South Australian Jack Bobridge put in an amazing performance to win the elite national road race in Buninyong on Sunday. The 21-year-old Garmin-Cervelo rider showed his class by soloing for 30km to take the coveted green and gold jersey, 37 seconds ahead of Matt Goss (HTC-Columbia) and Simon Gerrans (Team Sky).
"I'm over the moon, this is a fantastic feeling," an ecstatic Bobridge said after the race. His win today meant that Garmin-Cervelo keep the national jersey in the squad for another twelve months following Travis Meyer's victory last year and Bobridge added, "It's good to keep it in the team and take it to Europe again."
When racing got underway, the peloton made the course hard early with a blistering speed. Approximately twenty riders found the going tough from the outset and were dropped from the peloton, ensuring that they were in for a long day on the 163.2km course.
After the first lap of the 10.2km circuit, the peloton was still together but a break of six managed to get clear and built an advantage of up to half a minute. Pat Shaw (Genesys Wealth Advisers), Jai Crawford (Pegasus), Chris Jongewaard (Sasi), Rhys Pollock (Drapac), Chris Jory and Fabio Calabria were the men to escape from the peloton. When the move went, Jack Bobridge bridged across making it a strong seven man lead group.
Over the next few laps, their advantage grew to over two minutes and they gained a maximum advantage of nearly four minutes halfway through the race. Riders tried to bridge across to the break but were unsuccessful and with six laps to go, the leading group of seven were down to three with Bobridge, Crawford and Jongewaard all at the front of the race.
Their lead was approximately 45 seconds as their fellow companions were caught by the peloton. Heading into the final three laps, Bobridge launched a daring move, breaking away from the duo. Behind him, Jongewaard and Crawford were taken back by a reduced peloton of approximately fifteen riders. Leigh Howard and Baden Cooke were also in that group after trying to attack.
On that penultimate lap, the peloton was reduced to a select group of eight riders as Howard and Cooke dropped off with nine other riders and with two laps to go, Bobridge had a 45 second lead on a small group featuring Matt Goss, Bernard Sulzberger (Pegasus), Simon Gerrans (Sky), Lachlan Norris (Drapac) and his two team-mates, Cameron and Travis Meyer.
The Meyer brothers’ presence gave Bobridge’s chances a significant boost: they were closing down moves as Gerrans kept attacking when the lead dropped to two hundred metres on the climb.
To Bobridge's credit, he dug deep and increased his advantage back out to 40 seconds at the top of the climb and held that advantage for the rest of the race. As Bobridge entered the final straight, he started to celebrate as he realised he secured one of the biggest victories in his career.
Goss sprinted out of a small group of five riders to take second with pre-race favourite Gerrans in third.
Bobridge – just the beginning?
Bobridge won the under-23 national title in both the time trial and road race in 2009. After securing the elite road race today, he could very well do the double again on Tuesday, as one of the favourites for the time trial.
"I came here with good training under my belt over the past month," said Bobridge. “I had one of those days today where everything falls into place and you feel well. It's awesome."
"When I heard who was behind me, it definitely got me going. The crowd was awesome today on the course - they were loud on that hill. At the end of the day my move paid off and I will come back next year and give it another crack," concluded Bobridge.
Goss and Gerrans on the podium
Matt Goss' second place shows how good his form is and sets him up nicely for the 2011 season. Although he would have liked to have won the race, he was pleased with his result.
"It's a good result, it's good for the confidence. It's a hard circuit. I wouldn't have expected to get around there this time of year but I have trained really hard and I'm in good form," Goss explained.
"Unfortunately we didn't catch Jack today. He rode too strong...he was impressive. He's shown how good of a time triallist he is. He's a super strong bike rider."
Gerrans’ third place was a good result and he also commended Bobridge on his impressive ride.
"I did everything I could to try to win today's race and in the end we were outclassed," explained Gerrans. "I did everything I could to try to break the field up and get across to Jack, but out there by himself, he was just a bit too strong."
"Obviously he has huge potential, I think we'll see him even develop a lot more when he just concentrates on the road. He's one of our stars for the future," Gerrans concluded.
Sulzberger's fourth earns him the final Tour Down Under spot.
Bernard Sulzberger came into the race today with two objectives - winning and securing the last spot in the Uni-SA squad for the Tour Down Under. He didn't win, but his fourth place ensured he took that place in the team, something which is important for him and his team, Pegasus.
"I'm very happy," Sulzberger said after the race. "I'm in good form and to get a place in the squad for the Tour Down Under is fantastic and hopefully it gives us good exposure."
Simon Gerrans was pleased with his compatriot after the race.
"Bernie is in good shape and he's a fantastic rider. He deserves a spot in the Tour Down Under. We've seen him place consistently at the front for the last month or two and he deserves that spot and I hope something eventuates for him," said Gerrans.
The 2011 Mars Australian Open Road Championships conclude Tuesday with the under-23 and elite men and women time trials.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jack Bobridge (Norwood CC)||4:12:42|
|2||Matt Goss (West Tamar CC)||0:00:37|
|3||Simon Gerrans (Mansfield Mt Buller CC)|
|4||Bernard Sulzberger (West Tamar CC)|
|5||Lachlan Norris (MTBA)|
|6||Cameron Meyer (Midland CC)|
|7||Travis Meyer (Midland CC)|
|8||Matt Wilson (Chelsea & Peninsula CC)||0:01:22|
|9||Nathan Earle (Hobart Wheelers)|
|10||Timothy Roe (Norwood CC)||0:01:37|
|11||Leigh Howard (Geelong Cycle Club)|
|12||Baden Cooke (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|13||Steele Von Hoff (Chelsea & Peninsula CC)|
|14||Allan Davis (Bundaberg Cycle Club)|
|15||Michael Matthews (Vikings CC ACT)|
|16||Peter McDonald (Sydney CC)||0:01:39|
|17||Jai Crawford (Hobart Wheelers)|
|18||Floris Goesinnen (Netherlands)|
|19||Benjamin King (Melville Fremantle CC)|
|20||Wes Sulzberger (West Tamar CC)|
|21||Mark O'Brien (Horsham CC Inc)|
|22||Darren Lapthorne (Coburg CC)|
|23||Michael Rogers (Canberra CC)|
|24||Anthony Giacoppo (Northern Districts WA)||0:03:00|
|25||John Anderson (Balmoral Cycle Club)||0:03:55|
|26||Cal Britten (Alpine CC)|
|27||Graeme Brown (Randwick Botany CC)||0:04:49|
|28||Rowan Dever (Blackburn CC Inc)|
|29||Jason Spencer (Blackburn CC Inc)|
|30||William Clarke (Northern Districts CC)|
|31||Luke Roberts (Norwood CC)|
|32||David Pell (Bendigo & District CC)|
|33||Cameron Worth (Hobart Wheelers)|
|34||Darren Rolfe (Toowoomba CC Inc.)|
|35||Michael Cupitt (Sunshine Coast CC)|
|36||Brendan Brooks (Murwillumbah Cycle Club)|
|37||Jonathan Cantwell (Lifecycle CC)|
|38||David Tanner (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|39||Trent Lowe (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|40||Ryan Obst (Norwood CC)||0:09:22|
|41||Hayden Brooks (Toowoomba CC Inc.)|
|42||Cameron Jennings (Rockhampton Cycle Club)|
|43||Marc Williams (Canberra CC)|
|44||Sam Rutherford (Sydney CC)||0:11:42|
|45||Andrew Blair (Canberra CC)|
|46||Nick Bensley (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|47||Fabio Calabria (Blackburn CC Inc)||0:13:31|
|48||Chris Jongewaard (Norwood CC)||0:13:45|
|DNF||Rhys Pollock (Albury-Wodonga CC)|
|DNF||Clarke Petrick (Alice Springs CC)|
|DNF||John Kent (Alpine CC)|
|DNF||Damien Turner (Ballarat/Sebastopol CC)|
|DNF||Will Wettenhall (Ballarat/Sebastopol CC)|
|DNF||Patrick Shaw (Ballarat/Sebastopol CC)|
|DNF||Jay Bourke (Ballarat/Sebastopol CC)|
|DNF||Mark Renshaw (Bathurst CC)|
|DNF||David Brown (BCRI)|
|DNF||James Ibrahim (Bendigo & District CC)|
|DNF||Tom Leaper (Blackburn CC Inc)|
|DNF||Mitchell Docker (Brunswick CC Inc)|
|DNF||Stuart Grimsey (Brunswick CC Inc)|
|DNF||Adam Hansen (Cairns Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Stuart Shaw (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||Tony Gaudry (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||Kris Johnston (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||William Lind (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||Ryan Quade (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||Shane Spicer (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||Mathew Hayman (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||Julien Wicks (Canberra CC)|
|DNF||Andrew Downie (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Matthew Shea (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Daniel Strauss (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Matthew Bishop (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Tommy Nankervis (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Peter Smith (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Alexander Smyth (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Johnnie Walker (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Nick Walker (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Chris Winn (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC)|
|DNF||Jon Houston (Central Districts CC)|
|DNF||Aaron Kemps (Coral Isle Cyclists)|
|DNF||Scott Liston (Dirt Riders)|
|DNF||Adrian Jackson (Dirt Riders)|
|DNF||Darcy Rosenlund (Dutton Cycles R R)|
|DNF||Joel Pearson (Eurobodalla Cyclists Club Inc.)|
|DNF||Matthew Chew (Ffast Cycle Club)|
|DNF||David Melville (Ffast Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Benjamin Day (Ffast CC)|
|DNF||Benjamin Johnson (Footscray CC Inc)|
|DNF||Julian Bain (Footscray CC Inc)|
|DNF||Brett Hickford (Footscray CC Inc)|
|DNF||Paul Redenbach (Footsray CC)|
|DNF||Richard Jeremiah (Geelong Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Andrew Margison (George Town CC)|
|DNF||Michael Hosking (Gold Coast CATS CC)|
|DNF||Robbie McEwen (Gold Coast CATS CC)|
|DNF||Giuseppe Cirella (Gold Coast CATS CC)|
|DNF||Ben Swift (Great Britain)|
|DNF||Tom Southam (Great Britain)|
|DNF||Joel Strachan (Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club)|
|DNF||Timothy White (Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club)|
|DNF||Peter Dennis (Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club)|
|DNF||Samuel Witmitz (Horsham CC Inc)|
|DNF||Matthew Wood (Kangaroo Point CC)|
|DNF||Charles Howlett (Latrobe City CC)|
|DNF||Richie Porte (Launceston CC)|
|DNF||Michael Smith (Launceston City CC)|
|DNF||Liam McCarthy (Lifecycle CC)|
|DNF||Rian Douglas (MA Cycling)|
|DNF||Luis Trueba (Macarthur Collegians CC)|
|DNF||Amir Rusli (Malaysia)|
|DNF||Caleb Jones (Manly Warringah CC)|
|DNF||Andrew Crawley (Manly Warringah CC)|
|DNF||Nathan Versey (MTBA)|
|DNF||Matthew Hodges (Murwillumbah Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Mark Dippelsman (Murwillumbah Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Koen De Kort (Netherlands)|
|DNF||Nicholas Mitchell (Northcote CC Inc)|
|DNF||Reece-Emerson Van Beek (Northcote CC Inc)|
|DNF||Jason Rigg (Northern Districts WA)|
|DNF||Stephen Tree (Northern Sydney CC)|
|DNF||Alexander Malone (Northern Sydney CC)|
|DNF||Christopher Williams (Northern Sydney CC)|
|DNF||Nathan Hunter (Norwood CC)|
|DNF||Andrew Roe (Norwood CC)|
|DNF||Brad Davies (Norwood CC)|
|DNF||James Hannam (Norwood CC)|
|DNF||Antony Dimitrovski (Parramatta CC)|
|DNF||Jake Magee (Parramatta CC)|
|DNF||Cameron Peterson (Peloton Sports)|
|DNF||Chris Jory (Port Macquarie CC)|
|DNF||Lars Pria (Romania)|
|DNF||Brett Lancaster (Shepparton CC)|
|DNF||Benjamin Cheney (South Coast CC)|
|DNF||Shaun Lewis (Southern Highlands CC)|
|DNF||Christopher Sutton (St George CC)|
|DNF||Peter Hatton (St George CC)|
|DNF||Ben Kersten (St George CC)|
|DNF||Peter English (St Kilda CC)|
|DNF||Danny Cohen (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Thomas Donald (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Tim McGrath (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Malachi Moxon (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Rico Rogers (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Reece Stephens (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Carson Tully (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Andrew Clark (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Luke James (St Kilda CC Inc)|
|DNF||Tristan Jones (Sturt Holdfast Marion CC)|
|DNF||Andrew Hutcheson (Sunbury & Hume Districts CC)|
|DNF||Kris Koke (Sutherland Shire CC)|
|DNF||Neil Van der Ploeg (Team Mount Beauty)|
|DNF||David Jameson (Townsville Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Mark Jameson (Uni Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Aidan McKenzie (Uni Cycle Club)|
|DNF||Timothy Walker (West Tamar CC)|
|DNS||Michael Fitzgerald (Atomic Brooks Cycle Club)|
|DNS||Michael Bulters (Canberra CC)|
|DNS||Jason Cattonar (Norwood CC)|
|DNS||David Kemp (Toowoomba CC Inc.)|