Last weekend (January 23/26) saw the 2009 MTBA National Mountain Bike Championships held at Mt. Stromlo, Canberra. I was unfortunate enough to miss competing myself but I was able to get a glimpse of the short-course racing that was held on Monday. The course was relatively long with the odd short-sharp climb accompanied by a few jumps and tight bermed corners. The riding was hot being held at the height of a 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F) day. The track was broken in by the Sport Men division where a strong riding standard was set, followed by the massive swarm U19 Male competitors. The Women's short course was next where a strong lineup of riders made there presence felt. The elite men finished the series of racing off with a high-paced dust fight. Olympian Chris Jongewarrd took the whole-shot and gave himself a big 15 second buffer and rode alone for most of the race. After working well together, local rider Dylan Cooper and Victorian Daniel McConnel managed to pull Jongewarrd's lead back to a manageable distance for an exciting finish with Jongewarrd in 1st, Cooper in 2nd and McConnel in 3rd.
For more information on the event and venue visit http://www.mtbnationals.com.au/ and stromloforestpark.com.au