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Lauren Bates and Toby Inglis dominate junior road race championships

Toby Inglis celebrates his junior road race win. Picture: Con Chronis / AusCycling

Lauren Bates and Toby Inglis have won sensational solo junior road race national championships around Buninyong at the Federation University RoadNats Ballarat.

Both approached the finish line with enough time to fully soak up their commanding wins, with Bates (ARA Skip Capital) winning by one minute and 46 seconds and Inglis by 33 seconds.

Seven laps totalling 81.2 kilometres awaited the junior women’s road race as the opening national championship on offer for Day 4 of the 2024 RoadNats.

After three cagey laps, it was Bates and Friday’s criterium silver medallist Anna Dubier (Lidcombe Auburn CC) who began to increase the pace of the race.

Emily Dixon, Lauren Bates and Hannah Gianatti were the clear leading trio of the junior women's race. Picture: Con Chronis / AusCycling

That action proved to be an entrée to the major move of the race containing Bates, Emily Dixon (99 Bikes Women’s Academy) and Hannah Gianatti (Penrith Cycling Club).

The peloton would never see the trio again, with the gap growing lap on lap and blowing out to six minutes at the finish.

At the front, race favourite and time trial national champion Bates made her decisive move on the penultimate lap, leaving her breakaway companions to fight it out for the silver medal, a battle won by Dixon in a sprint finish.

The statement win is the perfect start to Bates’ final year in the under-19 age group.

“I’m over the moon. I’m so happy,” Bates said.

Lauren Bates takes two junior road national championships home from the 2024 RoadNats. Picture: Con Chronis / AusCycling

“It was a struggle, that race was really hard. I was cramping towards the end, but I kept pushing and saw an opportunity to attack away from the group of three and I just went for it.

“I definitely felt the pressure but at the start I was kind of just sitting mid-pack but then got to the front and was being marked a fair bit. It was quite slow at the start, but yeah, I just gave it my best shot.

“I couldn’t do this without ARA and the ACT Academy of Sport, all the staff there have helped me so much.”

The 2024 junior women's road race national championship podium. Picture: Josh Chadwick / AusCycling

Another impressive individual effort followed in the 104-kilometre junior men’s road race.

Armidale’s Toby Inglis (Team BridgeLane) broke away with three laps to go.

By the end of the next lap, he had established a solid lead of over two minutes and was looking comfortable, even waving to the crowd as he passed the start-finish line.

A late chase came from behind as Alex Eaves and Wil Holmes (both ARA Skip Capital) jumped clear of the peloton.

Although the gap to Inglis halved over the next lap and was cut to just 30 seconds by the finish, that was more than enough for Inglis to salute as he crossed the line.

Toby Inglis went long and went hard to win the junior men's title. Picture: Con Chronis / AusCycling

Holmes and Max Goold won silver and bronze for ARA Skip Capital, joining Inglis on the podium.

“I had a pretty shocking time trial on Wednesday, a lot of things didn’t go to plan,” Inglis said.

“Today I just went in with nothing to lose and thought I may as well just go all at it and managed just to trust myself in those last two laps and it worked out.

“Generally, a lot of the races I’ve done, I’ve sort of gone from a fair way out. I sort of back myself.

“In my head I was thinking if I had a minute and a half over them with two laps to go then I was pretty comfortable and I just went all out because I found out I got a gap pretty quickly, and I was lucky to hold on to it all the way to the finish.”

The 2024 junior men's road race national championship podium. Picture: Josh Chadwick / AusCycling


Junior Men Road Race

  1. Toby INGLIS (Team BridgeLane) 2hr46:39

  2. Wil HOLMES (ARA Skip Capital) +33                    

  3. Max GOOLD (ARA Skip Capital) +33

  4. Levi HONE (Team BridgeLane) +36 

  5. Alex EAVES (ARA Skip Capital) +36       

Junior Women Road Race

  1. Lauren BATES (ARA Skip Capital) 2h32:02                            

  2. Emily DIXON (99 Bikes Women's Academy) +1:46

  3. Hannah GIANATTI (Penrith CC) +1:46

  4. Nicole DUNCAN (Team BridgeLane) +6:15    

  5. Amelie SANDERS (ARA Skip Capital) +6:15


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