The 2021 Federation University Road National Championships opened in the heart of Federation University in Mt Helen on Wednesday morning with the UCI Gran Fondo Time Trial.
The World Qualifier event featured 122 riders in 18 categories from dozens of clubs across Australia, with the riders completing three laps of a rolling 7.8km circuit, totalling 23.6km in crisp conditions.
Melbourne’s Joe Spano (Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club) celebrated gold in the men’s 55-59 category in his return to racing, crediting his win to his club training rides.
“As a group, we trained a lot, particularly through lockdown, and have benefited from it. It was close between us today, but the cards fell my way, I was really fortunate.”
Travelling from Adelaide, Catherine Aird (Port Adelaide Cycling Club) took gold in the Women’s 40-44 category whilst on debut at Road Nationals. Aird described the course’s incline as “challenging” while the downhill was comparatively “great, really fun and fast.”
Robyn Baker (St Kilda Cycling Club) and Margaret Noonan (Northern Cycling Club) contested a great battle in the 65-69 Women’s category. After completing numerous Road Nationals, the pair described the course as “tough” but “enjoyable”.
The second rider to head out on course in the cool morning conditions was the most seasoned rider, John Horsburgh, who claimed gold in the 75+ Men’s category with his wife on the sidelines.
“The three laps were particularly demanding, but I was able to get out and train last year while there were no events taking place, so it was a great win today.”
Phillip Hicks (Footscray Cycling Club) who won gold in the 35-39 Men’s category was ecstatic at being back to racing and lauded the event and the challenging course.
“I targeted this race because there wasn’t much in the calendar really. The event organisation has been great, the course was good, and I really enjoyed the three-lap format.”
“My partner is also here, and she doesn’t normally come to events, but I managed to talk her into coming.”
The Gran Fondo Road Race will take place on Saturday afternoon, with more than 700 taking part in the event which will take place on the famous Mt Buninyong course.
More than 1400 cyclists from across Australia will descend on Ballarat this week for the AusCycling 2021 Federation University Road National Championships.
The five days of action in Ballarat and Buninyong from February 3-7 will feature the time trial, criterium, road race, plus Gran Fondo events.
In all, 151 AusCycling national champions will be crowned across the elite, under 23, under 19, para, deaf, club and intellectual impairment categories. 40 UCI gold medals will be awarded in the UCI Gran Fondo World Qualifier events in the road race and time trial.
The coveted green and gold national champion’s jerseys on offer in the criterium, road race and time trial, plus Gran Fondo, across five days of action. >>> roadnationals.org.au/schedule
START LISTS & LIVE RESULTS
Visit the website’s official live timing page to stay up–to–date with all the action live from the Championships. >>> roadnationals.org.au/startlist-results
The AusCycling 2021 Federation University Road National Championships will feature domestic coverage on SBS and FoxSports Australia, and for the first time, international broadcast coverage through the Global Cycling Network. >>> roadnationals.org.au/tv-live-stream-guide
To ensure everyone’s safety in attendance, we’ve taken steps to safeguard The Federation University Road National Championships is a COVID Safe event. >>> roadnationals.org.au/spectate/