Dan McConnell (VIC) and Jenni King (VIC) today wrapped up overall wins in Round 3 of the Real Insurance All Mountain Cup, with McConnell winning the final Point-to-Point stage and King securing her win with a second to Bec Henderson (ACT).
Event hosts the Canberra Off-Road Cycling Club laid out a blindingly fast 20 kilometre course for the final stage of the weekend, which led to around an hour of exciting point-to-point action for the Elite categories.
McConnell carried his form from Saturday's win in the Olympic Cross-Country (XCO) race, starting hard off the front and then maintaining his first place throughout the race. "It's good to back up after yesterday, it was a little bit harder today with some fatigue in the legs". He spoke of his strategy "I was able to get away on the climb, and I knew a fair few of the tracks well so I was able to ride it pretty smoothly to the finish".
McConnell was very satisfied with the overall general classification win for the round: "My weekend kicked off well with the Super D, I rode it pretty conservatively. Yesterday I won my pet event (the XCO), and was able to put some time in coming in to today, where I attacked from the start". His weekend win likely makes him the rider to beat in the National Championships in a fortnight in Adelaide "My form should be pretty good for that, I still think the race is looking fairly open but I'm looking forward to it".
Second place today went to evergreen Sid Taberlay (SA) who spoke of the challenging Stromlo trails: "I've always struggled a little bit here in Canberra, it's just the surface, there's a fine line between being upright and being on the ground". Looking at the bigger picture with the Australian and International seasons both building, Tablerlay said: "It was good today, I'm starting to find some form which is good with nationals in a couple of weeks and the first world cups a few weeks after that".
Paul Van Der Ploeg (VIC) capped off a strong weekend with a third place in the point-to-point. Speaking to him, one clearly sees his single-minded focus on the fast end of the field: "It was a good race out there today, Macca (McConnell) rode away from me, and for a while I was accidentally blocking Sid but through the Feed zone but he gassed it and I was fairly tired after yesterday's effort".
Many are keen to see how the young-gun will go in his first National Championships race in the Elite field. His plans between now and then: "A good week of training this week and then I'll taper, it's a good track for me there, I've always had fairly consistent races in Adelaide".
Andrew Blair (NSW) maintains his overall season lead, "It's always fun to race at home, I had some pretty good form and really enjoyed the racing". His focus is now on winning the overall season "I'm focusing on the series, trying to retain the lead, so I need to be consistent".
In the Elite Women's race, Bec Henderson (ACT) was pressured the whole way by Jenni King (VIC) but came away with the win. After the disappointment of 4 flat tyres in Saturday's racing, Henderson said "It doesn't quite make up for yesterday, but it's good to get a win on the board and know that my form's good enough to compete with the other girls".
Henderson spoke of her race: "I had a bit of home track advantage, but Jenni was probably riding better than me, she was well and truly holding my wheel on the technical corners". The key move for the race happened on a climb as it often does. "After the feed zone, there was a steep long fire-road, she (King) put the pressure on so I counter-attacked and that's where I got away".
Jenni King, the dominant Female rider for the whole season finished in second place today to Henderson but had her third consecutive season round win: "It was fantastic, I came to Canberra expecting Bec Henderson to be tough to beat on her home course, she's also in flying form at the moment, to be racing against her and to win overall is really good".
Looking forward to the last round in Awaba, King who has won 7 from 9 events so far is understandably positive: "I'm pretty confident going into the final round that I can win the series overall, and that was the aim, to be consistent".
Katherine O'Shea (VIC), the reigning Cross-Country National Champion had a challenging race to secure third place: "It started pretty intense, a few attacks but it was a good course, I really enjoyed it".
In the Under 23 Male race, in the men's Jack Haig (VIC) had a close win from Robbie Hucker (VIC) with Trenton Day (NSW) in third. Hucker won Round 3 overall, while Luke Fetch (VIC) maintained his overall lead in the season. In the Under 23 Females, Amy Austin (NSW) won today's race and also took the overall win for the round from Jacinta Aitken (NSW). With her win, Austin also moved into the season lead.
Looking to the Under 19 Male race, Billy Sewell (NSW) took the win today and for the overall weekend from Ben Bradley (TAS) and Benjamin Forbes (QLD). With the win today, Sewell also takes over the series lead. In the Female category, Emily Parkes (NSW) won the race and the weekend overall from Karuna Henderson (ACT), she too with this weekend's win assumes the mantle of season leader.
The final round of the Real Insurance All Mountain Cup is at Awaba on March 2-4. All race information from this weekend and for the whole season is available at the Real Insurance 2011/12 Australian MTB Season website.
Results - Real Insurance All Mountain Cup Point-to-Point Round 3 at Stromlo
1 Daniel McConnell VIC 56:17.2
2 Sid Taberlay TAS 56:35.7
3 Paul Van Der Ploeg VIC 56:47.0
4 Andrew Blair NSW 57:14.8
5 Lachlan Norris VIC 57:31.0
6 Neil Van Der Ploeg 58:21.6
7 Joshua Carlson NSW 58:22.0
8 Matthew Fleming NSW 59:26.2
9 Adrian Jackson VIC 59:50.2
10 Andrew Fellows 1:00:00.0
11 Shaun Lewis ACT 1:00:14.6
12 Peter Kutschera VIC 1:00:49.7
13 James Downing ACT 1:00:51.4
14 Michael Vanos NSW 1:00:51.9
15 Chad Gossert NSW 1:00:54.2
16 Andrew Arthur NSW 1:01:43.2
17 Ben Hogarth SA 1:03:30.7
18 Sean Martin ACT 1:04:17.0
19 Evan Jeffery VIC 1:04:53.2
20 Matt Ligtermoet VIC 1:06:56.5
21 Nick Both NSW 1:07:46.9
22 Anthony Shippard NSW 1:11:44.9
23 John Groves VIC 1:11:45.6
24 Dylan Cooper ACT 1:12:29.3
1 Rebecca Henderson ACT 1:06:54.3
2 Jenni King VIC 1:07:28.1
3 Katherine O'Shea VIC 1:08:30.9
4 Tory Thomas VIC 1:09:18.3
5 Peta Mullens VIC 1:11:45.2
6 Jenny Fay NSW 1:14:07.1
7 Lindsay Gorrell NSW 1:14:47.0
8 Rosemary Barnes ACT 1:14:58.6
9 Kelly Bartlett VIC 1:16:26.6
10 Nicola Hogan NSW 1:19:15.8
11 Sally Gabriel Other 1:21:10.9
12 Jaclyn Schapel SA 2:10:11.8
Under 23 Male
1 Jack Haig VIC 58:41.9
2 Robbie Hucker VIC 58:43.4
3 Trenton Day NSW 59:02.9
4 Kyle Ward NSW 59:50.1
5 Luke Fetch VIC 59:53.8
6 Michael Crosbie VIC 1:02:55.5
7 Nelson Tilley QLD 1:03:08.5
8 Daniel McDonald NSW 1:03:48.1
9 Alexander Meyland VIC 1:05:33.3
10 Blake Polverino NSW 1:06:21.0
11 James Hanus SA 1:13:36.5
12 Sebastian Jayne NSW 1:30:45.0
Under 23 Female
1 Amy Austin NSW 1:24:14.3
2 Jacinta Aitken NSW 1:42:06.4
Under 19 Male
1 Billy Sewell NSW 1:02:30.6
2 Ben Bradley TAS 1:02:54.8
3 Benjamin Forbes QLD 1:03:08.8
4 Ben Comfort ACT 1:03:33.8
5 Tasman Nankervis VIC 1:04:42.4
6 Jack Lavis NSW 1:05:04.7
7 Chris Hamilton VIC 1:05:06.9
8 Jason Lowndes VIC 1:05:50.6
9 Christopher Aitken NSW 1:06:02.1
10 Toby Stewart NSW 1:06:37.3
11 Peter McKellar Stewart NSW 1:07:45.9
12 Cameron Prosser ACT 1:08:32.9
13 Harry Lindsay NSW 1:09:08.4
14 Harry Herne NSW 1:09:57.9
15 Joey Vejvoda 1:13:44.8
16 Luke Ellison 1:13:45.2
17 Rodger Pogson-Manning QLD 1:17:08.1
Under 19 Female
1 Emily Parkes NSW 1:22:01.1
2 Karuna Henderson ACT 1:24:36.8
Did not finish
Holly Harris NSW