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Dominant Jongewaard escapes debutant upstaging after mechanical

Chris Jongewaard narrowly escaped letting a two-and-a-half-minute lead slip through his fingers to senior debutant Jack Haig in the elite men's cross country race, the second stage of the Subaru All Mountain Cup at Mount Buller on Saturday.

Jongewaard finished the seven-lap race a mere 22 seconds over his junior rival while Sean Lewis got the better of teammate Andrew Blair for third place.

The win also puts the six-time cross country national champion in the series lead over Haig and Lewis.

Jongewaard held a commanding two-and-a-half-minute lead on the bell lap before suffering a mechanical failure, forcing the South Australian to run most of the course carrying his bike. "I was panicking, I knew Jack wasn't too far behind and with him riding well, and quickly I knew he would catch me quick," Jongewaard said.

The former cross country Oceania champion suffered a race-ending mechanical in stage 1's eliminator, which ended up almost derailing Jongewaard's whole AMC campaign. "Mechanicals seemed to ruin my day yesterday and almost ruined my day today."

"I was trying to give it a good crack on the last lap to open up my lead heading into tomorrow and my bent chain from yesterday must have caught and ruined my derailleur meaning I had run most of the climb. I lost a lot of time on that climb but luckily I managed to just hold off Jack for the win."

Haig admitted he was unaware of his advantage on the final lap saying he only "wanted to post a good time to see where my form was."

"It wasn't until after I crossed the line that someone told me he'd broken something on his bike," Haig said. "I hadn't actually seen Chris - I was too focused on pulling out a really fast final lap."

The stage was Haig's first cross country race in the elite category, the 19-year-old opting to make the jump to senior ranks early.

"I was unsure how I would go racing in elite instead of under 23. I knew I had good form on the road after the road national championships but mountain biking is completely different," Haig said of his bronze medal in the under 23 road race in Ballarat on January 12.

The 4.8-kilometre course was contested seven times. Racers tackled a loop around Mount Buller summit to finish in the village square.

Jongewaard was dominant from the gun, the 33-year-old gaining a 50-second advantage on his first lap through the circuit before almost doubling his lead by the end of the second lap. He then continued to extend his lead in order to set up a hefty lead into the final stage of the AMC, the point-to-point race.

"I knew that the point-to-point was going to be a hard day and I managed to hold back a bit until I had that last running race. The legs are good so hopefully I can get the bike back together for tomorrow," Jongewaard said.

"I obviously would have liked more time up my sleeve though - Jack showed some good form at road nationals so he will be one to watch."

In the under 23 cross country race, ACT rider Brendan Johnston claimed victory over Jason Lowndes and Ben Forbes.

In the under 19 cross country race, reigning national champion and AMC leader Ben Bradley clinched the win over Chris Hamilton and Tristan Ward.

Mullens claims maiden mountain bike win

Peta Mullens has won her first national series mountain bike race when she won comfortably over Swiss rider Nathalie Schneitter and Tory Thomas in the women's cross country race, the second stage of the All Mountain Cup at Mount Buller.

The win has also allowed Mullens to take the overall AMC lead ahead of Schneitter and Thomas heading into Sunday's final stage, the point-to-point race.

Mullens, a former VIS scholarship holder recently finished second overall in the Mitchleton Bay Cycling Classic series and fourth overall in the women's road national criterium championships.

The road results coupled with extra cross country training is what the Bendigo local says gifted her the win. "I feel like I've come into the season with some pretty good form," Mullens said. "Believe it or not, I've never had a top five at a cross country national round before so to come out today and not only podium but to win the race is amazing for me.

Mullens and Schneitter took full advantage when series defending champion Jenni King suffered a flat tire on lap two, the powerful duo breaking away from King who was forced to retire from the race.

Schneitter showed her past World Cup winning form on the descents yet it was Mullens who had the endurance on the climbs, allowing the 24-year-old to solo away for victory.

"If tomorrow's a bad day, I'm not too fussed. I'm so pleased with my effort today that anything could happen tomorrow and I'll be a happy girl this weekend," she said.

Target Trek Mountain Bike team debuted their colours on the second stage in the All Mountain Cup, something which Mullens said made the win extra special.

Schneitter finished four minutes behind Mullens and was impressed with the quality of female mountain biking in Australia.

"I didn't win today, there was another girl faster than me and I think that it is good that I get pushed here," Schneitter said. "I think the Australian girls are getting faster and faster and we will see them in World Cups all over the world," the 2010 Champery World Cup champion said.

The 26-year-old will use the Australian national racing scene to find some form before she competes at the Cape Epic in South Africa in March.

"This is my first race since October so it's hard to go to the limit to push myself. It wasn't a perfect day but I am here to work on my race shape. The singletrack was awesome, and I had a lot of fun in the downhills," Schneitter said.

The 4.8-kilometre course was contested six times for the elite women.

In the women's under 23 cross country race, Claire O'Brien claimed victory while defending under 19 national champion Holly Harris won her race over Emily Parkes and Ella Scanlan-Bloor.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Jongewaard1:41:19
2Jack Haig0:00:22
3Shaun Lewis0:03:15
4Andrew Blair0:03:20
5Luke Fetch0:04:14
6Mark Tupalski0:05:13
7Adrian Jackson0:06:44
8Sid Taberlay0:07:40
9Andrew Fellows0:08:02
10Nick Both0:09:29
11Michael Illing0:11:17
12Scott Needham0:12:38
13Nicholas Morgan0:14:28
-2lapsSam Chancellor
-3lapsJarrod Quinn
DNFAndrew Arthur
DNSJoel Tracksdorf

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peta Mullens1:46:01
2Nathalie Schneitter0:04:01
3Tory Thomas0:04:30
4Katherine O'Shea0:05:52
5Melissa Anset0:11:18
6Lindsay Gorrell0:15:29
7Jaclyn Schapel0:16:30
8Katie Chancellor0:17:50
DNFTherese Rhodes
DNFJenni King

U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brendan Johnston1:32:25
2Jason Lowndes0:00:31
3Benjamin Forbes0:01:56
4Ben Comfort0:05:26
5Tom Goddard0:06:08
6Russell Nankervis0:08:02
7Tane Crosby0:08:32
8Brendan Adair0:10:25
9Jack Steele0:13:29
10Torren Lamont0:14:05
11Travis Parkley-Simpson0:14:41
12Alexander Meyland0:16:00
13Rodger Pogson-Manning0:29:39
-1lapZack Agius
-2lapsLachlan Bakewell
DNFSebastian Jayne
DNFHarry Herne
DNFBilly Sewell
DNFCasper Oxlee
DNFMichael Crosbie
DNSCameron Ivory

U23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Clea O'Brien1:47:12

U19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Bradley1:16:20
2Chris Hamilton0:01:18
3Tristan Ward0:01:24
4Jack Lavis0:02:06
5Tasman Nankervis0:03:25
6Felix Smalley0:05:15
7Ethan Kelly0:05:55
8Mitchell Greenway0:06:56
9Simon Harrington0:07:34
10Cameron Prosser0:08:35
11David Bleakley0:09:12
12Dean Madden0:10:39
13Jack Jude0:16:19
14Josh Abbey0:16:47
15Hamish Prosser0:17:08
16Jordan Butler0:17:23
-1lapSamuel Barnden
-1lapAlexander Yallouris
-1lapJack Gardner
DNFScott Bowden
DNSMalte Adebahr
DNSAusten Hawkins

U19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Holly Harris1:18:15
2Emily Parkes0:01:22
3Ella Scanlan-Bloor0:07:59
4Karlee Gibson0:15:09
-1lapSophie Weston

U17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liam Jeffries0:48:07
2Callum Carson0:01:33
3Michael Potter0:03:34
4Luke Brame0:03:54
5Tom Green0:03:58
6Alex Lack0:04:00
7Foley Lachal0:04:25
8Guy Frail0:06:16
9Ben Walkerden0:09:04
10Jack Booth0:09:09
11Oliver Armstrong0:09:36
12Jet Turner0:15:56
13Mitchell Dosser0:17:51
14Declan Prosser0:20:42
DNFDylan McKenna
DNFBen Read
DNFJoshua Sullivan

U15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kian Lerch-Mackinnon0:35:39
2Charlie Brodie0:01:04
3Cameron Wright0:01:23
4Matthew Dinham0:02:41
5Jasper Albrecht0:03:02
6Josh Battye0:03:27
7Oliver Gibson0:11:57
8Callum Inglis0:13:28
9Tristan Miller0:13:29
DNFJoseph Simpson
DNSPiper Albrecht

U15 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zoe Cuthbert0:52:22
2Sally Potter0:08:12

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