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.”