Rowena Fry.TASMANIA’S Rowena Fry has claimed a home state victory, with the Launceston-born competitor taking out the Subaru Oceania championship title in the open women’s cross country eliminator in Glenorchy yesterday.
The win was an Easter delight for Fry, who placed second in Saturday’s cross country behind Olympian Karen Hanlen (NZL).
“I haven’t had a win in a long time, I’m really happy to come away with an Oceania eliminator title,” Fry said.
Fry clinched the victory from under-19 riders Holly Harris and Emily Parkes. Parkes seeded fastest and led from the gun in the final, before falling on a rough corner allowing Fry to capitalise.
“Em Parkes has been starting really well which is really impressive and again she was super quick off the line,” Fry said.
“We came into one of the corners and it is quite gravelly and she slid out on it and I narrowly avoided being taken out too – I managed to get around her and re-start and Holly was on my wheel by then but I managed to pull away which was great,” she said.
In the men’s race, New Zealand’s Samuel Gaze made it two-from-two winning the eliminator after he was victorious in Saturday’s under-19 cross country.
Gaze came from behind to steal the win from Australia’s Nicholas Morgan and Tristan Ward.
“I am pretty surprised and chuffed at the same time,” Gaze said. “It’s great to come from winning yesterday in the cross country to winning an elite title, its awesome.”
Under-19 Australian National champion Ben Bradley snapped his chain during the race, causing him to crash and allowing Gaze to make his way through the field.
“Off the gun I slipped and didn’t get my pedal in until halfway down the straight, but I still managed to get into third place early in the race.
“It was hard to keep myself calm while everything was going on. I was about to attack when the other two riders made a mistake so I thought I better go now and I managed to hold them off until the finish which was good.
“Ben Bradley was the highest ranked U19 rider in the world last year – it’s quite a good boost for me heading into the European season,” Gaze said.
The 2013 Australian Mountain Bike Series finishes in Atherton, Queensland, when cross country riders head to the Tablelands for the Subaru Marathon Australian Championships on April 21.
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