U19 National Championship Road Race
Alarms ringing at 4am is not the usual way I start a race day, but due to the extreme weather forecast that’s what happened. Cycling Australia made the decision to start our race at 6:30 and reduce our race from nine laps to six. Unfortunately this didn’t suit me but from the start line the race was off like a loaded gun.
With 85 starters in the bunch everyone was fighting for a prime position.
Unfortunately early in the race Harrisen Bryant got a puncture, chased like crazy to get back on before another mechanical meant he couldn’t continue.
The famous climb starting on the Midland Highway then turning onto Mount Buninyong Road naturally strung out the bunch with more and more riders being pulled out each lap. This also gave riders an opportunity to attack from the bunch with three guys getting away at the halfway mark of the race and staying away.
As winds began to pick up especially in the newly added University section of the race, Luke Plapp, myself from NeroKOM as well as Matthew Dinham and two other riders were determined to get the group working but at this point it was too late.
Antoine Gizardin gave it a red hot crack as it was his debut race in U19s. The sprint finish was on a downhill slope into Buninyong meaning that on our U19 gearing the main bunch was spinning like crazy.
At the line Luke finished in 6th position, myself in 11th and Taj Jones came in at 26th. With over half the field not finishing this shows how tough the race was and big congratulations to anybody that was able to finish today.
We were eager to show off our new kit and I was really excited to have my first proper hit out on the Bianchi.
It was great for all the U19 boys to finally meet and we look forward to a great season ahead. Many thanks to Al, Geoffrey, Dan, Parents and all sponsors for all their support throughout the week.
Words By: Sam Bascombe