Van Der Ploeg Wins U23 Races In Australia
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Hobart, Australia - Felt Oetztal X-Bionic's Paul Van Der Ploeg won two U23 classifications at the Australian National Mountain Bike Series over the weekend. The 21-year-old Victorian won both the U23 Cross Country race and U23 Short Track event, and finished 3rd overall in both races. Van Der Ploeg, who suffered a patellar tendon injury earlier this year, is continuing his build up to the World Cup season which beings April 23rd in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
In the XC race, Van Der Ploeg finished ahead of the 2nd Place U23 rider by nearly four minutes and was able to wheelie his Felt Six LTD
across the finish line. After the race, Van Der Ploeg was enthusiastic about his performance. "It's a technical track, so that suits me and I'm very happy I came in third against the elite guys," said Van Der Ploeg after the XC race. "[Jongewaard] and [Norris] really made it a thrilling race. I could not train much over the last three months and now, after a few weeks of solid training, I feel like I'm riding faster every day."
In the Short Track race, Van Der Ploeg again won the U23 classification on his way to taking third in the overall. "It was a very hard short track and I was very tired after Saturday's long race," Van Der Ploeg said after the race. With the two wins, Van Der Ploeg extended his lead in the U23 Australian Mountain Bike Series standings.