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Decisive move nets O'Shea first national cross country title

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Katherine O'Shea on her way to winning the 2011 Australian cross country national championship.

Katherine O'Shea on her way to winning the 2011 Australian cross country national championship.
(Image credit: Chameleon Photography / www.chameleonphotography.com.au)
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Under 23 elite women's podium

Under 23 elite women's podium
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Before and after: Bec Henderson and Zoe Binder came to the nationals in matching jerseys and left in matching jerseys. The two Crowne Plaza teammates won the U23 and U15 titles respectively.

Before and after: Bec Henderson and Zoe Binder came to the nationals in matching jerseys and left in matching jerseys. The two Crowne Plaza teammates won the U23 and U15 titles respectively.
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Gracie Elvin in fifth

Gracie Elvin in fifth
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Jenny Fay in fourth

Jenny Fay in fourth
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Niki Fisher (Giant)

Niki Fisher (Giant)
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Shelly Flood

Shelly Flood
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Pre-race favorite Rowena Fry (Avanti) would finish ninth.

Pre-race favorite Rowena Fry (Avanti) would finish ninth.
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Jenni King (Torq Australia) races to a podium spot.

Jenni King (Torq Australia) races to a podium spot.
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Heather Logie

Heather Logie
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Heather Logie en route to second place.

Heather Logie en route to second place.
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition) surprised many

Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition) surprised many
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition) had an excellent race.

Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition) had an excellent race.
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition) on her way to victory

Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition) on her way to victory
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Elite women's podium at the Australian cross country national championship

Elite women's podium at the Australian cross country national championship
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Elite women's podium

Elite women's podium
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Amy Austin (Oceania Cycles) races to a win among the Under 19 women

Amy Austin (Oceania Cycles) races to a win among the Under 19 women
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Under 19 women's podium

Under 19 women's podium
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra)

Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra)
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra)

Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra)
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra) races at the front of the Under 23 women.

Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra) races at the front of the Under 23 women.
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra) on her way to victory

Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra) on her way to victory
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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Under 23 women's podium

Under 23 women's podium
(Image credit: Russ Baker)
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A jubilant O'Shea wins the Womens Elite XC.

A jubilant O'Shea wins the Womens Elite XC.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Rebecca Hendersen prior to the start of the race

Rebecca Hendersen prior to the start of the race
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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The Elite Womens field cheerful before the start

The Elite Womens field cheerful before the start
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Rowena Fry charges up the first hill in the Womens Elite XC

Rowena Fry charges up the first hill in the Womens Elite XC
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Eventual Womens U19 winner Amy Austin

Eventual Womens U19 winner Amy Austin
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Shelley Flood rides to a solid 2nd in the U23 Womens XC

Shelley Flood rides to a solid 2nd in the U23 Womens XC
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Jess Wigan rides to a strong 2nd in the Womens U19 XC

Jess Wigan rides to a strong 2nd in the Womens U19 XC
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Katherine O'Shea takles a comanding lead and charges the downhill section in the Womens XC

Katherine O'Shea takles a comanding lead and charges the downhill section in the Womens XC
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Jenni King chases O'Shea going into the third lap

Jenni King chases O'Shea going into the third lap
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Heather Logie after a slow start claws back into contention

Heather Logie after a slow start claws back into contention
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Rebecca Hendersen shows her technical skills going to an eventual win in the U23 Womens XC

Rebecca Hendersen shows her technical skills going to an eventual win in the U23 Womens XC
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Katherine O'Shea climbs the steep hill on the last lap setting herself up for victory

Katherine O'Shea climbs the steep hill on the last lap setting herself up for victory
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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O'Shea rides solo up the climb on the last lap

O'Shea rides solo up the climb on the last lap
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Jenni King rides strong to an eventual 3rd place

Jenni King rides strong to an eventual 3rd place
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
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Rebecca Hendersen after her victory in the U23 Womens XC

Rebecca Hendersen after her victory in the U23 Womens XC
(Image credit: Dan Peters)

Significantly improving on her seventh position in 2010, Victoria's Katherine O'Shea fought back tears as she crossed the finish line to claim her first Australian championship in a time of one hour, 45 minutes and 27 seconds.

In what was an aggressively fought race, O'Shea made a decisive move on the steep pinch at the start of lap three and never looked back as she stretched her lead to over two and half minutes at the conclusion of the six lap event.

The 32-year-old was thrilled with her victory, the first top three result at a national championships in her career.

"It feels amazing, I really had a point to prove today and I can't believe I have final got here," an ecstatic O'Shea said after the race.

"I have been working towards this goal for a fair few years. I haven't had much success and this is actually the first time I have been on the podium so I am stoked."

In what was a much tighter contest for the minor positions, Canberra's Heather Logie (1:48:02) prevailed to take out the silver medal for the second year running, 27 seconds ahead of Victoria's Jenni King (1:48:30).

In what was a shocking day for reigning champion and pre-race favourite Rowena Fry (1:57:36), the Tasmanian fell right off the pace after the first lap to finish a disappointing ninth, over 12 minutes behind O'Shea. The 27-year-old vowed to fight back with a vengeance at the Oceania Championships in Shepparton next month.

Rebecca Henderson (1:31:47) took out the women's under 23 cross country race while Amy Austin (1:26:35) won the under 19 category.

The 2011 Australian Mountain Bike Championships will wrap up on Saturday with the cross country short track and downhill competitions. Cross country champion Chris Jongewaard will return to the track for the men's short track whilst Tasmanian Rowena Fry will also return in the women's event. Queensland's Michael Hannah will start as the fastest qualifier for the elite men's downhill whilst world under 19 champion Troy Brosnan has some work to do after seeding third behind fellow South Australian Connor Fearon. West Australian Holly Baarspul is the fastest Australian qualifier in the elite women's event, behind Canadian Clare Buchar.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition)1:45:27
2Heather Logie1:48:03
3Jenni King (torq australia)1:48:30
4Jenny Fay1:50:02
5Gracie Elvin1:51:21
6Jodie Willett (Merida Flight Centre)1:51:49
7Therese Rhodes1:54:23
8Niki Fisher (Giant)1:55:48
9Rowena Fry (Avanti)1:57:36
10Anna Beck1:58:06
11Nicola Hogan (Drift Bikes)2:00:38
-2lapsJaclyn Schapel (Giant Australia)
-2lapsNicole Keily
DNFRebecca Mates
DNSKelly Bartlett

Under 23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra)1:31:48
-1lapShelly Flood

Under 19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amy Austin (Oceania Cycles)1:26:36
2Jess Wigan1:33:39
3Rosemary Stewart1:34:38

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