Australian National Championships – What A Race!
A massive congratulations to Gerro and GreenEDGE. Ten years after he won his U23 National title on the same course, Gerro is once again Australian Champion. He’s won the Sun Tour twice, the TdU, a stage in each Grand Tour, Plouay, the Tour of Denmark, a SKCC crit a few weeks back, and now one of the biggest wins of his career. All things considered, I don’t think there could have been a better result. The green and gold jersey will be displayed in Europe on the biggest stage Australia has ever seen and it couldn’t go to a better guy.
Everyone seemed convinced that GreenEDGE had a massive advantage with sixteen riders in the race, but it was a similar scenario to the Dutch National championships with Rabobank managing to make a mess of it on most occasions. Often racing can be a pure numbers game, but a course like Buninyong is always a race of attrition. There were no guarantees at any point that GreenEDGE would take the jersey. In fact, it was one of the most exciting and unpredictable races I’ve ever seen in Australia. Nearly every single lap it looked as if the race would produce a different result.
If you ask me the ride of the day goes to Matty Lloyd. Without any help he covered countless GreenEDGE moves and his second place finish puts him back on the map after a horrible 2011 season. It’s a personal victory for him and it’s not often you see Lloydy so visibly excited and satisfied with a result. The bad patch is over and Lloydie is back!
The action isn’t over yet folks. There’s still the National TT titles coming up this week and then the Grand Finale the week after – the Tour Down Under! If you’re heading over to Adelaide and are looking for some bunches to join and ride to various vantage points, stay tuned – I’ll be arranging a few things throughout the week.
The two final riders selected to complete the UniSA Tour Down Under squad is Will Clarke and Bernard Sulzberger. Will rode a tremendous race yesterday after smashing himself to finish fifth and nearly every pro I speak with says the Bernie is the most underrated rider in the peloton. The rest of the team will be comprised of Rohan Dennis (U23 National Champ), Steele Van Hoff, Jay McCarthy, Lachlan Norris and Tom Palmer.
Thank you to everyone for coming up to Buninyong and enjoying the race with us. The people, the music, the food, the drinks all created an atmosphere bigger and better than we’ve ever seen here before. Without the atmosphere on the side of the road, bike racing might be rather…dull.
1. Simon GERRANS (VIC) 4h07:38
2. Matthew LLOYD (VIC) +2
3. Richie PORTE (TAS) +2
4. Adam HANSEN (QLD) +1:05
5. William CLARKE (TAS) +1:09
6. Steele VON HOFF (VIC) +1:11
7. Christopher SUTTON (NSW) +1:11
8. Baden COOKE (VIC) +1:11
9. Anthony GIACOPPO (WA) +1:11
10. Bernard SULZBERGER (TAS) +1:11
In case you missed it, here are the highlights: