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Australian National MTB Championships - CN

Mt Beauty, Australia, January 14-15, 2006

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Race 2 - January 14: Elite/U23/U19 Men (Commonwealth Games selection)

Taberlay is Melbourne bound

By Mikkeli Godfree in Mt Beauty

Sid Taberlay
Photo ©: Mikkeli Godfree
Click for larger image

As if there hadn't been enough tension and excitement for one day, the men were yet to race. Again, the Commonwealth Games were at the forefront of more than one or two riders' minds with only Chris Jongewaard (Avanti) an assured start in March at Lysterfield. Again, it was a tense, hot and dusty start line with the sun beating down on a pack of 47 elite riders. One riders was keeping cool however, with an umbrella shading him from the rays - Sid Taberlay. Was it a sponsor stunt or was Sid laying his cards on the table as taking this race bloody seriously? Time would tell.

As the gun wen, Jongewaard - in typical style - hit the front and put his South Australian hands around the throat of the race. Chris scorched the track with a 20min-flat lap while a hungry Sid came through eight seconds in arrears with Dan McConnell and Josh Fleming (Felt-Hutchinson) sniffing around within striking distance of the front two but well clear of the rest.

By the second lap, Sid had caught his Avanti teammate Chris, but took a spill allowing the early leader to resume his position at the front of the field. With Sid scrambling back to the wheel of the '05 national champion, onlookers could have been forgiven for thinking that Chris was helping his teammate escape the clutches of the chasers to ensure Sid took the win and with it the second spot for the Commonwealth Games...however, as the race heated up, Sid began to dominate and there was no love lost between these two as each tried to sneak off the front.

In the battle for third, Josh Fleming - national champion the last time Mount Beauty hosted the event - was doing his usual 'start slow and wind up' trick but it was too little too late and all he could do was distance himself from a tiring Dan McConnell.

Chris Jongewaard
Photo ©: Mikkeli Godfree
Click for larger image

With half of the laps down and as the mercury touched 35, it was business time and Sid put the boot in, taking ten seconds out of Chris for the next two laps. Chris simply couldn't follow the pace and on the last lap a small deficit blew out to 51secs by race's end. Sid crossed the line caked in dust (like everyone else) but otherwise looking pretty good. Chris in contrast was a shattered man, hobbling around in the finish area clutching his back wearing what seemed like a permanent grimace...he wasn't the only one though and as the minutes rolled by, the finish area was full of them: third place went to Josh (making a good case for his Commonwealth Games selection) 3:24 while a buckled but elated Mark Frendo came through in fourth to take the U23 title 6:03 behind the elite title winner, Sid, after Dan McConnell flatted on the last lap.

Sid said of the race: "I'm happy with today despite struggling with the weather a bit - you know, it's not that similar to the Tasmanian climate - not recently anyway. Chris went out hard as usual and I knew I had to go with him. I haven't peaked specifically for this race, I'm thinking about March. I've only done four days intensity just to make sure the race wasn't a shock to the system. I'm sure there's still more to come and either Chris and I can win the Commonwealth Games race or at least both come back with medals."

Second placed Chris, despite his pain, managed to tell us about his race and plans in the near future, "I've got two days off before I start the Tour Down Under road event and I finished the Bay Criteriums less than a week ago so I'm really relying on the road at the moment. Because the criteriums were short I was a bit worried about the distance but luckily I got through it, even if my back is a bit worse for wear. I'm happy though and looking forward to racing with Sid at Lysterfield."

Of the rest a notable mention must go to Shaun Lewis Snr (Scott - Flight Centre) who had a cracking race to take out fifth spot while a luckless Dan McConnell and Lachlan Norris took second and third in the U23 category respectively.

Junior Men: Britten too good

Cal Britten
Photo ©: Mikkeli Godfree
Click for larger image

The youngster division was convincingly taken out by Cal Britten (Kona Mt Buller Factory Team) over Daniel Braunstiens (Richmond Cyclery). Cal leaped off the start line and really put the pressure on in the first lap, making the others chase. At the top of the climb on the first lap, Cal looked around to see that only Daniel Braunstiens was with him with David Hallam (Gold Coast) forty seconds in arrears. The front pair would not be alone for long though as David descended like a maniac to be in second spot by the end of the first lap.

Apart from the increasingly-harsh sun, there was not much out on course making Cal sweat. As he turned the screws, the cracks started to appear in both Daniel and David, with the former dropping off the pace and the latter dropping off the pace and then having a mechanical which cost him nine minutes.

Having disposed of his nearest rivals with a few laps to go, Cal was never headed from that point on. Cal went on to win by 1:49 over Daniel and 4:35 over Jamie Paisley (GMBC-Hendry). It was a show of absolute domination from a rider who is definitely a star of the future. A year ago, Cal won his first national series race as a first-year junior. Now, with all the 'oldies' having moved up to U23, Cal is ruling the roost, having won at Lysterfield and now the National Championships.

Cal is looking further afield though at World's, "I was 17th at world's after starting up the back of the grid as a first year, this year I'm much stronger and I have a few results up my sleeve so I should get a front row start...so that should make it a bit easier!"

No doubt a lad who will do the jersey proud.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mikkeli Godfree/Cyclingnews.com


Elite Men
1 Sid Taberlay (SRAM)                                                    2.06.02
2 Chris Jongewaard (Avanti, Jt Cycles)                                      0.51
3 Josh Fleming (Felt Hutchinson)                                            3.24
4 Mark Frendo* (Flight Centre- Scott)                                       6.03
5 Shaun Lewis Shcc (Scott, Flight Centre Race Team)                         7.15
6 Dylan Cooper (Scott, Shimano, Conceptis.com.au)                           8.38
7 Aiden Lefmann (Cannondale, SRAM, Maxxis, Giro, Crank Bros)                8.45
8 Daniel Mcconnell* (Giant Bicycles,Adidas)                                 8.57
9 Murray Spink (Giant Bicycles Sports Performance Management)              10.02
10 Perren Delacour (Team Yeti Aust; Smith; High5; Pearl Izumi)             10.13
11 Lachlan Norris* (Cannondale/Maxxis, SRAM, Avid, Scud, Enervit, Polar)   11.52
12 James Williamson (Giant, Powerbar, Ritchey, Crank Brothers)             11.57
13 Matthew Fleming (Clarence St Cyclery, Trek Bicycles)                    12.07
15 Hamish Elliot* (Cannondale/Maxxis)                                      12.30
16 James Maebus* (Vis, Michelin, Rudy Project, Bikenow)                    14.22
17 Adrian Jackson (Melbourne Bicycle Centre)                               14.39
18 Chris Winn* (Yeti Cycles; Spoken; SRAM; Smith; Pearl Izumi)             14.52
19 Mark Van Der Ploeg* (Rocky Valley Bike Shop)                            15.49
20 Joel Read (Specialized - Total Rush)                                    18.54
21 Nick Both (Scott, Flight Centre, Netti)                                 19.49
22 Ashley Wass (Cycle Gallery Mt Barker Gymnasium Polar)                   20.16
23 Garry Millburn* (Cannondale Team Member)                                22.07
24 Josh Keep*                                                              22.09
25 James Dickey* (Specialised - Total Rush)                                22.54
26 Damon Griggs (Derrico Cycles)                                           25.19
27 Rohin Adams (Specialized Concept Store)                                 28.35
28 Trevor Hill (Blackman Bicycles)                                  1 lap behind
29 Dennis Van Mill (HVMBR)                                                      
30 Mike Blewitt (Cranks Bike Shop; Scott Bikes)                                 
31 Andrew Blair                                                                 
32 Stephen Van Dyke (Specialized Concept Store)                                 
33 Christopher Tassell*                                                         
34 Ben Henderson* (CORC)                                                        
35 Scott Finlay (Ashgrove Cycles Finlay Racing)                                 
36 Garran Hutchison-Menzer (Clarence Street Cyclery)               2 laps behind
37 Daniel Kydd*                                                    3 laps behind
DNF Shaun Lewis*                                                                
DNF John Claxton (Giant)                                                        
DNF Brian Price (Panther Cycles)                                                
DNF Brett Anderson* (Trak Cycles; Anderson Insurance)                           
DNF Alex Randall (Melbourne Bicycle Centre, Netti And Scott)                    
DNF Shane Paton (Kona Mt Buller Factory Team)                                   
DNF Julien Redmond (Wheeler)                                                    
DNF Alistair Farley* (Giant)                                                    
DNF Adam Freeman (Gt Bicycles, Smith , Fox,Drift)                               
DNS Phillip Orr (Navajo Everything Bicycles)                                    
* U23 Men
Under 19 Men
1 Cal Britten (Kona Mt Buller Factory Team)                              1.28.25
2 Daniel Braunstiens (Richmond Cyclery)                                     1.49
3 Jamie Paisley (Gmbc Hendry Cycles)                                        4.35
4 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Rocky Valley Bike Shop)                               4.39
5 Ben Grieve-Johnson (Cyclingo)                                             6.50
6 Joey Esterhuyzen (Wsmtb)                                                  6.56
7 Travis Frisby (Gawler Cycles)                                             8.17
8 Alexander Pung (Parents)                                                  8.22
9 Luke Graydon (CORC)                                                       9.49
10 Simon Wright (Brunswick Street Cycles)                                  10.04
11 Daniel Hallam (Gold Coast)                                              12.23
12 Scott Chancellor (Malvern Bicycles)                                     15.26
13 Matt King (Cycle Zone Darwin Northern Territory)                        16.16
14 Jarrad Burrell                                                          16.19
15 Luke Knox (Bendigo)                                                     16.51
16 Carson Tully                                                            28.03
17 Andrew Adams (CORC)                                              1 lap behind
DNF David Rome (Sic Bikes)                                                      
DNF Clenn Stewart (Cannondale Maxxis Team / Gordon St Cycles)                   
DNF Per Wilson                                                                  
DNF Nathan Haas (CORC)                                                          
DNF Mark Flood                                                                  
DNS Andrew Lockhart (Lifecycle)                                                 
Under 17 Men
1 David Johnston (Specialized The Penny Farthing Bike Shop)              1.11.55
2 Peter Braunstiens (Richmond Cyclery)                                      0.42
3 Robbie Hucker (Moronis Bike Shop Bendigo; Dad)                            1.00
4 James Mowatt (Cycle Science)                                              2.12
5 Tom Paton (Bike Addiction)                                                2.44
6 James Peacock (Team Chase)                                                9.06
7 Nathan Mcmillan (Wheeler And Kirrawee Cycles)                            11.14
8 Phillip Bellingham                                                       12.37
9 Lachlan Grose (FTF)                                                      13.13
10 Mark Tupalski (CORC)                                                    13.46
11 Timothy Sanelli (FTF)                                                   16.12
12 Nick Jackson (Croydon Cycleworks)                                       24.26
13 Alan Vanderbaan                                                         25.48
14 Anthony Rodgers (CORC)                                                  27.29
15 Jesse Dillon                                                            33.22
16 Thomas Hole                                                             35.03
DNF Paul Worsley                                                                
DNF Aidan Rees