Van Der Ploeg fires at the You Yangs

Victorian Paul Van Der Ploeg and Tasmanian Rowena Fry took the honours in the short track cross country at the opening round of the 2010-11 Jayco Australian Mountain Bike Series held in the You Yangs.

The 17-lap women's race was a fairly tight affair until last year's series winner Rowena Fry jumped out of the saddle with two laps to go and powered out in front to establish a 15m lead which would never be relinquished.

Early in the race, the lead exchanged hands on a number of occasions, the majority of the girls in the front bunch taking it in turns to set the pace. Any breakaways were quickly caught, and there was still a group of five in contention when the three-lap to go sign was raised.

However Fry's decisive move to attack proved successful, the Launceston rider claiming a comfortable victory in 19:19 ahead of a fast-finishing Rebecca Henderson and Jenni King.

"It was a really fun race today, we had a good bunch going," said Fry. "Everyone was attacking and taking a turn at the front, it was an exciting race."

"With three laps to go, my plan was to make that lead bunch a bit smaller and see who had any punch in their legs for the finish.

"I was feeling much better than yesterday. I've had tonsillitis, and I've been struggling a bit at the moment with my breathing lately."

The men's 23-lap event came down to the third last corner of the race, where Paul Van Der Ploeg took advantage of a misfortunate move from Joshua Carlson to hold on and snatch the victory in 22:53 in the closing stages. A rapidly improving Brenton Jones placed third to complete the podium.

"I'm really happy with the win," said Van der Ploeg, who headed the lead bunch of seven for the majority of the race. "It was a tough field, lots of attacking and it was really fast."

"We got to the last three laps and I was on the front and I just kept driving it and driving it, and tried to keep them off. I almost got tipped, and then a bit of a muck up by Carlson and I got in on the last three corners.

"I was driving up that last straight after I heard that bell. I knew I had to give it everything I had because I knew after that tight corner there were no passing opportunities.

"I got to the tight corner and I was still in front. However Carso somehow passed me and he was going hard but then he got into the top corner and he was real drifty. He clipped the tree and then spat out to the outside, so I shot in on the inside at the very last second. It was a tough race."

The Australian Mountain Bike Series continues in Hobart next month where all disciplines - cross country, downhill and four cross - will feature at Glenorchy MTB Park from December 10 to 12.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Paul Van Der Ploeg (Felt Bicycles)0:22:53
2Joshua Carlson (Rockstar Racing)0:00:00
3Brenton Jones0:00:02
4Ben Henderson (Torq/Anytime Fitness)0:00:04
5Lachlan Norris0:00:04
6Peter Hatton0:00:07
7Luke Fetch0:00:15
8Shaun Lewis0:00:23
9Ben Hogarth0:00:23
10Michael Crosbie0:00:55
lappedAndy Blair (Swell- Redshift)Row 10 - Cell 2
lappedBen MatherRow 11 - Cell 2
lappedMitchell Codner (Rotor / FRS)Row 12 - Cell 2
lappedSteven CusworthRow 13 - Cell 2
lappedRowan BrownRow 14 - Cell 2
lappedGarry Millburn (Cannondale)Row 15 - Cell 2
lappedCam WinnRow 16 - Cell 2
DNSJohn Groves (Apollo Bikes)Row 17 - Cell 2
DNSJack LamshedRow 18 - Cell 2
DNSMatt Ligtermoet (Rush Racing Specialized)Row 19 - Cell 2
DNSBrendan JohnstoneRow 20 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rowena Fry0:19:19
2Rebecca Henderson (Crowne Plaza Canberra)0:00:01
3Jenni King (Torq Australia)0:00:02
4Katherine O'Shea (Torq Nutrition)0:00:03
5Jodie Willett0:00:07
6Kelly Bartlett0:00:38
LappedIrene WhennenRow 6 - Cell 2
LappedNiki FisherRow 7 - Cell 2
DNSNicole KeilyRow 8 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sport men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neil Robinson (Baum)0:18:09
2Alexander Meyland (Rock and Road Cycles)0:00:02
3Jacob Langham0:00:04
4Peter Kreilis0:00:06
5Jarryd Jones0:00:11
6Evan James0:00:11
LappedJames LalorRow 6 - Cell 2
LappedTom Chaffey (Bike Minded)Row 7 - Cell 2
LappedBenjamin GreenRow 8 - Cell 2
LappedTim Rowe (BikeNow)Row 9 - Cell 2
LappedSteven CaddyRow 10 - Cell 2
DNSAlistair CrameriRow 11 - Cell 2
DNSAndrew ChomaRow 12 - Cell 2

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