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Norris and Wall take debut wins

It may have taken her four seasons but at round two of the 2009-2010 Jayco Australian Mountain Bike Series in Shepparton, Joanna Wall proved that persistence pays by taking her first win while in the men's race, Lachlan Norris added to his growing reputation with another victory.

After finishing second at the Australian Championships one week ago, Norris was a man on a mission setting a pace in the opening laps that only Sid Taberlay could follow. Taberlay and Norris worked well together to build an almost two-minute lead on their nearest challengers until Taberlay, who looked the stronger of the two, punctured near the end of the second of six laps.

Left out in front on his own, Norris went in search of a late birthday present two days after turning 24 years old.

The ever improving Victorian only just managed to hold onto his advantage as he fought out a two-up sprint with Ben Henderson who rode out of his skin on the final lap to get on terms with Norris just in sight of the finish line.

Third place went to Queensland's Aiden Lefmann, who appeared to relish the warm conditions, and despite his costly puncture on top of having started at the back row of the grid Taberlay showed his class fighting his way back to finish fourth.

But for Norris, the 2009 Under 23 Australian and Oceania champion, his first win in a national series race at the elite level was confirmation he is on the right path to achieve his dream of racing at the London 2012 Olympics.

"It's different to win an Under 23 race finishing mid-field in the elite. Winning it overall gives me good confidence going into the rest of the season and now I know I can beat all these guys and will definitely be up there," Norris said immediately after his win.

"It's been a slow progression but I'm getting there. Hopefully in another couple of years I can be stronger again and be a bit of a show for London. I'm pleased I could get one under the belt. I needed to have a win to set myself up for future wins."

With a lap to go, Norris was more than one-minute clear of Henderson and looked a safe beat for the win but with the fatigue taking its toll he only just had enough left in the tank.

"I was slowing down you could say. The lights were fading. I was pretty much in the box just hanging on," Norris said of the final lap. I didn't realise how close he was until the last little bit and it was a lot closer than I thought.

"I didn't panic. I just thought I can only do what I can do and I knew if I held him off down the last descent I would probably be able to have the best run through the last corner and take it out, which I managed to do."

One of the surprise results of the day was that the recently crowned Australian champion, Daniel McConnell, didn't finish the race and appeared to be suffering from cycling's equivalent to a premiership hangover.

In the women's race, national champion Rowena Fry looked set to collect yet another win after building a commanding lead by the end of the second of four laps.

Attempting to ride through the rocky section of the course, while most others negotiated it by foot, Fry had a front wheel puncture. Despite her efforts to quickly replace the tube she lost more than four minutes and fell back to mid-field.

At the head of the race, Joanna Wall found herself in the lead with Torq teammate Jenni King hot on her heels. Wall made the most of her opportunity and pushed home for the first Australian Mountain Bike Series win of her career ahead of King, while Fry fought her way back to finish third.

"It's been a long time coming. I've wanted a national round for a long time and this is my first one. Never give up," Wall said of her victory. "I paced myself and rode a steady race.

"It was fairly controlled on the first lap because it's such a long climb no one wanted to go to hard off the front because you'd get caught pretty quickly up there. It was hard technical course that had a bit of everything for everyone."

For Fry the experience of puncturing at a crucial time of the race may prove valuable in the future.

The Tasmanian managed to claw back all but 30 seconds of the more than four minutes she lost with her puncture but if she adopted different tactics early in the race she may have had enough to win.

"It probably serves me right for taking it easy in the early part of the race. I really should have gassed it because then I would have had a bit more time up my sleeve," the Australian champion said.  "I was riding really well but that's mountain biking for you. It's always good fun."

Racing in round two of the Australian Mountain Bike Series continues in Shepparton on Sunday when the downhill and short track races will be contested.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lachlan Norris2:17:45
2Ben Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra)0:00:00
3Aiden Lefmann (Cannondale)0:00:28
4Sid Taberlay (Shoair Specialized)0:02:08
5Andrew Blair (Redshift Racing)0:02:53
6Joshua Carlson (Total Rush Factory Specialised)0:03:07
7Daniel Braunsteins* (Drapic Porsche)0:04:03
8Jason English0:06:42
9Paul Van Der Ploeg*0:09:16
10Nick Both0:10:10
11Adrian Jackson (Merida Flight Centre MTB Team)0:11:49
12Luke Fetch* (Torq)0:12:13
13Travis Frisby*0:13:15
14Merlin Spranz* (B.-d. Farm Paris Creek Bio-Mechanics)0:15:15
15Tim Wynan0:15:17
16Steele Von Hoff (Torq)0:16:52
17Alexander Pung*0:18:59
18Scott Liston (FELT, SRAM, Pinacle Cycles)0:20:00
19Stephen Van Dyke (Total Rush)0:22:28
20Peter Kutschera (Apollo Bikes)0:26:00
21James Kennedy0:27:35
-1lapJohn Blankenstein
-1lapGarry Millburn (City Bike Depot,
-1lapTimothy Chadd (Cycle Racing Australia)
-1lapMatt Swann
-2lapsDavid Beasley*
DNFRobbie Hucker (Torq)
DNFCal Britten*
DNFNeil Van Der Ploeg
DNFBrenton Jones* (Torq)
DNFSean Hurley
DNFRico Rogers (Rush Racing)
DNFDaniel McConnell (Torq)
DNFMark Tupalski* (Torq)
DNFJames Peacock* (Merida Flight Centre)
DNFLachlan McVey*
DNFAaron Benson* (Cannondale, For The Riders)
DNFNeil Bennett
DNSNick Menager (OnyaBike Belconnen & Civic Maxxis )
DNSJames Devonshire

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joanna Wall (Torq)1:50:35
2Jenni King (Torq)0:00:38
3Rowena Fry (AIS TID)0:00:40
4Heather Logie0:03:32
5Tory Thomas0:07:58
6Rebecca Henderson*0:09:10
7Sarah Holmes* (Over The Edge Sports )0:11:38
8Therese Rhodes* (Merida Flight Centre)0:15:11
9Katherine O'Shea (Torq)0:16:46
10Kelly Bartlett0:19:19
11Jaclyn Schapel0:23:10
12Kathryn Bicknell (Merida Flight Centre)0:29:25
DNFTrudy Nicholas
DNFAnna Beck
DNFSian Dryden*
DNFVanina Vergoz (City Bike Depot)
DNSRosemary Barnes (Redshift Racing)
DNSShelly Flood*
DNSNicole Keily

Under 19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cameron Ivory1:39:54
2Kyle Ward (Spearman Cycles)0:01:14
3Rowan Brown0:03:02
4Mitchell Codner0:05:28
5Casper Oxlee0:10:11
6Michael Crosbie0:11:18
7Andrew Costello0:14:19
8David Wilson0:18:42
9Robbie Rhodes0:19:57
10Mitchell Vanetie0:21:04
11Tane Crosby0:23:30
12Alex Wagner (Blackman/Scott)0:24:16
13Daniel McDonald0:25:54
14Declan Wilson0:29:47
15Russell Nankervis0:31:20
16Bradley Rose0:32:56
DNFAlexander Meyland (Rock and Road Cycles)
DNFAlistair Crameri
DNFJarryd Jones
DNFCallum Middleton
DNFLaurent Groom
DNFBen Sloane
DNSMichael Baker
DNSJack Waite

Under 17 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zoe Binder1:15:47
2Katrina Rose0:03:57
3Loren Vanetie0:40:05

Super Master Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peggy Douglass (Bike Shed Braddon)1:18:19
2Mary Boromeo0:18:42

Under 17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Aitken1:19:31
2Hamish Prosser0:06:14
3Billy Sewell0:07:06
4Jack Lavis (Batemans Bay Cycles Batemans Bay Apex)0:07:47
5Jacob Langham0:13:14
6Thomas Phillips0:13:16
7Hamish Middleton0:17:27
8Ben Comfort0:28:28
9Nathan Caithness0:29:08
10Jordan Butler0:36:25
DNFTasman Nankervis
DNFRyan Lloyd
DNSJosh Mitchell

Veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Josh Fleming1:43:22
2Rohin Adams0:03:54
3Stuart Keep0:05:12
4Darren Smith0:08:49
5Grant Lebbink0:09:37
6Brett Henderson (Croyden Cycleworks)0:12:40
-1lapJason Sim
DNFJulien Wicks
DNFGavin Burland

Master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Evan James (Bicycle Express Adelaide)1:23:18
2Peter Kreilis0:00:45
3Robert Sullivan (Rock and Road Cycles - Wangaratta)0:01:50
4Richard Peil0:07:21
5Garry James0:08:30
6Tim McGrath (Spoken)0:11:03
7Marcus Langham0:15:25
8Karl Neumeister0:27:46
9Darryn Ellis0:28:52
DNFJohn Groom
DNFAndrew Caithness
DNSScott Butler
DNSMark McInnes (Kirrawee Cycles, Rotor Q Rings.)

Super master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Craig Peacock0:57:12
2Garry Lewis0:01:10
3Mark Codner0:05:18
4Doug Rose0:16:06
5Kahn Frankie0:23:41
6Myles Higgins0:23:59
DNSJohn Henderson
DNSStephen Flood

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