Francesca Sewell was awarded the women’s under-19 Australia national road race title in dramatic fashion after a late crash and disqualification turned the initial result of the race on its head.
Sewell crashed in the finishing straight after her chain locked. She ran to the finish line, desperate to take what she thought was second place behind Neve Bradbury. However before the podium ceremony, race officials disqualified Bradbury for having an under-weight bike and to her amazement, Sewell was promoted to first place and pulled on the green and gold national champion’s jersey.
Tasmania’s Catelyn Turner was second, with Ashlee Jones adding a bronze medal to her win in the Criterium championships.
Bradbury was disqualified from the results after judges weighed her bike and discovered it was 120g below the UCI minimum weight of 6.8kg.
Sewell appeared in disbelief after the medal presentation. She heard about the disqualification on public address system at the finish.
“A lot has happened, its pretty crazy,” Sewell said. “I think that was more just adrenaline. I wanted to get second still.”
“I’m feeling pretty great, a little bit stiff but that’s alright. I guess it’s just racing. You know, stuff like that happens so there’s not a whole lot you can do. I think my chain locked and my foot slipped out.”
“I do just want to say congratulations to Neve, it was a good race. I feel really terrible because that’s harsh but it’s not my choice to make.”
Dramatic finish to @CyclingAus#ROADNATS U19 women’s road race with FRANCESCA SEWELL crashing just as sprint started at 120m - leaving victory for NEVE BRADBURY @stkildacc - Sewell pushed bike across line for silver pic.twitter.com/UjuHj72UcJ— The Courier Sport (@sportcourier) January 5, 2019