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Oceania Mountain Bike Championships & Australian Open - CC

Thredbo, NSW, Australia, March 23-25, 2007

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Race 6 - March 25: Elite Cross Country

Jongewaard takes convincing win

Sid Taberlay and Chris Jongewaard
Photo ©: Evan Jeffery
(Click for larger image)

Australian riders dominated the men's olympic cross country, with current national champion Chris Jongewaard taking out the title by three minutes over Dylan Cooper and Athens Olympian Sid Taberlay. Adelaide's Jongewaard rider was pleased to win his first race since the nationals championships a month earlier.

Jongewaard rode a blistering average speed of 17.37 km per hour on a tricky and slippery 5.7 km course to finish the seven laps in 2:16.16.

The elite men's race saw Jongewaard and Taberlay break away from the field until a puncture in the second lap delayed Tasmania's Taberlay.

"It was always going to be between Sid and I," Jongewaard said after the race. "I wasn't feeling confident coming into today. I haven't done a lot on the mountain bike."

He was not counting his success until the final lap after his experience in the last event at Thredbo where a flat tyre in the final lap wrecked his chance of a podium spot.

"This is the start of the season so it will get tougher on from here with the World Cups and then the World Championships later in the year," Jongewaard added.

Canberra's Dylan Cooper was able to gain a spot and pass Taberlay and did not let him gain any ground. Cooper however never looked like threatening Jongewaard's lead and finished in second with 2:19.31. Taberlay was not disappointed with third, preferring to ride a little easier after suffering a puncture and a slip in the wet conditions.

The best placed New Zealander was Stuart Houltham in ninth.

Joseph hot on MTB comeback

ANZAC rivalry: New Zealand's Rosara Joseph and Australia's Tory Thomas
Photo ©: Evan Jeffery
(Click for larger image)

A six month break from riding did not affect New Zealand's Rosara Joseph as she crushed her competition after not racing her mountain bike for eight months. Rosara rode an impressive 1:59.37 at the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships held at Thredbo on Sunday. The 24 year-old did not even see her competition as she took out her second Oceania Olympic Cross Country title.

Joseph rode the quickest lap recording 22 and a half minutes. Cool conditions suited the UK-based Joseph, who remained unchallenged and rode the five laps in less than two hours, nearly 13 minutes faster than her nearest rival, Australia's National Champion, Tory Thomas.

"The first lap was really good then by the second and third lap I started to fade a little bit," she said.

Tory Thomas working hard
Photo ©: Evan Jeffery
(Click for larger image)

For the Oxford University law student this was her first mountain bike race since placing 10th at the World Mountain Bike Championships in Rotorua last August.

"I was a little unsure of my form really," she said. "This is way beyond my expectations."

To rub salt into the wounds, Joseph rode on a borrowed bike after her Giant frame was dinted in transit.

In a tussle for second place, Mt Beauty's Tory Thomas was able to hold off a challenge by New Zealand's Kaytee Boyd. Thomas pulled away from the Kiwi in the fifth and final lap to take a second place. Ex-BMX rider Kaytee Boyd rode in to claim third place, proving that she has the predicted potential to make a top cross country rider.

New Zealand's National Cross Country Champion Anja McDonald got up as high as third in the early laps but finished the race in fourth place. It was a disappointing race for Australian rider Kate Potter. After winning on the same course in December, Potter had to be content with fifth place.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Evan Jeffery/www.evanjeffery.com.au


Elite men

1 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Avanti/Shimano/Jt Cycles                                         2.16.16
2 Dylan Cooper (Aus) Conceptis.com.au, Ritchey, ACTAS, Scott                                 3.16
3 Sidney Taberlay (Aus)                                                                      7.39
4 Brent Miller (Aus) Kenda/X-Fusion/Titus                                                    9.53
5 Murray Spink (Aus) Giant Bicycles                                                         11.09
6 Stuart Houltham (NZl) Bike New Zealand                                                    13.56
7 James Williamson (Aus) Giant, Ritchey                                                     16.53
8 Nick Both (Aus) Flight centre, Scott bikes, Netti, Cratoni, Adidas eyewear, Accelerade    54.44
One lap down
9 Warren Burgess (Aus) King of the Mountain Cyclery                                       2.20.36
Two laps down
10 James Meadley (Aus) Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team                                       1.58.30
Three laps down
11 Justin Price (Aus) Santa Cruz Bicycles, RNR Sport, Laroma Espresso                     1.39.29
12 Chris Winn (Aus) Yeti, Spoke(n), Smith, SRAM, TruVativ, Fox Racing Shox                1.41.16
Four laps down
13 Perren Delacour (Aus) Yeti Cycles, Smith Opticals                                        42.44
DNF Aiden Lefmann (Aus)                                                                          
DNS Michael Blewitt (Aus) Cranks Bike Shop, Scott Bikes                                          

Elite Women

1 Rosara Joseph (NZl) Bike New Zealand                                                      1.59.38
2 Tory Thomas (Aus) ORBEA, SRAM                                                               12.52
3 Kaytee Boyd (NZl) Bike New Zealand                                                          13.53
4 Anja McDonald (NZl) Bike New Zealand                                                        15.03
5 Kate Potter (Aus) Cotic, A Quick Release Holidays, TORQ Energy, Pace Forks, Bigfoot bags    15.44
6 Zoe King (Aus) King of the Mountain Cyclery/Cannondale                                      17.55
7 Emma Colson (Aus) Topbike Tours, Giant bicycles, Euro Eyewear , Geax Tyres                  18.39
8 Jenni King (Aus) spoke(n)                                                                   18.48
9 Claire Haugh (Aus) Yeti                                                                     25.09
10 Rachel Rademaker (Aus) www.cyclelink.com.auMerida                                          25.37
11 Jodie Willett (Aus) eDiscovery Tools, River City Cycles                                    26.20
12 Joanna Wall (Aus) A & I Helicopter ServicesMoronis Bikes                                   26.57
13 Katherine O'Shea (Aus) Fitzroy Cylces, PowerBar and Michelin Tyres                         28.16
14 Erin Greene (NZl) Bike New Zealand                                                         28.56
One lap down
15 Imogen Smith (Aus)                                                                       2.01.19
16 Vanessa Hentschel (Aus) Croydon Cycleworks, Trek                                         2.03.15
Two laps down
17 Niki Fisher (Aus)                                                                        1.39.04