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Wil Holmes, Lauren Bates win junior time trial national titles

Lauren Bates and Wil Holmes, 2024 under-19 junior time trial Australian national champions, in Ballarat
Photo: Josh Chadwick / AusCycling

ARA Skip Capital riders Wil Holmes (Norwood CC) and Lauren Bates (Canberra CC) have won the under-19 time trial national championships on the opening day of the Federation University RoadNats Ballarat.


Both were runners-up in 2023 but took commanding victories this afternoon in humid conditions at Federation University’s Mt Helen campus.


In the junior men’s event, Hayden Stevens (Canberra CC) set the early benchmark around the 18.8-kilometre course before his time was eclipsed by Will Heath (Balmoral CC).


Western Australia’s Jeremy Smith (Peel District CC) set the bar higher again, only to be surpassed by Tasmanian Alex Eaves (City of Burnie CC).


However, all eyes were on pre-race favourite Holmes, who was last to start. The South Australian delivered an assured performance of 24 minutes 26 seconds to blitz Eaves’ time by over half a minute.


Wil Holmes, Adelaide cyclist for ARA Skip Capital, winning the junior men individual time trial Australian championship at the Federation University Road National Championships in Ballarat
Wil Holmes on his way to the junior ITT title. (Con Chronis / AusCycling)

Today’s Australian title – his first ever in the road time trial – complements Holmes’ victory in the Oceania time trial championships last year.


“It's good to finally win. It's been a lot of training and hard work to get to this position. After last year, it was good learning to realise what level I have to be at. It's good to be up there now to get the gold medal,” said Holmes.


“It's a really hard course to get technically right, so doing it last year was good, to be able to have the knowledge to know which part of the course to go hardest on and where you can gain the most time. The first part and last part of the course are really important to focus on.”


Likewise in the junior women’s event, Lauren Bates was the last to start after winning silver in 2023 behind Felicity Wilson-Haffenden.


Twelve months on, the now Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist put in a clinical ride over the 18.8 kilometres to win by 40 seconds in a time of 28 minutes 26 seconds.


Junior scratch race world champion Nicole Duncan (Central Coast CC) clinched the silver medal, while Emily Dixon (Mornington CC) completed the podium.


Lauren Bates, Canberra cyclist for ARA Skip Capital, winning the junior women individual time trial Australian championship at the Federation University Road National Championships in Ballarat
Lauren Bates in the junior women's time trial. (Con Chronis / AusCycling)

Bates said the win meant more to her after bouncing back from misfortune in recent months.


“I think anyone in my position would be really happy. I have no words. I'm so glad. I've worked really hard. I had a lot of setbacks last year, so this does mean heaps to me just knowing that I pushed through,” Bates said.


“All of last year, I was dealing with a knee injury. Then at Junior Track Worlds I had a big stack, came off from that, hurt my back. Then I got all healed up, got into my next block of training, then I got COVID and had maybe two or three weeks to prepare for Nats.


“It has been a long journey here. It's been tough, but hopefully this year will be better.”


Results

Junior Men Individual Time Trial

  1. Wil HOLMES (Norwood CC) 24:26.82                      

  2. Alex EAVES (City of Burnie CC) +32.18    

  3. Jeremy SMITH (Peel District CC) +48.45 

  4. Will HEATH (Balmoral CC)  +57.36            

  5. Hayden STEVENS (Canberra CC) +1:08.42             

  6. Vinnie MANION (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) +1:10.32 

  7. Max GOOLD (Blackburn CC) +1:12.31     

  8. Eddie WILLIS (Tamworth CC) +1:21.69    

  9. Titus MADELEY (Wagga Wagga CC) +1:33.32       

  10. Lucas STEVENSON (Northern Sydney CC)  +1:35.24


Junior Women Individual Time Trial

  1. Lauren BATES (Canberra CC) 28:26.02                    

  2. Nicole DUNCAN (Central Coast CC) +40.46           

  3. Emily DIXON (Mornington CC) +50.26    

  4. Amelie SANDERS (Gold Coast CC) +1:00.14          

  5. Leani VAN DER BERG (South Coast CC) +1:18.78 

  6. Lilyth JONES (Bendigo & District CC) +1:19.30     

  7. Emma OCHOA (Carnegie Caulfield CC) +1:31.29 

  8. Miriam SINNERBRINK (Southern Cross CC) +1:45.41        

  9. Milana FREER (Bendigo & District CC) +1:47.76  

  10. Madeleine WASSERBAECH (Port Adelaide CC) +1:53.11



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