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by Matt de Neef
January 11, 2016
Photography by Con Chronis
It was a solo move that never should have worked. The rider himself admitted afterwards that he didn’t think it would stick. And yet when Jack Bobridge (Trek-Segafredo) rode off on Bernie Sulzberger (Drapac) with more than 90km to go in yesterday’s Australian Nationals road race, it was the move that ultimately won Bobridge his second national title.
For more than nine laps of the infamous Mt. Buninyong circuit Bobridge kept the chasing peloton at bay — no mean feat considering the 35°C heat and the fact Orica-GreenEdge was chasing hard behind, shredding the peloton in the process.
But the chase would ultimately be a case of too little, too late. The nine-minute advantage Bobridge had built as part of the day’s early breakaway gave him all the latitude he needed. He might have struggled in the closing laps – “I was absolutely shagged” he said post race – but the South Australian had done enough. He reached the finishing straight with more than enough time to sit up and appreciate what he’d just achieved.
Some have called it the greatest ever victory at the Australian Road National Championships. It will certainly be a talking point for many years to come.