The reigning champions of the National Fund Daniel McConnell (VIC) and Jenni King (VIC) provide tough battles before the 2013 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships in Canberra. |
Paths Stromlo Forest Park will host Australia's best mountain bikers from 20 to 24 February in an attempt to corner the green area and the gold jersey national champions in Cross Country (XCO), as well as Cross Country Eliminator (XCE), and the Olympic Trials (OT) and Downhill (DHI).
McConnell, two-time Olympian and Australia's only representative male mountain bike in London, will go head to head with fellow Victoria's Jongewaard Chris Paul van der Ploeg.
"Last year I had the green jersey and gold, and it was the first time I was able to step up and get some good results," McConnell said of his international season in which he improved his world ranking UCI from 80th to 22nd.
"It 'was pretty cool, and I had a lot' of recognition out of it. Would be great to get that chance again," he said.
Jongewaard, five times national champion in skiing, remains unbeaten in the All Mountain Series 2013 National Cup after victories in the first two rounds at Mount Buller and Thredbo.
The four-time junior national champion ex, van der Ploeg will try to make their mark in Canberra after the recent return to competition from a shoulder surgery just two weeks ago, where he has been an instant success, winning two of the three stage wins in Thredbo .
"Chris (Jongewaard) is a fair level in front of everyone and I think it's the man to beat. Paul van der Ploeg is there and so there will be a couple of guys to watch out for," McConnell said.
"It 's been a simple accident, but at a higher speed on a jump," said McConnell. "I just returned from my break after the Olympics, and it was one of my first laps back then it was a bit 'disappointing to have an accident like that, but in hindsight, it probably was not a bad time," said .
After a long rehabilitation, which included sporting a cast on his thumb, McConnell made his comeback on the road in January and claimed a podium for the third stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour
The 27 year old, he returned to his favorite sport all Thredbo two of the All Mountain Cup, even though the time away from the sport has to stay clear of any provision of its results in Canberra.
"My form on the bike I think it is always better, but not perfect. It 'sa bit too early in my recovery," he said. "I give it a go to try to keep my title, but it will be a tough ask."
McConnell Olympic cross country race on Saturday, February 23 at 12:00 and eliminator Sunday, February 24 at 10:30.
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