2011 World Championships | Durbridge Nails It!
There were big expectations put onto Luke Durbridge to win the rainbow stripes in Copenhagen after missing it by only 1.9 seconds in Geelong last year. Durbridge nailed it by averaging 49.3km/hr and blew away the field without leaving any question marks this time. Michael Hepburn also rode an amazing time and would have won silver if he hadn’t crashed and lost 20 seconds. Congratulations fellas…well done!
To read more about it, head over to Cycling Central.
If you’re wondering about why Australia’s development programs are doing so well, Scott McGrory (cycling analyst/presenter and VIS Track Coach) left an interesting comment last week:
The early identification of young talent in Australia is perhaps the main reason we keep pumping out talented kids. There aren’t many riders that go through to the Pro ranks nowadays that haven’t been through either a State Institute or an AIS program. The guess work is being taken out of rider selection, meaning that the kids show ability, get put into an Institute program and tested early for the correct physiology, and just as important, their character. So the right group or riders are given guidance and leadership from people with the knowledge to develop their talent. It sounds a bit clinical but as long as their passion for cycling is encouraged, which is the most important change since the Charlie Walsh era, then the results will continue.
You can’t deny that the AIS is doing a spectacular job, but it’s not the only path. There are other development teams available that have provided the support for their riders to go on and do some amazing things. As Scott also commented:
Richie is the best non-AIS example of if you’ve got, then you’ve just got it. Mitch Docker is another but he raced in Europe with Drapac for a couple of months the year before he signed with Skil. He showed enough there to get a contract.
Photos courtesy of Brisbane’s Beau Chenery and Stefano Sirotti.
Under-23 men’s time trial (35.2 km) results
1. Luke Durbridge (AUS) 42min 47.13sec
2. Rasmus Christian Quaade (DEN) at 35.68sec
3. Michael Hepburn (AUS) 46.47
4. Anton Vorobyev (RUS) 58.99
5. Jasper Hamelink (NED) 1min 52.94
6. Jason Christie (NZL) 2:00.48
7. Luis Mas Bonet (ESP) 2:04.18
8. Tom Dumoulin (NED) 2:04.71
9. Damien Howson (AUS) 2:05.99
10. Rudy Molard (FRA) 2:09.67