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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, January 8, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. - Isaac Asimov

Latest completed racing:

Alex Edmondson wins Australian elite men's road champs

Edmondson's Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this report:

A worker turned winner, Alex Edmondson has surprised a world-class field at the Australian Championships to claim the coveted green and gold jersey for the season ahead in Europe with Mitchelton-SCOTT.

Edmondson, who began the day to fill a team role, found himself in a winning position when he followed a move with just over three laps remaining.

A calm peloton rolled around the first couple of laps before the main breakaway of the day formed without any argument from the bunch. Five riders, including Rob Power for Mitchelton-SCOTT, were joined by four chasers to form a nine-rider main move. The peloton relaxed and the difference between the two group last quickly extended to seven minutes.

With Power in the front group, Mitchelton-SCOTT could back their man as the strongest climber and the pressure was off the rest of the team in the peloton. BMC were the first to react, sending Simon Gerrans and Miles Scotson to the front to put the pressure up the climbs.

With a little over three laps remaining and the majority of the early breakaway caught, Chris Harper (Bennelong) launch a counter attack which was quickly covered by Edmondson. The pair joined a tired Will Clarke (Education First) and Troy Herfoss who remained from the early breakaway but soon lost touch.

Harper and Edmondson were well acquainted as they found themselves at the front of the race in the final laps – the pair best mates and training partners from Adelaide. Edmondson was the first to put in a big attack on the penultimate climb but Harper was able to respond and the pair worked together for the lap to follow.

The attacks from a reduced but chasing peloton came on the last lap, led by Porte. The efforts had them within 20seconds in the last five kilometres as Harper did everything to stay in front. Launching in the final 100metres, just before the bunch caught them, Edmondson just hung on to throw his arms in the air for the victory.

Alex edmondson

Alex Edmonson is the new Australian road champion

Former Australian Luke Durbridge fell on the penultimate lap, suffering a minor concussion and a broken right collarbone that will see him miss the remainder of the Australian season.

Alex Edmondson - Winner:
“I’m absolutely speechless. This means a hell of a lot to me, I just want to thank the team for all their work, my family and my coach. It’s a magical day that I’m not going to forget for a long time.”

“I came here just to do what I could for the guys and to come away with the green and gold is a dream come true. I think every cyclist grows up wanting to wear the green and gold and this isn’t going to sink in for a while.”

“You’re trying to make sure you’re doing the right thing for the team, everyone wants to win but you really just want your teammates to win. Today everything just seemed to go my way. I knew I felt good in the middle of the race, I asked Mat Hayman what I could do, and he just said follow what you can and when Chris Harper went I knew he was in good shape and I knew I needed to get on his wheel.

“Chris Harper is one of my best mates, he lives 500m down the road and every day we ride together, every day he is the one pushing me along and vice versa – most of the time it’s him.  It made it a lot harder because we are such good friends off the bike – you want to do the best for your mate, but you also have to look after your teammates. I’m just so thrilled for what he has been able to do, but keep an eye on him, he is going to go a long way.

“This isn’t going to sink in for a while. I’m trying to hold back the tears.”

1. Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 4:54:27
2. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1sec
3. Chris Harper (Bennelong) +1sec

Shannon Malseed wins elite women's Australian National Championships

Here's the team's race post:

January 6, 2018: In her first year as a professional, Malseed will wear Australian colors as the 2018 Road National Champion

In a dramatic sprint finish, Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank’s Shannon Malseed (AUS) won the elite women’s road race at the 2018 Australian Road National Championships. Malseed chased down a solo breakaway by the defending champion Katrin Garfoot in the finishing straight and propelled herself to a sprint victory.

Shannon Malseed

Shannon Malseed gets the big win.

At just 23-years old, Malseed is in her first year as a professional cyclist, joining Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank in 2018. Nearly in shock on the finish line, Malseed exclaimed, “I can barely believe it!”

“This is such a dream,” Malseed continued. “Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank believed in me, and I am so honoured to have this opportunity to race professionally and now to be able to wear the Australian colors this season.”

The road race, covering a total of 104.4 kilometers, was aggressive from the start. With a break up the road for most of the race, reaching four minutes at one point, Malseed knew that she had to be patient to have a shot at the finish line. “I knew Mitchelton-SCOTT would be motivated to bring the break back, and I waited until they started lighting up the field to make a move.”

The field whittled down each lap, with Malseed feeling confident in the final selection. “I knew if I could hang in there over the hills, then I could sprint for a win, and I absolutely buried myself out there.”

Linda Jackson, Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank Founder and President said, “I am thrilled for Shannon. We have been watching her for a while now and knew she had incredible potential. Her win this morning confirms that potential, and we’re excited to be part of her journey as she continues to explore the depth of her talent. She brings a huge amount of energy, enthusiasm and talent to our team, and we are looking forward to a terrific season.”

Ed Beamon, Sports Director of Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank, said, “What an exciting start to the season. The team arrived in Australia today for the Santos Women Tour Down Under and almost immediately learned of Shannon's impressive victory. It is giving the team added inspiration for the upcoming races. We are all very happy for and proud of Shannon's performance today.”

Today’s victory is Malseed’s second win of the 2018 season so far. Malseed kicked off the New Year by winning the inaugural Ballarat Cycling Carnival elite women’s criterium in Victoria Park in front of her hometown crowd. Next up, Malseed will be joined by her Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank teammates for the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, which begins January 11.

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