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by Matt de Neef
January 8, 2018
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Alex Edmondson dashes to Australian road race title; Shannon Malseed sneaks past the favourites to become Australian champion; Cyrus Monk solos to Australian U23 road title; Georgia Williams claims New Zealand nationals double; Jason Christie, Hamish Bond claim New Zealand national titles; Durbridge suffers concussion and broken collarbone in Road Nats crash; Michael Matthews to target Spring Classics and Tour de France sprints in 2018; Greg LeMond critical of Chris Froome’s salbutamol excuse; Pierre Rolland to tackle the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 2018; American Classic shuts up shop; Meet Shannon Malseed, 2018 Australian road race champion.
BUNINYONG, Australia (CT) – Cyrus Monk (Drapac EF p/b Cannondale) was crowned Australian U23 road race champion after a superb solo victory in challenging conditions on Saturday.
The 21-year-old slipped off the front of a reduced peloton on lap 6 of the eight-lap race and made his way across to the two leaders on the road – Reece Tucknott and Macgregor Carter. Monk reached the front of the race on the penultimate lap, Carter was dropped, and then Monk went on his own on the final ascent of Mt. Buninyong.
The Victorian opened up a gap of roughly 40 seconds as he flew around the final lap, giving him enough time to celebrate when he arrived in the finishing straight. James Whelan (Inform-MAKE) crossed the line 26 seconds later to clinch second, just holding off Michael Potter (ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast) and Dylan Sunderland (Bennelong-SwissWellness) in a sprint.
“It’s pretty hard to believe at the moment,” Monk said post-race. “You sort of try and picture that every training ride for the last four months, so it’s pretty hard to believe that it’s actually happened. I’m sure it will sink in throughout the rest of the day, hopefully.”
Monk’s move hadn’t been planned — he’d been backing himself to win the sprint from a small group. But when the opportunity presented itself, he took it with both hands: “I think two-and-a-half laps from the finish no one really wants to spend all their bikkies there so it’s often a time that you can sneak off the front,” he said. “Once I was there I wasn’t happy to be out there but I just thought ‘Now I’m out here I’ve got to try and make it stick — I can’t turn back now.’”
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