Cycling Australia Announces the 2019 eRacing Criterium National Championship as part of 2019 FedUni RoadNats
First fully sanctioned eSports cycling national championships to take place in Ballarat.
Cycling Australia is today pleased to announce the inaugural eRacing Criterium National Championships with Zwift, to be held in conjunction with the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships in Ballarat on Friday 4 January.
Taking place on Zwift, the online gaming platform dedicated to indoor cycling, on the ‘Volcano Circuit’, the 2019 Cycling Australia eRacing Criterium Championship will include both senior men’s and senior women’s races. Both races will take in four laps of the four-kilometre circuit, with hard and fast racing expected from the start gun.
A feature of the Championships will be a special ‘live’ event held at Mitchell Harris Wines in Ballarat immediately following the evening’s elite criteriums. Three invited senior men and three senior women will compete live in the Zwift races on stage.
Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake Said “We’re looking forward to seeing this event unfold, the atmosphere at Zwift events is always amazing, and coupled with the support of Mitchell Harris Wines, we’re excited to see what this evening holds.”
All Zwifters are eligible to compete in the Championships, however all entrants are required to hold a Cycling Australia Race membership to be eligible to win the title.
Winners will be presented with the Official Cycling Australia green and gold Jersey and Championship medal. These will be presented in a ceremony alongside the elite road race champions at the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships on Sunday 6 January.
“We are investing a lot of energy into racing on Zwift and developing eSports. It’s a big focus right now.” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “Historically National Championships are normally something only a select number of elite cyclists can take part in.
“However now with the backing of Cycling Australia, the eRacing National Criterium Championships opens up this competition to any Australian, beginners, Elites and Professionals. This is a big part of what Zwift is about. So why not get out there and earn your stripes!”
Cycling Australia is excited to release the 2019 Federation University Road National Championship Technical Regulations.
RACV Goldfields Resort is the perfect location for cycling enthusiasts. Set in the heart of Creswick State Forest, the resort offers a range of accommodation options, casual dining and terrace bar, all set on an 18-hole golf course with easy access to local mountain bike trails. From December 2018, the resort is opening a new secure bike storage facility, featuring wash rooms, bike racks, plus maintenance areas and tools.
Stay at the resort for the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships and get a $25 food and beverage credit to use during your stay.*All guests during this stay period also receive daily buffet breakfast in Harvest restaurant.
Plus, RACV members save 25% on accommodation when booking direct with RACV.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
*Limited to one $25 food and beverage credit per stay. Offer valid for stays between 3 Jan – 10 Jan ’19. Food and beverage credit must be used during your stay with unused portion forfeited.
Words Oscar Owens
The FedUni Road Nationals championships return to Mount Buninyong in 2019 with Australia’s best cyclists hitting the mountain in pursuit of being crowned national road race champion.
Thousands of spectators in the middle of their summer break traditionally line the 11.6km course loop cheering the riders through a suffer-fest described by local male competitor Liam White as being far removed from a holiday.
“The road race is definitely one of the toughest, if not the toughest one day race we will do all year. The course is obviously quite hilly with each of the 16 laps of the men’s race incorporating a six minute climb,” Liam White said.
“With the multiple laps, it is much like a Belgian Kermesse race however you would never find anything this hilly in Belgium. Usually in Australia we will do races with no more than five to six multiple laps but 185km incorporating 16 laps - ouch.”
The feature of the Road Nats course is the Mt Buninyong climb which White describes as “a corridor of noise that sends spine tingling sensations through your whole body akin to something you might find at the Tour de France.”
The climb however isn’t a place for riders to get too caught up in emotion and reflection. According to Federation University Australia’s Exercise Science senior lecturer Brendan O’Brien, the climb has the potential to make or break a rider’s race as competitors grapple with an age old scientific concept.
“Because the gradient is quite steep the simple effects of gravity on the body are huge. The body is required to generate more force to maintain the pace and effort required to stay with other riders on the course, Brendan O’Brien said.
“In turn this extra force necessitates recruitment of fast twitch fibres resulting in more anaerobic metabolism making the muscles more acidic which ultimately leaves riders feeling the burn with each punishing lap.”
This burn doesn’t finish at the top of the climb. What follows is a grind across the top of the mountain as riders jostle for best position for the Gear Avenue descent into Fed Uni’s Mt Helen campus where riders such as Liam White will hit in excess of 80 kmph.
“The descent requires high concentration not only because of the speeds you reach but also your tactical positioning,” Liam White said.
“Once you get to the Fed Uni grounds the peloton is usually strung out and it is important to put yourself as close to the front of the race as possible because after leaving the campus there is a 2 km drag race back into the township of Buninyong before you get set to do it all over again.”
Whilst the road race is tough, for White, also an Exercise Science at Federation University, it’s a part of what he describes as an ‘unreal’ week for Ballarat cycling. “I love the course and the opportunity to race in front of my friends and family. To see them watching on the sidelines and cheering you on makes it unique – especially 16 times in one race. I can’t wait.”
The 2019 FedUni RoadNats, officially launched at the Federation University Australia campus in Ballarat today, will see Australia’s best under 19, under 23, elite and para-cyclists battle for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys in the criterium, road race and time trial.
The Friday night will kick-start the festivities celebrating local produce in a carnival-like atmosphere with live entertainment. However, the showstopper will be the exciting, action-packed criterium races.
On the first weekend in January, the iconic Mt Buninyong circuit will host an exciting weekend of road racing with Australia’s finest para-cyclists and future champions in the under 19 categories racing on Saturday. Sunday will see Australia’s elite and under 23 cyclists racing to see who will win right to wear the green and gold jersey.
Ballarat and surrounds have become the ultimate New Year destination for cycling enthusiasts. 2019 will see an extra long weekend of cycling with Buninyong hosting the time trials on Monday and Tuesday.
Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake welcomed the revamped schedule, “We’re excited to see the weekend kick off with the fun and action-packed crit and can’t wait to see thousands of fans turn up to watch. Over the last 12 years, the Ballarat community has really gotten behind the event, and we can’t wait to ring in the new cycling year with them.”
Minister for Tourism and Sport John Eren “We’re proud to have locked in this event for Ballarat. The revamped schedule will see the best of Australia's top under 19, under 23, elite, para and club cyclists go up a gear.”
"This is just one of the headline events to feature in Victoria's Summer of Cycling bonanza which also features the Bay Cycling Classic and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race"
"What better way to attract the fans, boost tourism and bolster Victoria's reputation as the place to see top cycling ."
Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh "We're so proud of the growth of this wonderful event over the years and look forward to seeing the thousands of cycling fans return to Ballarat over January 4-8.
"There is no doubt the scheduling changes for 2019 give the event new tourism appeal by providing our visitors with an opportunity to stay for longer over five consecutive days.
"We're also extremely excited to see our para-cyclists taking centre stage on Mount Buninyong. The 2019 RoadNats is shaping up to be best yet!"
FedUni Vice Chancellor and President Helen Bartlett added, “Federation University Australia is delighted to continue its close relationship with Cycling Australia,”
“As one of the nation’s leading sports science universities, it is fitting that the course of this summer’s Road Nats once again will run through our Mt Helen Campus. Our staff and students are looking forward to this amazing event.
ABOUT FEDUNI ROADNATS
The 2019 FedUni RoadNats will run 4-8 January 2019 in Ballarat and Buninyong, Victoria. Australia’s top under 19, under 23, elite, para and club cyclists, will battle for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys in the criterium, road race and time trial.
The five-day festival of cycling also boasts a number of participation and community events also set to feature, highlighted by the MS National Fondo.
Friday 4 January – Ballarat
Saturday 5 January – Buninyong
Sunday 6 January – Buninyong
Monday 7 January – Buninyong
Tuesday 8 January – Buninyong
Cycling Australia is pleased to announce the inaugural Fixed Gear National Championships to be held as part of the 2019 FedUni Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat in January.
The Fixed Gear National Championships will take place on Friday 4 January and be held on a modified version of the Sturt St criterium course in the Ballarat CBD.
The Fixed Gear National Championships joins the Schools Team Time Trial and the Club Team Championships as new features of the 2019 FedUni RoadNats.
Fixed gear crit pioneer and Melbournite, Leeana James said “It’s been a long time coming, and it’s finally here! Nothing can compare to the excitement and energy of a fixed gear crit - pedalling through corners at high speed, the adrenaline rush of riding in a brakeless bunch and the sound of cowbells at every turn. Bring it on!”
The 2019 FedUni RoadNats will run 4-8 January 2019 in Ballarat and Buninyong, Victoria. Australia’s best under 19, under 23, elite, para and club cyclists, will battle for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys in the criterium, road race and time trial.
The five-day festival of cycling also boasts a number of participation and community events also set to feature, highlighted by the MS National Fondo.
Cycling Australia is pleased to announce the inaugural Schools Team Time Trial (TTT) National Championships which will be held in Ballarat in January 2019.
To be held as part of the 2019 FedUni Cycling Australia Road National Championships, the Schools TTT provides a unique opportunity for primary and secondary school students to win the coveted green and gold national champions jersey.
The Schools TTT will take place on the morning of Tuesday 8 January on the challenging Buninyong course, just hours before some of Australia’s Olympic and WorldTour heroes set out in the elite finals.
The FedUni Road National Championships will run 4-8 January 2019 in Ballarat and Buninyong, Victoria. Australia’s best under 19, under 23, elite, para and club cyclists, will battle for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys in the criterium, road race and time trial.
The Schools TTT joins the Club Championships on the program, with a host of participation and community events also set to feature, highlighted by the MS National Fondo.
The FedUni Road National Championships return to Ballarat again from 4– 8 January 2019. This major sporting event provides Australia’s best cyclists the opportunity to showcase their elite capabilities in pursuit of the prestigious green and gold jersey that crowns them on the podium as Australian National Champion.
Beyond the podium however the event provides a unique opportunity for people who are not necessarily professional cyclists to hone their skills and abilities in a range of different settings critical to the event’s success.
Volunteers plays a huge role in the delivery of any event but particularly the FedUni Road National Championships, an event that has a myriad of roles, responsibilities and logistics attached to it.
One volunteer at the 2018 edition of the race was Federation University Australia student Emma Powell, who was able to combine her Bachelor of Sport Management studies at the Mt Helen Campus with an event services assistant role at the event.
“I had heard about the opportunity at one of my lectures. I had been attending the event every year as a spectator ever since I moved to Ballarat in 2010 and always enjoyed the experience and thought of it as a very professional event that I should get involved with,” Emma explained.
Emma registered her interest online and was then approached by volunteer co-ordinators and given the green light to gain practical experience in an area of keen career interest.
As an event services assistant Emma’s role saw her doing everything from registering athletes on race days to collecting and delivering lunches for staff out on the course.
“I also did different things like providing support to the race commentators, assisting with presentations and setting up and pulling down the stage after presentations – even getting doused in champagne!,” she said.
“It made me feel proud of myself and my work to know I could be of value at an elite sporting event. I learnt that my studies and other university practical experiences were transferrable into a professional working environment.”
In 2019, the FedUni Road National Championships in conjunction with GTR events and Cycling Australia will provide opportunities for anyone keen to join the team responsible for delivering Australia’s greatest weekend of competitive cycling - something Emma is already excited about.
“If you put the work in and show you are passionate about event management the crew at GTR will support you and provide unique development opportunities that not only challenge you to develop your work practices but also look great on a resume,” Emma said.
So whether you are studying, looking for work experience or just want to be more than a spectator, why not volunteer at the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships.
The variety of roles on offer could see you gain new skills and experience coupled with the satisfaction in knowing you were a part of the team that got the FedUni 2019 Road Nationals wheels turning.
Whether it be for a day, a week or a month visit: https://gtr.rosterfy.co/register to register your interest or contact GTR events via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Oscar Owens
Cycling Australia’s clubs will have their chance to battle for the coveted green & gold national champion’s jersey at the 2019 Club Team Time Trial and Criterium National Championships in Ballarat.
To be held as part of the 2019 FedUni RoadNats, the Club Championships will offer teams of three or four club racers the opportunity to race on the famous courses just hours before Australia's elite.
The Club Team Criterium will be one of the first national championships awarded in the new year, with the clubs to take over the Ballarat CBD criterium course on the afternoon of Friday 4 January.
On Monday 7 January, the FedUni RoadNats Championships will sign off for 2019 with the afternoon Club Team Time Trial on the challenging Buninyong course.
In 2018, 20 teams representing 15 Australian clubs took part in the inaugural Championships, with each category won by a different club.
The Club Team Championships provide the perfect long weekend away of racing, riding and watching at the 2019 FedUni RoadNats Championships. Teams will be able to catch all the spectacular action of the elite and para-cycling races, take on the club teams, ride the MS Gran Fondo, while also enjoying the hospitality and amenities that the famous Ballarat region has to offer.
Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake and Chair Duncan Murray are both confirmed starters for the Club Championships.
“The Club Championships provides a great chance for our members to challenge and immerse themselves during the FedUni RoadNats week,” said Drake. “I will also be riding the MS National Fondo on Saturday, so I look forward to a great weekend of riding, racing and watching.”
The FedUni Road National Championships will run 4-8 January 2019 in Ballarat and Buninyong. Australia’s best under 19, under 23, elite, para and club cyclists, will battle for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys in the criterium, road race and time trial.
A host of participation and community events will also feature at the 2019 FedUni RoadNats, highlighted by the MS National Fondo.
2019 Club Team Time Trial & Criterium National Championships
Club Team Criterium
Club Team Time Trial
Find out more or enter here!
Visit the roadnationals.org.au for more details.
Cycling Australia partners with MS to make a real difference to the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis
Cycling Australia (CA) and Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) are excited to announce a partnership for the MS National Gran Fondo as part of the 2019 FedUni RoadNats on Saturday 5 January 2019.
MS offers vital support and services for people living with multiple sclerosis while the search for a cure continues.
As the official charity partner of the MS National Fondo, together with CA, MS will be supporting all riders to fundraise and make a real difference to the lives of people who live with the challenging symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
“We are thrilled to be working with a fantastic organisation like MS. We have supported a number of MS events over the years and we’re really pleased to be partnering with them for this event,” said Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake.
He added, “I can’t wait to line up at the start line and help raise awareness and much-needed funds for MS.
MS acting CEO Sandra Walker was also excited about the partnership.
“MS is excited to partner with Cycling Australia as the official charity partner of the MS National Gran Fondo as part of the 2019 FedUni RoadNats. Our mission is to ensure no one has to face MS alone. It's only through support such as this, that we can continue to give people with multiple sclerosis access to the care and support they need to help them maintain their independence and fight this cruel disease.”
Seven-time world champion, triple Paralympic gold medalist and member of the Australian Cycling Team, Carol Cooke is excited by the partnership.
“As someone living with MS, I think it’s fantastic that CA and MS have partnered. MS is such a hidden disease and it’s great that we can educate people about it. It's good to know that people will be fundraising to assist in helping to find a cure and assist those living with MS.”
Event date: Saturday 5 January 2019,
Cycling Australia is proud to announce a new schedule for the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships, with an exciting five-day program set to kick off on Friday 4 January with the action packed and crowd friendly criterium races.
The FedUni RoadNats will see Australia’s best under 19, under 23, elite and para cyclists battle for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys in the criterium, road race and time trial.
The iconic Mt Buninyong circuit will host a mouthwatering weekend of road racing, with Australia’s finest para-cyclists and future champions in the under 19 categories to feature on Saturday, with the traditional Sunday featuring the finest elite and under 23 riders in the country.
Ballarat and surrounds have rightly become the ultimate New Year destination for all cycling enthusiasts with Buninyong set to host an extra long weekend of cycling with the time trials scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
Further announcements regarding courses, distances, additional racing and recreational opportunities and community events, and broadcast information will be announced over the coming months.
Visit www.roadnationals.org.au for event information.
2019 FedUni Road National Championships, January 4-8, Ballarat, Victoria
Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake
“Building on the great reputation of the FedUni RoadNats, we are continually looking at ways to energise the Championships and create opportunities for everyone to get involved whether it be on your bike or in the crowds.
“We believe these changes to the schedule are rider and spectator friendly alike. Come to Ballarat from Friday afternoon and stay for a long weekend of the best that Australian cycling has to offer.
“The elite racing will form part of the broader five-day festival of cycling and we are very excited to be working on a number of new events, some never seen before at the Championships, which we will announce in the coming months.”
Minister for Sport Hon. John Eren
“We’re proud to have locked in the RoadNats in Ballarat – because events like these create local jobs, attract visitors and keep businesses busy.
“This fantastic new racing program will no doubt take this famous event up a gear, welcoming more fans and encouraging more Victorians to get active.”
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh
“The City of Ballarat has been hosting the Road National Championships for 12 years now, and each year the event just keeps on getting bigger and better as we crown the national champions in a range of different cycling disciplines.
We are delighted with the program changes to the 2019 racing schedule. The Friday night criteriums will kick start an exciting long weekend of racing and will no doubt attract even larger crowds than previous years, providing a significant economic boost to this region just at the start of a new year.”
Professor Helen Bartlett, Vice-Chancellor and President, Federation University Australia
“Federation University Australia is proud to be the naming right partner with Cycling Australia for the 2019 FedUni Road National Championships and welcome their changes to the racing program.
“The Saturday and Sunday road races through the FedUni Mt Helen campus add a great technical aspect to the RoadNats.
“Along with the many thousands of spectators, our Exercise and Sports Science, and Sports Management students are counting down to January 2019 and the opportunity to work with Cycling Australia at the RoadNats as part of their FedUni degree."
Club Team Time Trial
With 20 teams representing 15 Australian cycling clubs, the inaugural club teams time trial wowed passionate Buninyong crowds as they raced the clock on the 29.6km time trial course.
The undulating and gusty course favoured no particular style of riding and it was simple grit and determination that drove the field of over 40 participants to finish in the hot, testing conditions.
Photo gallery | Results
Men's Masters 120
1. Carnegie Caulfield CC #1 Time: 42:54.34
Troy DRINAN 42:54.22
Stefan KIRSCH 42:54.25
Joe SPANO 42:54.34
Grant STUBBS 48:34.04
2. St Kilda Cycling Club Time: 43:25.95
James PAGE 43:24.53
Ricardo PINTO 43:25.00
Rob SIMPSON 43:25.95
Cameron HALES 43:41.11
3. Carnegie Caulfield CC #2 Time: 49:11.27
Justin HOGAN 49:11.16
David STALEY 49:11.21
Martin HOURIGAN 49:11.27
Jason EARDLEY 52:22.72
Men's Masters 150
1. Canberra Cycling Club Time: 42:29.32
107 Steve CRISPIN 42:28.55
106 Brendan BYATT 42:29.25
108 Tom HARTLEY 42:29.32
2. Carnegie Caulfield CC #2 Time: 43:51.62
222 Gerrard DONNELLY 43:51.37
223 Julian PAYNTER 43:51.52
221 John CAIN 43:51.62
224 Brian SMITH 46:08.81
3. Randwick Botany Cycling Club Time: 45:36.41
Matt GLANVILLE 45:36.02
Daniele VANOLINI 45:36.17
Allan SMITH 45:36.41
Geoff BAXTER 45:36.78
Men's Masters 180
1. Manly Warringah Cycling Club Time: 47:52.91
Peter RITCHIE 47:52.37
Kevin GOODMAN 47:52.65
Gregory BARNES 47:52.91
Neil MATTHEWS 53:22.00
2. Illawarra Cycle Club. Time: 50:14.14
Mark MORGAN 50:11.78
Terence WALL 50:12.89
Robert CALLADINE 50:14.14
3. Sutherland Shire CC Time: 50:22.45
Trevor HYDE 50:20.87
John PETERS 50:21.87
Mal LYNN 50:22.45
Men's Masters 90
1. Ballarat Sebastapol Cycling Club Time: 46:12.96
Jarrod KING 46:12.63
Jamie HUGGETT 46:12.65
Craig LEE 46:12.96
1. Hawthorn Cycling Club Time: 56:18.18
Magda URBANEK 56:18.13
Nonie CARR 56:18.16
Jacqueline BERTELSEN 56:18.18
Rebecca COVINGTON 56:18.20
Women's Masters 120
1. St Kilda Cycling Club Time: 52:01.37
Michelle HYDE 52:00.27
Meredith CLARK 52:01.28
Paula FLEMING 52:01.37
Olivia ATANASOVSKA 58:04.38
2. Illawarra Cycle Club. Time: 53:29.14
Nicole NUGARA 53:23.53
Deborah COULLS 53:25.18
Kirsten BENNETT 53:29.14
Josephine CLARK 55:16.46
3. Footscray Cycling Club Time: 57:16.71
Erika GOSNEY 57:14.93
Jill STEVENSON 57:15.48
Gina MCVICAR 57:16.71
Sarah DAM 1h05:44.57
Women's Masters 150
1. Hawthorn Cycling Club Team 1 Time: 58:47.24
Liz HILTON 58:44.50
Meg BROWN 58:44.75
Angela MACRAE 58:47.24
Gaynor BLANKLEY 1h02:45.42
Women's Masters 90
1. Port Adelaide Cycling Club Time: 54:18.82
Three-time track world champion Alex Edmondson (SA/Mitchleton-Scott) upstaged his high-profile rivals at the 2018 FedUni Road National Championships on Sunday, joining the likes of Sir Hubert Opperman, Robbie McEwen and Simon Gerrans on an illustrious honour roll.
After attacking alongside Chris Harper (SA/Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo) from a splintered peloton with less than four laps of the iconic Mount Buninyong circuit remaining, Edmondson survived a desperate chase to cross the line one second ahead of Jay McCarthy (QLD/Bora-Hansgrohe).
Harper was too fast for the surging Caleb Ewan (NSW/Mitchleton-Scott) and Nathan Haas (ACT/Katusha–Alpecin), with his bronze medal just rewards for an impressive effort in the closing stages of a thrilling 185.6-kilometre road race.
“I am absolutely speechless,” said an emotional Edmondson following his victory. “This means a hell of a lot to me. I would like to thank the team for all their help, my family, my coach – this is just a fairy tale.
“I came here just trying to do what I could for the guys, and to come away with the green and gold is a dream come true. Every cyclist grows up wanting to wear the green and gold, and this is not going to sink in for a while.”
Edmondson, whose track career includes a Commonwealth Games gold medal, an Olympic silver medal and three world titles, admitted there could be some hard feelings from his breakaway partner.
With Edmondson’s more high-profile team-mates Ewan and Cameron Meyer (WA) in the chase group, the South Australian was torn between sitting up for his colleagues and helping the break stay away.
“Chris Harper is one of my best mates, he lives less than 500 metres down the road from where I live in Aldgate,” said Edmondson. “Every day we ride together and every day he is the one pushing me along and vice versa.
“It was made a lot harder because we are such good friends off the bike. It is one of those hard ones because you want to do your best for your mate, but you also have to look after your team-mates.
“There were a lot of words going back and forth – I am not sure what will happen with the friendship,” he laughed. “I am so thrilled for what he has been able to do. He has only been riding for a short amount of time, but he is going to go a long way.
“It’s so hard to get over for the win, but it’s even harder when you have got your best mate there riding next to you. It is my day today, and I know there are going to be plenty more opportunities for Chris Harper.”
Earlier in the race, an eight rider breakaway of Dylan Newbery (QLD/Mobius BridgeLane), Tristan Ward (NSW/Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo), Troy Herfoss (NSW), Robert Power (WA/Mitchelton-Scott), William Clarke (TAS/EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale), Thomas Kaesler (SA/Drapac EF p/b Cannondale Holistic Development Team), Sean Lake (VIC/Bennelong SwissWellness) and Peter Milostic (NSW) gained nearly six minutes on the peloton.
But a dominant effort from BMC Racing Team, led by former national champions Simon Gerrans and Miles Scotson, narrowed the gap. 2017 Australian Masters National Champion Herfoss attacked solo, with the dual-sport athlete riding solo for almost 25 kilometres as a new bunch of chasers formed.
Edmondson and Harper then went up the road, overhauling Herfoss and staying out of reach of the star-studded chase group until the final straight. Edmondson put his track skills to work, managing to remain just ahead of McCarthy before flinging his arms into the air.
“I was a little bit short there on the line. But I am definitely happy with how the shape is going – all the boys rode really well out there,” said McCarthy.
“It is a great change to the course with a new little part through the university, and it was an exciting race.”
A third for Harper capped a strong week of racing from Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo, the reigning National Road Series champions.
“It’s all good now. There were a few colourful words, but I am just really happy for Alex. He is one of my best mates and we train almost every day together when he is back in Australia,” joked Harper of his ongoing friendship with Edmondson.
“I know I will be sitting up watching him racing those big one-day races in Europe, and it will be all the easier to see him now he’ll have the green and gold bands around him.”
It was a dream come true for Ballarat local Shannon Malseed (VIC / Team TIBCO-SVB), who sensationally won the elite women's road race at the 2018 FedUni Road National Championships on Sunday, chasing down solo breakaway Katrin Garfoot (QLD) in the finishing straight before triumphing over Lauren Kitchen (NSW / FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Grace Brown (VIC / Holden Team Gusto) in a sprint to the line.
Malseed, who has been on the rise in the Australian cycling scene for a few years with the 2016 Oceania road race and 2017 National Road Series titles to her name, was overcome with emotion as she embraced family and friends.
"I'm so lost for words - I can't believe that this happened," Malseed said immediately post-race. "It is a dream - an absolute dream. This is my first year racing for a professional team, I'm so honoured I get to wear the Australian colours all year."
The early break of Kitchen, Jessica Allen (WA / Mitchelton–Scott) and Kate Perry (VIC / Specialized Women's Racing) attacked early, establishing a breakaway that at one stage led by over four minutes.
The trio were caught just before the final lap of the nine lap, 100 kilometre race, following a spirited chase driven by Garfoot, Brown, Brodie Chapman (ACT / CBR Women's Cycling), Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) and Shara Gillow (QLD / FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope).
Garfoot then attacked and looked to have established a winning lead in the final kilometre, before being overhauled by Malseed.
“In the last kilometre I was really calm,” explained Malseed. “I just knew that if I backed myself, I could do it. I know I can sprint well if I get aero enough and channel my inner Caleb Ewan in a headwind finish,” quipped the 23 year old. “Luck definitely swung my way today.”
For second placed Kitchen, it was her second silver medal in the Australian road race championships having made the podium in 2014.
“It was definitely a long day out in the break but having Shara [Gillow] as a teammate this year, I really wanted for us to have an advantage in the final and have both of us there. For it to work out perfectly for us to have two riders in the final selection, meant that we went from being one of the smallest teams to having the numbers which was a little bit unexpected,” said Kitchen.
“I knew I’d have a chance to be in the mix of the medals. Of course I’m disappointed not to have the jersey but it’s a long season. It’s a really good start, both Shara and I got a medal here this week [so] this is a big result for us. We’ll hopefully build on this for the season.”
Third placed, Grace Brown animated the final kilometres, attacking the select group with six kilometres remaining and gaining a small advantage before being reeled in.
“I thought my last chance was when I tried to break away at the back of the course, I’m usually not very good in a sprint finish but I think that helped me in the end. I was quite calm and everyone else blew up and I came through,” said Brown who spent 2017 racing in Europe with the Australian Women’s Development Team.
After doing the lion's share of the work for Mitchelton-Scott to bring the early breakaway back, Alex Manly (SA / Mitchelton-Scott) held on to finish in the top 20 to claim the under 23 road race national title.
Josie Talbot (NSW / Specialized Women's Racing) won the U23 silver medal while Kristina Clonan (QLD / QAS) rounded out the podium.
“It’s pretty special, it was nice to come away with the win. We had a good ride with all the girls but just weren’t able to pull it off,” said Manly of the race for line honours.”
“I wasn’t sure with the role I had to play if I would actually hang in there but it turned out all good in the end.”
Specialized Women's Racing Kate Perry came away with the Altus Traffic Management Sprint jersey and the Federation University Queen of the Mountain jersey .
Elite Women's Road Race
Altus Sprint jersey - Kate Perry (VIC / Specialized Women's Racing
FedUni QOM Jersey - Kate Perry (VIC / Specialized Women's Racing
U23 Women's Road Race
A stunning solo attack from Cyrus Monk (VIC – Drapac EF Holistic Development Team) saw the university student join an illustrious honour roll alongside the likes of Simon Gerrans, Rohan Dennis and Caleb Ewan, winning the 2018 FedUni Road National Championships under 23 road race in scorching Buninyong conditions.
With the race distance shortened to 92.8 kilometres as a result of extreme heat and high fire risk, the peloton was aggressive from the starter’s gun. By the end of lap one, a breakaway of mountain biker Reece Tucknott (WA – Trek Racing Australia), Ashley Mackay (WA – Australian Cycling Academy) and Macgregor Carter (VIC – VCP Loudéac) had established a 44 second lead.
As cross winds and intense heat thinned the sluggish peloton, a chase group led by Dylan Sunderland (NSW – Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo) and 2017 champion Samuel Jenner (NSW – Mitchelton-BikeExchange) formed. But as the breakaway’s lead extended, Monk took matters into his own hands – bridging first from the peloton to the chasers and then onto the lead group. By lap seven Monk and Tucknott were away together, maintaining their lead before the Melburnian attack again. Monk soloed to the finish with arms aloft, followed in 26 seconds later by James Whelan (VIC – InForm Tineli) and Michael Potter (NSW – Australian Cycling Academy).
“I have been trying to picture this every training ride for the past four months, so it is pretty hard to believe it has actually happened,” exclaimed Monk following his triumph. “I am sure it will sink in throughout the rest of the day.”
Monk’s win had echoes of the victories of Jenner and Miles Scotson in past years, with the rider taking advantage of an unwillingness to chase following the long climb each lap to sneak away.
“It did not feel good out there when I first went – I was thinking it was quite stupid,” said Monk. “I had just ridden up to Liam Magennis (QLD – Drapac EF Holistic Development Team) who was in that final selection with me and said, ‘I reckon we’re both looking okay for a sprint out of this group.’ Then I looked around 10 metres later and I had a little gap – that ended up being it. It was not planned whatsoever, but sometimes they are the ones that come off.”
Monk admitted that he was at first unhappy with the change of race distance necessitated by the weather conditions, but another revision – an added section of the course through the local university – suited his abilities.
“I think the course change definitely played in my favour” said Monk, who is studying a Bachelor of Science (Physiology) in Melbourne. “Having that extra section through FedUni is not that hard on the legs in terms of going uphill, but the technical punching out of corners is similar to what was I doing in Belgium last year.”
After the chase group caught Tucknott during the final descent to Buninyong, Whelan beat Potter and fourth-placed Sunderland in a bunch sprint to claim the silver medal. “It was really close in the end,” the former middle-distance runner said. “I was cramping in the end and I think I only held on by a few metres. I was pretty happy.”
Bronze medallist Potter acknowledged the worthy effort of the victor, and paid credit to his newly established team. “Hats off to Cyrus – he rode amazingly today, a well-deserved winner,” he said. “The whole Australian Cycling Academy has ridden incredibly all week. I was not the leader, but we had a few cards to play and I think we used those well and it paid off.”
The 2018 FedUni Road National Championships conclude on Sunday with an action-packed day of racing. The Elite and U23 Women’s road race commences at 8.50am AEDT, followed by the Elite Men at 12.15pm. The racing will be broadcast live from 10.00am on SBS Viceland and Fox Sports, and streamed via each broadcaster’s online platforms.