Not even the heat could stop Rebecca Henderson (ACT) from taking out the 2015-16 Subaru National MTB Series after another dominant victory in the Elite Women’s XCO race at Jubilee Park, Toowoomba on Saturday.
With the series title in the balance, Henderson needed a win and series leader Jenni King (VIC) to finish lower than fourth if she was to claim back-to-back National Series crowns.
The London Olympian had won three straight prior to Saturday’s race and started cautiously letting New Zealand’s Samara Sheppard take the lead wheel.
“Samara set a cracking pace at the start and I wasn’t that willing to go that fast so she probably got a 10 second gap on the first climb.”
“Descending is one of my strengths specially in these conditions so I was able to close the gap.”
And like she had done previously the Canberra rider continued to edge the gap before romping home in a time of 1:34:07secs.
There was plenty of interest in the minor placing’s with Sheppard and King battling away on the technical course.
But things went horribly wrong for King on the fourth when her chain broke forcing to her to pull-out of the race.
“I attacked on the second last lap and had a good gap on her before the chain broke and was feeling really good at that stage.”
“And was ready to give it a good go on the last lap.”
While disappointed to end the series on low, King was looking further ahead.
“Glad it happened now and not in a few weeks at National Champs.”
That left Sheppard alone in second, while Anna Beck ensured she’d get on the podium for the final time for the series in third.
For Henderson, the win will see her head into the 2016 Australian MTB Championships in Bright confident of keeping the green and yellow stripes.
“I’ve been lucky to have Aussie champs stripes in U23 and U19 actually every race I’ve done these ones are extra special when racing in the elite
The 2016 Australian MTB Championships will be held from the 17-20th March in Bright, Victoria.
Full results: http://onlineresults.com.au/results