Cycling Australia Road National Championships
Hello and welcome to the first weekend race wrap of the 2017 season. We start with the Cycling Australia Road National Championships where Miles Scotson (BMC) and Katrin Garfoot (Orica Scott) won the men’s and women’s elite road races on Sunday. The final day of action capped four exciting days of racing in Ballarat with Garfoot pulling off the double after claiming the women’s time trial title earlier in the week.
Scotson won with a bold attack in the final 1500 meters and held off a late charge from pre-race favourites Simon Gerrans (Orica Scott) and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data). It was Scotson’s first win since moving into the WorldTour and the 22-year-old capped an excellent week for his BMC team after Rohan Dennis won his second consecutive time trial title, and Scotson’s younger brother, Callum, won the under-23 time trial championships for the BMC Development team.
"I waited behind on that last lap and just whacked them and wound the gear out and tried to tuck low on that descent," explained Scotson, who had a bigger front ring placed on his bike yesterday. "When I got to the bottom of that hill and seeing the gap that I had, I couldn’t believe it. I was like ‘wow, this really is going to happen’. There were so many different feelings coming into the line and I just couldn’t believe it,” Scotson said after his win.
Garfoot became the first woman in eight years to do the double in the women’s elite field. Having won the time trial, she carried her blistering form into the road race and saw off her Orica Scott teammate, Amanda Spratt, in a two-up sprint. Lucy Kennedy (QAS) completed the podium with third. Garfoot had finished fourth in last year’s road race, while Spratt had of course won after bridging across to an early break.
"I wanted to be here for a few years now, and I finally did it," Garfoot said in a post-race press conference attended by Cyclingnews. "It feels great. Also, the double, which was the dream coming into it. It's very special, especially because it's such a rare thing to achieve."
To catch up on all our coverage from the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, click here.
USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships
From the sun to the snow now with the final roundup from the USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships, held in Hartford, Connecticut, where Katie Compton won her 13th straight elite women’s title and Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossoworld.com) picked up his first.
Compton wasted little time in stamping her authority over the field. After she found her feet in the opening two laps she began to distance her rivals. Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo) was the closest competitor, finishing 28 seconds adrift to claim silver, while Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) rounded out the podium.
"This was hard,” Compton noted at the finish. “Mainly because you had to really keep your focus. It's super slippery underneath the snow. The lines were pretty similar from lap to lap, but they were changing from pre-ride. If you got off of them, it's pretty tricky and the bike kind of moves underneath you a little differently.”
In the elite men’s race, even a broken derailleur couldn’t stop Hyde, who came into the race as many peoples’ favourite. The 2016 runner up didn’t panic when he found himself caught up behind riders on the first lap and by the end of the second lap he was back at the front and stringing out the opposition that included Yannick Eckmann (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo), Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz Factory Racing) and Jack Kisseberth (Jam Fund).
Once Hyde was able to establish a gap he never looked back, with James Driscoll (Clement) taking silver and Kerry Werner (Kona Endurace Team) finishing in third. Hyde’s win ended Jeremy Powers’ three-year winning streak with the defending champion finishing down in 24th place.
To catch up on all our coverage from the USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships, click here.
British Cyclo-Cross National Championships
Sticking with the mud we head to Bradford, England, for the British Cyclo-Cross National Championships. In the elite women’s race Nikki Brammeier retained her title from twelve months ago. The Boels Dolmans rider has been coming back into form in recent weeks after suffering with concussion following a nasty crash. On the muddy course she had too much speed for Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK) and Beth Crumpton (Boot Out Breast Cancer CC), who completed the podium.
“I’m super happy as I really needed a win today and although Helen [Wyman] isn’t here it was still going to be a hard day and I needed a perfect ride,” said Brammeier. “On this course that was never guaranteed and I wasn’t quite sure how my form was beforehand. It’s always special to win a national jersey.”
In the men’s race Ian Field claimed his fifth title, leading from start to finish. Liam Killeen (Malvern Cycle Sport), who won in 2016, and broke Field’s run of titles, could only manage second this time around with Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing) taking third.
“Field is a class cross rider and I was a bit apprehensive because of the amount of running,” Killeen told British Cycling after the race. “But it all worked out as on the bike I felt strong. I’m really pleased as it has been a long time coming. The race kind of naturally selected and I just road to the finish once a gap opened up.”