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McConnell and Fry bounce back in short track

Australian cross country champions Daniel McConnell and Rowena Fry made amends on Sunday for the disappointment of the previous day at round two of the Australian Mountain Bike Series in Shepparton, by claiming impressive wins in the short track races.

After not finishing the cross country race on Saturday, McConnell controlled the short course event from start to finish in one of the classiest performances of the Australian season. The only rider to keep McConnell company in the earlier part of the race was Sid Taberlay who eventually lost contact with the Beijing Olympian.

McConnell quickly rode off into the distance at a pace that had lapped riders being withdrawn from the race at a rate that resulted in just four of the 20 starters making it to the finish line.

After losing contact with the eventual winner, Taberlay was caught by Drapac-Porsche teammates Lachlan Norris and Daniel Braunsteins. Despite being outnumbered Taberlay had the strength and experience to still finish second with Norris in third and Braunsteins fourth.

But for McConnell the win was clear evidence that he has the strength of character to bounce back from disappointment quickly.

"Yesterday the brain just wasn't in it. I was struggling the week after what was the perfect start to the year for me with the national title," the Australian champion said after his win. "But today I was put back to reality on a level playing field and I just thought I'd give it everything.

"I went hard from the start because I didn't want the same thing to happen as in the short track in Adelaide where I lost by the shred of a tire. I took the lead from the start and saw a gap and decided to ride my own race and keep an eye on where the other guys were."

In the women's event, it was a determined-looking Rowena Fry who asserted herself on the race from the word go.

Rebecca Henderson tried gallantly to challenge the Australian champion in the opening laps but Fry responded to the attacks of the 18-year-old and launched her own assault to win convincingly.

Henderson, who was seventh at last year's Under 19 World Championships, confirmed her talent to finish second ahead of Joanna Wall in third.

"She's a little goer. In couple of years she'll be one of our best," Fry said of the second place finisher. "She kept coming back at me and I was testing her out a little by constantly attacking and also testing my own tactics and it worked out well.

"It all went to plan so I'm pretty happy with the win."

Round three of the Australian Mountain Bike Series will be held at Thredbo, February 13-14.


Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Dan McConnell(Torq)
2Sid Taberlay(Shoair Specialized)
3Lachlan Norris
4Daniel Braunsteins(Drapic Porsche)
6Joshua Carlson(Total Rush Factory Specialised)
5Robbie Hucker(Torq)
7Neil Van Der Ploeg
8Andrew Blair(Redshift Racing)
9Paul Van Der Ploeg
10Nick Both
11Brenton Jones(Torq)
12Steele von Hoff(Torq)
13Ben Henderson(Crowne Plaza Canberra)
14Garry Millburn(City Bike Depot)
15Rohin Adams
DNSLuke Fetch(Torq)
DNSAdrian Jackson(Merida Flight Centre MTB Team)
DNSScott Liston(FELT, SRAM, Pinacle Cycles)
DNSJames Kennedy
DNSMark Tupalski(Torq)
DNSRico Rogers(Rush Racing)

Open women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Rowena Fry(AIS TID Free Membership 1 yr)
2Rebecca Henderson
3Joanna Wall(Torq)
4Kelly Bartlett
5Katherine O'Shea(Torq Nutrition)
6Sarah Holmes(Over The Edge Sports )
DNSHeather Logie
DNSJenni King(Torq australia croydon cycleworks)
DNSRosemary Barnes(Redshift Racing)
DNSJaclyn Schapel

Sport men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Mitchell Codner
2Rowan Brown
3Tim Wynan
4Merlin Spranz(B.-d. Farm Paris Creek Bio-Mechanics)
5Lachlan McVey
6Jacob Langham
7Robbie Rhodes
8Tim McGrath(Nacional)
9Darren Smith
10David Wilson
11Matt Swan(Yarra valley Cycles)
12Alistair Crameri
13Tim Rowe(BikeNow)
DNSJulien Wicks

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