up after yesterday," said McConnell. "It was a little bit harder today, with some fatigue in the legs. I was able to get away on the climb, and I knew a fair few of the tracks well, so I was able to ride it pretty smoothly to the finish."
McConnell was very satisfied with the overall general classification win for the round. "My weekend kicked off well with the super D, I rode it pretty conservatively. Yesterday, I won my pet event (the XCO), and was able to put some time in coming in to today, where I attacked from the start."
His weekend win likely makes him the rider to beat in the national championships in a fortnight in Adelaide. "My form should be pretty good for that," said McConnell. "I still think the race is looking fairly open but I'm looking forward to it."
Second place went to evergreen Sid Taberlay who spoke of the challenging Stromlo trails. "I've always struggled a little bit here in Canberra. It's just the surface, there's a fine line between being upright and being on the ground." Looking at the bigger picture with the Australian and international seasons both building, Tablerlay said, "It was good today. I'm starting to find some form which is good with nationals in a couple of weeks and the first World Cups a few weeks after that."
Paul Van Der Ploeg capped off a strong weekend with a third place in the point-to-point. Speaking to him, it's easy to see his single-minded focus on the fast end of the field. "It was a good race out there today. Macca (McConnell) rode away from me, and for a while I was accidentally blocking Sid through the feed zone, he gassed it, and I was fairly tired after yesterday's effort."
Many are keen to see how the young-gun will go in his first national championships race in the elite field. His plans between now and then. "A good week of training this week, and then I'll taper, it's a good track for me there, I've always had fairly consistent races in Adelaide."
Andrew Blair maintains his overall season lead. "It's always fun to race at home, I had some pretty good form and really enjoyed the racing. I'm focusing on the series, trying to retain the lead, so I need to be consistent."
In the elite women's race, Bec Henderson was pressured the whole way by Jenni King, but came away with the win. After the disappointment of four flat tyres in Saturday's racing, Henderson said, "It doesn't quite make up for yesterday, but it's good to get a win on the board and know that my form's good enough to compete with the other girls."
Henderson spoke of her race. "I had a bit of home track advantage, but Jenni was probably riding better than me. She was well and truly holding my wheel on the technical corners." The key move for the race happened on a climb as it often does. "After the feed zone, there was a steep long fireroad, she (King) put the pressure on so I counter-attacked and that's where I got away."
King, the dominant female rider for the whole season finished in second place to Henderson but had her third consecutive season round win. "It was fantastic. I came to Canberra expecting Bec Henderson to be tough to beat on her home course. She's also in flying form at the moment. To be racing against her and to win overall is really good."
Looking forward to the last round in Awaba, King who has won seven of nine events so far is understandably positive. "I'm pretty confident going into the final round that I can win the series overall, and that was the aim, to be consistent".
Katherine O'Shea, the reigning cross country national champion had a challenging race to secure third place. "It started pretty intense, a few attacks but it was a good course, I really enjoyed it".
In the under 23 men's race, in the men's Jack Haig had a close win from Robbie Hucker with Trenton Day in third. Hucker won round 3 overall, while Luke Fetch maintained his overall lead in the season.
In the under 23 women's race, Amy Austin won today's race and also took the overall win for the round from Jacinta Aitken. With her win, Austin also moved into the season lead.
Looking to the under 19 men's race, Billy Sewell took the win for the day and for the overall weekend from Ben Bradley and Benjamin Forbes. With the win, Sewell also takes over the series lead.
In the under 19 women's category, Emily Parkes won the race and the weekend overall from Karuna Henderson, and she too with this weekend's win assumes the mantle of season leader.
The final round of the Real Insurance All Mountain Cup will be at Awaba on March 2-4.
|1||Daniel McConnell (Anytime Fitness - Shimano)||0:56:17|
|2||Sid Taberlay (Kenda - H20 Overdrive)||0:00:18|
|3||Paul Van Der Ploeg (Felt Otztal - X-bionic)||0:00:30|
|4||Andrew Blair (Swell Redshift MTB Team - Felt)||0:00:57|
|5||Lachlan Norris (Giant Factory Off-Road Team - Drapac)||0:01:14|
|6||Neil Van Der Ploeg||0:02:04|
|7||Joshua Carlson (Australian Giant Factory Team)||0:02:05|
|8||Matthew Fleming (Rock star Racing - Giant)||0:03:09|
|9||Adrian Jackson (Merida Flight Centre MTB Team)||0:03:33|
|12||Peter Kutschera (Apollo Bikes - Bikes Direct)||0:04:32|
|13||James Downing (Cannondale Australia - Lonsdal)||0:04:34|
|14||Michael Vanos (MSC Bikes - Blackmans Bicycles)|
|16||Andrew Arthur (Endeavour Cycles)||0:05:26|
|17||Ben Hogarth (Giant Exact MTB Team)||0:07:13|
|20||Matt Ligtermoet (Rush Racing Specialized)||0:10:39|
|21||Nick Both (Swell-Redshift Racing)||0:11:29|
|23||John Groves (Apollo Bikes)||0:15:28|
|24||Dylan Cooper (Trek Concepts.com.au - Fictive.com.au)||0:16:12|
|DNS||Ondrej Slezak (Bernard Beer)|
|DNS||Jarrod Moroni (Moronis Bikes Bendigo)|
|1||Rebecca Henderson (Anytime Fitness - Shimano)||1:06:54|
|2||Jenni King (Torq Nutrition)||0:00:34|
|3||Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition)||0:01:36|
|5||Peta Mullens (Team Merida Moronis Bikes Bendigo)||0:04:51|
|8||Rosemary Barnes (Swell-Redshift)||0:08:04|
|10||Nicola Hogan (Drift Bikes)||0:12:21|
|12||Jaclyn Schapel (Giant Australia)||1:03:17|
|DNS||Niki Fisher (Giant)|
|3||Trenton Day (Drift Bikes-Specialized)||0:00:21|
|4||Kyle Ward (Jet Racing - Specialized Bikes)||0:01:09|
|5||Luke Fetch (Search2Retain - Felt)||0:01:12|
|7||Nelson Tilley (Top Brand Cycles - Townsville)||0:04:27|
|9||Alexander Meyland (MTBA Specialized EDP Team)||0:06:52|
|11||James Hanus (Scott Australia - Mitcham Cycle Centre)||0:14:55|
|12||Sebastian Jayne (Bikeminded)||0:32:04|
|1||Amy Austin (Stevens Bikes)||1:24:14|
|1||Billy Sewell (Torq MTB Team - Continental)||1:02:30|
|2||Ben Bradley (Specialized Bicycle Components)||0:00:24|
|3||Benjamin Forbes (Kenmore Cycles)||0:00:38|
|4||Ben Comfort (TLC Cycles - Geoff Comfort Photograpaphy)||0:01:03|
|6||Jack Lavis (Batemans Bay Cycles)||0:02:34|
|8||Jason Lowndes (BCS Rising Sun)||0:03:20|
|9||Christopher Aitken (Breakaway Cycles Ozriders.com.au)||0:03:32|
|11||Peter McKellar Stewart||0:05:15|
|12||Cameron Prosser (Anytime Fitness)||0:06:02|
|17||Rodger Pogson-Manning (Ay Up - Silverback)||0:14:38|
|DNS||Conor Bullard (Bilt Bikes)|
|DNS||Kyna Millan (TLC Cycles - MSL)|
|1||Hamish Prosser (Mal Adjusted - Apollo Bicycles)||1:06:15|
|3||Jayden Ward (Jet-Racing - Specalized Bicycles)||0:00:47|
|4||Mitchell Greenway (All Terrain Cycles)||0:00:55|
|6||Jack Jude (Cognition Bikes - Specialized)||0:01:35|
|7||Simon Harrington (Scott Bikes)||0:01:43|
|8||Dean Madden (Specialized - Bike Nirvana)||0:01:54|
|16||Rong Min (Global Track Warehouse)||0:44:14|
|DNS||Zoe Binder (Crowne Plaza Canberra)|
|1||Griffin Layton-Scheld (Onyabike Belco & Civic)||1:16:30|
|DNS||Jackson Frew (Lennock Motors - Commencal)|
|1||Bradley Morton (Onya Bike Belconnen)||1:03:31|
|3||James Collins (Trek - Bontrager)||0:03:35|
|4||Michal Kafka (Bernard Riders)||0:04:12|
|9||Damien Enderby (Thule Team Australia - Cranks Bikestore)||0:11:40|
|3||Evan James (Giant Adelaide)||0:02:23|
|6||Troy Fisher (Stevens Bikes)||0:03:21|
|4||Mark Codner (FRS - Rotor BBK Bikes)||0:04:51|
|1||Michael Hogan (Bicycle Garage Lilyfield)||1:08:13|
|3||Marc De Geoffroy||0:01:40|
|3||Tim Bardsley Smith||0:09:34|
|4||Daniel Van Der Ploeg (Felt Bikes)||0:09:36|
|5||Jason Head (Project 63)||0:10:57|