For Jack Bobridge there is one date in January that matters more than any other as he attempts to break the Hour Record on the last day of the month in Melbourne. However, January 8 will be seen as a pretty good day as well with the multiple world champion on the track proving he is on target to beat the distance of 51.852 km, set by Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) last October, with third place at the Australian national time trial titles.
While the lumpy roads and wet weather won't feature in his Hour Record attempt, Bobridge's 52:17 minute effort on the 40.9km course was a confidence boost and test of where he can improve to maximise his efforts on the track. Bobridge already holds the four kilometre pursuit record.
"It's a good indication of where I am at," Bobrdige told reporters of the time trial result. "As I said before the start of the race, I was a little unsure where I was. Obviously, it's a little bit different preparation this year, compared to last year as I've done a lot more base endurance and left the intensity until later to base myself around the Hour Record."
The medal was Bobridge's first at the championships since he won the road race in 2011 and the 25-year-old was quick to praise Porte, explaining that the Tasmanian was simply too good on the day but he was still satisfied with his result.
"I wouldn't have come here if I didn't want to win," Bobridge said of his intentions in the race. "Last year I didn't think I had a chance so I didn't start. This year, it was an honest course so it was an honest winner [in Richie Porte]. To come away with third, I am still super happy but obviously Richie was at another level today so you have to take off your hat to him."
The time trial was the first test of Bobridge's condition since a change in his training for the Hour Record and with 23 days until his attempt, he is confident there is enough time for fine tuning before then.
"Intensity started around the Australian Madison championships and then in Tasmania and I think where I am, I have to be pretty happy," he said. "I am not quite where I wanted to be in terms of watts average but still very close and I have some time before the hour record so I can't complain."
Bobridge's bronze medal added to that of new BudgetForklifts teammate Scott Sunderland who won bronze in the Wednesday night criterium for the Continental squad.