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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, January 9, 2017

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Miles Scotson claims Gold at Australian National Road Race Championships

BMC sent me this report:

Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories08 January, 2017, Ballarat (AUS): Miles Scotson has stunned the peloton to claim the gold medal at the Australian National Road Cycling Championships in his first road race with BMC Racing Team.

Scotson, who turned professional in 2017, launched an attack with 1.5km to go and powered on to hold off the chase group and take the win in spectacular solo fashion.

Scotson will wear the green and gold jersey throughout 2017, joining teammate Rohan Dennis who claimed the gold medal in the individual time trial three days ago.

The 183km race, comprised of 18 laps, saw a number of breakaways go clear including a ten-rider move with Scotson. With 100km remaining Scotson was back in the bunch as another seven-rider group broke away. As the pace picked up and the finish line approached, Scotson was part of a small group of 12 riders chasing solo leader Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac).

With one 10km lap to go the race was back together, with Scotson staying at the back of the group before making the daring surprise attack that would see him become BMC Racing Team's first Australian National Road Race champion.

Scotson will have the opportunity to race on home soil as the Australian champion when he lines up at the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide next week.

The Winner's Interview with Miles Scotson:

Miles, in your first road race as a professional rider you have won become Australian National Road Race champion. Has it sunk in?

"It has kind of sunk in that I won. I didn't expect to have a day like today. I didn't expect that I was going to make 18 laps of the climb but on some of the laps, maybe not the last two, I felt like I was one of the strongest and everything just came together."

The breakaway situation changed throughout the race and you were in one of the moves. Talk us through the race for you leading up to the final lap.

"I went into the first move but I felt fairly marked. Obviously ORICA-Scott had six riders and when I went in one of the moves where there were two ORICA-Scott riders and other teams represented. But it was like the break didn't want to work once I got there and it then came back. When the next move went I was really annoyed as I thought I should have gone with that as it would stay away. Then I found that I had really good legs during the race so I pushed the pace on the fourth to last climb up the hill and it brought about a minute back and split that peloton apart. Other riders started to push along and then it came back and I was still there, so I took the opportunity."

You were the only rider from BMC Racing Team. How did this change your race tactics?

"I didn't even have much of a race tactic. I didn't think about it too much apart from trying to get into one of the early breaks. I thought I used a bit of energy when I rode across and then I sat back. On the fifth or sixth-to-last lap I thought I could really make it across the front with the good climbers and the fourth time I saw that I was putting some favorites in difficulty, so I sort of changed my race plan. I hoped it would come back and I would sit in and race smart. I thought a top five or a podium in the road race would be great but then I like to roll the dice sometimes. I could have finished first or I could have finished last but I had good legs when I went and I went really hard and opened up a big gap. I was still moving well over the last kilometer and that kind of effort over 1.5-2km really suited me. It was perfect."

How does it feel knowing you will make your debut as Australian champion on home soil in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under?

"It's going to be nuts. As a neo pro you're always a little bit stressed about your first year is going to go. I know it's going to be tough at times. Now I'll stand out a little bit with the Australian jersey. I'm just going to enjoy it. It's an honor to wear the Australian jersey. I think it helps the sponsors of the team which is so good with it standing out. So I just want to do the best I can and starting in Adelaide in front of the home crowd, I'm really looking forward to that."

Race Profile
Australian National Road Cycling Championships
Road Race Ballarat - Ballarat (183km)
Top 3: 1. Miles Scotson (BMC Racing Team), 2. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-Scott), 3. Nathan Haas (Team Dimension Data).

Katrin Garfoot & Amanda Spratt go 1-2 at Australian Road Race Championships

Orica-Scott sent me this news:

Orica-Scott women have completed the clean sweep at the Australian Championships after Katrin Garfoot claimed the elite road race in Buninyong today.

The result completed the double for Garfoot following her victory in the time trial on Thursday. 23-year-old teammate Jessica Allen started the championships with a win in the criterium on Wednesday.

Katrin Garfoot

Katrin Garfoot racing in the 2014 World Championships

Garfoot arrived at the finish line alongside teammate Amanda Spratt, having worked together to break away from a small group on the eighth of 10 gruelling laps of the 10.2km course, before going head-to-head in a sprint finish.

“It feels really good,” the 35-year-old said. “I have wanted this for years now and the double was also a dream coming into it. Spratty made the call that we worked together to make sure we stayed away and wait until the sprint. My plan was to be on her wheel coming in with one kilometre to go and then hit her but of course she is too smart for that.

"She had me at the front and I knew it was the same scenario as last year with Ruth (Corset) so I kept watching her shadow. I couldn’t wait for her to get the jump on me, so I tried to leave it as late as possible but I had to get the jump on her.”

Spratt, a former two-time winner, was thrilled for her teammate despite falling just short herself. “We decided we wanted to get to the finish line together,” Spratt said. “We’d worked so hard for this and I don’t think we could have dreamt of a better scenario than being off the front with a teammate in the last lap of a national championship. We were both cramping in the finish but hats off to Kat, she had a really strong ride and she deserves it.”

To cap off a perfect day for ORICA-SCOTT, Alexandra Manly sprinted to the under 23 championship from the bunch to mirror Garfoot’s efforts for the time trial and road race double. “I came here wanting to win them both (the time trial and road race) so I am really happy,” Manly said. I was aware where (the other under 23 riders) were. They rode really well, they were really strong on the hills so I needed to wait for the sprint.”

How it happened:

Kick starting where she left off in the criterium championship on Wednesday evening, Allen made the first attack of the road race up the climb on the second lap. But it was the counter attack of teammate Jenelle Crooks, Shara Gillow and Ellen Skerritt that started to shape the race.

The trio rode out to a three and a half minute advantage before a chase group of seven launched from the peloton and joined at the front. After a brief stint together, Spratt launched from the group and was chased by Lucy Kennedy (QLD) with Garfoot on her wheel.

Once the trio joined together, the ORICA-SCOTT pair proved too strong for Kennedy and went alone on the eighth lap. They worked hard together to ensure a victory for the team before going head-to-head for the jersey in the sprint.

Joris Nieuwenhuis wins U23 Dutch National cyclocross championships

This news came from team Sunweb:

Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED) won the U23 Dutch National cyclocross championships in Sint-Michielsgestel, the Netherlands this afternoon, and claimed the first win of the season for Team Sunweb.

After an exciting finale in the U23/Elite combined race, Nieuwenhuis narrowly missed the silver medal and took home a bronze in his first race wearing the Team Sunweb colours.

After the podium ceremony Nieuwenhuis said: "The race went well and I am really pleased to take the U23 title. For a while I thought I might take silver in the overall race, but that didn't work out. It’s nice to win my first race for Team Sunweb, I didn’t expect that. The whole season is going really well and it's really nice to confirm this with a win in this field."

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