Every January, hundreds of vollies turn up to lend their support to the organisation and running of the Road National Championships in Ballarat & Buninyong. Their contribution and sacrifice help make the five day festival of cycling a reality.
In honour of National Volunteer Week, we caught up with two amazing volunteers who helped out at RoadNats this year.
Wayne Scanlon (pictured above second from the left top row), has been volunteering with the RoadNats team for the last three years. An integral part of the squad he is always willing to lend a hand, and have a laugh.
We caught up with him to find out a little bit more about why he loves to volunteer at RoadNats!
Wayne, why do you volunteer at cycling events?
Because it’s fantastic to see the elite athletes, and try to understand their tactics, right through to the para-cyclists trying to achieve their goals.
What's your favourite thing about volunteering
Without volunteers great events like Cycling Australia wouldn’t be able to put on such a great event like the Nats, but it also supports the local economy.
It’s also a great chance to meet other like minded volunteers, and it’s fantastic the way we as volunteers are greeted and supported in the way we carry out our jobs!
Cycling Australia is sincerely grateful to the thousands of hours volunteers dedicate to cycling to make it a reality, Please join us in thanking all the volunteers who give up their time to help make our sport great.
As the country celebrates National Volunteer Week, Cycling Australia would like to thank all our wonderful volunteers who give their time to keep the wheels of our great sport turning across Australia.
The contributions and sacrifices of thousands of volunteers across our hundreds of clubs, events and the Australian Cycling Team, ensure our cyclists, participants and spectators can share in and enjoy our great sport.
The theme for National Volunteer Week 2020 is “Changing Communities. Changing Lives” and it is clear that we have many unsung heroes who are doing just that across the country.
Lawrence Hill is a longtime supporter of cycling and has been volunteering in cycling for nearly ten years and has contributed to the success of such events as the Federation University Road National Championships, Jayco Herald Sun Tour and the Tour of Gippsland.
Amazingly, “Lawry” has also volunteered for 55 years with the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
Besides having the best seat in the house while he helps ensure some of Australia’s biggest cycling events run smoothly, Lawry loves the social aspect which comes with volunteering.
“I love to meet the interesting people we do it with like the other volunteers and the staff who put it all together. Meeting new people and making new experiences.”
And when asked what he would say to encourage someone to get involved and volunteer?
“Just do it! You’ll love it.”
To Volunteer at the 2021 Federation University Road National Championships, head to the event website for more information https://www.roadnationals.org.au/.
Nine-time track world champion Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) became the first Australian man to claim the Road National Championships trifecta after securing an emotional maiden road race crown in a stunning final lap attack at the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships in Buninyong on Sunday.
“I have no words to describe this. It means so much to me, there is a lot of emotion on this day, there is a lot of history in it for me. Twelve years ago at 21, I fell in love with this race,” said Meyer.
“It has been a long time coming, everyone asks me all my stories over all the years and now I can tell them this is the best story of the lot.
“I have had the time trial twice and the criterium, but this is the one I really wanted. I am going to have a few sleepless nights replaying this for sure.”
Twelve years after finishing fourth as a 21-year-old in his first elite race, and just twelve months after leading the race inside the final few kilometres before being edged to the bronze medal, Meyer added the gruelling elite men’s road race to his dual time trial (2010, 2011) and criterium (2013) crowns.
“Last year was so emotional, and with about three kilometre to go I knew I was going to win it and the emotion nearly took over so I had to hold it together,” Meyer added.
“Something ticked over in me there, I didn’t want to come back for a thirteenth time, I’m glad I have the jersey now and it is definitely a highlight in my career.”
Meyer positioned himself in the peloton for the majority of the day with the group racing at a fast pace and putting a stop to any early breakaway attempts.
Nicholas Shultz (Mitchelton-SCOTT) and Marcus Culey (Team Sapura Cycling) made the first major move, the pair opening up a 47 second lead on Jason Lea (Maloja Pushbikers) and Cameron Roberts (GPM Stulz) with a 1:47 minute gap on the peloton.
Lea and Roberts caught the leaders to form a group of four as they extended the gap to 2mins20secs. With seven and a half laps remaining, Roberts was dropped and the leading trio continued to hold their advantage despite a couple of attacks from the likes of Liam White (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) and Mark O’Brien (Inform TM Insight Make).
Lea was then dropped with four laps remaining, as Meyer and Callum Scotson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) made their move, forcing the decimated peloton to split into several chase groups over the climb.
Not long after Meyer and Scotson bridged the gap to the leading pair, Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT), Jay McCarthy (Bora Hansgrohe), Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb) and defending champion Michael Freiberg made it an eight-man race.
Team Jumbo-Visma’s Chris Harper, Nathan Haas (Team Cofidis) and Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton SCOTT) joined the party shortly after Shultz and Freiberg dropped off.
As the bell rang, Meyer, Hamilton, Durbridge, Harper, Haas and Culey left the peloton well behind as they powered towards the green and gold jersey.
Hitting the final climb with energy, Meyer got the crowd roaring when he attacked to give himself a 23second lead and by the time he turned onto the final straight, the national title was his. With tears in his eyes, he screamed with joy, crossing the line first with a time of 4hours48mins16 sec.
“This is the queen jersey, everyone comes here to win it, to conquer Mt Buninyong and take the road race jersey,” said Meyer.
“In the last few laps, I thought ‘phew, this is an Australian title’, there were a lot of world tour guys, a lot of firepower out there, it was a really world tour field. I was really nervous, I’m sure we all were, if you made one mistake, there was a good enough group out there you would pay for it. I had to pick my moment well, there were a few I tried that didn’t work, but there was an opportunity for me to go on that climb.
“It is going to be exciting to take this jersey (to the WorldTour) and I can’t thank my team Mitchelton-SCOTT enough, they’ve backed me for the last three years to bring me back on board as I strive towards the Tokyo Olympics this year.”
To cap off a nearly perfect day for Mitchelton-SCOTT, Lucas Hamilton finished second, giving the team four out of six road race podiums, with Amanda Spratt (1st) and Grace Brown (3rd) getting the job done in the women’s race.
“It was an amazing day out. Even with the women this morning and going one-two with someone like Cameron, who’s been one of the stakeholders of the team for a long time it’s a special day,” said Hamilton.
“Cameron [Meyer] has been here, like he said on the podium, for twelve years. He’s delivered for a lot of other guys and last year he got close to it just didn’t have the legs in the finale.
“And for this year for someone like him to pull it off … if you could pick one guy to win it would be Cameron so we’re happy about that.”
After leading the breakaway for most of the race Marcus Culey held on to beat Luke Durbridge in the race for bronze.
It was a long day, I went a couple of times in the early laps and I got the gap with Nick [Schultz] and I was not too happy with myself as there were only two of us and there was a long way to go,” said Culey.
Lucas Hamilton won the Langdon Building Sprint competition, Culey claimed the McCain King of the Mountain and the Altus Traffic Most Aggressive Rider award.
In the under 23 category, Specialized Women’s Racing rider Jaime Gunning finished in eighth place to claim the title ahead of defending elite and under 23 champion Sarah Gigante. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (ARA Cycling) finished with bronze.
“It’s pretty special, this year is my last in the under 23s and I haven’t won an under 23 category yet so to come away with this win is really special and to do it with such an awesome team makes it even better,” said Gunning.
“Three laps in when the two Mitchelton-Scott riders went off the front, we really weren’t anticipating that to happen then when we realised that it was really getting out quite far we turned all our focus onto the under 23s.
“I was super stoked to have my team there at the finish with me.”
Another masterful ride secured Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) a third road nationals crown at the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships in Buninyong on Sunday.
Spratt outfoxed surprise medallist Justine Barrow (Roxsolt Attaquer) on the home straight after the pair figured in the lead group for nearly the entirety of the race. Spratt’s teammate Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott) took bronze.
“This is just as special if not more special (than my first one), I owe this one to my team, they rode incredibly well,” said Spratt, 32, who added to her 2012 and 2016 victories.
The final day of the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships began with 78 riders setting out on the 104-kilometre race which took in nine laps of the infamous 11-kilometre Mt Buninyong course.
A crash on the opening lap brought down a group of riders including the highly favoured Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon SRAM Racing) and Lauren Kitchen (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine). The group quickly fell more than two minutes off the peloton, effectively ending their day.
Mitchelton-Scott set the pace early at the front of the race before Brown launched a surprise attack on the third climb of the day which was answered by Spratt, with Barrow pouncing on the opportunity.
“We wanted to have a surprise tactic, normally everyone is waiting, waiting, so we thought why not turn it on its head and go on the third lap,” said Spratt. “We had Gracie Elvin riding really hard from the start and then Grace Brown launched an attack third time up the climb.
“When Justine came across, we were expecting more people but we thought ok, and knew we would have to go hard up the climb.”
Powered by Grace Brown, the trio quickly moved to a lead of nearly one minute on the peloton, before extending that gap to over two and a half minutes at the halfway point of the race. With a disorganised chase group heading a splintering field, the trio’s lead blew out to nearly six minutes by race end before Spratt held off Barrow in a sprint to the line, with Brown eleven seconds back.
“It was a dream race. It was a bit unusual I came in as the sole leader, but we had a solid plan and grateful for the team backing me and gold I could pull it off,” Spratt explained. “I owe a lot to Grace Brown, she annihilated herself for me so it was really pleasing to see Grace on the podium.
“Justine Barrow was very impressive, I tried to attack on the climb and I couldn’t get away from her. I felt confident if it came down to a sprint, but I think she had an incredible ride so I was very impressed, especially when she was matching me on the climb.”
It continues the career-best form from Spratt, who last September became the first Australian woman to win two career World Championship road race medals after winning bronze at the 2019 World Championships.
“I was so emotional over the line,” the Blue Mountains cyclist said.“I put so much work in and I did feel a lot of pressure today, so it’s also that pressure and that build-up of energy.
“I felt more nervous than I have in a while this morning. You just now you really, really, really want it, so just as special. It doesn’t get boring, put it that way.”
2019 National Road Series champion Jarrad Drizners (Hagens Berman Axeon) has started the new year off with a bang by winning the Under 23 men’s road race national title on day four of the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships.
Drizners finished the 139.2km Mt Buninyong course in 3hours 37.06mins, proving too strong for St George Continental’s Sebastian Berwick in the final sprint to the line.
“I have wanted this race for a long time, particularly since I came fifth last year,” said Drizners after his win.“To be able to come out today and win is really special, the time trial didn't go my way, and the criterium definitely didn't go my way.
“My parents were here, my ex-teammates in Inform are here, everyone was full of emotion. It feels great to pull it off in new colours for 2020.”
It was Balmoral’s Calan White and Memil - CCN Pro Cycling’s Elliot Schultz who set the pace early, establishing a small lead in the early laps. The pair were joined by a chase group that included Tom Benton (InForm ™ Insight Make), Thomas Bolton (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) and Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team).
With eight laps to go, White broke away and built up a lead of one minute with five and a half laps to go before being joined by Shultz. Inside the final three laps, it was Shultz who decided to make a break which saw him take grab lead by over a minute before the chasers closed the gap to 19 seconds at the bell.
Drizners, who had tried a few times throughout the day to break away from the peloton, made his move on the final lap and combined with Berwick to take the lead before confidently sprinting away to claim the green and gold jersey.
“There were a lot of team tactics today, so for me being an individual, it makes it a bit tricky. I saw the race forming and I could follow,” said Drizners. “But we (Berwick and I) rode away to the finish and were committed.
“I knew we weren't going to get caught, so it was a case of being patient with him, I knew I had the better sprint.
“I have been working really hard for this race, and I am looking forward to taking this jersey overseas this year. I might sleep in this tonight, you never know.”
Team Bridgelane’s Alastair Christie-Johnston claimed the bronze medal.
Connor Reardon won the McCain King of the Mountain with 17 points. Thomas Bolton claimed the Langdon Building Sprint jersey while Calan White was awarded the Altus Traffic Most Aggressive Rider.
The 2020 Road Nationals concludes on Sunday with the Elite Men’s and Elite/U23 Women’s road race.
Dubbo CC's Haylee Fuller completed the first double of the day winning the Under 19 women’s road race on the fourth day of the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships on Saturday.
Fuller in her first Road Nationals, tackled the 69.6 km Buninyong course with a field of 19 other juniors and was part of a breakaway that included defending champion Francesca Sewell (Gold Coast Cycling Club), Catelyn Turner (Launceston City Cycling Club), Alyssa Polites (Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club) and Eloise Sandow (Norwood Cycling Club).
As the bell rang for the last lap the lead group was down to three riders with a 43 second gap on Sewell and Sandow. Sewell bridged the gap and attacked with about 500 metres to go causing the final sprint to begin early.
Fuller managed to hold off Polites and Turner who finished second and third respectively to become the 2020 junior road race champion, she also claimed the criterium title on Friday.
"I'm really stoked, I came here hoping to take this race and it's pretty exciting to pull it off, I'm speechless really,” said Fuller.
"This is my first time here so it's pretty exciting to take both of my wins against a pretty strong field.
"It was pretty tough every lap up the climb and Alyssa was driving it most of the race and then we got down to three riders left before Franky (Sewell) caught us with 500 to go which caught us all by surprise so the sprint got started a little bit earlier than expected."
In the under 19 men’s race Declan Trezise (Darling Downs Cycling Club/Futuro Cycling) also claimed his second title of the 2020 nationals with an emphatic win ahead of time trial champion Patrick Eddy (Bendigo & District CC) and Sunshine Coast’s Alastair Mackellar.
No one made any big moves early with the main peloton of about 25 riders still sticking together with two laps to go.
Alexander Micallef made the first major attack pulling away for an 18 second lead as he entered the bell lap. Eddy, Trezise, James Derrick (Midland CC) and Alex Bogna (Marconi CC) attacked from the peloton and joined Micallef as they made their way through Federation University.
Trezise was too strong in the sprint as he edged out Eddy who took silver and Mackellar who crossed the line in third place.
"The feeling hasn’t quite sunk in yet I don't think, but this is amazing,” said Trezise.
"We started with 87 riders or something like that today and each lap sort of shed a few riders and I managed to be there on the last lap and followed the right move.
"When the move went I was just in pain, lactic acid was all through my body and it was just pure agony but we got over the final KOM climb and had a bit of a gap on the main field and we worked well together to get to the end."
The 2020 Federation University Road National Championships moved to Buninyong on Saturday with Australia’s para-cycling world champions tackling the tough Mt Buninyong road course, while the newly introduced category for cyclists with an intellectual impairment celebrated their maiden road titles.
Sporting the rainbow jersey, Bathurst’s reigning world champion Emilie Miller took gold in the women’s handcycle final.
“Always an honour to wear the rainbows jerseys and at national championships to be able to come away with a gold medal, I am really pleased with the result,” said Miller, who unfortunately crashed during her ride in Wednesday’s time trial.
“I think from being able to come back from the crash in the time trial and to ride the road race as well as I did today, I am really happy.”
Following his victory in Wednesday’s time trial, Melbourne’s Stuart Tripp secured the double with gold in the H5 road race.
“Very happy, compared to last year, today’s course my splits were a lot better and it was a much better ride,” said Tripp, who covered the four laps of the challenging course in 1hr 19.25mins. “I knocked a few minutes off my time from last year so I am really happy with today.”
Targetting a third Paralympic selection for Tokyo 2020, Tripp is ready and eager for the challenge ahead.
“It is a big year for everyone, you have started to feel the build-up. It all ramps up from here. It is an all or nothing year for us.
“With the build-up, you have a massive competition with yourself. And that is what it is all about, you competing against yourself to be in the best shape you can be, do the extra training, tick your boxes and make sure everything is perfect.”
Fellow dual gold medallist on the week Meg Lemon was pleased with her performance despite being in the midst of an intense track period,
“It has been a really good Championships despite not having done as much road prep as we would have liked. It was good to come out here on a hilly course and see where we were at,” said Lemon, who contested the 2019 Track World Cup last month in Brisbane, and will head to the 2020 Track World Championships later next week.
“The past couple of months I have had some improvements particularly on the track and now coming onto the road, improvements in both the time trial and road race, and now I am trying to put a few things into play today that I learned last year racing internationally. Things are moving in the right direction and looking good.”
Saturday also saw the first road national crowns awarded for cyclists with an intellectual impairment, wth Andre Ascui was ecstatic after claiming the gold in the men’s event. Ascui covered four laps of the 10-kilometre course in 1hour 20:41secs
“Pretty happy, but tired. The ride was good, a bit windy, I just stayed patient and kept going through the climbs,” said Ascui who enjoyed being a part of the first-ever National Championships.
“Being involved in this event is really amazing, we love competing, and being with all the other events, meeting new friends, doing everyone proud.”
Georgia Powning claimed the double for the Championships with a strong win in the women’s event. Powning, who claimed time trial gold on Wednesday, clocked 1hour 8mins across the three laps. “I put on the small chainring today and then stayed at the front and held on to the finish.
“The week has been good, my legs are a bit tight but that’s ok. My friends did well, everyone did really well.”
Horrid conditions decimated the elite men’s field in the national criterium championships with well over half the field unable to finish the race or deciding not to start at all.
In a terrific day for the Australian Cycling Team, reigning team pursuit world champion and world record holder, Sam Welsford claimed his first elite road medal along with his maiden national road title and could not contain his excitement after crossing the line first.
“I am over the moon. This has been in the back of my mind to try to win this race. Last year I missed the mark a little bit so it's great to come back this year and take the win,” said Welsford.
“It was extremely tough, it was so wet, I couldn't even see ten metres in front of me at some points. But it was about sticking to what you know and trying to move forward and backing yourself for the tough long sprint.
“This is pretty special to me as I haven't had as much success on the road, as I have on the track, so to have my first elite medal on the road to be gold, it is just unbelievable.
“For me to be able to sprint against some of the best guys, it sets me up for post 2020 and where I want to be, and that is on the road.”
Mitchelton-Scott’s Kaden Groves rode brilliantly to finish second just ahead of home town hero Nicholas White (Team Bridgelane) in third.
It was a very difficult day with riders doing their best to avoid the slippery conditions while trying to animate the race. The first real attack came from Team Bridgelane’s Ayden Toovey and Michael Rice (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) almost halfway through the race. Rice ended the race in fourth position.
Matthew Ross (CycleHouse Racing Team) won the Langdon Building Sprint jersey, with Team Bridgelane’s Benjamin Hill taking out the Altus Traffic Most Aggressive Rider.
In the women’s race, Rally UHC Cycling Women’s rider Chloe Hosking took the victory in a thrilling sprint to the finish to claim her maiden elite national title.
Prior to the start, the women’s race was shortened from 40 down to 30 to ensure the finish avoided the fading light.
Because of the treacherous conditions the peloton stuck together for the majority of the race with a few attacks from riders like Hosking and Lauren Kitchen (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) but when the bell rang the peloton was grouped together.
2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Hosking edged Brunswick’s young star Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Mitchelton Scott’s Gracie Elvin who rounded out the podium.
“This is my first elite national jersey, despite being around forever, so it is nice,” said Hosking.
“It was important for me this year as I am going to America to race with an American team and we do a lot of criteriums. I really wanted to take the green and gold crit jersey with me and I have done that so I am really excited.
“It is phenomenal seeing so many young women coming through in Australian cycling, we have seen with Sarah Gigante and now with Ruby. it is really exciting to see the depth coming through in Australia.”
Australian Team Pursuit world record holder Kelland O’Brien (Australian Cycling Team) has won the Under 23 men’s criterium following an excellent ride on day three of the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships.
Despite the terrible conditions the start of the race was full of attacks with a small breakaway gaining a lead of 13 seconds on the main bunch with 13 laps to go.
Cameron Scott, Matthew Rice and Conor Leahy (InForm TM Insight Make) held the gap consistently before O’Brien chased them down with eight laps to go. By this stage the peloton had dwindled down significantly with only 20 riders eventually finishing the race due to the extremely damp racing.
O’Brien stormed home on the final straight to claim the win finishing in front of silver medalist Conor Leahy with Matthew Rice taking out the bronze.
“This means a lot to me, this event is super special. After coming second last year after taking a lap, [coming second] was hard to take on the chin,” said O’Brien who claimed silver in the time trial on Wednesday.
“Then I took second again in the time trial on Wednesday, I was so hungry for this today.
“The weather was interesting, the rain made it hard but I was so happy to take the win
“Making my move was hard, but when Jensen Plowright went halfway into the race I had a carrot and I looked behind me and had a bit of a gap and thought it was the perfect time, luckily it paid off. I still don't really believe it. It is a national title. It is super special.”
For the women’s Under 23 category, Brunswick’s Ruby Roseman-Gannon claimed the title with an impressive ride that saw her take silver in the elite category as well.
Roseman-Gannon was narrowly edged on the line by elite winner Chloe Hosking (Rally UHC Cycling Women) in a sprint on the home straight.
Brunswick’s Elizabeth Nuspan finished with the silver while Alexandra Martin-Wallace (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) took home bronze.
“Today was pretty cool, I got to know Chloe (Hosking) pretty well while racing the Bay Crits so I knew she’d be the one to beat,” said Roseman-Gannon.
“I saw Chloe come around the corner and then it was a bit of a drag race to the end but I gave it a good crack and it was pretty fun for my first time racing with ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast.”
Right as the Under 19 women’s race began the weather turned nasty on the third day of the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships.
The conditions caused the race to split up earlier than expected with the peloton splintering into three groups with eight laps to go before the race was neutralised.
The race restarted with seven laps to go as Gold Coast’s Frankie Sewell and Illawarra’s Tahlia Dole lead the way. However, it was Haylee Fuller (Dubbo Cycling Club) who came home strong and claimed the national title.
Sewell finished with silver and Dole took home the bronze in a very tough race. Fuller was also awarded the Langdon Building Sprint jersey and the Altus Traffic Most Aggressive Rider.
“At the halfway point I made an attack, there were five on the front and the barriers just came down in front of us. I saw it coming, there was nothing we could do about it. It was pretty scary,” said Fuller.
“You just have to put it all aside and hope for the best really. Things like this make you mentally stronger.
It was a good race in the end with lots of tough competition which makes you work harder.”
Darling Downs rider Declan Trezise held off Bendigo’s Blake Agnoletto and Luke Deasey (Tamworth Cycle Club) to claim the Under 19 men’s national title.
Trezise, Agnoletto and Deasy were part of a six rider breakaway that also included Angus Miller (Brunswick CC), Taylor Forrest (Marconi CC) and Jonathan Farley (Hunter Districts CC).
The conditions worsened throughout the race and it was up to the toughest riders to hang on.
Trezise avoided any spills and timed his final sprint perfectly to cross the line ahead of Agnoletto in second and Deasey in third.
“It feels great, I wasn't expecting to win and it hasn't quite sunk in yet,” said Trezise after the win.
“I almost missed the breakaway, but then bridged across, we had a good gap and then Pat Eddy came across, that turned out to be it. I am glad I made that.
“My strategy today was to ride smart and not do too much on the front so I was fresh in the last lap.”
The National Team Criterium Championships managed to escape the wind and rain on the third day of the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships in Ballarat.
Harlequin claimed the title in the men’s 150 category with 52 points as all four riders finished in the top five. They finished 33 points ahead of MWCC (19) who secured second, while Randwick Cycling Club rounded out the podium on 13.
Illawarra Cycle Club finished with 60 points to win the men’s 180 category, MWCC took silver with 23 points.
“We got ourselves a coach and he trained our backsides off for six months and it paid off. We spent ten hours in the car as a team and also got the silver medal in the team trial,” said the Illawarra riders.
“We are going to have a lot of pride to be able to take this back to our club in Illawarra. We came second last year so one better this year.”
In the men’s 90 division, Hunter District Cycling Club (43) finished 13 points ahead of St Kilda (30) to win the green and gold jerseys, MWCC grabbed their third podium finish of the day with bronze.
Norwood Cycling Club won the men’s 120 category ending the race with 36 points. Cradle Coast (26) and St Kilda (26) finished second and third.
In the women’s, St Kilda took out all three national titles, they claimed the green and gold jerseys in the women’s 90, 120 and 150 categories.
“This is really exciting, it is always great to get out and race. The team element is very important, but it is important to be competitive if that is what your goal is,” said St Kilda rider Meredith Clark.
“You're all friends to start with, but as soon as you get out on the course you become a racer.
“I am a true believer of mentoring younger or newer riders coming through, I think it is really important. I want all women to feel comfortable racing, it is really important to have a friendly environment and encouragement.
“I love helping all women who ride, even girls who aren't in my club, I help my competitors, riders from other clubs, even if they are just out on the road, or who I am racing against, I think it is good for women to stick together and help each other along.”
Day three of the 2020 Federation University Road National Championships got underway with riders hitting the Sturt Street criterium course in Ballarat for the Fixed Gear Championships on Friday afternoon.
Taking on a modified course that included a new technical section, it was Castlemaine’s Emma Jackson who claimed the green and gold jersey for the women’s after starting strong and holding her lead throughout the race. Jackson has been in excellent form lately, coming into the nationals after a win at the Shimano Super Crit in December.
“This is awesome, this is my first ever jersey and I’m so excited, I really wanted a jersey,” said Jackson, who also won a national title on the track earlier in the year at the 2019 Masters Championships in Brisbane.
“I was really lucky to start off strong with the men and put a gap between my competitor and I and I just crawled my way to the finish line. That hill up Sturt St is so hard, you know it’s going to be tough but it’s so much harder than you ever expect.”
Adelaide Thompson (Brunswick Cycling Club) finished with the silver.
Brunswick riders dominated the men’s category with the entire podium represented by the club. Derek Holland won the national title in commanding fashion, he attacked from the start and finished with a sprint to the line to lap the entire field.
Clubmates Daniel Warfe and Che Dungey finished the race in second and third respectively.
“I wasn't sure of my plan, I just went hard into the first corner and realised I had put quite a big gap on everyone and felt like holding it off. I sort of made it a game of trying to lap the field at that point rather than be in the bunch sprint,” Said Holland.
“I am proud to come here and represent the forever two wheels crew and the G for G gang I ride with back in Melbourne.
“I am proud to come out and show what fixed gear is all about. It is really nice to have a national championship.
“I hope more people come to the track, it's a great sport, it is a different dynamic than road racing. I really want to see the sport get bigger. It is certainly getting bigger across the world and I think it has the potential to be a really powerful and interesting sport in Australia.”
Teamwork was the theme for the second day of the Federation University Road National Championships as the Club and School Team Time Trials stole the show in warm, hazy and slightly gusty conditions.
The day began with a dramatic upset in the men’s MEN 180+ category with Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club (CCCC) edging out reigning champions, Manly Warringah Cycling Club (MWCC) for the gold.
The winning team consisted of Gerard Donnelly, Russel Newnham, Trevor Coulter were joined on the top step by David Williams.
The CCCC team had been targeting this event for some time, “Months and months of training together as a team, every Tuesday morning at 530am meeting up, it’s paid off big time.” said Russel Newnham. He added “We came and did a recon so we knew what to expect with the Gear Avenue hill, and used it to our advantage. We were really well prepared.”
David Williams added, “The key was working as a team and we really did that today.”
Women’s Team Time Trial
In the women’s club team event, St Kilda Cycling Club’s Meredith Clark, Robyn Baker, Kath Simpson and Kay Doige took out the gold in the women’s 150+ Club Team National Championship title.
In her third appearance on the top step, team captain, Meredith Clark was happy with the win. “It is really exciting, always great to race as a team. It means a lot to me to support my teammates.
When asked about the course she added “It was a hard course. We had to sort ourselves out a little over the first lap, but the second went really smoothly.”
First-year teammate, and somewhat new to riding, Kath Simpson was happy not only with the team’s win but her personal result, “It was amazing, my goal was to just finish, so not only have I finished, I am wearing a medal so it is fantastic.”
The team's attention will now turn to the Club Team Criterium, which plays host to the best Aussie crit riders from 12 noon tomorrow. Be sure to head down and check out all the action.
Hunter District CC on show in Ballarat.