Skip to main content

Graves survives scare for four cross championship win

Image 1 of 21

Jared Graves on his way to winning the Australian Four Cross National Championship

Jared Graves on his way to winning the Australian Four Cross National Championship
(Image credit: Chameleon Photography / www.chameleonphotography.com.au)
Image 2 of 21

Sarsha Huntington en route to victory

Sarsha Huntington en route to victory
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 3 of 21

Sarsha Huntington blazes toward a win.

Sarsha Huntington blazes toward a win.
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 4 of 21

Sarsha Huntington in the elite women's four cross

Sarsha Huntington in the elite women's four cross
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 5 of 21

Aidan Vahtrik would finish second among the U17 men

Aidan Vahtrik would finish second among the U17 men
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 6 of 21

Jared Graves wins the Australian men's four cross title

Jared Graves wins the Australian men's four cross title
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 7 of 21

Joe Vejvoda put in a great ride against Jared Graves.

Joe Vejvoda put in a great ride against Jared Graves.
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 8 of 21

Joe Vejvoda en route to second in the elite men's race

Joe Vejvoda en route to second in the elite men's race
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 9 of 21

Under 17 women's winner Danielle Beecroft

Under 17 women's winner Danielle Beecroft
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 10 of 21

Joe Vejvoda is a name to remember for the future

Joe Vejvoda is a name to remember for the future
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 11 of 21

Elite men's winner Jared Graves

Elite men's winner Jared Graves
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 12 of 21

Elite men's four cross podium at the Australian national championships

Elite men's four cross podium at the Australian national championships
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 13 of 21

Elite women's four cross podium at the Australian national championships

Elite women's four cross podium at the Australian national championships
(Image credit: Russell Baker)
Image 14 of 21

Joe Vejvoda finshes fast for a 2nd place in the Elite Mens 4X.

Joe Vejvoda finshes fast for a 2nd place in the Elite Mens 4X.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
Image 15 of 21

Elite Womens 4X dominant performance by Sarsha Huntington.

Elite Womens 4X dominant performance by Sarsha Huntington.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
Image 16 of 21

Sarsha speaks with the media after her Elite Womens 4X win.

Sarsha speaks with the media after her Elite Womens 4X win.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
Image 17 of 21

Jared Graves cruises to an easy victory in the Elite Mens 4X.

Jared Graves cruises to an easy victory in the Elite Mens 4X.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
Image 18 of 21

Graves happy with the win after dominating the Elite Mens 4X.

Graves happy with the win after dominating the Elite Mens 4X.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
Image 19 of 21

Julia Boer rounds the berm to her 2nd place in the Elite Womens 4X.

Julia Boer rounds the berm to her 2nd place in the Elite Womens 4X.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
Image 20 of 21

Jayne Rutter chase fights hard for an eventual 3rd place in the Elite Womens 4X.

Jayne Rutter chase fights hard for an eventual 3rd place in the Elite Womens 4X.
(Image credit: Dan Peters)
Image 21 of 21

Richard Levinson rides fast for a 3rd place in the Elite Mens 4X

Richard Levinson rides fast for a 3rd place in the Elite Mens 4X
(Image credit: Dan Peters)

2009 world champion Jared Graves escaped a scare in the final of the elite men's four cross to take out his fourth national mountain bike championship at the 2011 Australian Mountain Bike Championships in Adelaide. And in the elite women's event, Queensland's Sarsha Huntington finished one better than her 2010 effort to comfortably claim the Australian championship jersey.

After dominating in the early rounds, Graves found himself in a much hotter final surviving a clash with New South Wales' Graeme Mudd on the second last corner to take out the event.

Thrilled to compete against his hero, 16-year-old Joe Vejvoda avoided trouble to put in an impressive performance to take the silver medal. Queensland's Richard Levinson took out the bronze, whilst Mudd dusted himself off after his clash with Graves to roll across the finish line in the fourth and final position.

Graves, the current UCI world number 1, acknowledged he had to fight hard for the victory. "It definitely didn't come easy in the final. I didn't know exactly what lines I should be taking and Graeme was pulling some good insides, and it definitely made it an interesting race," Graves said.

"I thought I was coming in tight (to the second last corner) but he just came in hot and a bit tighter. I started sliding and he started sliding a bit more and I was pretty lucky not to go down with him."

Graves, who will hit the track again for the downhill competition on Saturday, will return home to Toowoomba for a stint of training before heading overseas for the World Cup series and world championships where he will attempt to claim back the rainbow jersey after a silver medal performance in 2010.

"I know I still have a bit of work to do, but it's still another two months until the first World Cup and I feel like I am riding good so looking forward to it," he said.

In a far more one-sided affair, current Oceania champion Sarsha Huntington rode to a comfortable victory ahead of Canberra's Julia Boer and fellow Queenslander Jayne Rutter.

After working hard to secure an ideal gate for the final, Huntington went in with confidence but could not hide her excitement as she crossed the finish line. "It has been a long time coming, so I am really excited," Huntington said.

"I just knew I had to get a good gate. I feel really comfortable on the track. I raced it last year with Caroline (Buchanan) and once I got my good gate I knew could just throw rubber on the ground."

Buchanan was absent from this year's national competition.

Wrapping up the four cross competition, New South Wales' Timothy Kmetyk and Canberra's Stephen Henderson won the male under 17 and 15 events respectively.

The 2011 Australian Mountain Bike Championships continue Friday with the cross country competition for elite men and women, under 23 and under 19 categories. Four-time national champion and current national series leader, Chris Jongewaard and Tasmania's golden girl and defending national champion, Rowena Fry, will be the pair to beat in elite battle.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Jared Graves
2Joe Vejvoda
3Richard Levinson
4Graeme Mudd
5Michael Young
6Jared Rando
7Matthew Willoughby
8Cody Eichhorn
9Alex Lloyd
10Ryan Hunt
11Ashley Gray
12Ben Matthews
13Blake Nielson
14Ryan Chesney
15Jesse Sutton
16Sean Fitzpatrick
17Scott Roberts
18Ngari Jenkins
19Mitchell Ramm
20Matt Pearce
3David Habicht

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Sarsha Huntington
2Julia Boer
3Jayne Rutter
4Natasha Bonney
5Emily Hockey

Under 17 men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Timothy Kmetyk
2Aidan Vahtrik
3Luke Ellison
4Cameron Ryan
5Curtis Dowdell
6Jackson Davis
7Harrison Reibelt
8Cody Barker
9Sam Rohdmann
9Loughlin Murphy
9Daniel James Wade
12Jasper Hodgson
DNSDaniel Campbell

Under 17 women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Danielle Beecroft
2Loren Vanetie

Under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Stephen Henderson
2Trent Ellison
3Callum Morrison
4Jackson Frew
5Matt Ellison

Sport men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Raymond Ross
2Tom Gilfedder
3Warrick McNab
4Chad Wilson
5Andrew Pannam
6Lee McNab

Latest on Cyclingnews