Alex Porter of SASI started his 2017 season just as he ended his 2016 season by winning an Australian national title but did so this time on the road. Porter had the fastest kick of his breakaway companions on a hot afternoon in Sturt St, Ballarat as he relegated Lucas Hamilton to second and Ayden Toovey to third place.
Scott Bowden (IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness) proved himself to possibly be the strongest man in the race as he dragged a chase group across to the leaders but ultimately fell just short, placing seventh at three seconds.
"I knew there were some quick guys in the bunch so I would have a better chance if I was off the front with a number of guys. When I saw that move go I thought it was a good move to get into and utilise having to only spring against five guys instead of 60-odd," Porter said post-race of his decision to chase down the original two-man group of Hamilton and Toovey inside the first ten laps of the race.
With pre-race favourite and fellow track world champion in the team pursuit from the 2015 Worlds, Sam Welsford sporting a bloody knee and isolated in the bunch, the breakaway worked well together to ensure it build a lead, 40 seconds at its maximum on the 1.1km circuit, early and then held its advantage to the line.
Jai Hindley and Ryan Thomas had been the two other men and break it was the former, along with Hamilton, that was aiming for anything but a bunch sprint. Having settled after a tough start in the heat, Porter explained that he worked hard to ensure the punchier riders from the breakaway wouldn't be allowed to get away.
"Some of the other guys like Lucas and Jai, I knew they wouldn’t want me there at the end and would try and get away solo so they were putting on on the pace trying to split it. I thought if I can keep it together and have it up in a bunch sprint like it did," said Porter.
With a 38 second advantage over the chasers, it looked like the leaders would be home and housed with ten laps to race. With five laps to go it was down to 25 seconds as Bowden's legs continued to reel in them in. Ultimately, the chase and Bowden were left with too much to do and it was Porter who enjoyed the first gold medal of the 2017 nationals.
Looking ahead to Sunday's road race, Hamilton is aiming to make it third time lucky in U23 events after his silver in last year's race. Having picked up the sprints jersey in the criterium, the 20-year-old is in form and hungry for his first green and gold jersey.
"It would be nice to go one step between, two nationals championships now and two silvers so it would be nice to get a gold," Hamilton said.
Porter and his SASI teammate Callum Scotson though will be aiming to stop Hamilton in his tracks and claim the gold medal.
"I think the guys who were in the break are who is going to be over the top of Bunninyong so I am hoping with some of the form I am in I can be there with them and have a repeat on Saturday," added Porter.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alexander Porter (Aus) SASI||47:17:00|
|2||Lucas Hamilton (Aus)|
|3||Ayden Toovey (Aus) NSWIS|
|4||Jai Hindley (Aus)|
|5||Harrison Bailey (Aus)|
|6||Ryan Thomas (Aus)|
|7||Scott Bowden (Aus) IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness||0:00:03|
|8||Ben Carman (Aus) mobius Future Racing||0:00:11|
|9||Tasman Nankervis (Aus) GPM||0:00:31|
|10||Daniel Fitter (Aus) NSWIS||0:00:33|
|11||Cameron Scott (Aus) NSWIS||0:00:46|
|12||Lachlan Holliday (Aus)|
|13||Theodore Yates (Aus) Drapac-Pat's Veg|
|14||Samuel Hill (Aus) Phoenix Cycling Collective|
|15||Kaden Groves (Aus)|
|16||Caiden Hull (Aus)|
|17||Kelland O'Brien (Aus) Jayco/John West VIS|
|18||Riley Terrens (Aus)|
|19||Samuel Munday (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk|
|20||David Randall (Aus)|
|21||William Hodges (Aus) GPM|
|22||Brendan Cole (Aus)|
|23||Julian Thomson (Aus) AMR Renault Racing Team|
|24||Tristan Ward (Aus) Torq Nutrition Australia|
|25||Jameson Cosier (Aus)|
|26||Adam Mitchell (Aus)|
|27||Callum Pearce (Aus)|
|28||Benjamin Andrews (Aus) Van D'am Racing|
|29||Joshua Beikoff (Aus)|
|30||Lewis McCrea (Aus) Satalyst Verve Racing|
|31||Peter Livingstone (Aus) mobius Future Racing|
|32||Cyrus Monk (Aus) Drapac-Pat's Veg|
|33||Bradley Soden (Aus)||0:00:55|
|34||Sean Whitfield (Aus) Oliver's Racing||0:00:57|
|35||Patrick Kennedy (Aus)|
|36||Nicholas White (Aus) Oliver's Racing|
|37||Jackson Mawby (Aus)|
|38||Nicholas Simpson (Aus)||0:01:02|
|39||Reece Tucknott (Aus)|
|40||Tom Green (Aus) GPM|
|41||Timothy Sellar (Aus) Satalyst Verve Racing|
|42||Guy Kalma (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto|
|43||Rohan Wight (Aus) SASI|
|44||Oliver Martin (Aus)||0:01:09|
|45||Thomas McFarlane (Aus) InForm Racing Team||0:01:11|
|DNF||Iven Bennett (Aus) Van D'am Racing|
|DNF||Jake Brooker (Aus)|
|DNF||Todd Buschkuehl (Aus)|
|DNF||Carsten Chapman (Aus) Oliver's Racing|
|DNF||Harry Cleary (Aus)|
|DNF||Leighton Cook (Aus) Veris Racing Team|
|DNF||Matthew De Vroet (Aus) Van D'am Racing|
|DNF||Joshua Harrison (Aus) SASI|
|DNF||Alexander Holden (Aus)|
|DNF||Connor Lambert (Aus)|
|DNF||Tim Lennon (Aus)|
|DNF||Daniel Luke (Aus)|
|DNF||Dylan McKenna (Aus)|
|DNF||Matthew Osborne (Aus) Torq Nutrition Australia|
|DNF||James Pane (Aus) Drapac-Pat's Veg|
|DNF||Declan Prosser (Aus) GPM|
|DNF||Leighton Taylor (Aus)|
|DNF||Kyle Thompson (Aus)|
|DNF||Sam Welsford (Aus)|
|DNF||David Nickels (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk|
|DNS||Nicholas Darling (Aus) AMR Renault Racing Team|
|DNS||Hamish Goater (Aus) Veris Racing Team|
|DNS||Drew Morey (Aus) Drapac-Pat's Veg|
|DNS||Kallum Parlevliet (Aus) InForm Racing Team|
|DNS||Jack Renshaw (Aus)|