Results and Reports for December 5

MTB Mountain Tour '99

Yass-Wee Jasper, Australia, December 3-5, 1999

Courtesy of Ian and Helen Cathles

Olympic team contenders Paul Rowney and Hanneke ('Honni') Geysen have both decisively taken the leaders jersey in the inaugural Mountain Tour '99.

The Yass to Wee Jasper event started Friday night, December 3 in Yass on a course specially constructed by the Yass Shire Council in the town centre. Simon Bishop overcame some of Australia's best bikers including Men's 1999 World Cup champion, Cadel Evans, when he clocked a time of 1min 00:26 secs. Paul Rowney was 4th with a time of 1min 02.74secs. In the elite women's event a powerful ride by Dellys Franke overcame the World No 1 ranked Under-23 woman, 'Honni' Geysen, clocking a time of 1min 12.78secs.

The first stage of the Mountain Tour '99 saw intense action on the difficult routes from Yass to Wee Jasper, over both dirt and tar. Rowney, 1999 Australian Men's MTB Champ, overcame breakaway companion Garth Hennessy in the sprint, finishing some 50 secs in front of bunch containing the leader Simon Bishop.

The race time of 1:26:27 surprised organisers with Sergeant Des Ross of the NSW Police in charge of the security on the road expressing amazement at the top speeds in excess of 65kph registered (on mountainbikes) on the police radar coming into Wee Jasper. Rowney confirmed that the stage had been "on from the gun" and gave credit to Hennessy for much of the serious speed he had been forced to match in the break. "David was really driving out there" he said, "and I had to fight to stay with him at times". Early partner in the break, Paul Redenbach, was not so lucky, dropping back to finish in the bunch.

The elite women's race was also won by a two-rider breakaway as 'Honni' Geysen reversed the prologue result beating Dellys Franke in the sprint. Having also won the 30sec time bonus on the mountain climb, Geysen was leader heading into the afternoon stage, a criterium circuit race on dirt at the Trackhead of the Hume & Hovell Walking Track in Wee Jasper.

The criteriums were held under the same hot and dusty conditions that characterised the weekend's racing, with a trio comprising Paul Rowney, Rob Woods and Paul Redenbach rapidly riding away from the rest. They remained together throughout the 45min race, Rowney taking the sprint from Redenbach and Woods, while Craig Gordon was close behind in 4th.

The women's race again became a duel between the in-form elites Honni Geysen and Dellys Franke. Unfortunately, any chance Franke had to take the lead back from Geysen was deflated when she suffered a last lap flat and crossed the line a few seconds behind Honni. Despite the mechanical, Franke retains second with Melanie McConnell third.

The Mountain Tour '99 reaches its climax tomorrow on an extremely technical cross-country circuit in Wee Jasper. The race is being used by the National Shadow Olympic squad as preparation for the Oceania Games Mountainbike events next week on the Olympic course in Sydney.


Prologue results:

Elite Men:

1 S. Bishop 		1.00.3
2 P. Redenbach 		0.01.6
3 B. Miller 		0.02.5
4 P. Rowney 		0.02.5
5 T. Bennet 		0.03.7
6 M. Leis 		0.04.0
7 C. Gordon 		0.04.2
8 R. Woods 		0.04.5
16 C. Evans 		0.09.0

Elite Women:

1 D. Franke 		1.12.8
2 H. Geysen 		0.01.2
3 K. Robinson 		0.01.2
4 M. McConnell		0.02.2

Expert men:

1 Shane Paton 		1.03.30

Master men:

1 A. Mumford 		1.12.07

Veteran men:

1 W. Key 		1.06.88

Junior men:

1 P.Werner 		1.03.60

Sub-Junior men:

1 M. Molan 		1.05.20

Stage 1, Yass - Wee Jasper

Elite men, 55kms

1 P. Rowney 		1.25.57
2 G. Hennessy 		   0.09
3 P. Redenbach 		   1.05
4 R. Woods 		   1.13
19 C. Evans 		  14.02

Elite Women:

1 H. Geysen 		1.43.32
2 D. Franke 		   0.10
3 K. Robinson 		   3.05

Stage 2, criterium

Elite and expert men:

1 Paul Rowney
2 Paul Redenbach
3 Rob Woods
4 Craig Gordon

Elite women:

1 Honni Geysen
2 Dellys Franke