Racing: McConnell Wall to Wall Wins in WA

Dan McConnell has retained an unblemished record in the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series with a dominant Round 3 victory at Pemberton, Western Australia on Saturday.

Dan McConell - Credit Russell Baker

The dual Olympian ensured he would make it three straight W’s coming home in a time of 1:43:00 ahead of Cam Ivory and Scott Bowden who filled out the minor placing’s.

“I’ve done a fair bit of training since the last national round and the legs weren’t quite race fit at the start but I’m really happy with how the race went today,” McConnell said.

It was Ivory, who coincidently won Round 3 here last year, that got out of the blocks fastest with the current series leader in McConnell sitting comfortably back in fifth after lap one.

“I just wanted to try something different this weekend and try and be a lot more aggressive and lead out if possible.”

“When Dan came past me I just couldn’t hold him he’s just so strong,” said Ivory.

It would only take until the second lap for McConnell to lead the pack around the Pemberton course and ensure maximum UCI Category 1 points, as he rode un-rivalled to a convincing race victory.

“It’s pretty important for Australia to get some points and hopefully we can qualify two spots in the men for the Olympics.”

Bowden, who also had tasted victory on the course, proved he would be one to watch in coming rounds as on the final lap he moved up from fifth to his first podium place of the series.

“At the start I kind of wanted to go hard and I thought I was but the other guys were on fire and it took me each lap to come a bit stronger.

For full results: 

Dan McConnell left his mark on Pemberton as still the best cross country rider in Australia with a command performance in Round 4 of the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series on Sunday.

McConnell drove the rest of the field into oblivion on the red dirt, as he showed no signs of fatigue backing up 24 hours after winning Saturday’s event.

“Yesterday I came in a little bit fresh sort of took me a little bit to find my legs, but today they were on song,” he said.

“It’s always hard backing up after the first lap I felt fairly comfortable.”

The 30 year old completed the seven lap race in 1:47:12, to win his fourth straight Elite Mens race.

“I sort of worked my way into it and half way into it felt really good.”

It was a bunched group two laps in to the second race of the weekend, with all the main players at the head. 

But when lap three rolled around, the two time Canberra Olympian in McConnell put the foot down to drop the pack.

The Mr Consistency of Australian XCO, produced then fastest lap of the day with a 14m27seconds which put a 56 second gap into Cameron Ivory who had settled into second in front of Bowden, who has spent plenty of time in the saddle recently.

“Really wasn’t sure how I’d back up today.”

“That’s the sixth race in nine days on the mountain bike and definitely a bit of fatigue in the legs but couldn’t have asked for a better race than that today,” said Bowden who finished 1min13sec behind McConnell.

With, the current series rankings leader well out front, it was left to the risings stars of the sport to battle it out for the minor placing’s.

“I could see Cam ahead and once I caught him there wasn’t just respite he started going full gas and we really had a good battle then,” Bowden said.

That would only last until midway through the fifth lap before, last year’s national series winner in Bowden found another gear to move away and claim silver.

There’ll be no rest for McConnell ahead of Round 5 at Thredbo in two weeks time, he’s off across the ditch to contest the “7 Day Epic” Pioneer MTB Stage Race with New Zealand rival Anton Cooper.

 “It should be pretty good training, cause we don’t get to have back to back races very often. Hopefully me and Anton can have a really good race next week and set our season up.”

For all results from Round 4:

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