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.”