Fry, Taberlay deliver Tasmanian double
It was a Tasmanian double in the short course cross country race at the SRAM Australian MTB Championships where once again Rowena Fry was a cut above the rest and Sid Taberlay took out the men's title.
It was an intriguing tactical battle in the men’s race with Lachlan Norris continually attacking in an effort to break the spirits of pre-race favourite Daniel McConnell and the ever present Taberlay.
Norris wasn’t able to shake his rivals and at three laps to go he, McConnell and Taberley along with Ben Henderson and Joshua Carlson formed a group of five all in contention for the win.
The 29-year-old Taberlay used his vast experience by waiting patiently until the final lap to launch his bid for victory. McConnell marked the move and the two were shoulder-to-shoulder up the finishing straight with the Tasmanian getting the gold medal in a photo finish while the bronze medal went to Henderson.
“I was just hoping I had something left coming out of that bottom corner. I saw Dan throw his bike to the line and I didn’t think he got ahead of me but you just have to wait patiently for the photo finish to confirm it,” Taberlay said of the tight finish.
“Throughout the race I was just trying to be smart because I was suffering out there all day.
“It’s early season and I don’t quite have the horsepower needed so I was trying to suck wheels and stay in the game up until the last couple of laps so I had the best shot at it.
“After a little bit of an ordinary day yesterday it was good to live back up to expectations and deliver.”
On the back of his three cross country titles (2002, 04, 06) this was Taberlay’s first victory in the short course cross country.
While it was a familiar result in the women’s event, it was a drama packed affair with Katherine O’Shea (VIC) heavily crashing on the second lap, forcing her out of the race and briefly bringing the race to a halt.
Once racing resumed Heather Logie made all the running at the front with only Fry able to follow her pace. However, Logie lost control on a tight left-hand corner abruptly bringing her race to an end and leaving Fry out in front on her own.
“It was good to win but it feels a little hollow because of the early crash to Katherine that took her out of the race,” Fry said of one of her main rival’s fait.
“Unfortunately that’s short course racing. There was battle to get to the front and a little clip of the handlebars caused the crash.
“Then Heather was leading when she fell at the front which changed things a bit because I was going to try to sit on her and wait for an opportunity to attack but just had to go on my own and it was hard out in front.”
The race for the minor placing saw 18-year-old Rebecca Henderson take the silver medal and Jodie Willett (QLD) the bronze.
In the under-19 men’s race South Australia’s Mitchell Codner won ahead of Ryan Standish and Mathew Waghorn.
RESULTS – 2010 SRAM Australian MTB Championships
Elite men – short course cross country
1. Sid Taberley (TAS)
2. Daniel McConnell (VIC)
3. Ben Henderson (ACT)
4. Lachlan Norris (VIC)
5. Joshua Carlson (NSW)
Elite women – short course cross country
1. Rowena Fry (TAS)
2. Rebecca Henderson (ACT)
3. Jodie Willett (QLD)
4. Jenni King (VIC)
5. Joanna Wall (VIC)