Shara Gillow won a fourth Australian national time trial having caught Bridie O'Donnell in the final 50 meters of the 29.3km course in her first outing as a Rabo-Liv rider. Defending champion Flick Wardlaw finished 1:34 minutes down on Gillow although it was still a good day in the rain for her team with Taryn Heather placing third.
"I said before the race to some media that it's really special," Gillow told reporters after the race. "I’ve ridden the race every year since 2009 and medalled six times. This is my fourth national title, I missed it last year, and just to wear the green and gold again is going to be great as I missed it last year. I realised how special it is to wear it over in Europe."
O'Donnell started one minute ahead of Gillow who quickly ate into that time gap and both riders then spent the majority of the race within touching distance.
"I was riding my own race and on the other side of the road and I tried to pass her but I only really got the opportunity at the end to do so," Gillow said of O'Donnell's suggestion that she was sitting on and enjoying the slipstream. "I was concentrating on my own race. I caught her but I never really passed her as I was spinning out on the downhills with my 53 ring then I'd catch her again. It was a bit of a cat and mouse ride but I came back stronger in the end and managed to pass her just before the finish line."
After three years with Orica-AIS, Gillow moves across to Rabo-Liv in 2015 and became the second rider of the championships after Steele von Hoff to start the year with a win in new team colours.
Ellen Skerritt was the first rider to occupy the hot seat as she finished her race just as the drizzle turned into steady rain. Heather disposed Skerritt who maintained her lead in the U23 standings.
With race radio confirming that O'Donnell and Gillow would be entering the final kilometres, neck-and-neck, Heather's hopes of a national title were extinguished and it became clear that Gillow would be taking home a fourth green and gold jersey, placing her second behind tying Kathy Watt as the most successful Australian women in the discipline.
Rebecca Mackey's fourth place overall saw her claim a maiden U23 crown and add to her medal from Wednesday's criterium. Jenelle Crooks was unable to defend her 2014 title and settled for bronze while Skerrit's time was fast enough for the silver medal and seventh overall.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Shara Gillow (QLD)||0:44:21|
|2||Bridie O'Donnell (VIC)||0:01:01|
|3||Taryn Heather (SA)||0:01:09|
|4||Rebecca Mackey (WA)||0:01:34|
|5||Felicity Wardlaw (VIC)||0:01:35|
|6||Louisa Lobigs (NSW)||0:02:09|
|7||Ellen Skerritt (QLD)||0:02:16|
|8||Jenelle Crooks (QLD)||0:02:23|
|9||Kate Perry (VIC)||0:02:48|
|10||Lynne Clarke (NSW)||0:02:51|
|11||Allison Rice (ACT)||0:02:56|
|12||Lucy Barker (SA)||0:03:28|
|13||Lauren Kitchen (NSW)||0:03:30|
|14||Shannon Malseed (VIC)||0:03:33|
|15||Alexandria Nicholls (ACT)||0:04:00|
|16||Nicole Whitburn (VIC)|
|17||Laurelea Moss (QLD)||0:04:07|
|18||Robyn Selby SMITH|
|19||Erin Kinnealy (WA)||0:04:54|
|20||Stephanie Frawley (SA)||0:05:10|
|21||Kim Pedersen (QLD)||0:05:14|
|22||Geraldine Blomfield-Brown (NSW)||0:05:35|
|23||Lauretta Hanson (VIC)||0:06:10|
|24||Jade Colligan (NSW)||0:06:20|
|25||Emma Scott (VIC)||0:06:42|
|26||Leanne Davies (SA)||0:07:00|
|27||Angela Smith (NSW)||0:07:07|
|DNS||Katrin Garfoot (QLD)|
|DNS||Nikolina Orlic (QLD)|