PHOTO GALLERY: Cyclo-cross hits new heights

CHAMPION: April McDonagh took out the elite women at Bright. PHOTO: Jean-Pierre Ronco

CYCLO-cross races in Mt Beauty and Bright have attracted more riders than last year with entries at both events up by about 50.

Around 230 riders turned out at Mt Beauty on Saturday for round three of the Victoria Cylco-cross series, and just over 250 the following day at Bright for the Victorian Championships and first National Series event.

A number of locals in each town also took the chance to catch the discipline which tests riders’ strength, endurance and skill on a mix of surfaces including bitumen, dirt and grass and also obstacles.

At Mt Beauty riders enjoying picture perfect weather and the hilly terrain on the Big Hill mountain bike course.

The top grades were taken out by New Zealand’s Kim Hurst who blitzed the women’s field while in the elite men South Australian Chris Jongewaard came out on top after a fierce battle with NSW rider Garry Milburn.

It was much dryer conditions at Bright’s Pioneer Park compared to a year ago and at the top of the standings the results were similar to a day earlier.

Jongewaard again had the wood over Milburn while Hurst was this time second to Victoria’s April McDonagh in the women’s race.

Mt Beauty’s Paul van der Ploeg placed ninth and sixth over the two days.

He was the second Victorian rider home in the elite men at Bright.

Bright teenager Teagan Atherstone won both days in the junior women while William Webb was second in the under 17s in his home race.

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