Australian RR champs: Dominant Durbridge adds road race gold to time trial success
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Australian RR champs: Dominant Durbridge adds road race gold to time trial success

by VeloNation Press at 6:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Orica GreenEdge one-two in men’s road race

Luke DurbridgePulling off a historic double in remarkable fashion, second year pro Luke Durbridge soled to victory in today’s elite road race at the Australian road nationals, reaching the finish one minute four seconds ahead of the chasing bunch.

The Orica GreenEdge rider was aggressive throughout the race, going clear in a move well inside the first hour of racing and staying clear for the rest of the day. Durbridge’s strength saw his companions whittled down to just one, Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional Cycling), who he dispatched on the penultimate lap to begin his solo procession to glory.

“It’s all good to take the glory at the front of the race, but it doesn’t happen without a true team effort,” said an exhausted but delighted Durbridge afterwards. “At the start, Cameron [Meyer], Simon [Clarke] and I were given the job of going up the road. There was a bit of an attack early in the first lap, and I went away with a group of seven. We started to work together straightaway.”

Joining Durbridge and Sulzberger in the move were Blair Windsor (NSW/Budget Forklifts), Pat Shaw (Victoria/Huon-Genesys Wealth Advisers), James Szollosi (Old), Cameron Bayly (SA/search2retain) and James Mowatt (Victoria). These steadily built a big gap and the bunch was warned that if the gap reached ten minutes, that the peloton would be pulled out.

That caution stopped the advantage getting too big, but the riders out front still build a decisive lead. “Once the gap got out to eight minutes, I knew there was a chance that we were racing to win,” said Durbridge. “Generally when a break balloons out that far at nationals, there’s a chance the break will stay away. At that point, I knew it was up to me to step it up.”

As the finish got closer, his chances got better and better. He took his second consecutive time trial title earlier this week and knew he was in good form, and so it was simply a question of monitoring his strength, gauging his effort and biding his time.

“We began to lose riders each lap. With three laps left, we were only three. I buried myself up the climb, and we got rid of Pat Shaw. It was just me and Bernie Sulzberger left after that.”

Behind, riders such as Richie Porte (Sky) and Jack Bobridge (Blanco Pro Cycling) had tried separate moves to get across, but all chasing attempts were unsuccessful. Durbridge became increasingly aware that they were racing for the win.

His focus then shifted towards ensuring he reached the line alone. “Bernie is faster than me in the sprint, I knew I had to get ahead of him,” he said.

“I buried myself up the hill with two laps left to race. With Bernie gone, I only had to hold on for the win. The team had a plan, and we stuck to it. People see me take the win, and they don’t realise what goes behind back in the bunch to support my effort."

Netting his second gold in a week is a reflection of the 21 year old’s power. Taking the double is extremely rare, although initial statements that he was the first to do so didn't take Jonathan Hall's 1997 successes into account.

“It’s special to do the double,” he smiled. “Everyone has pointed out that that I’m the first (sic), and I guess that makes it even more special. My focus has been to win the time trial. With that done, I wanted to do my job for the team in the road race. My job became to win for the team. I’m happy I could pull off the win."

One minute four seconds after he rolled in, arms raise, his Orica GreenEdge team-mate Michael Matthews led the chasing group in for second place. Garmin – Sharp’s new signing Steele Von Hoff picked up third, ensuring an all-WorldTour podium.

“Everything worked out perfectly for us today,” Orica GreenEdge Sport Director Matt Wilson said. “The guys really followed the plan. We had a plan with a number of different scenarios, and the boys executed brilliantly. Luke rode an incredible race. It was a great bonus to get Michael Matthews on the podium, too.”

On Saturday, Gracie Elvin ensured yet another victory for the Orica AIS women’s team when she beat Joanne Hogan and Carla Ryan at the end of their 106 kilometre race.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” she smiled afterwards. “I’m pretty excited. It’s great to be part of a team that’s so happy for me. I think that’s the best part at the moment. I had the support on the road during the race, and I have my team’s excitement for me now with the title. Everyone is really happy, and that makes me even more happy.”

The Under 23 men’s title went to Christina Watches Onfone rider Jordan Kerby, who followed up his prologue success in the recent Jayco Herald Sun Tour. He beat Damien Howson (SA) in a two man gallop to the line, while Jack Haig (Vic) took bronze three seconds later.

“This is definitely the biggest win of my life — I didn’t really expect to win in Buninyong as it’s not exactly a course suited to me,” the Queenslander said afterwards. “I’ve been working really hard —I was ill in 2011 and in 2012 I was so desperate to get a ride I paid my own way to many events and towards the end of the year things fell into place.

“I’ve now got a contract with Christina Watches which will give me a chance to ride in Europe.”

Mars Cycling Australia road race chapionships, Buninyong:

Elite men's road race:

1, Luke Durbridge (WA) 195.6 km in 5 hours 46 secs
2, Michael Matthews (ACT) at 1 min 4
3, Steele Von Hoff (Vic)
4, Neil Van Der Ploeg (Vic)
5, Christopher Sutton (SA)
6, Jay McCarthy (Qld)
7, William Walker (Vic)
8, Zakkari Dempster (Vic)
9, Simon Gerrans (Vic)
10, Bernard Sulzberger (Tas)
11, Cameron Wurf (Tas)
12, Cameron Meyer (WA)
13, Mark O'Brien (Vic)
14, Lachlan Norris (Vic)
15, Nathan Earle (Tas)
16, Jai Crawford (Tas)
17, Daniel McConnell (Vic)
18, Jay Bourke (Vic)
19, Matthew Lloyd (Vic)
20, Adam Hansen (Qld)
21, Karl Evans (SA)
22, Travis Meyer (WA)
23, Mathew Hayman (ACT)
24, Darren Lapthorne (Vic)
25, Robbie Hucker (Vic)
26, Leigh Howard (Vic) at 1 min 15
27, Ben Dyball (NSW) at 1 min 35
28, Fabio Calabria (ACT) at 2 mins 6
29, Chris Jory (NSW)
30, Shaun McCarthy (Vic)
31, Marc Williams (ACT)
32, Jason Spencer (Vic)
33, Cal Britten (Vic)
34, Richard Porte (Tas)
35, Nathan Haas (ACT) at 2 mins 58
36, Michael Cupitt (ACT) at 3 mins 3
37, Adrian Jackson (Vic)
38, Jack Anderson (Qld) at 4 mins 24
39, Tom Leaper (Vic) at 5 mins 43
40, Simon Clarke (Vic) at 5 mins 46
41, Matthew Goss (Tas)
42, Thomas Palmer (ACT)
43, William Clarke (Tas)
44, Joseph Lewis (NSW) at 6 mins 40
45, Steven Waite (Vic) at 7 mins 10
46, Nick Bensley (Vic) at 8 mins 13
47, Peter Herzig (Qld) at 10 mins 40
48, Peter English (Vic)
49, Alexander Smyth (Vic)
50, Nathan Elliott (Vic) at 11 min 45
51, James Szollosi (Qld) at 15 mins 19

Elite/Under 23 women's road race (Saturday):

1, Gracie Elvin (ACT) 107 kilometres in 3 hours 1 min 7
2, Joanne Hogan (Vic)
3, Carla Ryan (Qld)
4, Miranda Griffiths (Vic)
5, Ruth Corset (Qld) at 18 secs
6, Shara Gillow (Qld)
7, Tiffany Cromwell (SA)
8, Rachel Neylan (SA)
9, Grace Sulzberger (Tas) at 20
10, Peta Mullens (Vic) at 1 min 19
11, Lauren Kitchen (NSW)
12, Katrin Garfoot (Qld)
13, Amanda Spratt (NSW)
14, Emily Roper (Qld)
15, Rebecca Henderson (ACT) at 2 mins 15
16, Samantha De Riter (Vic) at 2 mins 48
17, Taryn Heather (Vic)
18, Carlee Taylor (SA)
19, Lisa Barry (NSW)
20, Jenelle Crooks (Qld) at 2 mins 50
21, Loren Rowney (Qld) at 3 mins 35
22, Amy Bradley (Vic)
23, Jessica Mundy (SA)
24, Sarah Roy (NSW)
25, Ellen Skerritt (Qld)
26, Lucy Coldwell (Vic) at 3 mins 41
27, Kate Finegan (Vic) at 3 mins 58
28, Naomi Williams (Vic) at 4 mins 1
29, Pippa Savage (Vic)
30, Beth Duryea (Vic) at 5 mins 27
31, Chloe Mcconville (Vic)
32, Leonie Burford (WA)
33, Lisa Hanley (Vic)
34, Laura Meadley (ACT)
35, Judith Louise Betts (Qld)
36, Felicity Wardlaw (Vic)
37, Cassandra Dodd (Qld)
38, Clare Dallat (Vic) at 6 mins 1
39, Rebecca Werner (SA) at 6 mins 43
40, Tanya Freschi (SA) at 9 mins 10
41, Lisa Keeling (ACT)
42, Chloe Hosking (ACT)
43, Kimberley Wells (ACT) at 10 mins 44
44, Kristy Glover (Vic)
45, Melina Bernecker (Vic)
46, Victoria Luxton-Bain (Vic)
47, Stephanie Ives (Vic)
48, Jenni King (Vic) at 10 mins 47
49, Crystal Wemyss (Vic) at 11 min 19
50, Sarah Riley (Vic) at 13 mins 37

Under 23 men's road race (Saturday):

1, Jordan Kerby (Qld) 137.6 kilometres in 3 mins 19 mins 48
2, Damien Howson (SA)
3, Jack Haig (Vic) at 3 secs
4, Aaron Donnelly (NSW) at 44
5, Brendan Johnston (ACT) at 46
6, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT)
7, Sam Crome (Vic) at 1 min 6
8, Michael Crosbie (Vic) at 1 min 8
9, Scott Law (NSW) at 1 min 15
10, Ryan MacAnally (Qld)
11, Brenton Jones (Vic)
12, Jake McMahon (Tas)
13, Joshua Prete (Qld) at 1 min 19
14, Thomas Hamilton (Vic) at 1 min 58
15, Campbell Flakemore (Tas) at 4 mins 25
16, Calvin Watson (Vic)
17, Adam Phelan (ACT)
18, Nicholas Schultz (Qld)
19, Matthew Clark (Vic) at 4 mins 27
20, Jeremy Cameron (Vic) at 5 mins 42
21, Kyle Ward (NSW) at 7 mins 7
22, Samuel Spokes (NSW) at 9 mins 56
23, Bradley Linfield (WA)
24, Jordan Davies (NSW)
25, Patrick Lane (Vic)
26, Jack Beckinsale (NSW)
27, Caleb Ewan (NSW)
28, Oliver Kent-Spark (Vic)
29, Jay Dutton (NSW)
30, Harry Carpenter (SA)
31, Sam McCallum (Vic)
32, Alex Clements (Tas)
33, Samuel Davis (WA)
34, Fergus Sully (Vic) at 12 mins 28
35, Michael Phelan (ACT)
36, Nicholas Katsonis (Vic)
37, Mitchell Cooper (Vic)
38, Joshua Taylor (NSW)
39, Ian Peter Richards (Qld) at 14 mins 50
40, Douglas Freeburn (Qld)
41, Liam Hill (Vic) at 17 mins 44
42, Timothy Cameron (ACT)
43, Luke Ockerby (Tas)


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