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McConnell starts off Olympic year with victory

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The start of the elite men's cross country

The start of the elite men's cross country
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Sid Taberlay

Sid Taberlay
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Dan McConnell

Dan McConnell
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Neil van der Ploeg

Neil van der Ploeg
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Dan McConnell celebrates a win

Dan McConnell celebrates a win
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Dan McConnell is interviewed after winning

Dan McConnell is interviewed after winning
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Paul van der Ploeg is interviewed after the finish

Paul van der Ploeg is interviewed after the finish
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Teammates Rebecca Henderson and Dan McConnell

Teammates Rebecca Henderson and Dan McConnell
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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U19 Men's podium: Ben Bradley, Billy Sewell, Benjamin Forbes

U19 Men's podium: Ben Bradley, Billy Sewell, Benjamin Forbes
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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U23 Men's podium: Trenton Day, Jack Haig, Robbie Hucker

U23 Men's podium: Trenton Day, Jack Haig, Robbie Hucker
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Elite men's podium: Paul van der Ploeg, Dan McConnell, Andy Blair

Elite men's podium: Paul van der Ploeg, Dan McConnell, Andy Blair
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jack Moroni, first veteran man

Jack Moroni, first veteran man
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Reece Tucknott, first U17 man

Reece Tucknott, first U17 man
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Hamish Prosser in third in the U17 men's race

Hamish Prosser in third in the U17 men's race
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Damian Enderby in third in the veteran race

Damian Enderby in third in the veteran race
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Mark Fenner, first master

Mark Fenner, first master
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Neil van der Ploeg in seventh

Neil van der Ploeg in seventh
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Dan McConnell leading

Dan McConnell leading
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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And the men are off!

And the men are off!
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Sid Taberlay leads the elite men's race before fading to fourth

Sid Taberlay leads the elite men's race before fading to fourth
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Matt Fleming leads Peter Kutscher for 8th and 9th

Matt Fleming leads Peter Kutscher for 8th and 9th
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Eventual winner Dan McConnell

Eventual winner Dan McConnell
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Trenton Day rides to second among U23 men

Trenton Day rides to second among U23 men
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Robbie Hucker in third in the U23 men's race

Robbie Hucker in third in the U23 men's race
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Elite men in the snow gums

Elite men in the snow gums
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Paul van der Ploeg in second

Paul van der Ploeg in second
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Dan McConnel leads the race

Dan McConnel leads the race
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Adrian Jackson in sixth

Adrian Jackson in sixth
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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An early puncture cost series leader Luke Fetch a win in the U23 race, but he worked his way back up to fifth.

An early puncture cost series leader Luke Fetch a win in the U23 race, but he worked his way back up to fifth.
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Paul van der Ploeg

Paul van der Ploeg
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Sid Taberlay

Sid Taberlay
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Andy Blair in third

Andy Blair in third
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Josh Carlson in fifth

Josh Carlson in fifth
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Josh Henderson, second super master

Josh Henderson, second super master
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Richard Peil, fourth master

Richard Peil, fourth master
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jenny Fay in third

Jenny Fay in third
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Peta Mullens in fifth

Peta Mullens in fifth
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Holly Harris in first among the U19 women

Holly Harris in first among the U19 women
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Emily Parkes in second in U19 women's race

Emily Parkes in second in U19 women's race
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jodie Willett

Jodie Willett
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Ella Scanlan Bloor followed by Tory Thomas

Ella Scanlan Bloor followed by Tory Thomas
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Lindsay Gorrell in eighth

Lindsay Gorrell in eighth
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Emily Parkes in second in the U19 women's race.

Emily Parkes in second in the U19 women's race.
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Sarah Holmes in 13th

Sarah Holmes in 13th
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jenni King on her way to a win

Jenni King on her way to a win
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jenny Fay

Jenny Fay
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jenni King celebrates victory in Mt Buller

Jenni King celebrates victory in Mt Buller
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jenni King in first

Jenni King in first
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Craig Peacock, first super master

Craig Peacock, first super master
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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John Harvey, fifth super master

John Harvey, fifth super master
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Dan van der Ploeg, first sport man

Dan van der Ploeg, first sport man
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Declan Prosser, second Under 15 man

Declan Prosser, second Under 15 man
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Jayden Ward, seventh in the U17 race

Jayden Ward, seventh in the U17 race
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Mark Fenner leads Damon Willmore

Mark Fenner leads Damon Willmore
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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John Henderson, second super master man

John Henderson, second super master man
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Gavin Burland, second veteran man

Gavin Burland, second veteran man
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Super master men's podium: John Henderson, Craig Peacock, Kevin Jones

Super master men's podium: John Henderson, Craig Peacock, Kevin Jones
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Werner's Kona Super Jake. Most Shimano riders were on double chainrings but the course offered few opportunities to use the big ring

Werner's Kona Super Jake. Most Shimano riders were on double chainrings but the course offered few opportunities to use the big ring
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Veteran men's podium: Gavin Burland, Jarrod Moroni, Damian Enderby

Veteran men's podium: Gavin Burland, Jarrod Moroni, Damian Enderby
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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U17 men's podium: Simon Harrington, Reece Tucknott, Hamish Prosser

U17 men's podium: Simon Harrington, Reece Tucknott, Hamish Prosser
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Elite women's start

Elite women's start
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Katherine O'Shea, Rebecca Henderson, Tory Thomas and Peta Mullens on the start line

Katherine O'Shea, Rebecca Henderson, Tory Thomas and Peta Mullens on the start line
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson in second

Rebecca Henderson in second
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
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Elite women's cross country podium with Rebecca Henderson, Jenni King and Jenny Fay

Elite women's cross country podium with Rebecca Henderson, Jenni King and Jenny Fay
(Image credit: Russell Baker)

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

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)
-1lapMatthew Zagurski (Aus)
-1lapEvan Jeffery (Aus)
DNFAndrew Arthur (Aus) Endeavour Cycles
DNSEric Conliffe (Aus)
DNSDylan Cooper (Aus) Trek Concepts.com.au Fictive.com.au
DNSJohn Groves (Aus) Apollo Bikes
DNSOndrej Slezak (Aus) Bernard Beer
DNSMurray Spink (Aus) Giant Bicycles

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 Avantiplus
DNFKatherine O'Shea (Aus) Torq Nutrition
DNSTrudy Nicholas (Aus)

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 Marshall
DNSMichael Crosbie
DNSCameron Ivory
DNSRowan Brown
DNSJames Hanus (Scott Australia, Mitcham Cycle Centre, SASI)

Under 23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jess Wigan (Sealy's Cycles)1:48:15

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 Herne
DNSMichael Hayashi

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-Bloor

Under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liam Jeffries0:39:34
2Declan Prosser0:14:30
3Zale Ross-Willmore0:20:02

Under 15 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sarah Tucknott0:48:44
2Gabrielle Millan0:34:57

Under 17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Reece Tucknott0:35:21
2Simon Harrington0:00:35
3Hamish Prosser0:01:39
4Benjamin Green0:03:18
5Jack Jude0:03:23
6Mitchell Greenway0:04:06
7Jayden Ward0:04:26
8Dean Madden0:04:52
9Ben Lack0:05:13
10Roly Stewart0:05:43
11Foley Lachal0:06:21
12Jet Turner0:08:11
13Tom Green0:10:43
14Daniel Dowling0:13:44
15Malte Adebahr0:17:22
16Jack Gardner0:21:09
DNFCallum Carson
DNFJack Booth
DNFJosh Abbey
DNFStefan Cotroneo
DNSDru Berryman

Under 17 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ellie Wale0:56:28

Expert men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Landon Arthur0:59:49
2Jan Francke0:02:10
3Phillip Bardsley-Smith0:03:54
4Gregory Ellis0:08:58
5Tim Rowe0:21:31
DNSShannon Rademaker

Veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jarrod Moroni0:56:34
2Gavin Burland0:01:56
3Damien Enderby0:02:21
4Dion Blair0:05:06
5Andrew Low0:07:09
6Daniel Gossert0:16:08
DNSCon Mavroudakis
DNSTrevor Arnold

Veteran women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rhianna Farrell1:16:14

Master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Fenner0:37:08
2Damon Willmore0:00:01
3Daniel Skerry0:00:25
4Richard Peil0:02:08
5David Harris0:04:43
6Rob Davis0:08:37
7Keith Hamilton0:22:28
DNSMicheal Chance
DNSAndrew Remely
DNSMichael Chance

Master women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
DNSSally Fenner

Super master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Craig Peacock0:38:33
2John Henderson0:00:05
3Kevin Jones0:02:38
4Paul Verheijden0:07:50
5John Harvey0:09:02
6Nathan Carroll0:10:08
7Keith McKellar Stewart0:10:40
8Bruce Pain0:16:44
DNSRoger Campbell
DNSScott Carson
DNSDavid Danks

Super master women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peggy Douglass0:55:43
2Jenny Tucknott0:01:35

Sport men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel Van Der Ploeg0:43:11
2Jason Head0:00:53
3Lucas Sproson0:01:03
DNFSteffan Vaivars
DNSTim Bardsley - Smith

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