Henderson and Bowden Power to National Round #2 Wins at Pemberton, WA

Words by MTBA | Images by MTBA, Brad Searls

Olympian Bec Henderson (ACT) and Scott Bowden (TAS) have powered to Cross Country wins at Round 2 of the 2014/15 Subaru National Mountain Bike Series, run by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

Scott Bowden

Scott Bowden

Bowden signalled his arrival in this year’s Series with a second place in You Yangs, and today he confirmed this with his maiden National Series win. He led the field from Lap 1, with Cameron Ivory (NSW) and Brendan Johnston (ACT) hot on his heels.

Many riders mounted a challenge but Bowden was untouchable today, increasing his lead every lap for the first four. “After You Yangs I had fairly high expectations of myself but I also didn’t really know what to expect, but I’m over the moon,” said Bowden. “I just tried to push the descents and keep the legs as fresh as I could – it was such a hard course, fair bit of a climbing but I just tried to ride to my strengths.”

Second place went to Cameron Ivory (NSW) who recovered from an early incident to have an outstanding second half of the race, moving up from fourth place to give himself a genuine winning chance. “I had a little bit of bad luck on the second lap, I hit something pretty hard on one of the descents and I think I might have burped my tyre,” said Ivory. “I got to the top of the descent and I thought it was still ok but over the doubles it was just all over the place so I thought I better pull in and fix it, I tried to settle back in and not go out too hard but on that last lap I was just corked, especially up the climb.”

Cam Ivory

Cam Ivory

Brendan Johnston (ACT) rode strongly into third place and is already looking forward to tomorrow’s race. “I’m really happy with third – I knew second was out of reach so I tried to shut it down for the last lap and save a bit for tomorrow which I’m looking forward to. “There’s strong guys that turn up to every round and it’s good to see a lot of them travelled over here to Pemberton. It’s a long way but as I think everyone today would say, it’s worth it.”

Winner of the Under 19 Men’s, Liam Jeffries (VIC) rode an epic race setting a pace equal to the Elite men early on.

Luke Brame (NSW) and Guy Frail (NSW) went head to head in a fight for second place, with Brame edging out Frail in a sprint finish to retain the Series Leader’s jersey.

In the Elite Women’s race, Henderson took an early lead, accelerating to be clear of the field by Woodcutters Climb half-way around Lap 2, which turned out to be the decisive move. “I didn’t have a race plan today which is kind of unusual for me,” said Henderson who is undefeated in the series. “I got a little gap on the first lap and Peta closed it down. I could hear her puffing behind me starting the climb so I thought I better pounce and I was just able to open it up from there.”

Bec Henderson

Bec Henderson

Recently crowned 2015 Subaru National Road Series Champion Peta Mullens (VIC) had a great race to secure the silver medal, pushing Henderson early. “I wanted a hard race today,” said Mullens. “At You Yangs we all went out a little slower because it was hot and we knew it would be a long race. But today I felt a little bit fitter and I wanted to go out and have a hard race. “Bec went from the gun and put the pressure on and I was trying to chase her on that second lap and she just kept getting out of the saddle on those little pinch climbs”.

MTBA Junior Development Coach Jodie Willett (QLD) closed the gap to Jenni King on Lap four, riding into third place. “I did a triathlon last weekend and I’ve just been doing random stuff, lots of endurance but nothing hard,” said Willett. “I knew if I went out too quick I would just blow up so I sat behind Em [Parkes] for a while and just worked my way through the field”.

Elite Women's Podium

Elite Women’s Podium

In the Under 19 women’s race, local Sarah Tucknott (WA) rode strongly to take the win ahead of Queensland’s Megan Williams.

Tomorrow will see the men and women take to the tracks in Pemberton once again for Round three of the series.

Bec Henderson spoke of the challenges that await: “There’s even more single track and not that long, gruelling climb – it should be fun and hopefully we will have a little bit left in the legs!”

Pemberton Mountain Bike Park is a new location for the 2014/15 series, with Perth Mountain Bike Club combining some of Australia’s most challenging and enjoyable mountain bike trails with some fantastic leisure facilities including a natural swimming pool.

Ben Walkerden

Ben Walkerden

Spectators are welcome free of charge.

For all information please visit: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/2014-15-national-series-pemberton-wa/

The Subaru National Series continues in two weeks from 6 – 8 February with Cross Country Round 4 and Short Course Cross Country Round 2 in Stromlo, ACT and Downhill Round 2 in Thredbo, NSW.

Follow the 2014/15 Subaru National Series online:

Series Dates:

  • 6 – 7 Feb 2015 — Mt Stromlo, ACT (XCO)
  • 6 – 8 Feb 2015 — Thredbo, NSW (DHI)
  • 25 Feb – 27 Mar 2015 — Toowoomba, QLD (2015 Oceania Championships – DHI, XCO, XCC, XCE)
  • 27 Feb – 1 Mar 2015 — Toowoomba, QLD (XCO, DHI, XCC)
  • 12 Mar – 15 Mar 2015 — Bright, VIC (National Champs – XCO, XCE, XCC, DHI, XCR, OT)
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