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.


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."


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."


Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Chris Jongewaard 1:33:38  
2 Jack Haig 0:01:00  
3 Mark Tupalski 0:02:14  
4 Paul Van Der Ploeg 0:02:42  
5 Sid Taberlay 0:05:07  
6 Dylan Cooper 0:08:53  
7 Nick Both 0:10:56  
8 Nicholas Morgan 0:12:30  
9 Michael Illing 0:14:36  
-3 Laps Adrian Jackson    
DNF Daniel McConnell    
DNF Travis Frisby    
DNS Andrew Blair    
DNS Bradley Earl    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Rebecca Henderson 1:33:57  
2 Peta Mullens 0:01:54  
3 Jenni King 0:02:35  
4 Tory Thomas 0:03:00  
5 Katherine O'Shea 0:09:13  
6 Therese Rhodes 0:12:08  
7 Melissa Anset 0:14:08  
8 Chloe McConville 0:18:28  
9 Sarah Neumann 0:20:37  
DNF Nathalie Schneitter    
DNF Lindsay Gorrell    
Under 23 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Michael Crosbie 1:38:42  
2 Cameron Ivory 0:03:00  
3 Brendan Johnston 0:03:01  
4 Ben Forbes 0:03:39  
5 Christopher Aitken 0:04:39  
6 Billy Sewell 0:05:44  
7 Sebastian Jayne 0:06:38  
8 Blake Polverino 0:08:32  
9 Daniel McDonald 0:09:46  
10 Jason Lowndes 0:10:09  
11 Ben Comfort 0:13:05  
12 Jack Steele 0:15:56  
-1 Lap Alexander Meyland    
-2 Laps Harry Herne    
-2 Laps Zack Agius    
DNF Travis Parkley-Simpson    
DNF Lachlan Bakewell    
Under 19 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Chris Hamilton 1:24:07  
2 Tristan Ward 0:00:25  
3 Jack Lavis 0:01:16  
4 Ben Bradley 0:01:49  
5 Tasman Nankervis 0:03:18  
6 Mitchell Greenway 0:03:37  
7 Ethan Kelly 0:03:55  
8 Harrison Wiles 0:04:52  
9 Cameron Prosser 0:05:40  
10 Felix Smalley 0:07:21  
11 Scott Bowden 0:08:25  
12 Simon Harrington 0:08:51  
13 David Bleakley 0:11:56  
14 Dean Madden 0:14:28  
15 Hamish Prosser 0:14:56  
16 Jack Jude 0:15:33  
17 Jordan Butler 0:19:07  
-1 Lap Josh Abbey    
-3 Laps Jack Gardner    
Under 19 women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Holly Harris 1:25:05  
2 Emily Parkes 0:01:39  


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