Jenny King (VIC) and Cameron Ivory (NSW) finished off an excellent season of racing with podium finishes in Moama to be crowned the 2014 Subaru National Mountain Bike series winners in Moama, NSW.
The final round of the series presented by Mountain Bike Australia saw racing action for the Cross Country taking place in a brand new mountain bike park built on the banks of the stunning Murray river. The unique track is shorter and faster than most in Australia delivering exciting racing across all classes.
In Elite Men’s racing, lead riders stayed together in a tight bunch for the first two laps, but it wouldn’t take long for the true class of dual Olympian Dan McConnell to come the fore. McConnell broke away on lap 3 and would never look back. McConnell proceeded to extend his lead for each of the last 5 laps. In many ways it was just another day at the office for the seasoned professional who is now a cut above the rest.
“The race was fast at the start, and on lap 3 I felt fairly good and a few gaps started to appear” said McConnell. “I got away for a little bit and was able to settle in and enjoy myself on the fun and flowy trails”. McConnell was 2nd in the World Cup Series last year, and he’s feeling good about 2014. “To win by as much as I did, I’m pretty happy, the form seems to be coming good with good time to the first World Cup so it’s promising”.
Cameron Ivory placed second outright today after a strong battle with Michael Crosbie (VIC) in the early laps and Adrian Jackson (VIC) would take third.
Ivory’s second place would secure him the series title. The understated rider who is still riding in the Under 23s category wasn’t expecting to win. “I’m a little bit surprised – and very pleased”. He has an eye on the Championships now in two weeks “I can’t wait for the National Championships, I need to work on a few things before then, but I’m counting down the days”.
The Elite Women’s field was one of the best fields assembled in recent years. Racing fast from the start-line a star-studded lead group formed instantly – Bec Henderson (ACT), Peta Mullens (VIC), Tory Thomas (VIC), Jenny King (VIC) and Rowena Fry (TAS).
There was some position swapping, but it wouldn’t be until the 4th lap that we’d see the decisive move by the pair of Henderson & Mullens to separate and stay away.
On lap 5 Henderson attempted to power away for the win but was caught by Mullens who would then lead for most of the last lap. In the end though it would be Henderson would would retake the lead on the last fire-road and hold that position in a hard finish-straight sprint to record another win.
Henderson reflected: “It was a tough race, there was absolutely no rest having all the best riders in Australia here. It was also a really tactical race, you have to be careful not to blow out as its actually quite a long”.
Jenni King was the 2012 Series winner, and she delivered the goods again across the races in 2014 to win the title again. “Today was a bit touch and go, I think it was on the 3rd last lap, I noticed my rear tyre was going flat but I got a quick change and managed to still finish 4th, it was good to have a consistent series”.
In the Under 19s action, recently-crowned New Zealand U19 National Champion Ben Oliver brought his excellent form to Australia to take the win in the men’s, and versatile rider Ellie Wale (VIC) took the win for the Under 19 Women.
All series information can be found at: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/