Jongewaard on top at Thredbo cross country

Henderson takes women's victory over Mullens

Chris Jongewaard (JetBlack Products BH Lightsview) and Rebecca Henderson (Trek Factory Racing) showed their dominance in the Olympic cross country in Thredbo during the second round in the Subaru All Mountain Cup. Overall series leader Jongewaard and Henderson, the Thredbo round leader, both finished over one minute ahead of their chasers on what was a gruelling course around Thredbo's "Friday flat".

The win consolidates Henderson's lead in the round while Jongewaard takes over from van der Ploeg to hold top spot in Thredbo.

Women

Henderson lead her Target-Trek teammates to a podium-whitewash in the women's cross country race, the 21-year-old continuing her eliminator form crossing the line one minute and 54 seconds ahead of teammate Peta Mullens (Target-Trek), with third-placed Jenni King (Target-Trek) a further two minutes and 35 seconds behind.

"It's an amazing result for the team to have the top three placings," Henderson said following her second win in as many starts in this year's national series.

"Our team has amazing support and how can anyone else compete with that, it's awesome."

The women lapped the dry and dusty 5.2km course five times with the 2012 Olympian stamping her authority on the series, leading from start to finish.

"I'm really happy because I wasn't expecting to come out and win today, and I obviously wasn't expecting to drop the girls on the first climb but I knew it was the only way I was going to get away - to put the pressure on early," Henderson said. "I was really happy with how I rode, I rode smart and it panned out really well."

The Canberran led the women's field from the gun, gaining an eight second lead from King after the first lap with Tory Thomas in third position leaving Mullens and Nathalie Schneitter to chase.

By the second lap, Henderson had extended her lead, this time from Thomas and Mullens who had joined one minute and eight seconds behind the leader.

Defending National Series champion King appeared to have suffered a mechanical early in the race with the Victorian pushed back to fourth after just two laps.

Henderson worked hard during the third lap putting a further 30 seconds into her chasers, passing the finish line 1 minute 40 seconds ahead of Thomas and Mullens.

With Henderson's win all but secured, Mullens made her move on the penultimate lap, passing Thomas and quickly opening up a 50-second advantage on her Victorian rival.

With second place now in reach for Mullens, teammate King had put her bad luck behind her to consolidate third place when she passed a tiring Thomas through the feed zone on the bell lap.

Current AMC series leader Mullens admitted she was anxious heading into the second stage of the round. "I was a bit nervous about the course because there was so much climbing," Mullens said. "I paced off Tory for the first three laps and as the race went on I felt pretty good.

"I hit her through the finish line and put in a really hard fourth lap and was able to coast along in the final lap to get second place."

Reigning cross country national champion, King lamented what could have been but commented she was happy to have consolidated a place on the podium. "I had a little bit of an issue with my chain, it kept coming off and jamming," King said.

"Considering what was happening with my bike during the race I was pretty happy to place third."

Men

In the men's race, it was series leader Chris Jongewaard who showed why he is five-time cross country national champion, blasting his competitors away in the second lap, finishing the six lap course one minute ahead of Jack Haig (TORQ) and a further 2:32 in front of Mark Tupalski (Giant/ Onyabike Canberra).

"It's good to get over the line for that one," Jongewaard said. "I had to dig deep to get over the line ahead of Jack but unlike last round, I just wanted to get to the finish in one piece," Jongewaard said of his final lap mechanical in round one's cross country at Mount Buller which nearly ended the South Australian's healthy lead to Haig.

"It's good to get a win for the sponsors and it makes being away from my family, friends and girlfriend all the more easier."

"It's good for the confidence and it's good to know that I'm on the right track for national championships," Jongewaard said of the Australian Mountain Bike Championships to be held in Canberra from February 20 - 24.

Jongewaard took an early lead in the race with Sid Taberlay (Kenda) on his wheel, the pair finished the first lap of the course 12 seconds ahead of chasing pair Paul van der Ploeg (Giant Bicycles) and Adrian Jackson (Merida Flight Centre).

On the second lap, Jongewaard dropped Taberlay and by the end of the lap had established a 34-second gap from his New South Wales' competitor.

By lap three, Taberlay had faded into third place with young-gun Haig taking up the chase in second. However by the end of the lap, Jongewaard had extended his lead to 56 seconds before again increasing his lead in the next lap to one minute and four seconds.

Olympian Daniel McConnell continued his run of bad luck in Thredbo, the Trek Factory rider suffering a mishap during the eliminator and a mechanical in the cross country ended his race for the second day.

With two laps left, Canberran Tupalski moved into third position, the 22-year-old holding his place until the end.

After a successful jump to the elite ranks in Buller for Haig, the 19-year-old said he is enjoying testing himself against the top riders in the series.

"I was disappointed Dan had a mechanical," Haig said. "I would have liked to race against him to see where I was against him.

"Chris has shown he is the number one rider at the moment and being a competitive athlete you always want to win but both Chris and Dan are amazing athletes and to get second in a field with those riders is really awesome for me," Haig said.

For Tupalski, the podium in front of many friends and teammates was a great achievement.

"That is my best result in the Olympic distance," Tupalski said. "I have been doing a lot more enduro racing so I am absolutely stoked to come back into this and get a result, it was a lot of fun."

Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Jongewaard1:33:38 
2Jack Haig0:01:00 
3Mark Tupalski0:02:14 
4Paul Van Der Ploeg0:02:42 
5Sid Taberlay0:05:07 
6Dylan Cooper0:08:53 
7Nick Both0:10:56 
8Nicholas Morgan0:12:30 
9Michael Illing0:14:36 
-3 LapsAdrian Jackson  
DNFDaniel McConnell  
DNFTravis Frisby  
DNSAndrew Blair  
DNSBradley Earl  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rebecca Henderson1:33:57 
2Peta Mullens0:01:54 
3Jenni King0:02:35 
4Tory Thomas0:03:00 
5Katherine O'Shea0:09:13 
6Therese Rhodes0:12:08 
7Melissa Anset0:14:08 
8Chloe McConville0:18:28 
9Sarah Neumann0:20:37 
DNFNathalie Schneitter  
DNFLindsay Gorrell  
Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Crosbie1:38:42 
2Cameron Ivory0:03:00 
3Brendan Johnston0:03:01 
4Ben Forbes0:03:39 
5Christopher Aitken0:04:39 
6Billy Sewell0:05:44 
7Sebastian Jayne0:06:38 
8Blake Polverino0:08:32 
9Daniel McDonald0:09:46 
10Jason Lowndes0:10:09 
11Ben Comfort0:13:05 
12Jack Steele0:15:56 
-1 LapAlexander Meyland  
-2 LapsHarry Herne  
-2 LapsZack Agius  
DNFTravis Parkley-Simpson  
DNFLachlan Bakewell  
Under 19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Hamilton1:24:07 
2Tristan Ward0:00:25 
3Jack Lavis0:01:16 
4Ben Bradley0:01:49 
5Tasman Nankervis0:03:18 
6Mitchell Greenway0:03:37 
7Ethan Kelly0:03:55 
8Harrison Wiles0:04:52 
9Cameron Prosser0:05:40 
10Felix Smalley0:07:21 
11Scott Bowden0:08:25 
12Simon Harrington0:08:51 
13David Bleakley0:11:56 
14Dean Madden0:14:28 
15Hamish Prosser0:14:56 
16Jack Jude0:15:33 
17Jordan Butler0:19:07 
-1 LapJosh Abbey  
-3 LapsJack Gardner  
Under 19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Holly Harris1:25:05 
2Emily Parkes0:01:39 

 

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