Graves survives scare for four cross championship win

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

Swipe to scroll horizontally
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
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Sarsha Huntington
2Julia Boer
3Jayne Rutter
4Natasha Bonney
5Emily Hockey
Swipe to scroll horizontally
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
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Under 17 women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Danielle Beecroft
2Loren Vanetie
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Stephen Henderson
2Trent Ellison
3Callum Morrison
4Jackson Frew
5Matt Ellison
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sport men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Raymond Ross
2Tom Gilfedder
3Warrick McNab
4Chad Wilson
5Andrew Pannam
6Lee McNab

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews