Jongewaard and Mullens grab green and gold glory

Chris Jongewaard and Peta Mullens snared the cross country crowns at the Australian National Championships at Canberra's Stromlo Forest Park. Jongewaard (JetBlack Products BH Lightsview) prevailed in an intense battle with Dan McConnell (Trek Factory) to claim his fifth elite men's cross country title while Peta Mullens' win was her first.


On each other's wheel for much of the six laps of the 5.5-kilometre course, Jongewaard eventually broke clear to finish in a time of 1:29:53, over a minute clear of McConnell, the latter's hopes dashed with a last-lap mechanical. Sid Taberlay (NSW) rounded out the podium.

"I'm pretty sure that is the best victory I've had in quite some time, maybe ever," said Jongewaard.

"It was a lot different to how I've won in the past. I did have to work for the rest of them, but that one definitely I didn't know I had it until maybe 500 metres before the line."

The South Australian started strongest and by the end of the first lap he'd opened a 20-second gap on McConnell with Paul van der Ploeg, Shaun Lewis, Luke Fetch and Jared Graves in the chasing bunch.

The gap was narrowed to 14-seconds after two laps and by the time the third lap was completed the pair were wheel to wheel, with van der Ploeg and Dylan Cooper chasing and Taberlay lurking in fifth position.

McConnell switched past Jongewaard and led him through the finishing straight with two laps to go, while Taberlay moved up to third position with Cooper and van Der Ploeg chasing.

Before the final lap, Jongewaard was again leading McConnell, the pair setting themselves up for a grandstand finish and sending a pulse through the Canberra crowd.

While Jongewaard did his best to ward off the chasing McConnell, an issue with the Victorian's chain deprived him an opportunity to challenge at the line.

Post-race Jongewaard was full of praise for his rival. "Dan [McConnell] rode unbelievably, he was super strong, and I knew I was going to be in trouble if he had a bit more strength in the climbs - he was going to climb away from me.

"I managed to stay with him though on the lap he caught me, and I guess that moment gave me a bit of confidence to keep going and see how long I could last."

Trek Factory man McConnell was visibly disappointed post-race. When quizzed on the tactical battle with Jongewaard and his final lap mechanical issue, the London Olympian was circumspect.

"It was probably a bit of a mistake on my half really, I think I was the strongest rider but I just mucked it up a little bit. I lost count of laps and just other silly mistakes cost me big in the end.

"Down the last descent my chain just jumped off and twisted, so that was fairly disappointing getting so close and not being able to finish it. But the last few weeks have been good, so you have to take that as a positive and look forward," McConnell said of his recent return to racing following a broken wrist.

In the under 23 category, Victoria's Jack Haig (TORQ) prevailed ahead of Ben Forbes with Cameron Ivory making his move late in the race to grab third place from Brendan Johnston.

In the under 19 category Ben Bradley prevailed from Jack Lavis, second, and Tristan Ward, third.


Earlier in the day Mullens (Target-Trek) finished the five laps in 1:29:03, 50 seconds ahead of second-placed Jenni King while Rowena Fry won a sprint to the line for third, ahead of Tory Thomas.

Mullens couldn't hide her joy post-race. "I'm so emotional! I'm about to cry just thinking about it. I never imagined it, I really didn't."

The Victorian broke from the field with Henderson early to establish a 34-second gap on King, Fry and Thomas after the first lap.

Defending champion King dropped the chase group on the second lap, with Mullens maintaining her lead, extending it to 40 seconds after the third lap.

With Henderson beating all comers to the line after the fourth (and final under 23) lap for her fourth-consecutive under 23 title, Mullens powered on with King trailing behind. On the bell lap, the battle for bronze was fierce with Fry, a two-time national champion, prevailing.

For Mullens it was an amazing ride that's sure to instill some future belief.

"I knew that my form was in a good place, and I was probably just a bit nervous about the technical aspect of the course, and probably didn't back myself in that way. I went out on the course with the Hendersons this week, and they showed me the lines, and day-by-day I started to feel a bit better about it.

"I was able to follow Bec [Henderson] for those first couple of laps, and really get a feel for it, and then I just had to hold on those last few laps. And I was looking back, I was waiting for them!"

The win now has Mullens rethinking the rest of 2013. "I'm going to have to rethink a few things this year. I'd like to see that jersey [green and gold national championships] overseas, and now that it's on my back I might have to head over there.

For Henderson it was another faultless ride. "The race went really smoothly. It was amazing, nothing went wrong and I was able to get a lead early. I was trying to work with my teammate Peta Mullins."

Proving she has the class to claim an elite title, Henderson has her eyes on the future. "I'm really motivated to try and get an elite jersey next year, and maybe one day I might be able to win a masters one too!"

In the under 23 category the ACT's own Rebecca Henderson claimed her ninth junior national title, completing the four-lap course in 1:09:44.1.

In the under 19 category Holly Harris successfully defended her title in a battle to the line with Emily Parkes.

Full results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Jongewaard1:29:53
2Daniel McConnell0:01:01
3Sid Taberlay0:02:45
4Paul Van der Ploeg0:02:51
5Dylan Cooper0:03:44
6Luke Fetch0:05:17
7Jared Graves0:05:26
8Shaun Lewis0:05:26
9Ben Mather0:07:43
10Mark Tupalski0:08:17
11Sam Chancellor0:08:45
12Troy Herfoss0:08:49
13Adrian Jackson0:09:37
14Nick Both0:09:42
15Michael Illing0:10:45
16Aaron Bashford0:11:07
17Andrew Fellows0:12:15
18Nicholas Morgan0:13:03
19James Downing0:13:14
20Lewis Cressy0:13:28
21Garry Millburn0:14:34
22Travis Frisby0:14:49
23Ben Hogarth0:15:01
24Andrew Arthur0:18:51
DNSAndrew BlairRow 24 - Cell 2
DNSMatt KingRow 25 - Cell 2
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peta Mullens1:29:03
2Jenni King0:00:50
3Rowena Fry0:02:18
4Tory Thomas0:02:18
5Jodie Willett0:03:31
6Katherine O'Shea0:09:32
7Jenny Fay0:10:25
8Anna Beck0:10:28
9Therese Rhodes0:10:05
10Sarah Holmes0:14:31
11Karen Hill0:17:15
12Jaclyn Schapel0:19:57
-1lapKatie ChancellorRow 12 - Cell 2
-1lapShannon KennedyRow 13 - Cell 2
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U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jack Haig1:15:06
2Ben Forbes0:02:47
3Cameron Ivory0:03:27
4Brendan Johnston0:03:46
5Kyle Ward0:03:54
6Michael Crosbie0:04:51
7Stephen Matthews0:07:23
8Brenton Jones0:07:30
9Sebastian Jayne0:07:47
10Christopher Aitken0:08:06
11Billy Sewell0:08:10
12Ben Comfort0:08:28
13Blake Polverino0:11:04
14Jason Lowndes0:11:09
15Alexander Meyland0:11:32
16Tane Crosby0:12:20
17Daniel McDonald0:12:27
18Russell Nankervis0:13:23
19Ben Marshall0:15:06
20Brendan Adair0:15:41
21Rodger Pogson-Manning0:17:09
22Travis Parkley-Simpson0:17:09
23Angus Tobin0:19:30
-1lapTorren LamontRow 23 - Cell 2
DNFCasper OxleeRow 24 - Cell 2
DNFGregory ManttanRow 25 - Cell 2
DNSTom GoddardRow 26 - Cell 2
DNSHarry HerneRow 27 - Cell 2
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U23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rebecca Henderson1:09:44
2Clea O'Brien0:20:05
-1lapRosemary StewartRow 2 - Cell 2
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U19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Bradley1:02:24
2Jack Lavis0:01:17
3Felix Smalley0:01:32
4Tristan Ward0:01:34
5Chris Hamilton0:02:54
6Scott Bowden0:03:27
7Mitchell Greenway0:03:49
8Tasman Nankervis0:03:50
9Reece Tucknott0:04:22
10Jayden Ward0:04:31
11Ethan Kelly0:04:38
12Simon Harrington0:05:54
13Harrison Wiles0:06:32
14Dean Madden0:08:54
15David Bleakley0:09:10
16Cameron Prosser0:09:24
17Jordan Butler0:09:29
18Jack Jude0:10:42
19Jonathon Noble0:10:44
20Harrison Ernst0:12:43
21Bryce Clark0:12:44
22Aaron Felton0:18:47
-1lapJosh AbbeyRow 22 - Cell 2
DNFJack GardnerRow 23 - Cell 2
DNSJese WebbRow 24 - Cell 2
DNSThomas DellerRow 25 - Cell 2
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U19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Holly Harris0:59:51
2Emily Parkes0:00:02
3Karlee Gibson0:09:01
4Lucy Burton0:11:24
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U17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liam Jeffries0:48:43
2Darcy Pirotta0:00:50
3Callum Carson0:01:41
4Alex Lack0:02:35
5Michael Potter0:03:53
6Josh Hooton0:03:58
7Guy Frail0:04:50
8Luke Brame0:05:13
9Dylan McKenna0:06:01
10Tom Green0:06:47
11Oliver Armstrong0:06:57
12Foley Lachal0:07:16
13Michael Denton0:07:50
14Jack Booth0:08:41
15Michael Harris0:10:20
16Nick Pedler0:11:36
17Declan Prosser0:13:12
18Paul Standish0:16:42
19Hugh Dawkins0:21:28
20Harry Kooros0:21:29
-1lapTaylor WauchopeRow 20 - Cell 2
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U17 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ellie Wale0:42:49
2Megan Williams0:02:42
3Zoe Binder0:03:16
4Emily I'ons0:12:58
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U15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Isaac Buckell0:33:50
2Charlie Brodie0:00:58
3Cameron Wright0:02:26
4Luke Pankhurst0:03:29
5Adam Blazevic0:03:33
6Kian Lerch-Mackinnon0:04:08
7Matthew Dinham0:04:45
8Ben Metcalfe0:05:05
9Joseph Simpson0:05:54
10Jasper Albrecht0:06:46
11Charlie Todd0:07:12
12Riley King0:08:23
13Drew Gilchrist0:08:41
14Matherson Galway0:09:43
15Zachary Mark0:10:44
16Innes Ferrier0:12:41
17Callum Inglis0:12:41
18Tristan Miller0:12:42
19Joshua Markham0:17:07
20Kye Fisher0:21:22
DNFJosh BattyeRow 20 - Cell 2
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U15 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katherine Hosking0:44:18
2Sarah I'ons0:00:56
3Zoe Cuthbert0:02:34
4Sally Potter0:12:02
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Veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucas Sproson1:06:54
2Dominic Hoyal0:01:16
3Jarrod Moroni0:02:08
4Matthew Potter0:03:14
5James Boland0:03:22
6Nathan Spencer0:03:28
7Brad Clarke0:04:57
8Damien Enderby0:07:14
9Sean Bekkers0:08:38
10Andrew Low0:09:44
11Nick Miller0:11:03
DNFMatthew FlemingRow 11 - Cell 2
DNFNathan CrumpRow 12 - Cell 2
DNSShane TaylorRow 13 - Cell 2
DNSPhillip LeslieRow 14 - Cell 2
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Veteran women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philippa Rostan1:02:52
2Kate Swain0:00:00
3Josie Simpson0:03:43
DNFNicola HoganRow 3 - Cell 2
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Master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bradley Morton1:04:21
2Jon Gregg0:04:14
3Matthew Rizzuto0:04:43
4Brett Kellett0:07:46
5Bryce Young0:07:51
6Jorge Baron Morris0:07:55
7Brett Bellchambers0:08:47
8Jason Morgan0:10:00
9Peter Kreilis0:10:02
10Douglas Pollock0:10:03
11Gary Harwood0:11:18
12Mark McInnes0:12:13
13Evan James0:12:22
14Simon Dec0:12:38
15Luke Ingram0:13:03
16Tony Tucknott0:13:19
17Paul Connor0:14:21
18Greg Long0:14:26
19Anthony Caffey0:14:53
20Geoff Gilchrist0:16:41
21Roger Derrick0:18:29
22Con Toparis0:19:30
23Peter Gibson0:22:01
24John Williams0:22:25
25Troy Fisher0:23:09
-1lapPete SmithRow 25 - Cell 2
-1lapHector VivasRow 26 - Cell 2
-1lapRusty MarkRow 27 - Cell 2
DNFCraig McLeanRow 28 - Cell 2
DNSMark CroonenRow 29 - Cell 2
DNSMark FennerRow 30 - Cell 2
DNSMichael HoganRow 31 - Cell 2
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Master women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Catherine Kelaher0:39:08
2Jane Ollerenshaw0:03:06
3Donna Dall0:04:16
4Michelle Inglis0:04:53
5Jody Mielke0:05:35
6Karen Evans0:06:01
7Jennifer Enderby0:11:07
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Super master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1John Henderson0:53:16
2Craig Peacock0:01:01
3Frans Van Zyl0:02:40
4Paul Burbidge-Smith0:02:44
5Dean Kohlman0:04:22
6Peter Selkrig0:04:47
7Les Heap0:04:51
8David Danks0:07:04
9Raymond Rhodes0:07:24
10Mark Hardy0:08:52
11Alan McCulloch0:10:04
12Mark Buckell0:10:52
13Karl Albrecht0:14:03
14Roger Campbell0:18:44
DNFPhillip HannamRow 14 - Cell 2
DNSChristopher WillisRow 15 - Cell 2
DNSPaul SloanRow 16 - Cell 2
DNSNathan CarrollRow 17 - Cell 2
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Super master women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sharon Heap0:40:33
2Lisa Smallbone0:05:29
3Margaret King0:06:23
4Lisa Harris0:11:04
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