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Australian Open Road Championships 2011

Date range:
January 6-11, 2011

January 06, U23 Men Criterium: Ballarat 33km

Grenda grabs U23 championship

Chris Graetz
January 06, 2011, 12:17 GMT,
January 06, 2011, 17:13 GMT

Lang and Palmer round out podium

A Mars a day: Ben Grenda (Genesys Wealth Advisers) with his spoils on the podium

A Mars a day: Ben Grenda (Genesys Wealth Advisers) with his spoils on the podium

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Tasmanian Ben Grenda stormed to victory in the U23 national criterium championship in Ballarat this evening. The 20-year-old Genesys Wealth Advisers rider proved too fast for Richard Lang (Jayco AIS) and Tom Palmer (Drapac Porsche).

"I'm really happy," Grenda said after the race. "This is the biggest win in my career. I have always wanted to win a national jersey and it feels good."

The pace was brutal early and halfway during the race Luke Durbridge (Jayco AIS) launched a solo attack and held that advantage for 14 laps. Riders tried to bridge across, but the silver medalist at the U23 time trial world championships last year was too strong, holding an advantage of approximately 14 seconds over the peloton.

With three laps to go, the peloton started to reel in the West Australian and Tom Palmer burst out of the peloton to get across to Luke in the final two laps. The duo were caught on the last lap and despite a late attack by Lachlan Norton, it was Grenda who reigned supreme in the bunch sprint.

Grenda legacy continues

Ben Grenda hails from a successful cycling family. His great-great uncle Alf was a world champion, his grandfather Ron was an Australian champion and his father Michael was an Olympic gold medalist in 1984.

"I have big shoes to fill when you look at their results," Grenda said. "My grandfather and sister actually came up a few days ago to watch me race. It was cool having them here."

Grenda will be heading off to join Belgium amateur team Rock Werchter-Mechelen in two weeks and is thrilled to head over with the national jersey.

"It will be special taking the national jersey over. I've been with Genesys for the last few years and they have treated me well and I'm looking forward to the next step in my career," he said.

Jayco AIS controlled the race and Lang was happy with his second place.

"We had Luke Durbridge off the front forcing other teams to chase. The whole Jayco AIS team were trying to control the race and made it as aggressive as possible. When it came to the end I placed myself a little too far back and Grenda was the fastest man on the day," Lang said.

Tom Palmer was pleased with his third place and will now focus his attention to the road race on Saturday.

"Today was the first day in the last few days that I have really been able to open the legs up properly. That's a big positive and I'll take that going into Saturday. It was a classy field and I'm happy with third. Full credit to Grenda, he really took it up to the AIS boys."

Durbridge's solo move rewarded him with the sprint jersey, but the 19-year-old was glad to test the legs ahead of his major goal - the time trial on Tuesday.

"It was good to test my legs after having six weeks off after the Commonwealth Games where I had varicose veins removed. Hopefully I can have a good race on Saturday and then another on Tuesday."

Full Results
1 Ben Grenda (TAS)    
2 Richard Lang (NSW)    
3 Thomas Palmer (ACT)    
4 Phillip Grenfell (NSW)    
5 Benjamin Hill (ACT)    
6 Ryan MacAnally (QLD)    
7 Luke Durbridge (WA)    
8 Aaron Donnelly (NSW)    
9 Mitchell Codner (NSW)    
10 Scott McPhee (SA)    
11 Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT)    
12 Lachlan Morton (NSW)    
13 Matthew Benson (SA)    
14 Alex Carver (NSW)    
15 Clay Murfet (TAS)    
16 Adiq Othman (MAS)    
17 Danny Pulbrook (TAS)    
18 Joshua Taylor (NSW)    
19 James Herd (VIC)    
20 Geoff Straub (NSW)    
21 Angus Tobin (NSW)    
22 Craig Hutton (NSW)    
23 Sam Davis (WA)    
24 Alex Wohler (QLD)    
25 Mitchell Mullhern (QLD)    
26 Malcolm Rudolph (QLD)    
27 Peter Braunsteins (VIC)    
28 Brenton Jones (VIC)    
29 Blair Windsor (NSW)    
30 Jordan Kerby (QLD)    
31 Damien Howson (SA)    
32 Oliver Kent-Spark (VIC)    
33 Dylan Wallis (SA)    
34 Jay McCarthy (QLD)    
35 Stephen Hall (WA)    
36 Scott Law (NSW)    
DNF Scott Cronly-Dillon (NSW)    
DNF Nathan Haas (ACT)    
DNF Samuel Spokes (NSW)    
DNF Brendan J Cole (NSW)    
DNF Shannon O'Brien (VIC)    
DNF Benjamin Duncan (QLD)    
DNF James Boal (VIC)    
DNF Daniel O'Keefe (NSW)    
DNF David Abraham (TAS)    
DNF Stephen Bomball (ACT)    
DNF Mitch Brogden (VIC)    
DNF James Crafter (VIC)    
DNF Callum Fagg (TAS)    
DNF James Hepburn (QLD)    
DNF Christopher Jehu (VIC)    
DNF Thomas Koep (GER)    
DNF Jamie Lacey (QLD)    
DNF Alastair Loutit (ACT)    
DNF James Mowatt (VIC)    
DNF Michael Phelan (ACT)    
DNF Dale Scarfe (NSW)    
DNF Joel Stearnes (TAS)    
DNF Matthew Williams (QLD)    
DNF Patrick Drapac (VIC)    
DNF Michael Hepburn (QLD)    
DNF Michael Freiberg (WA)    
DNF Kane Walker (VIC)    
DNF Campbell Flakemore (TAS)    
DNF Joel Finucane (ACT)    
DNF Brian Mcleod (QLD)    
DNS Rohan Dennis (SA)    
DNS Adam Phelan (ACT)    
DNS Michael Baker (ACT)    
DNS Fergus MacLachlan (VIC)    
DNS Cameron Ivory (NSW)    
DNS Christopher Pescott (VIC)    
DNS Harry Rassie (VIC)    
DNS Patrick Lane (VIC)    
DNS Peter Loft (TAS)