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March 03, Point-to-point cross country:

Taberlay, Gorrell win point-to-point race in Awaba

Cycling News
March 05, 2012, 16:47 GMT,
March 05, 2012, 17:03 GMT

Blair, King lock up All Mountain Cup titles

The final round of the cross country half of the national mountain bike series was held on the last three days at Awaba, just south of Newcastle, and concluded with a 12-kilometre point-to-point race on Sunday.

Race distance was halved from the scheduled 25 kilometres due to the course being muddy from days of rain. Riders were nonetheless happy that the weather had changed overnight, and even if the trails were wet, the sun was unexpectedly shining on the race start.

Sid Taberlay rode a strong race to back up his win in the cross country on Saturday with a win in the elite category of the point-to-point.

"It was good, there were a select group of three of us off the front, (U23) Trenton Day, (U19) Ben Bradley and myself," said Taberlay.

With those three in the lead for the race, it was of little consequence that Taberlay came in third overall behind the other two - he had secured the race win in the elite category. Joshua Carlson finished in second place in elite, with Andrew Arthur in third.

Taberlay's two wins over the course of the weekend carried him to a general classification win for Round 4.

Reflecting on this form and looking to the future, Taberlay said, "Obviously the plan is to get a good result (next weekend) at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand. Then when heading into the World Cups, I'll be starting off the mid to back area, so I'm hoping to capitalise on this form to get some better start positions for the European World Cups."

Carlson finished second in the general classificaton for round 4, with third place going to Andrew Blair.

Blair reconfigured his goals mid-season to focus on winning the Real Insurance All Mountain Cup season, a decision that would reap rewards, with Blair's result being the final step in him winning the Cup against stiff competition.

Thinking back over the season, Blair said, "My biggest highlight was winning the Round in Perth, and winning the cross country Olympic race there against riders like (Sid) Taberlay and (Peter) Hatton, it was the happiest I've been this season."

Blair, 32, has been racing mountain bikes for almost two decades. "I'm pretty stoked to be able to win a national series, it's not something I thought I'd ever do in my career. When I started off well in this season I thought I should give it a shot and it's worked out well."

In elite women's racing, Lindsay Gorrell again rode hard from the start to lead the female field into the singletrack.

Even though the sun was shining, Gorrell spoke of the tough conditions, "it was diabolical, even more challenging than yesterday, some of the hills were unrideable - we were running our bikes up the hill."

On her return to the sport after a four-year break for University study, Gorrell was happy to win the point-to-point race and also the general classification for the weekend in just the third national level event of her return.

"It feels awesome. I know I still have a long way to go before being competitive with a full Elite field, but it's great to go home with the win," said a humble Gorrell.

Jenni King had already amassed enough points to have an unassailable lead in the elite women's All Mountain Cup. King, absent from Awaba due to international racing commitments, had a stellar season after winning seven of the nine events she competed in.

After eight years of racing, King is happy. "It feels great. Last year I came second in the season after a poor performance in the last race of the year. This year winning the series was the goal, and being consistent was the way I was aiming to do it. Three round wins took the pressure off me - I'm relieved to get a series under the belt."

When asked about the platform that she now launches from into the international season, King reflected, "I'm hoping to build on what I've achieved in the domestic season, I'm hititng a peak I'll be aiming to hold for the first World Cup in South Africa, then I'll go back into training. It's all going to plan."

In under 23 racing, Trenton Day took both the point-to-point and general classification win for the weekend, often leading the elite field in the process.

When asked about his extreme run of form this weekend, he said, "I'm not sure where it comes from, it's some rare, early season form. I've doing a bit on the road so perhaps that's helping the endurance. A Newcastle local, he also pointed out "Perhaps this weekend has also been due to a bit of home track advantage."

Amy Austin won the under 23 female point-to-point and the general classification for the weekend, and also took home the Real Insurance All Mountain Cup for the important Under 23 category.

The spoils were shared in Under 19 racing. National Champion Ben Bradley won the point-to-point, local Christopher Aitkenwon the under 19 male general classification for the weekend, and Luke Fetch took out the overall under 19 male Real Insurance All Mountain Cup. In Under 19 female racing, Emily Parkes won the point-to-point, and Holly Harris took home the overall win for the general classification for the Awaba weekend. Strong performances in the prior rounds handed the overall cup win to Parkes.

With the Real Insurance Australian MTB Season coming to a close, the Australian Mountain Bike community will now direct its attention to the international season, which begins next weekend with the Oceania Championships in New Zealand.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sid Taberlay 0:35:32  
2 Joshua Carlson 0:00:45  
3 Andrew Arthur 0:00:53  
4 Andrew Blair 0:02:13  
5 Michael Vanos 0:02:36  
6 Nick Both 0:03:04  
7 Chad Gossert 0:03:45  
DNS Neil Van Der Ploeg    
DNS Matthew Fleming    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Lindsay Gorrell 0:48:44  
2 Rosemary Barnes 0:00:25  
3 Sarah Holmes 0:04:53  
4 Jaclyn Schapel 0:08:42  
DNS Sally Gabriel    
DNS Nicola Hogan    
Under 23 Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Trenton Day 0:34:24  
2 Cameron Ivory 0:02:19  
3 Kyle Ward 0:03:20  
4 Blake Polverino 0:10:51  
DNS Sebastian Jayne    
DNS Daniel McDonald    
DNS James Hanus    
Under 23 Female
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Amy Austin 0:54:21  
Under 19 Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ben Bradley 0:35:32  
2 Rodger Pogson-Manning 0:03:11  
3 Christopher Aitken 0:03:24  
4 Billy Sewell 0:05:47  
5 Toby Stewart 0:05:50  
6 Jacob Langham 0:07:13  
7 Cameron Prosser 0:07:20  
8 Harry Lindsay 0:08:41  
9 Henry Baird 0:08:55  
DNS Ben Comfort    
DNS Jack Lavis    
DNS Cameron Andrew    
DNS Alec Malcolm    
DNS Nigel Malcolm    
Under 19 Female
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Emily Parkes 0:49:27  
2 Holly Harris 0:01:36  
Under 17 Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Hamish Prosser 0:40:42  
2 Callum Carson 0:00:34  
3 Jack Jude 0:01:03  
4 Mitchell Greenway 0:01:46  
5 David Bleakley 0:02:45  
6 Jet Turner 0:04:07  
7 Dean Madden 0:04:17  
8 Tom Green 0:06:18  
9 Bryan Dunkin 0:06:41  
10 Luke Brame 0:06:58  
11 Jayden Ward 0:41:24  
DNS Roly Stewart    
Under 17 Female
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ellie Wale 1:02:13  
Under 15 Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Matthew Dinham 0:54:40  
2 Declan Prosser 0:03:10  
Veteran Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Dion Blair 0:42:51  
2 Damien Enderby 0:00:17  
3 Martin Wisata 0:06:21  
Master Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Troy Fisher 0:42:24  
2 David Harris 0:02:28  
3 Peter Baird 0:06:12  
DNS Rob Parbery    
Super Master Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mark Codner 0:48:03  
Grand Master Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
DNS Peter Heywood    
Expert Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Fabian Guerrero 0:44:40  
DNS Glen Pleffer    
Sport Male
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jason Head 0:52:05