In a repeat performance of the opening round of the Subaru MTBA National Series, Dan McConnell and Jenni King took the top steps of the podium in the men’s and women’s elite races at Mt Stromlo today.
Dan McConnell had to push his bike over the line to win Round 2 of the 2015/16 National Mountain Bike Series after dropping his chain 400 metres out from the finish at Mt Stromlo, in the Elite Men’s XCO in Canberra Saturday.
It could’ve been a major upset for the defending series champion as second placed Kyle Ward tore home to be 14 seconds behind.
“That’s the closest that anyone’s been to me in last couple of years,” McConnell admitted.
On his home track and with an enviable record at the former world cup venue, the notoriously slow starter shot off the line and was never challenged over the 7 laps.
It was nearly the perfect race plan, minus the mechanical issues with his chain.
“Dropped the first time with two to go and I didn’t sort of panic too much but when it came to the last time, it was mostly downhill so I had to just try and keep it low and speed up to the finish.”
While Ward has been a top mountain bike racer for a number of years, his past two months have been astounding, with 3 stage wins and the overall at the Cape to Cape, a second place at the Hellfire Cup, and a win at the Forrest Festival. As his second year in Senior men’s, but possibly his first National Round – he’s made quite an impact.
In the Elite Women, even with Australia’s two top riders in the cross country field lining up, Jenni King would remain unbeaten with a dominant victory on Saturday.
After opening up her campaign with a flawless display in Mt Taylor a fortnight ago, King left the 2014 National Champion Peta Mullens and defending National Champ Bec Henderson in her wake – to finish the six lap event in 1hr 33minutes 32.66seconds, on what was a hot and dusty day of racing at the Canberra course.
“I always like coming back here because of the technical aspect and it’s a world cup course and I’m very pleased to have won,” King said.
Mullens along with Henderson were making their return to the Series in the UCI Category 1 race, after an extended layoff.
Henderson took away some positives, as she continues to build up her race fitness.
“Early in the race I didn’t feel too bad and normally when I want put a bit of pressure on the other girls and I wasn’t able to do that today,” Henderson said.
The series now heads to Pemberton, Western Australia for Round 3 and 4 on the 23-24th January 2016.
For all results head to: Online Results