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Dauphiné Libéré
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Australian MTB Series #5 - 2

Glenorchy MTB Park, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, February 28-March 1, 2009

2008 results     Schedule     Preview 

Schedule

  • Race 1 - February 28: Cross country,
  • Race 2 - February 28: 4X,
  • Race 3 - March 1: Short track,
  • Race 4 - March 1: Downhill,

Series finale could end in tussle in Tassie

The Tassie National round in Hobart over this weekend could see a tussle between top-ranked riders. The fifth and final round of the National Mountain Bike Series gets underway on Saturday with cross country followed by four cross later in the day. Downhill riders will race on Sunday.

Cross country

Cross Country elite women's series leader Jodie Willett
Photo ©: Evan Jeffery
(Click for larger image)
The cross country Olympic series winner will be decided Saturday. An early lead in the season by Queensland's Jodie Willett could hold off Victoria's Katherine O'Shea. Willett's narrow margin of six points may be ample if she places in front of O'Shea. National Champion Rowena Fry from Launceston is also in the line up along with last round's winner Zoe King; however the pair are not in line to take the overall series. The strong women's field could see several of this season's top riders with the potential to win.

Three time national champion Chris Jongewaard from South Australia looks like a certainty to take the series after winning three of the four previous rounds of the elite men's cross country. Ben Henderson from Canberra is the closest rival but a full 56 points looks impossible after seeing Jongewaard's current form. Henderson also sits second in the cross country criterium series.

The Under 23 cross country series leaders are Canberra pair Gracie Elvin and Nathan Haas. Elvin hopes to maintain her 27-point lead over South Australia's Terri Rhodes while Haas has to starve off Victoria's Neil van der Ploeg, also trailing by 27 points.

Gravity

Leigh Douglas heads downhill
Photo ©: Evan Jeffery
(Click for larger image)
On home turf, Tasmania's Leigh Douglas could upset the current national champion Claire Whiteman in the downhill final on Sunday. Kingston currently trails by only eight points and is in good form following a win at the previous round in Mt Buller. Douglas is expected to use her recent form and local track knowledge to her advantage.

In the elite men's 4X, current series leader Joshua Button has a more comfortable buffer of 31 points may get challenged by former World Junior Champion Amiel Cavalier.

The Under 19 men's downhill will be the closest race of the season with only 12 points separating all top three riders. Current leader Queensland's Tamryn Murrell, is closely followed by last year's series leader Shaun O'Connor. Now in third place is national champion Rhys Willemse. The winner on the Glenorchy course will be sure to take the series.

Four Cross elite men's series leader Thomas Hubert has withdrawn due to recent injury which leaves the series lead open for BMX Olympian, Luke Madill.

The current elite women's leader Caroline Buchanan also suffered an injury last week and is not competing which should allow Sarsha Huntington to secure a series win.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

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