McConnell starts off Olympic year with victory

Dan McConnell, an Olympian from Beijing in 2008, started off this Olympic year in outstanding form by winning the Australian All Mountain Cup Olympic distance cross country race at Mt Buller ahead of Paul Van Der Ploeg and Andrew Blair. In the elite women's race, Jenni King continued her outright dominance of the 2011-2012 season with a confident win over Rebecca Henderson and Jenny Fay.

Men

McConnell was in seventh place for the first two laps, but moved through the field well. "I got off to a bit of a sluggish start, it was my first proper mountain bike race in a while, but I was able to pace it well," he said.

He also commented on the challenging Mt Buller course, "The course certainly took its toll on the field, it was a fatiguing course, climbs creep up on you, descents are hard on the upper body and you don't get much recovery, it made for a really tough race."

Second-placed and fellow Victorian Van Der Ploeg rode and worked well with McConnell at some key stages of the race. Van Der Ploeg helped make the key breakaway at the start of lap 4 from seasoned veteran Sid Taberlay.

The day marked the first race in the elite field for Van Der Ploeg after a stellar results in the U23 category. "It was pretty tough, a huge contrast to racing with the under 23 field, I liked being up there with the big boys," said Van Der Ploeg.

Blair, the season leader after Round 1 in Perth, talked about his third place. "I'm feeling really good, third places in the first two stages of the weekend and to be as close to Dan and Paul as I was, I'm pretty happy with my form."

Trenton Day won the U23 men's event.

Women

Jenni King, who dominated the women's race, seemed to be untouchable as she rode to victory ahead of Rebecca Henderson and Jenny Fay.

"I've been training hard all year, so I'm pretty happy with the win," she said. "It was a rough and challenging course, but I enjoyed the descents, they were fun."

Second-placed Henderson has been racing both road and mountain bike with a busy schedule, and had just stepped up to the elite field. "Since the new year, the racing hasn't stopped, but I'm happy to go this well."

Late last year Henderson was named the Australian 2011 Female Mountain Biker of the year based on an impressive national and international season "I was surprised to get that award, but I worked hard overseas last year."

Jess Wigan won the women's U23 event.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel McConnell (Aus) Anytime Fitness, Shimano, Fox, Adidas Eye1:38:17
2Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Otztal, X-bionic, World Cup Team0:00:29
3Andrew Blair (Aus) Swell Redshift MTB Team, Felt, FRM, SRAM0:02:08
4Sid Taberlay (Aus) Kenda / H20 Overdrive0:03:53
5Joshua Carlson (Aus) Australian Giant Factory team, ftptraining0:04:06
6Adrian Jackson (Aus) Merida Flight Centre MTB Team0:05:18
7Neil Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Search2Retain - Felt0:06:22
8Matthew Fleming (Aus) Clarence St Cyclery, Shimano, Trek0:06:31
9Peter Kutschera (Aus)0:08:55
10Shaun Lewis (Aus)0:09:10
11Chad Gossert (Aus)0:09:15
12James Kennedy (Aus) Kalamunda Cycles0:09:48
13Michael Vanos (Aus)0:10:16
14Scott Liston (Aus) Search2Retain - Felt0:12:04
15Nick Both (Aus) Swell-Redshift Racing0:12:45
16Jarrod Hughes (Aus)0:14:10
17Jarrad Burrell (Aus)0:14:25
18Jack Lamshed (Aus) Felt Bicycles0:14:54
19Ben Hogarth (Aus) Giant Exact MTB Team0:15:29
20Michael Illing (Aus) Cycle Now,0:16:03
21Grant Lebbink (Aus)0:16:49
22Travis Frisby (Aus)0:19:08
-1lapAnthony Shippard (Aus)Row 22 - Cell 2
-1lapMatthew Zagurski (Aus)Row 23 - Cell 2
-1lapEvan Jeffery (Aus)Row 24 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Arthur (Aus) Endeavour CyclesRow 25 - Cell 2
DNSEric Conliffe (Aus)Row 26 - Cell 2
DNSDylan Cooper (Aus) Trek Concepts.com.au Fictive.com.auRow 27 - Cell 2
DNSJohn Groves (Aus) Apollo BikesRow 28 - Cell 2
DNSOndrej Slezak (Aus) Bernard BeerRow 29 - Cell 2
DNSMurray Spink (Aus) Giant BicyclesRow 30 - Cell 2
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jenni King (Aus) torq nutrition1:37:33
2Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Anytime Fitness, Shimano, Trek, FOX0:02:08
3Jenny Fay (Aus) Team Rockstar Racing0:02:47
4Jodie Willett (Aus) For The Riders0:03:30
5Peta Mullens (Aus) Team Merida Moronis Bikes Bendigo0:04:09
6Tory Thomas (Aus) The Bicyle Superstore Albury0:08:16
7Jessica Douglas (Aus) Torquay Cycling Factory/Giant Bikes0:13:06
8Lindsay Gorrell (Aus)0:14:51
9Kelly Bartlett (Aus)0:16:00
10Felicity Wardlaw (Aus) only my partner0:18:03
11Rosemary Barnes (Aus) Swell-Redshift0:23:32
12Jaclyn Schapel (Aus) Giant Australia0:24:12
-1lapSarah Holmes (Aus) Cycleworx AvantiplusRow 12 - Cell 2
DNFKatherine O'Shea (Aus) Torq NutritionRow 13 - Cell 2
DNSTrudy Nicholas (Aus)Row 14 - Cell 2
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Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jack Haig1:23:25
2Trenton Day (Scott Bikes, Breakaway Cycles)0:00:18
3Robbie Hucker0:03:11
4Kyle Ward (Jet Racing, Specialized Bikes)0:05:27
5Luke Fetch (Search2Retain - Felt)0:06:26
6Alexander Meyland (Rock and Road Cycles/Giant Bicycles Aust)0:06:35
7Robbie Rhodes0:07:24
8Blake Polverino0:07:45
9Tom Goddard0:10:39
10Sebastian Jayne (Bikeminded)0:13:30
-2lapsBen MarshallRow 10 - Cell 2
DNSMichael CrosbieRow 11 - Cell 2
DNSCameron IvoryRow 12 - Cell 2
DNSRowan BrownRow 13 - Cell 2
DNSJames Hanus (Scott Australia, Mitcham Cycle Centre, SASI)Row 14 - Cell 2
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Under 23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jess Wigan (Sealy's Cycles)1:48:15
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Under 19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Billy Sewell0:51:29
2Ben Bradley0:00:31
3Benjamin Forbes0:01:19
4Ben Comfort0:01:24
5Christopher Aitken0:01:38
6Scott Bowden0:02:45
7Chris Hamilton0:03:03
8Jack Lavis0:03:49
9Toby Stewart0:04:02
10Tasman Nankervis0:04:04
11Cameron Prosser0:05:47
12Rodger Pogson-Manning0:05:50
13Jason Lowndes0:06:56
14Peter McKellar Stewart0:07:05
15Harry Lindsay0:10:03
16Joel Rogers0:10:21
17Jordan Butler0:13:42
-2lapsHarry HerneRow 17 - Cell 2
DNSMichael HayashiRow 18 - Cell 2
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Under 19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Holly Harris1:09:13
2Emily Parkes0:00:10
3Kyna Millan0:01:30
4Karuna Henderson0:02:06
DNFElla Scanlan-BloorRow 4 - Cell 2
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Under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liam Jeffries0:39:34
2Declan Prosser0:14:30
3Zale Ross-Willmore0:20:02
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