Fresh from claiming second overall in the 2018 National Road Series, Ballarat ‘s rising star Nicholas White (Team BridgeLane) has kick-started the new year with gold in front of a parochial home crowd in the Under 23 Men’s 127.6-kilometre Buninyong Road Race.
“I couldn’t think of anything better, to be able to do this in my hometown is something else and to have all the supporters there as well,” said White. “I was getting the shakes going around the last lap with everyone yelling out my name was a pretty surreal feeling and it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
The under 23 road race is famous for non-stop action and the 2019 finale delivered with a battle to remember with White taking the top step after an enthralling final lap ahead of Michael Potter (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) and 2017 champion Samuel Jenner (Team Wiggins Le Col).
A dozen breakaway groups that formed and collapsed throughout the 11 lap-race, however, the decisive one came at the final climb when Jenner and White pulled off a strong move leaving Potter with no option but to join.
With a short and ever-reducing gap, a passionate home crowd anxiously watched on as White, Potter, and Jenner played cat and mouse to the backdrop of a hungry and fast approaching peloton.
Dylan McKenna was in the mix for many of the day’s moves, meaning the X-Speed United rider more than earned his Altus Traffic Most Aggressive Rider and Stages King of the Mountain jerseys.
The Langdon Building Sprint Jersey was won by Nick White.
“I had the whole team riding the front for me and they made an unreal effort to get me around and even coming down to the bell lap when I had four guys with me, I knew I was definitely in with a chance and it was starting to feel like this could be a reality and this could be mine,” added White.
“The last time over the climb was super hard but after all the effort the boys put in I knew I needed to be up to the front with those two guys so to be able to give them a reward and to win this is pretty special”