Epic solo ride earns Bobridge second Australian road title
Elite men’s and women’s national road championships settled in Australia and New Zealand over the weekend…
South Australian Jack Bobridge (Trek-Segafredo) recorded the ride of a lifetime as he soloed for nearly 90 kilometres to take the 2016 MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships win a full 2 minutes 52 seconds over his nearest rival and former Orica-GreenEdge teammate Cameron Meyer (Team Dimension Data) in Buninyong, Victoria, on Sunday.
However the race was not even that close with Bobridge, who was outnumbered 10 to one by Orica-GreenEdge, enjoying a 10-minute lead over the field midway through the race.
Under scorching summer sun with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius, just 15 out of the 127 starters completed the gruelling 18-lap, 183.6-kilometre race with the 26-year-old Olympic track silver medallist coming out on top to claim his second national road race title.
South Australian Jack Bobridge celebrates his second Australian road race championship - [Photo: Cycling Australia]Eurosport
“That was my greatest ever ride,” said a satisfied Bobridge, who spent last year riding for Australian Continetal team Budget-Forklifts to focus his 2016 Olympic team pursuit ambitions in Rio. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet really but to be honest I think 80km solo is next level I guess.
“In saying that this is the kind of course that when you do have that nine minute advantage those guys are still climbing and you’re descending.”
Bobridge said of Orica-GreenEdge’s race strategy and failed chase attempts: “They let the race go by letting that big group go early and not having one of their selected guys in there.
“Their tactics today – I don’t think they rode the smartest race they’ve ever ridden.”
In elite women’s action, Orica-AIS rider Amanda Spratt (NSW) also claimed her second Australian road title, edging 2010 champion Ruth Corset (QLD), and last year’s silver medalist and Orica teammate Rachel Neylan( NSW) in a thrilling end to the 102km elite women’s road race.
Spratt, who claimed the title in 2012, showed her speed and tactics in the closing stages of the race, jumping early and distancing Total Rush’s Corset in the final few hundred metres to claim a second green and gold jersey.
Christie wins New Zealand road title; Buchanan gets double to complete road racing triple
Jason Christie hits the line to win the New Zealand men's elite road race - [Photo by John Cowpland / alphapix]Eurosport
Two months after almost leaving the sport once his contract with the Avanti Racing Team (now Avanti-IsoWhey Sports) was not renewed, 25-year-old Jason Christie finds himself donning the New Zealand national road race jersey after rallying on the second to last lap to win the 180km elite men’s Big Save New Zealand Road Cycling National Championships in Napier on Sunday.
“To be honest, I was actually going to quit the sport, which makes the win even more special,” the Christchurch native told Eurosport after the race.
The 2015 Tour of Okinawa (UCI 1.2) winner now rides for African Continental team Kenyan Riders Downunder (KRD), which is the amalgamation of Kenyan Riders and Pro Team Downunder.
Dion Smith (ONE Pro Cycling, Auckland) and Robin Reid (Tasman) finished behind Christie at 16 and 17 seconds back to claim second and third respectively.
Rushlee Buchanan wins the women's elite New Zealand road race championships - [Photo by John Cowpland / alphapix]Eurosport
On Saturday, Waikato’s Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthcare), who won the time trial title on Thursday on top of the New Zealand criterium title she won last month, completed the triple by winning the 117km elite women’s road race.
Georgia Williams (BePink LaClassica, Auckland) and Jo Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO, Canterbury) each crossed the line one second behind Buchanan to finish second and third respectively.