Olympian takes Oceania cross country title

Daniel McConnell on his way to victory

Daniel McConnell on his way to victory (Image credit: Evan Jeffery / evanjeffery.blogspot.com)

Beijing Olympian Dan McConnell dominated the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Thredbo at the weekend. McConnell took over the lead in the third of seven laps Tasmania's Rowena Fry won the women's race.

Under 23 national champion Lachlan Norris was the early leader until McConnell made his move. "I didn't want anyone getting too far away. It's always hard to peg someone back when they're in the front so I tried to keep it a minimum gap.'

The seven laps took their toll as many riders were lapped in the final stages. McConnell also admitted that he found the going tough. "It was long, I won't say it wasn't. The last few laps were tough. I was glad it was bell lap," he admitted.

McConnell was emotional after the race as his thoughts turned to his grandmother who had sadly passed away earlier in the week. "That race was for her," he said. "She was very supportive of what I did."

Norris finished in second place and convincingly wins the Under 23 Oceania title. Canberra representatives, Dylan Cooper and Ben Henderson were second and third respectively in elite men.

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Oceania championships.

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