English, Douglas & Team GU SRAM Nite Riders win at Mt. Stromlo

Jason English was crowned "solo king of the hill" after winning the 2008 Scott 24 hour Australian Championship race with 28 laps in 23:58:06. Last year's champion, Andrew Bell took second with 27 laps in 24: 21: 08, and current European 24 hour champion, Zdenek Kriz of the Czech Republic, finished third with 26 laps in 24: 27: 28.

It's been a good year for the 27 year-old English, who also won the 24 hour Australian solo championships in March.

"The race plan from the start was to keep an eye on everyone but to ride my own race," said bleary eyed English after the event. "The quality of the riders at the moment is amazing and Australia continues to produce some of the best 24 hour mountain bike riders in the world."

Canberra will host the 2008 UCI mountain bike World Championships, but English said he would like to see the 24 hour World Championship there sometime, too.

In the women's solo division, Jessica Douglas claimed victory completing 21 laps in 23:05:03, with Phillipa Rostin finishing 19 laps in 24:08:11 and Penny Dustow of Casuarina completing 18 laps in 23:19:24

"A 24 hour solo is like giving birth - really super painful and you know there is a reward at the end of it but there is no way you would turn around and do it again straight away," said an elated Douglas.

In the elite team's category, the master combination of Chris Jongewaard, Sid Taberlay, Brent Miller and Perren Delacour racing for "Team GU SRAM Nite Riders", won in style crossing the finish line in first, completing 37 laps of the course in 24:16:42.

The GU team was down a member for the morning hours after its Chris Jongewaard jumped on a plane to race the Herald Sun Criterium in Melbourne in the afternoon.

"It was the toughest 24 hour I have done in quite a few years and we had to move away from our usual race plan with Chris flying out to Melbourne this morning," said Canberra's Brent Miller.

"With only three men remaining the night life became pretty hectic for all of us, but hey, now our gang is finished and Chris is still riding this afternoon."

Tasmania's own international star Sid Taberley made up the remaining GU team alongside Perren Delacour. "I thought I had laid off a bit in yesterday's prologues but in hindsight I may have gone out to hard too early but then I did take out some of the fastest laps in the 24 as well, so all is good," said Taberley.

Perfect weather conditions were seen right throughout the championships with a crowd of over 6,000 to cheer on over 2,200 endurance riders across the course of the weekend.

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Scott 24 hour Australian Championship event.

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