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.