The road season is well under way in Australia - they started with the Jayco Bay Classic and National Crit Champs and moved on to the National Road Championships. Below the jump there'll be results of the Road Race & the ITT and more - including a bit about some of the riders, some fun transfer news, links to rider blogs, photos and as many other Australian updates as I can find - and women's cycling fans, we've ticked another rider off our "Where is she riding?" list, which is superb! As ever, if you find anything you'd like to share too, about the races, or riders from anywhere, or any other women's cycling news add it to the comments - and don't forget to check them for other people's updates!
That women's Road Race top three was an excellent result for three great riders - starting with some really welcome transfer news
Rachel Neylan to Abus Nutixxion!
You might remember Neylan from when she was interviewed on Podium Café back in May - she's got a great philosophy of "the harder you work, the luckier you get!", and has had one of those interesting, non-traditional routes into the sport. She rode for Diadora Pasta Zara for 2011, but that team had a big change of direction, back to predominantly Italian riders, and that has left a number of riders without teams, including Neylan. So it was really good to see her lining up for the Nationals in Abus Nutrixxion kit - and you can read a bit more about her new team in her blog! (Neylan's blog and twitter are always worth following - she's another of the riders who update faster than some of the races do!)
But back to the road race!
National Road Race results
|1. Amanda Spratt, GreenEdge AIS, 2:55:22
2. Tiffany Cromwell, GreenEdge AIS, + 00:45
3. Rachel Neylan, Abus-Nutrixxion, s.t.
4. Alexis Rhodes, GreenEdge AIS, + 01:30
5. Gracie Elvin, Jayco. s.t.
6. Carla Ryan, AA Drink-Leotine.nl, s.t.
7. Shara Gillow, GreenEdge AIS, s.t.
8. Joanne Hogan, Jayco, s.t.
9. Grace Sulzberger, Jayco, s.t.
10. Taryn Heather, SASI, s.t.
|1. Simon Gerrans, Greenedge, 04:07:38
2. Matthew Lloyd, Lampre ISD, + 00:02
3. Richie Porte, Sky, s.t.
4. Adam Hanson, Lotto Belisol, + 01:05
5. Will Clarke, Team Champion System, + 01:09
6. Steele Von Hoff, Chipotle Development Team, + 01:11
7. Chris Sutton, Sky, s.t.
8. Baden Cooke, Greenedge, s.t.
9. Anthony Giacoppo, Genesys Wealth Advisors, s.t.
10. Bernie Salzberger, Raleigh GAC, s.t.
U23 women's road race results: 1. Sinead Noonan, 2. Rebecca Werner, 3. Rebecca Henderson
U23 men's road race results: 1. Rohan Dennis, 2. Eric Sheppard, 3. Calvin Watson
I did love the video & the photos of Amanda Spratt coming up to the line with her head in her hands, looking overcome with all kinds of emotion. I met Spratt at last year's Thüringen Rundfahrt, and she has to be the smiliest bike racer in the women's peloton - she ALWAYS looked glad to be there! She was a super-strong junior, but had a couple of years out recovering from horrible injuries, so it was good to see that she won the GC at the Czech stage race Krásná Lipa last year. You can read a bit more about her in this 2010 Cycling Tribe interview. Tiffany Cromwell in second place is also a good sign - Cromwell was team-less for 2010 after the Skyter Shipping debacle, and then had problems last season that ended with a mid-season transfer to Hitec for the last few races of the season. Here's to a great 2012 for them both! And here they are, talking about the race:
For more on the Road Races, see Womenscycling.net race report & photos, great report on SheRides Cycling, Men's race report & photos on Cyclingtips, and Cyclingnews have more video rider interviews from the races
Full results on the event website
National ITT Results
I wish I had put some money on Shara Gillow before the race - she retains her title from last year, and I'm sure she'll be a force to be reckoned with, come the Olympics and the Worlds. I can't wait to see how she does in 2012 - last year she had her superb Giro Donne stage win from a crazy breakaway - and was the only rider not called Marianne Vos to get to wear the maglia rosa - and she's only just 24!
It's also good to see Taryn Heather and Bridie O'Donnell on the podium, not letting Greenedge have everything their own way! As far as I know, neither of the riders have a pro team for the coming season yet, although Heather might get a ride on Team Australia.... I hope they both get exactly what they want for 2012 - they both deserve it!
Spare a thought for Jack Bobridge, though, who crashed in the ITT, and although he hasn't broken anything, may not be able to ride the TDU...
|Women's ITT results
||Men's ITT results
|1. Shara Gillow, Greenedge AIS, 0:37:04.35
2. Taryn Heather, SASI, + 01:13
3. Bridie O'Donnell, + 01:14
4. Amanda Spratt, Greenedge AIS, + 01:29
5. Alexis Rhodes, Greenedge AIS, + 01:38
6. Grace Sulzberger, Jayco, + 02:25
7. Rachel Neylan, Abus Nutrixxion, + 02:30
8. Rebecca Wiasak, + 02:38
9. Sinead Noonan, SASI, + 02:50
10. Lauren Kitchen, Rabobank, + 03:12
|1. Luke Durbridge, Greenedge, 0:46:20.44
2. Cameron Meyer, Greenedge, + 00:06.96
3. Michael Rogers, Sky, + 00:15.86
4. Michael Hepburn, Greenedge, + 01:10.11
5. Richie Porte, Sky, + 01:18.94
6. Cameron Wurf, + 01:19.53
7. Travis Meyer, Greenedge, + 02:21.83
8. Will Clarke, Champion System, + 02:22.77
9. Luke Roberts, Saxobank, + 02:29.13
10. Jack Anderson, Endura Racing, + 03:11.95
U23 women's ITT results: 1. Sinead Noonan, 2. Lauren Kitchen, 3. Sarah Kent
U23 men's ITT results: 1. Rohan Dennis, 2. Damien Howson, 3. Campbell Flakemore
Blogs on the Nationals
This being Australia, there are plenty of funny blogs & posts around the place to give us a rider's eye view. Here are some I've found - and anything you see, please add it to the comments.
The Road Race has been held on the same course for a number of years, and the hills mean the sprinters just don't enjoy it that much! Here's Chloe Hosking on how it feels to finally finish the race!
To onlookers my struggle was probably quite amusing. At one point I managed to bridge the gap to the group of eight girls in front of me only to sit on the wheel for two seconds before getting dropped again. Ah, the agony!
My satisfaction with simply finishing the race reminded me of why I love riding bikes. While the adrenaline rush you get from sprinting at 65km/hr is really quite something, the sense of achievement I feel when my teammates, or myself do something which we can be truly happy and proud of is something that can’t be beaten.
Lisa Jacobs didn't have a great race - but infamous cycling commentator, Lisa's Mum got nearer her goals, and found how she can become the next Phil Liggett!
Shara Gillow wrote a blog on her Road Race.... before she won the ITT!
Finally, it's not a blog, but a piece on Cyclingnews about Rochelle Gilmore and her re-shuffled plans for the season
Although Gilmore maintains that her situation could be a lot worse, and seems unconcerned that her rivals are well ahead of her at this point in time with just three spots on the women's road team available for the London Olympic Games in July.
"I think with the GreenEdge girls that any one of them could make the Olympic team, they're all very strong," Gilmore admits. "For me mentally coming here racing against them and being very close to their form it gives me a lot of confidence because I was in hospital having surgery under general anaesthetic when they were in training camp.
"You've also got Chloe [Hosking] and Loren Rowney from outside GreenEdge so I think the Olympic selection is very open given we haven't had the first international race of the season yet. We really need to wait until February to see who's at world level."
and finally.... This isn't all Australian, but it's really, really great! I am a huge fan of the guy behind PetitesReines - he makes some really great videos that include pre- and post-race footage from women's road & CX races - and this is a really nice compilation of his clips from 2011 races. The Aussie connection is that the red-headed dancing cyclist at the start is Carla Ryan - but just watch it, it's very cute indeed, I guarantee it will make you smile!