Mullens and Jongewaard Reign In The Rain

Posted by jo-2, August 12, 2019

Bendigo’s Peta Mullens has claimed her second Mountain Bike Australia Cyclo-Cross National Championship Elite Women’s title at King Valley over the weekend while Chris Jongewaard (SA) made it national crown number five.

Mullens, the former road and mountain bike Australian champion added the crown to the CX National title she last won in 2016 in Adelaide.

“I always feel I have something to prove on a technical course and I haven’t been training lately but I want to come here and represent the sport, represent my team.”

“I just love women’s cyclo-cross in Australia.”

Mullens was in a two-way battle with 2017 champion Rebecca Locke for the first half of the 45-minute race in the wet conditions.

“Because it was so heavy in the mud my road legs would come good in the end so just tried to play it cautious first half of the course then smash the second half.”

Locke took home the silver while defending champion April McDonough fought her way back into third place.

The elite men competed in brutal conditions, and it was Jongwaard who was trapped in a battle with National Series leader Garry Millburn (VIC) who has taken the win the past four rounds.

But it wouldn’t be a happy race for the New South Wales rider when a crash on the third lap saw his shoe buckle and end his chances slipping back to the pack before fighting his way into the bronze medal position.

Christopher Aitken (NSW) would try and challenge the defending champion as conditions deteriorated during their hour race leaving riders caked in the King Valley clay.

Jongewaard would put a 30 second gap into the field to claim another Australian jersey.

“That was brutal and one of the toughest races I have ever done.”

“I have had the jersey so long I may as well keep it.”

Ben Walkerden and Emma Chilton took out the Under 23 titles.

In the juniors, Dominic Paolilli (VIC) who only took up cyclo-cross racing six weeks ago, took the gold medal while Phoebe Thompson (VIC) won her  maiden title.

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